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This Week

Weekly news, emails, and group-running articles for student leaders. Check in every week for new postings!

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The SSA <3 Science :: This Week


The March for Science is April 22. It is being organized behind the idea that science is an essential part of our society, that its findings are not political, and that it must be robustly supported. However, if there’s ever been a time when science has been threatened by government mandate, it is now. Stand up for science by having your group join the nearest satellite march! Don’t forget to take a group picture to share with us too!

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Ask an Atheist Day is April 20! It’s an opportunity for secular groups across the country to work together to defeat stereotypes about atheism and encourage courteous dialogue between believers and nonbelievers. We’ve got a lot of awesome tabling supplies waiting for you, but you need to order them THIS WEEK! After that, we’ll be taking them off the form, because they wouldn’t reach you in time anyway. Order your Ask an Atheist tabling supplies today!

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Do you want a great summer job? Do you want to be in Columbus, ranked one of the best cities for millennials? Come help us out at SSA Con! We’re hiring two temporary part-time Conference Support Staffers for the months of June and July 2017! You’ll handle a lot of organizing and running before, during, and after the largest event the SSA runs! It’s a great resume builder and a really fun time, so come join our team! Go to our jobs page to learn more about the position and apply!

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We're Proud Of

Secular Panthers at Georgia State University!

"When advertising to the whole student body and community at large, you're likely to attract attention from people who might have never come to one of your group meetings. Or maybe you're the first 'secular' person that someone meets!"

Michael Nelson, President

Secular Panthers collaborated with Black Nonbelievers and the Atlanta Coalition of Reason to bring in Chris Johnson for the Georgia premiere of his movie, "A Better Life: Joy and Meaning in a World without God." They were able to bring him out with the help of Mandisa Thomas, whom they described as “wonderful,” as well as an SSA Speakers Bureau Grant. The feedback was overwhelmingly positive and gave their group many topics to discuss for future meetings. After the film, they discovered Chris had never eaten at a Waffle House before, which was something that had to change.

This Ends On Wednesday :: This Week


Students LOVE our SSA Con t-shirts! We saw a blanket of purple on the stairway in 2015, and a field of orange in 2016. These shirts keep showing up in students pictures as they take the lessons of SSA Con and apply them to their own activism. They’ve shown up at the Reason Rally, at conferences, protests, and so much more! When you come to SSA Con 2017, won’t you want your own?

While you’ll be able to order SSA Con 2017 t-shirts for a few months yet, you only have until Wednesday to get yours for FREE!

Ending on March 15, all paid registrations for SSA Con include a free t-shirt! That offer is good both for individuals AND for groups! That means on top of the $50 groups can save by registering together, you can save even more and look amazing at the Con at the same time!

March 15 is also the end of early bird registration, meaning the cost of registration will be going up some. So there are two reasons to register soon: free t-shirt and cheaper tickets!

Register yourself or your group for SSA Con today!

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The Secular Society of MIT had a screening of "Flock of Dodos: The Evolution-Intelligent Design Circus," served Valentine/birthday cakes to show their love for Darwin, followed by a Q&A session with biologist-filmmaker Randy Olson and biologist Steven Orzack. In the same week, they went to the Harvard Museum of Natural History as a group!

The Secular Student Alliance at Jacksonville State University held a birthday party for Charles Darwin, and a professor from the biology department, Dr. Burns, came to speak about Darwin and evolution.

The Secular Student Alliance at the University of Idaho helped the Humanists of the Palouse as they put on their annual Darwin on the Palouse event! The main event featured Dr. Cheryl Miller, who gave a talk on the importance of vaccines, and Dr. Kevin Folta, who gave a talk on the science and safety of GMOs.

The Secular Student Alliance at University of South Dakota handed out secular and Charles Darwin-themed valentines, and set up a giant "On the Origin of Species" piñata, which they filled with gummy animals.

These are just some of the great stories we’ve gotten about Darwin Day 2017! What did your group do? Tell us in a Brag It Up and we might share it on Facebook and Twitter, or add it to our list of Darwin Day activities for groups to do for years to come!

Join a Proud Line of Speakers :: This Week


SSA Con is renowned for its programming for students, by students. Every year, we let dozens of students speak about their areas of expertise, from effective tabling and event planning, to intersectionality and political engagement. If you have something you're passionate about sharing with the rest of the secular student community, you, yes YOU, should apply to be a speaker at SSA Con! Not only will you get to spread your ideas across the country, your registration fee for the conference will be waived! But you have to apply by March 31 to be considered! Join the pantheon of awesome student activists from 17 years of SSA Con by registering to be a speaker!

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If you’re like us, you’ve been mad as hell at the many injustices going on with this current administration. Maybe you’re content to complain on Facebook, or maybe you’re mad enough to do something about it! The Secular Coalition for America has Action Alerts to tell you how you can get politically involved in your area. You’ll get information about who to contact, where to show up, and many more practical solutions to these very real problems. Sign up for SCA Action Alerts so you can stay informed and be the change you want to see in the world.

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We're Proud Of

Jacksonville State University Secular Student Alliance!

"Members were very surprised to hear that the idea of a black nonbeliever could be interpreted as a ‘slave mentality’ or an attempt to be white. It highlighted the work needed to approach this issue and change the perception of secularism."

Anh Nguyen, Member

JSU SSA hosted Mandisa Thomas, president of Black Nonbelievers, for one of their meetings. For a good number of people attending the meeting, Mandisa was only the first or second black nonbeliever that they had ever met. She explained the important issues of recognizing and celebrating black secularism in history and in current events. She also gave a brief explanation to the (mostly white) audience on how religion can be a huge identifying factor for black communities, and cited as an example religious black people rejecting Mandisa's own blackness for not being religious. This was a great meeting and speaker to having during Black History Month!

Secret Sagan and a Festivus Pole :: This Week


One of the most requested things that you, the students, wanted to see at SSA Con was a resource about running a winter celebration. Well, we listened, but rather than a twenty minute session about it, we thought we could do one better. For the first year ever, we’ll be running Solstice in July at SSA Con! Right after the closing session on Sunday, July 9th, we’ll be hosting a festive lunch, Secret Sagan gift giving, and a special Solstice ritual. Sign up for it when you register yourself or your group for SSA Con. You won’t won’t want to miss the first ever Solstice in July!

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April is coming up, and there are lots of special days worth celebrating in it. But if there’s one day you should mark off, it’s April 20th: National Ask an Atheist Day! On this day, groups around the country set up extra special tables on campus with games, food, art, and activities to make people aware of the secular presence on campus. Not only is it a great day for members, but it's a fantastic opportunity to get new ones and to build bridges with persons of faith. Find out what you can do to start prepping for your group’s Ask an Atheist Day!

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Summer will be here before you know it, and many of your group leaders might be graduating. That’s why you need to start thinking about your next round of leadership NOW! Far too many groups run an election the last few weeks before graduation, and bring in rookie leaders with no mentors. In our 17 years of existence, that’s always been a recipe for disaster. Look at our Leadership Transition resource to keep your group going strong!

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We're Proud Of

"When you stand up for right, right will prevail. I was on the Edmund Pettus Bridge during Bloody Sunday in 1965, and I am still standing up for right today." Mrs. Avery, after being arrested for protesting Alabama state legislature's refusal to expand Medicaid in October, 2014.

Annie Pearl Avery!

Born in Birmingham, AL in 1943, Mrs. Avery's roots in the Civil Rights Movement began as a member of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). She was one of the first to be arrested in the 1965 attempt to march from Selma to Montgomery, now notoriously known as "Bloody Sunday". She was honored at the 2015 50th anniversary of this tragic event. Mrs. Avery’s work in the Civil Rights Movement has been chronicled in various publications, including the October 2013 issue of Essence magazine, and Hands On the Freedom Plow: Personal Accounts by Women in the SNCC. She currently gives personal tours of the Slavery and Civil War Museum in Selma, AL. Mrs. Avery will be receiving the 2017 Backbone Award at SSA Con for having lived a life of activism motivated by secular values.


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