by Tanya Barrett and Pat McCann
Co-Chairs—Connecticut Coalition of Reason
On Saturday April 2, 2016, the Connecticut Coalition of Reason (CT CoR) is organizing its second conference for atheists, freethinkers, humanists, agnostics, and anyone else interested in non-religious communities. This year, we will be focusing on the three themes of: Community Building, Political Action, and Interfaith Relations. The conference will feature talks and breakout-sessions by leaders in the secular community:
- Hemant Mehta, a.k.a the Friendly Atheist is an author, blogger, and atheist activist. Hemant will be our keynote speaker and the title of his talk is, “What Atheists Can Learn from Churches… Seriously”.
- Amanda Knief is the National Legal and Public Policy Director for the American Atheists and our Political Action speaker. The title of her talk is, “Election 2016: When Atheist Voters and Religious Exemptions Collide”.
- UnitedCoR’s Executive Director from UnitedCoR is our Community Building speaker. The title of his talk will be “Breaking Silos”.
- Wendy Thomas Russell is a journalist, author, editor and our Interfaith Relations speaker. The title of her talk is, “Atheism & Interfaith: Building Bridges with Honesty, Integrity and Compassion “
The conference begins at 9:30 am with speaker presentations in the morning and smaller interactive breakout sessions in the afternoon. The conference will conclude at 5:00pm. Doors open at 8:30 am for registration. The ticket price includes all events as well as lunch (vegan options will be available). Advertising on conference materials, website, and signage will be available prior to March 20, 2016. Registration and advertising information will be made available on CARE’s website: conference.ctcor.org.
The Gallup 2015 Religiosity Poll released on February 4, 2016 reports that 39% of Connecticut residents are non-religious ranking Connecticut among the least religious states in the country. The CT CoR representing the atheist, freethought, and humanist community in Connecticut, is comprised of eleven groups working together across the state. Its twin goals are to foster a sense of community among the like-minded and raise public awareness that people who don’t believe in a god or gods can be decent citizens who contribute to the larger society. Its member organizations provide safe and welcoming places for people of all ages and socioeconomic backgrounds to explore secularism in its many forms. The CT CoR’s activities are as varied as our members and include: social gatherings; lectures on history, arts, economics, and human rights; participation in charitable events; book discussions; game nights; and much more.
The conference will take place on April 2, 2016 at the historic Mark Twain House & Museum in Hartford, CT. More information about the conference can be found at www.conference.ctcor.org, or on our social media sites: facebook.com/SecularAssembly and twitter.com/SecularAssembly.