"Don’t believe in God? You are not alone."
These words are part of a coordinated multi-organizational advertising campaign designed to raise awareness about people who don’t believe in a god. The King and Queen size ads proclaiming this message will appear tomorrow on the outsides of a dozen buses traveling throughout the Detroit area as far north as Pontiac and Auburn Hills, as far west as Walled Lake, as far east as Troy and as far south as downtown Detroit. Their presence will continue for a month.
Placed by the Detroit Area Coalition of Reason (Detroit CoR), with $5,250 in funding from the United Coalition of Reason (United CoR), each ad features an image of blue sky and clouds with the words superimposed over. Their appearance marks the public launch of the Detroit coalition, which is made up of five area nontheistic (atheist and humanist) groups.
The Detroit transit ads are also part of a national campaign. Already this year there have been similar bus ads in Des Moines, Iowa, and billboards in Seattle, Washington; Tampa Bay, Florida; Tucson, Arizona; and Sacramento, California. Last year, the United CoR-sponsored billboard, bus, and subway ads appeared in 20 cities, including Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Chicago, Cincinnati, Dallas, Tulsa, Phoenix and San Diego.
"The point of this national campaign is to reach out to the millions of humanists, atheists and agnostics living in the United States," explained Fred Edwords, national director of the United Coalition of Reason. "Nontheists sometimes don’t realize there’s a community out there for them because they’re inundated with religious messages at every turn. So we hope this will serve as a beacon and let them know they aren’t alone."
Reaching out to a secular audience isn’t the only goal of the campaign, however. "We want people to understand that humanists, freethinkers, agnostics and atheists are essentially like everyone else," said Ruthe Milan, coordinator for Detroit CoR. "We have most of the same values. And you’ll find us among your friends, neighbors, coworkers and family members. But it’s time we were recognized and granted our rightful place at the table."
For more details on the Detroit campaign and for hi-res images of the ad, free for media use, go to www.DetroitCoR.org .
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The Detroit Area Coalition of Reason ( www.DetroitCoR.org ) is a network of local groups in the community of reason that provide resources for reason-based Metro Detroiters. Its goal is to raise public awareness about secular values and the area groups that advance them.
The United Coalition of Reason ( unitedcor.org ) exists to raise the visibility and sense of unity among local groups in the community of reason by providing funding and expertise to help them cooperate toward the goal of raising their public profiles.
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