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Training, Activism, and the Movement

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Are you looking for a more cost-efficient speaker? If so, check out our Student Speakers Bureau and our regional Bureaus in Texas and the SouthEast.

Speakers About Training and Activism

Dan Arel
  • Lives in San Diego, CA
  • Award-winning journalist who blogs at Danthropology on Patheos.com and contributes to Time, AlterNet and the Huffington Post.
  • Has a Patheos Blog called Danthropology
  • Is the bestselling author of Parenting Without God: How to Raise Moral, Ethical and Intelligent Children Free From Religious Dogma
  • Bestselling author of The Secular Activist, and Parenting Without God
  • Twitter: @danarel
Eliott Canter
  • Former retail executive
  • Provides pro bone human resource work for the secular community
  • Lives on a farm in Tennessee
Greta Christina
Dave Churvis
  • Located in Buffalo, NY
  • Atlanta native
  • Systems Administrator at the Center for Inquiry
  • Queer Poly Sci-Fi/Comics Nerd
  • Former Program Manager at the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science
  • Founder and three-term President of Secular Panthers at Georgia State University
  • Formerly various kinds of religious (Christian, Jewish) and spiritual (gnostic, pagan)
  • Former "psychic"
  • Former Project Leader for Openly Secular
James Croft
  • Located in Somerville, MA
  • Vice-Chair of the Humanist Graduate Community at Harvard
  • Assistant Editor of The New Humanism
  • Founder of Temple of the Future
  • Humanist Celebrant
Thea Deley
  • Located in Paonia, CO
  • Only comedian on SSA's roster with a vajayjay.
  • Called 'a face of new Atheism' by Denver's "Westword."
  • Founding minister of the Church of Personal Responsibility.
  • Promises to restore your virginity or send you home with a condom.
  • Rated "Rad!" by Metro State University student newspaper.
  • Once burst into a church and yelled at the worship band to STFU.
  • Performing at American Atheists' 2014 national conference in Salt Lake City.
  • Twitter: @theadeley
David Diskin
  • Lives near Sacramento, CA
  • Secular Activist throughout California
  • Past President of Camp Quest West
  • President of California Freethought Day
  • Executive Committee Member of Secular Coalition for California
  • Founder / Organizer of several local and regional secular organizations including Sunday Assembly Sacramento, Sacramento COR, San Joaquin Valley COR
  • Well-versed in social media, fundraising, marketing, and community building
  • Has an awesome cat
  • Twitter: @David_Diskin
JT Eberhard
  • Located in Lawrence, KS
  • Blogger
  • Co-Founder of Skepticon
Patrick Elliott
  • Located in Madison, WI (frequently travels to Minnesota)
  • Attorney for the Freedom From Religion Foundation
  • Spokesperson on state/church issues with the media, including the Los Angeles Times, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Fox News, MSNBC and other national news sources covering state/church issues.
  • Speaking engagements have included freethinker groups, conventions, legislative testimony, and training for school administrators.
Matt Enloe
  • Located in Chicago, IL
  • Student at The University of Chicago Law School
  • Organized over 5,000 people in response to a threat by the Westboro Baptist Church
  • Affectionately known at Oregon State as "The DiploMatt"
  • SSACon 2015 Speaker
Zack Ford
  • Located in Washington, DC
  • LGBT Editor, ThinkProgress.org
  • Founder, ZackFordBlogs.com
  • Founder, Queer and Queerer Podcast
  • Twitter: @ZackFord
Noelle George
  • Located in Houston, TX
  • Executive Director of Foundation Beyond Belief, a humanist charity that advocates for compassionate action around the world
  • Advisory board member of Secular Woman, an organization that seeks to elevate the voices of secular women
  • Founder of Secular Avenue, a charity that helps people in unsafe situations to safety including those suffering from domestic violence situations, coming out as LGBTQ, or those who are leaving religion
  • Twitter: @silveroak77
Dr. Jason D. Heap
  • Located in Washington, DC
  • Travelled to nearly 40 countries through work, leisure and service projects.
  • Family and friends come from over 10 religious traditions.
  • Qualified as a Teacher of Religious Education in the UK's State-maintained schools.
  • Was first appointed as a Headteacher (the UK equivalent of a 'Teaching Principal' in the US) at the age of 32.
  • First applicant to be a Humanist chaplain to the US Navy (application ongoing).
Chris Highland
  • Located in Asheville, NC
  • Non-theistic freethinker
  • Humanist Chaplain 
  • Instructor at the College of Marin; non-profit housing Manager
  • Nine published books including Life After Faith
  • Presbyterian Minister for 14 years (1987-2001; Master of Divinity degree from San Francisco Theological Seminary; parish associate for 10 years; left ordination for reasons of conscience)
  • Interfaith Chaplain in county jails serving 10,000 inmates per year, and with unhoused, homeless poor in one of the nation's wealthiest counties for 20 years (directed county emergency shelter for 2 winters)
  • Taught courses in congregations on World Religions and Sacred Scriptures
  • Philosophy major, Seattle Pacific University
  • Former Evangelical (high school through college attended Baptist, Pentecostal,
    Protestant, Campus Crusade and House Church congregations; youth group leader;
    wide biblical and ecumenical knowledge)\
  • Teaches classes on naturalistic freethinking through colleges
Sikivu Hutchinson
  • Located in Los Angeles, CA
  • Sikivu Hutchinson is the author of Moral Combat: Black Atheists, Gender Politics, and the Values Wars; Godless Americana: Race and Religious Rebels;White Nights, Black Paradise, a novel on Peoples Temple and the Jonestown Massacre.
  • She is the founder of Black Skeptics Los Angeles, a 501c3 nonprofit organization, and a Senior Fellow for the Institute for Humanist Studies. The Black Skeptics Group sponsors annual First in the Family Humanist scholarship awards.
  • She is also the project director of the Women's Leadership Project feminist humanist mentoring program.
  • Writer and director of White Nights, Black Paradise: The Film
  • Recipient of the SSA Backbone Award in 2016
  • Recipient of the Foundation Beyond Belief "Humanist Innovator" Award
Chris Johnson
  • Located in New York, NY
  • Author of the photography book, "A Better Life: 100 Atheists Speak Out on Joy & Meaning in a World Without God"
  • Director of upcoming film version of the book.
  • Has raised over $125,000 on Kickstarter for the book/film of "A Better Life"
  • Interviewed atheists from around the world for the two projects including notable figures such as, Richard Dawkins, Dan Dennett, Steven Pinker, Penn & Teller, Julia Sweeney, Alex Honnold, & Derren Brown, among others.
  • Check him out on Youtube here.
  • Twitter: @theatheistbook
Adam Lee
  • Located in New York, NY
  • Author of the blog Daylight Atheism
  • Cited in Richard Dawkins' The God Delusion
  • Won first prize in a science-writing contest judged by Steven Pinker
  • Was singled out in campaign attack ads in 2008 run by a Republican senator
  • Lifetime member of the Freedom from Religion Foundation
Gordon Maples
  • Located in Columbus, OH
  • Manager of the Secular Student Alliance's Regional Program
  • Formerly SSA's Regional Campus Organizer for the Southeastern US
  • Founder of the Southeastern Collegiate Atheist Alliance
  • President/Officer of Alabama Atheists and Agnostics (2010 - 2012)
  • Has inadvertently appeared on The O'Reilly Factor, The Blaze, and Creation Today.
  • Has spoken at multiple conferences and freethought venues throughout the Southeast and the rest of the country
  • Twitter @SouthernHeathen

Steven Martin
  • Located in Ripon, WI
  • Professor of Communication at Ripon College, in Ripon, WI
  • Ph.D. in Rhetoric and Public Address from Penn State University
  • Teaches courses on the rhetoric of social movements, U.S public address, political campaign communication, public speaking, argumentation theory, and metaphor and social problems
  • Advises the Secular Student Alliance at Ripon College
Rachel McWilliams
  • Located near La Crosse, Wisconsin
  • Veteran and military sexual trauma survivor and advocate
  • Experience speaking and leading training to large groups (300+)
  • Creator and Director of Speaking Out: Why I Stand a theater performance on military sexual trauma
Hemant Mehta

Hemant's speaking topics include:

  • The challenges of being a young atheist
  • Why skeptics can be so gullible
  • What atheists can learn from churches
Ashley F. Miller
  • Located in Columbia, SC
  • PhD in Mass Communications, focus on social media and intersectional feminism
  • Worked in reality television as an editor -- shows included Toddlers & Tiaras, Flipping Out, Ace of Cakes
  • Plays the Ukulele
  • Writes at the-orbit.net/ashleyfmiller/
  • Twitter: @ashleyfmiller
Chuck Miller
  • American Atheists Regional Director of the Year 2014
  • Frequent rally speaker at secular, women's rights, and LGBTQ events
  • Experienced grassroots community organizer
Monica Miller

Senior Counsel, American Humanist Association

  • I have litigated Establishment Clause cases (over 17 since 2012) in federal courts across the country including in Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida (two cases), Georgia, Maryland (two cases), Mississippi, Missouri (two cases), North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and Texas. In May 2016, I argued before the Fourth Circuit in a case involving school prayer.
  • In addition to direct litigation, I have authored numerous amicus briefs filed in the Supreme Court, Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, and Colorado Supreme Court.
  • I regularly write cease-and- desist letters to governmental entities regarding Establishment Clause violations. We have sent over 200 such letters since 2013.
  • Twitter: @Monvegatheist
Miri Mogilevsky
  • Lives in Columbus, OH
  • Licensed social worker in Ohio
  • Studied psychology at Northwestern University
  • Received degree from Columbia in social work
  • Practicing therapist
  • Blogs about social justice, psychology, and basically everything at the-orbit.net/brutereason.
  • Enjoys Russian literature and Cheezits
  • Check out her public speaking page here
  • Twitter: @sondosia
David Niose
  • Located in Lunenburg, Massachusetts
  • Author of Nonbeliever Nation: The Rise of Secular Americans, and Fighting Back the Right: Reclaiming America from the Attack on Reason (December 2014)
  • Former president of the Secular Coalition for America and American Humanist Association
  • Legal Director for the American Humanist Association
  • Attorney who has litigated on behalf of Secular Americans
  • Humanist blog at Psychology Today, called "Our Humanity, Naturally."
  • Twitter: @ahadave
Anthony B. Pinn
  • Located in Houston, TX
  • Harvard University PhD (1994)
  • First African American to hold an Endowed Chair at Rice University
  • Author/editor of 28 books - including several on humanism
  • Director of research for the Institute for Humanist Studies
  • Named the Harvard University Humanist Chaplaincy "Humanist of the Year" in 2006
  • Received the African American Humanist Award from the Council for Secular Humanism in 1999
Darrel Ray
  • Located in Bonner Springs, KS
  • Organizational psychologist with lifelong interest in the psychology of religion
  • Author of three books, two in organizational psychology and one on religious infection
  • Principal researcher on the recent report: Sex and Secularism: What Happens When You Leave Religion, A survey of 10,000 American secularists
  • Founder of Recovering from Religion - "Learning the joy of faith free living" www.recoveringreligionists.com
  • Raised in a fundamentalist home.
  • Professional speaker, trainer and consultant
  • Hobbies include mountain climbing, skiing, gardening, reading and travel
Conor Robinson
  • Lives in San Diego, California
  • Works at Foundation Beyond Belief in multiple capacities: Founding Director of Humanist Service Corps, Beyond Belief Network Coordinator, Humanist Disaster Recovery Coordinator, and Humanist Giving Assistant
  • Founded Pathfinders Project
  • Founded Yale's Humanist Society
  • Received Foundation Beyond Belief's 2014 Humanist Visionary award
Andre Salais
  • Located in Tempe, AZ
  • Owner of Unbelievers Media LLC
  • Host of Unbelievers Radio
  • Executive Producer of the "Humanist Experience" Podcast
  • Blogger at The Skeptic Examiner
  • Former President of Arizona State University and Mesa Community College SSA groups
  • Manager of Operations for Spectrum Experience, a progressive and Humanist public relations firm
Justin Scott
  • Located in Denver, Iowa
  • Generated national and international headlines by interviewing all presidential candidates on how they would uphold and/or strengthen the Separation of Church and State and how their faith would influence their presidency.
  • Exchanges with presidential candidates have gone viral; Marco Rubio exchange alone seen over 10 million times.
  • Efforts to interview all presidential hopefuls featured on American Atheists, Atheist Voter, in Time magazine, Associated Press, FoxNews, ABC News, Huffington Post, the Washington Post, USA Today, the Christian Post, the Gospel Herald, the United Coalition of Reason, the Des Moines Register, the Cedar Rapids Gazette, the Minnesota Atheists podcast "Atheists Talk," "Freethought Radio" by the Freedom From Religion Foundation, Interfaith Alliance's weekly radio show and podcast "State of Belief", the "I Doubt It with Dollemore" podcast and many more!
  • Founder of the Delaware County Coalition of Reason in Manchester, IA; Administrator with the Cedar Valley Atheists.
  • Does well both alone and in panels.
  • Twitter: @iowaatheist247
Andrew L. Seidel
  • Lives in Madison, WI and loves to travel
  • Bachelor of Science in neuroscience and environmental science, cum laude
  • Juris Doctor, magna cum laude
  • Masters of Law, summa cum laude
  • Andrew has given more than 30 talks at universities and law schools across the country
