I do a lot of speaking engagements, and enjoy doing them. I’m happy to give shorter or longer talks, depending on the needs of your group or conference, and I enjoy doing Q&A if there’s time. My honorarium is quite reasonable: $250, plus airfare and hotel costs. I waive my honorarium for groups within an hour of San Francisco: for high school groups I waive the honorarium as long as you can cover travel costs.
I’m happy to speak at student groups, off-campus groups, and conferences. I encourage student and off-campus groups to co-host my speaking events, to share costs and increase attendance. If possible, I prefer to organize out-of-town speaking engagements in mini-tours, since it reduces my travel time and shares travel expenses among multiple groups: this isn’t a deal-breaker, though.
To invite me to speak, email me at gretachristina (at) gmail (dot) com. Student groups affiliated with the Secular Student Alliance should arrange my speaking events through the SSA: they can help cover travel costs.
IMPORTANT NOTE: I only speak at conferences that have a good amount of racial and gender diversity. Ditto with panels: please don’t ask me to be on all-white panels. Here’s a little more detailed info about that; here is a list of prominent atheists of color, and organizations of atheists of color. Thanks.
Topics I’m prepared to speak on:
Practicing atheism in everyday life. So you don’t believe in God. Now what? The way we deal with life can change dramatically when we stop believing in gods, souls, and afterlives. When we leave religion — or if we never had it in the first place — where do we go? How do we deal with love and sex, pleasure and death, reality and making stuff up? How do we decide on our values, and how do we live them?
Resistance is not futile. The United States is facing some of the gravest challenges in our history: a government controlled by a handful of wealthy plunderers, a major upsurge in open bigotry and hate crimes, the real potential for the rise of fascism. In the face of this, how can we resist? What are broad strategies and specific tactics for resistance, as individuals and in organizations?
Coming out atheist: how to do it, how to help each other, and why. Coming out is the most powerful political act atheists can take. But coming out can be difficult and risky. What are some specific, practical, nuts-and-bolts strategies we can use: to come out of the closet, to support each other in coming out, and to make the atheist community a safer place to come out into? What can atheists learn about coming out from the LGBT community and their decades of coming-out experience — and what can we learn from the important differences between coming out atheist and coming out queer?
Coming out atheist: special student edition. Coming out as an atheist has special challenges and issues for students. What are some ways for students to navigate coming out to family, peers, school administrators, and more? How can you decide when and how to come out, or whether you should come out at all? And how can you — and your group — make atheism a safer place for other students to come out into?
Atheist philosophies of death. One of the most difficult things about leaving religion is letting go of belief in the afterlife. What are some ways that atheists can find comfort and meaning in the face of death?
Atheism and sexuality. The sexual morality of traditional religion tends to be based, not on solid ethical principles, but on a set of taboos about what kinds of sex God does and doesn’t want people to have. And while the sex-positive community offers a more thoughtful view of sexual morality, it still often frames sexuality as positive by seeing it as a spiritual experience. What are some atheist alternatives to these views? How can atheists view sexual ethics without a belief in God? And how can atheists view sexual transcendence without a belief in the supernatural?
What can the atheist movement learn from the LGBT movement? The atheist movement is already modeling itself on the LGBT movement in many ways — most obviously with its focus on coming out of the closet. What else can the atheist movement learn from the LGBT movement… both from its successes and its failures?
Diversity in the atheist movement. The most visible representatives of the atheist movement tend to be white men. Is this a problem? If so, should the atheist movement be doing something about it — and if so, what?
Why are you atheists so angry? The atheist movement is often accused of being driven by anger. What are so many atheists so angry about? Is this anger legitimate? And can anger be an effective force behind a movement for social change?
Is arguing about religion worth it? Many atheists think that trying to persuade people out of religion never works, and simply alienates people. But debating believers about their beliefs can be effective — in changing people’s minds about religion, as well as in achieving other goals of the atheist community. When does it makes sense to debate about religion? How should we go about it? And what should our expectations be for what these debates can accomplish?
Activism burnout — prevention and treatment. One of the most important keys to the success of the atheist movement is keeping activists engaged for the long haul. But the most inspired and motivated activists are often the ones most likely to eventually burn out. What are some practical strategies for preventing burnout — and for managing it when it happens? And how can activists support each other in not burning out? (This is a good talk to host jointly with non-atheist activist groups.)
Here are some videos of some of my talks: