Or, How I Spent My Winter Vacation
Actually, I didn’t get much of a winter vacation. Or holidays for that matter. In fact, I’ve mostly been running flat out since November. That was when I realized that no Women in Secularism conference in 2015* meant that I knew what I wanted to do for the Minnesota Atheists summer conference this year.
I wanted to put together a conference that celebrates the accomplishment of female and genderqueer activists in the secular movement and makes us all better activists. So I did that.
I convinced the Minnesota Atheists board to let me put together a committee and run a Kickstarter to fund the project. I strong-armed Monette Richards of CFI NE Ohio and Secular Woman and Chelsea DuFresne of Campus Atheists, Skeptics, and Humanists and Skeptech into joining the committee. (I’m kidding. They’re as excited as I am.) We spent a bunch of time at Skepticon brainstorming with other activists. We figured out how to make an activist conference scale effectively depending on the funding we could bring in. We settled on August 21-23, 2015 based on speaker availability.
Today we launched the Kickstarter. I’ll let it tell you more about the conference:
We are proud to introduce the Secular Women Work conference, a conference by and for activists. Do you want to build strong non-religious communities? Do you want to change our laws and our culture to be more accepting and accommodating of non-believers? Join us in Minneapolis in August 2015.
We live in a society in which unpaid work disproportionately falls to women. Unfortunately, this means that volunteer work, including activist work, is too often undervalued. We’re here to change that.
The Secular Women Work conference is a celebration of the work of female activists who create and run projects and communities in the secular movement. And there is no better way to honor their work than by using their expertise to help us all become better activists.
At Secular Women Work, you will find workshops: both hands-on exercises to develop your skills and facilitated group discussions where you can share challenges and solutions with other activists. You will find panels on specialist topics, with panelists who can help you broaden the horizons of your activism. And when you’re ready for a rest, you’ll find speakers who will entertain and inspire you with stories and lessons from their own work. In between it all, you’ll find a conference full of other activists who want to make a difference in the world.
All workshop leaders, all panelists, and all speakers will be experienced female or genderqueer activists with demonstrated accomplishments and skills to share. We are excited to announce that Lauren Lane, co-founder of Skepticon; Mandisa Thomas, president and founder of Black Nonbelievers, Inc., and Desiree Schell, labor activist and host of Science for the People will be appearing at Secular Women Work. We are working now to add more speakers, so keep your eye on this space for announcements.
The conference will be held in the historic Humphrey Conference Center on the University of Minnesota’s West Bank. The center is ADA compliant and situated on light rail.
So, come join us this August 21st through the 23rd for the Secular Women Work conference, and help support the women who work to make these communities happen! Make your pledge now to secure your ticket to the conference, or pledge to build a better movement by helping us make more, and more effective, activists.
See you there!
I hope we will see you there. Right now, the Kickstarter is the only way to buy tickets. Don’t let them sell out before you make up your mind to come. The tickets are transferable if you change your mind later. So don’t wait!
*Women in Secularism is returning in 2016. From what I understand, there simply weren’t the resources for CFI to hold a big conference in June marking their consolidation and hold another big conference the month before. So WiS is skipping a year, which is something most of the big CFI conferences have done.