  • He has given talks and workshops at the last three SSA conferences in Columbus and has debated Bill O'Reilly
  • He frequently writes for FFRF's blog: http://ffrf.org/new/blog
  • FFRF Graduate Student Essay Contest, Second Place 2010
  • Haber J. McCarthy Excellence in Environmental Law Award
  • Outstanding Masters of Law Student, Denver University Law School
  • Forthcoming book on international human rights
  • Attorney, Photographer, Writer, and Former Grand Canyon Tour Guide
Herb Silverman
  • Located in Charleston, SC
  • Professor Emeritus of Mathematics at the College of Charleston
  • Founded and was faculty advisor to the Atheist-Humanist Alliance
  • President of the Secular Coalition for America
  • Former candidate for Governor of South Carolina
  • Founded Secular Humanists of the Lowcountry in South Carolina
James Sutter
  • Located in Seattle, WA.
  • Co-creator of the Pathfinder RPG, currently the best-selling tabletop roleplaying game in the world.
  • Professional author, game designer, and worldbuilder.
  • Author of the novels Death's Heretic and The Redemption Engine, a fantasy series about an atheist in a world where gods are objectively real.
  • Ranked #3 on Barnes & Noble's Best Fantasy Releases of 2011. Finalist for an Origins Award and the Compton Crook Award for Best First Novel, and winner of numerous ENnie awards for setting and game design.
  • Regular guest speaker at Gen Con, World Fantasy Convention, Norwescon, Paizocon, Clarion West Writer's Workshop, and more.
  • Twitter: @jameslsutter
David Tamayo
  • Located in Reston, VA
  • President and Founder of non-profit Hispanic American Freethinkers
  • Host of the secular HAFree Podcast (in Spanish)
  • Freemason for over 15 years
  • Teaches critical thinking seminars to high schools in Northern Virginia (Washington, DC suburbs)
  • BS in Computer Science from George Washington Univ.
  • MS in Management of Information Technology, University of Virginia
  • Twitter handle: @davidfromhafree
Mandisa Thomas
  • Born and raised in New York City
  • Never formally raised religious
  • Married with 3 children
  • A founder and President of Black Nonbelievers, Inc.
  • Current board member of American Atheists
  • Current board member of Reason Rally 2016
  • Former board member of Foundation Beyond Belief
  • Former board member of Secular Coalition for America
  • Twitter: @mandy0904
Gleb Tsipursky
  • Located in Columbus, OH
  • I am Co-Founder and Ideator-in-Chief of Intentional Insights, a nonprofit social enterprise dedicated to promoting rational thinking, emotional intelligence, and social intelligence
  • I am a history professor, specializing in analyzing decision-making processes and outcomes in various historical contexts
  • I am the former president of the New York University secular student group
  • I am an activist of the secular humanist group in Columbus, OH (The Humanist Community of Central Ohio)
  • I am an activist of the atheist group in the Unitarian Universalist (UU) church in Columbus, OH (UU Atheists, Skeptics, and Humanists)
  • Twitter: @Gleb_Tsipursky
Rebecca Vitsmun
  • Located in Pullyallup, WA
  • Development Coordinator of Humanist Disaster Recovery Teams for Foundation Beyond Belief, the first national disaster recovery program for the secular community
  • Co-host and writer for broadcast radio program, Ask an Atheist.
  • Outed on live national television by Wolf Blitzer after a tornado destroyed her home
  • Board member of Humanists of Washington
  • Twitter: @ActuallyAtheist
Benjamin Zalisko
  • Biochemist at the University of Chicago
  • Founder of SSA chapters at Elmhurst College and the University of Chicago.
  • Former Executive Producer of Sunday Assembly Chicago
  • Secular SafeZone Facilitator
  • Blogs at reasonbound.wordpress.com
Pete Zupan
  • Located in Columbus, OH
  • Campus Organizer with the Secular Student Alliance
  • Can speak on group running, community organizing, intersectional activism, church/state separation, and about the SSA
  • Former intern with Americans United for Separation of Church and State. Current Youth Advisory Council member for Students for Church/State Separation
  • Wrote extensive document called "Clear and Present Falsehoods" rebuking the Family Research Council claims of Christian discrimination in the military 
  • Has the cutest, fluffiest dog in the whole wide world
  • SSA covers expenses. No Honorarium.
  • Twitter: @Dogs_Not_Gods
Stephanie Zvan
  • Located in Minneapolis, MN
  • Producer of American Humanist Association's podcast: The Humanist Hour
  • Host of MNA's Atheist Talk radio and television shows
  • Writes at Almost Diamonds on The Orbit network
  • Named 2013 Blog of the Year by Secular Woman members
  • B.A. in Psychology, with an long-standing interest and study in research methodology
  • Experienced moderator of both panel and large-group discussions
  • Founder of the Secular Women Work conference
  • Twitter: @szvan
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