For immediate release
(Syracuse, New York, Tuesday, October 20, 2015) “Don’t believe in a god? You’re not alone!”
These words have appeared throughout newspapers across Syracuse and Albany. This marks the formal launch of the Central New York Coalition of Reason, representing an alliance of seven nontheistic (atheist and agnostic) groups in the state. The participating organizations are:
*Central New York Humanist Association
*Freethinkers of Upstate New York
*Secular Student Alliance of Syracuse University (SUNY ESF)
*Secular and Social CNY Families
*Mindbenders Book Club
*Secular Singles of Central New York
The newspaper and internet ads have been made possible with generous funding from the United Coalition of Reason (UnitedCoR), headquartered in Washington, DC. The ads have run in the newspapers since the first week of October, and have listed the ten-day long series of events for the Central New York CoR’s official launch:
*Wednesday, October 14th at 7 p.m.: Atheists in the Pub for an evening of non-believers to have a casual thoughtful conversation, and a bit of offbeat humor as well. Clark’s Ale House, 122 West Jefferson Street, Syracuse.
*Sunday, October 18th at 2 p.m.: A special showing of A Better Life: An Exploration of Joy & Meaning in a World Without God at the Landmark Theatre, 362 S. Salina Street, Syracuse, 13202. More information can be found at: https://unitedcor.org/a-better-life-the-film/.
* Wednesday, October 21st at 5 p.m.: “Bleed and Feed”—Join us to give blood and then go out for dinner at The Retreat restaurant (302 Vine Street, Liverpool) at 7:30 p.m. If you can’t donate, come join us for dinner. American Red Cross Blood Donation Center, 7359 Oswego Road, Liverpool. Appointments can be scheduled at: http://www.redcrossblood.org/locations/liverpool-blood-donation-center.
* Friday, October 23rd: Food Drive – Please help us reach our goal of donating 500 pounds of food (or $500) to the Food Bank of Central New York. Throughout September & October, please drop of non-perishable food items to any CNY Humanist Association event or donate online at http://www.foodbankcny.org/cny-humanist-virtual-food-drive/.
* Saturday, October 24th at 1p.m.: UnitedCoR’s Executive Director will address the newly formed Central New York Coalition at the May Memorial Unitarian Universalist Society, 3800 East Genesee St. in Syracuse. UnitedCoR’s Executive Director is the current applicant to become the first Humanist Chaplain in the history of the United States armed forces. After being away from America for nearly 15 years, he has recently returned to serve as the Executive Director for the United Coalition of Reason, based in Washington, DC. Through his work with UnitedCoR, UnitedCoR’s Executive Director nurtures over 80 local Coalitions of Reason, in addition to supporting over 800 cooperating and affiliated groups within these local coalitions.
* Sunday, October 25th at noon: Unbelievers Brunch—a casual meeting of like-minded people who are looking for interesting conversation at Wolf’s Den, 617 Wolf Street, in Syracuse.
This campaign is part of a coordinated nationwide program that began in 2009. From then to now, similar campaigns have been launched in 40 states, the District of Columbia, and British 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, executive director of UnitedCoR. “Nontheists sometimes don’t realize there’s a community for them because they’re inundated with religious 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 nonreligious folks like us are a regular part of communities all over the state,” added Corrina Allen, coordinator for Central New York CoR. “Nontheistic people in central New York are your friends and neighbors, your coworkers and family members. And we believe we should be as free as anyone to express our views in a public way.”
“Being visible is important to us,” Heap concluded, “because in our society non-religious 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 Central New York Coalition of Reason (www.CentralNewYorkCoR.org) is made up of atheist, freethought, and humanist groups in Syracuse and throughout the greater Central New York region. Our goals are to foster secular community and raise awareness that these groups are available.
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: