So, I just got an e-mail alerting me to two neat things from Secular Coalition For America.
The first thing is that they have published a list recommending 51 “must read” sources of news and opinion for the secular community and Camels With Hammers was one of the relative handful of blogs to make the list alongside the sites for many of the leading organizations in our movement, which is an honor.
The other news is about the June 12-13, 2014 Secular Summit and Lobby Day in Washington, D.C. Here’s the program for the event which not only empowers you, the secular citizen, to do lobbying but schedules you actual lobbying opportunities on Capitol Hill in order to give you hands on experience, alongside fellow Secular Summit participants, meeting with actual Congressional staff–and possibly even legislators themselves. Amanda Knief (formerly of SCA, now with American Atheists) spearheaded the inaugural secular Lobby Day in March 2012 and it took place shortly before the Reason Rally on the Washington Mall. I heard raves from numerous people about what an empowering experience it was for them. I also learned a ton and was inspired by reading Amanda’s concise and inexpensive book The Citizen Lobbyist: A How-to Manual for Making Your Voice Heard in Government.
The 2014 Secular Summit will also feature an impressive and diverse array of speakers with real world secular activism engagement. Looking at the names, the qualifications, and the program I have high hopes that this event will resemble the spectacular Student Leadership Conference that I had the privilege to attend at CFI last summer. That conference was devoted to teaching college secular activists the soup to nuts details of running a successful secular campus group. I was blown away. Looking at this program, it seems similarly tangible in its aims and like a fantastic opportunity to connect with and learn from those at the forefront of giving secular people a long overdue voice in government.
Among the speakers will be no less than three United States Congresspeople, Senator Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island, Congresswoman Barbara Lee of California, and Representative Rush Holt of New Jersey. The rest of the speakers listed at this time are Chris Stedman, Edwina Rogers, Erin Heath, Jeremiah Camara, Jesseca Boyer, Kelly Damerow, Lauren Anderson Young, Lyz Liddell, Sasha Pudelski, Steve Hill, Andy Cheadle-Ford, and Dan Pemberton.