Godless Billboards Blanketing Gulf Coast

(Pensacola, Florida; Mobile, Alabama; Gulfport, Mississippi; Tuesday, January 6, 2015) "Good without a god? So are we!" and "Don't believe in a god? You're not alone!"

These words, superimposed over an image of a mountain sunrise and of a blue sky with clouds, are appearing on four prominent billboards across the states of Florida, Alabama and Mississippi. This marks the formal launch of the Gulf Coast Coalition of Reason (Gulf Coast CoR). Between them this represents an alliance of sixteen nontheistic (atheist, humanist, freethinker and agnostic) groups. The participating organizations are:

* Greater Mobile Atheists
* Mobile Atheist Community
* Secular Student Alliance at University of South Alabama (SSA-USA)
* SW Alabama Freethinkers
* Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Mobile

* Gulf Coast Freethinkers
* CFI on Campus–Gulf Coast State College
* Humanists of West Florida
* Military Atheists and Secular Humanists (MASH)
* Pensacola Secular Society
* Secular Bay County
* Secular Family Network of Pensacola (SFN)
* Secular Student Alliance at University of West Florida (UWF-SSA)
* United Secular Association of the Emerald Coast (USA-EC)

* Mississippi Gulf Coast Atheist and Freethinking Association
* Mississippi Gulf Coast Humanists

The billboards have been made possible with over $11,000 in funding from the United Coalition of Reason (UnitedCoR), headquartered in Washington DC. The 10 to 22 and 14 to 40 foot tall billboards will be up for four weeks. All are illuminated at night. The billboards are being placed as follows:

* In Pensacola, Florida on the west side of the Mobile Highway at Bob's Trailer Court.
* In Pensacola, Florida on the west side of Blue Angel, north of Dog Track Road.
* In Pascagoula, Mississippi on the north side of Interstate 10, east of Hwy 63.
* In Mobile, Alabama on the south side of Interstate 10, west of Carol Plantation Road.

For hi-res images, free for media use, see the right sidebar.

This campaign is part of a coordinated nationwide program that began in 2009. From then to now, 61 similar campaigns have been launched in 37 states and the District of Columbia. Each local campaign is sponsored by a multi-organizational coalition of nontheistic groups in the area.

"The point of our national awareness effort is to reach out to the millions of humanists, atheists and agnostics living in the United States," explained UnitedCoR’s Executive Director, national coordinator of UnitedCoR. "Nontheists sometimes don't realize there's a community for them because they're inundated with theistic messages at every turn. So we hope our effort will serve as a beacon and let them know they aren't alone."

Reaching out to the like-minded isn't the only goal of the effort. "We want people to know that nontheistic folks like us are a regular part of communities all over the area," said Amanda Scott, a co-coordinator for Gulf Coast CoR. "Nontheists are your friends and neighbors, your coworkers and family members." Buz Ryland, co-coordinator, added, "We know there are thousands of us along the Gulf Coast and we want them to know we are here, and that they have a community where they can also be a part of doing good."

"Being visible is important to us," Heap concluded, "because in our society non-theistic people often don't know many others like themselves."

This campaign is the latest in a nationwide effort. Previous campaigns have been launched in Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, the District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin and West Virginia.

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The Gulf Coast Coalition of Reason (www.GulfCoastCoR.org) is a resource for freethinking people, uniting the various nontheistic groups throughout Mississippi, Alabama and Florida.

The United Coalition of Reason (www.UnitedCoR.org) works to raise the visibility and sense of unity among local groups in the community of reason by providing funding and expertise to help groups cooperate toward common goals.

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For more information contact:

Buz Ryland
Co-Coordinator and Media Rep. (Pensacola, FL)
Gulf Coast Coalition of Reason
[email protected]

Amanda Scott Co-Coordinator and Media Rep. (Mobile, AL)
Gulf Coast Coalition of Reason
[email protected]

Corey Woerner
Media Rep. (Biloxi and Gulfport, MS)
Gulf Coast Coalition of Reason
[email protected]

UnitedCoR’s Executive Director
National Coordinator (Washington, DC)
United Coalition of Reason
[email protected]