There you are! That’s how you do it! Got the press release last night, and was totally excited to post it, but it’s embargoed til right exactly now. Assuming I did my time zones right. Update: I did, but I did my days wrong. Just realized it didn’t go up today, it was scheduled to go up tomorrow. Working overnights has screwed up my sense of what “tomorrow” is. Oops!
For more information, please contact:
Mary Ellen Sikes, Secular Woman VP of Operations: 404.669.6727 E-mail
Kim Rippere, Secular Woman President: 404.669.6727 E-mail
Jesse Galef, Secular Student Alliance Communications Director: 614.441.9588
[E-mail: jesse AT secularstudents DOT org]
Secular Woman Welcomes Atheist Students With Free Memberships
Atlanta, Georgia – October 1, 2012. For two weeks beginning today, student members of the Secular Student Alliance (SSA) and its campus affiliates are eligible for complimentary Secular Woman (SW) memberships. Open to all genders, the memberships entitle students who identify as women to benefits like conference travel grants and participation in the SW speakers bureau. Campus activists will receive the private membership link starting today in a series of e-mail updates from the SSA campus organizing team.
“Secular Woman is very excited about this new strategic partnership with the SSA,” said SW President Kim Rippere. “We are eager to tap into the energy and passion of these secular students as we build programs to increase diversity in the secular movement. We’re also hopeful that cooperation between Secular Woman and the SSA will help campus groups to attract and retain more women members.”
Secular identity organizations, both on- and off-campus, have struggled to expand women’s involvement. The 2009 U.S. Religious Landscape Survey of the Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion & Public Life found women to be more religious than men in an analysis of responses about god-belief, church attendance, and prayer. The American Secular Census, an independent demographic and viewpoint survey of Secular Americans, reports that 41% of its registrants identify as women and that their involvement in secular identity organizations is more limited than men’s.
Secular Woman addresses this imbalance by providing resources and community to women seeking a higher level of engagement in secular activism. Since its launch on June 28th, the group has grown from a four-member board of directors to an organization of more than 650 supporters in nine countries. SW elected to reach out to students in this first membership drive because of SSA’s culture of opportunity for women and other minorities. Women’s participation in the SSA’s 373 campus affiliate groups has risen with the number of women serving as student leaders, according to SSA Director of Campus Organizing Lyz Liddell. Rippere says this finding adds conviction to SW’s vision of women “participat[ing] openly and confidently as respected voices of leadership in the secular community.”
SSA Executive Director August Brunsman agreed. “Students are shaping the future of the secular movement, and they’re shaping it toward gender parity. Can you picture a social movement succeeding without gender parity? Because I can’t. Secular Woman is an organization whose time has very much come.”
Secular Woman is an educational non-profit organization whose mission is to amplify the voice, presence, and influence of non-religious women. For more information about Secular Woman visit: www.SecularWoman.org.
The Secular Student Alliance is an educational non-profit organization whose mission is to organize, unite, educate, and serve students and student communities that promote the ideals of scientific and critical inquiry, democracy, secularism, and human-based ethics. For more information about the Secular Student Alliance visit:www.SecularStudents.org.
I’m hyped about this. Considering recent missteps (in my eyes — more on this later, when I have more time to expand), this is how you get back on track. This is how you build a community and expand your reach. If I took one lesson from Jesus Camp, it’s that if you win over the youth of the present, you win the future.