Editor’s Note: From June 4th through 7th, Reed Secular Alliance President, Leslie Zukor, is attending the American Humanist Association’s annual conference. The following are her reflections from the Phoenix, Arizona event, the 68th annual gathering of the AHA.
As the result of a $200 scholarship from the American Humanist Association, I am able to attend the 68th annual AHA conference. Thank you very much to the gracious staff, especially Maggie Ardiente, for making my attendance possible. The best part of today’s schedule was the opportunity to network with freethinkers from across the country. On Thursday alone, I met August Brunsman and Lyz Liddell, the two full-time staffers at the Secular Student Alliance, as well as Amanda Metskas, August Brunsman’s wife and a pivotal part of Camp Quest. It was so great to meet each one of these people, all of whom I had talked with via email and facebook, but none of whom I had ever met in person.
In addition to meeting people in the Secular Student movement, the convention showcased the talents of Sean Faircloth, the new Executive Director of the Secular Coalition for America. Back in March, the Founding Director Emeritus of the SCA, Lori Lipman Brown, spoke at Reed to an audience of forty-five. Although I was a fan of Lori Lipman Brown’s warmth, Faircloth combines unsurpassed poise with a knack for articulating the secular message. I look forward to the SCA doing great things under Faircloth’s leadership; the organization couldn’t have chosen a better successor for the position of Director. When I participate in the Center For Inquiry’s Lobbying Days on Capitol Hill this July, I will visit the Secular Coalition for America’s new K-Street Office.
On the whole, I enjoyed Day One of the American Humanist Association’s annual conference.