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Hello everybody!


I'm very excited to be joining you, the wonderful SSA staff, and this amazing organization. Before we jump headfirst into the fray, let me start by telling you a little bit about me.

I grew up in a Catholic family. My mother was heavily involved in the Church... but she didn't agree with its stances on every issue, especially its views about women and the lack of equality in the Church.

Kevin Bolling the new Executive Director
of the Secular Student Alliance

Click here to support our new executive director with a tax-deductible contribution!

You have probably heard the quote: "Well-behaved women rarely make history." My mother was NOT one of the well-behaved women. No, she was a "troublemaker." She fought for what she believed in, even if it went against the beliefs of her Church. I give her a lot of credit for making me the activist I have been all my life.

In college, I was extremely involved. I was on the campus program board, a resident assistant in housing, an orientation leader for several summers, and involved in other campus activities. I loved it. I decided to make it the focus of my studies, eventually leading to a master's of education in student personnel services -- specifically to work at colleges and universities in student programming, student organization, and student leadership.

Over 15 years, I worked at Mankato State University in Minnesota; Northeastern University in Boston; and at two public universities in Los Angeles. I love the energy and excitement of working with students and on a campus. I also know how important it is for students to feel a part of the campus community, to feel safe, and to feel like they have other people who are like them.

My college years were the period during which I started my journey away from the Catholic Church and away from religion. In graduate school, I finally figured out that I was gay and pretty much came out to everyone important in my life in about a week.

Since college, I've worked for several non-profit organizations and have continued being an activist. I've been involved with many progressive causes, including Big Brother, anti-bullying efforts, youth incarceration, helping provide funding for health care for a largely immigrant workforce, as well as Pride and LGBTQ issues. I see the Secular Student Alliance as the ideal union of the two cornerstones of my professional work: a commitment to values around diversity, justice, inclusion, equality--and a belief in young people to make a positive change.

Like my mother, I'm also not always "well-behaved." I know progress is hard-won. It takes individuals willing to stand up for what they believe. Progress needs some troublemakers in order to take place.

While there has been hopeful progress on secular issues and social equality, we have more work to do. Given our current political climate, the mission of the Secular Student Alliance is even more important today. We are committed to empowering secular students to proudly express their identity; building welcoming and supportive communities in high schools and on college campuses; promoting secular values; and setting a course for lifelong activism. We will not shy away from advancing our values, against the religion-based dogma that stands in the way of progress.

Advancing our values and doing good in the world must be core to what we are about... but more about that later.

For now, I'd like to leave you with a quote by Desmond Tutu. "Do your little bit of good where you are; it's those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world."

I look forward to doing good with you!

Kevin Bolling
Executive Director
Secular Student Alliance

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