I’ve previously mentioned that April is going to be the first ever history month for free-thought, humanism, & secularism. This is a post about that, and how it is that people and organizations can participate even if I haven’t contacted them.
Originally I wanted it to be done in May. I thought May was a good month to pick but after speaking with a few other historians we collectively agreed that it should be in the month with the fewest other history months. The choices were between January, April, & December and we figured April would be a good month to experiment with but obviously, this can change in the future and I’m personally unopposed to moving the month if it seems like the month isn’t a good fit for other groups. Additionally, George Holyoake, the man who coined the term secularism, was born on April 13th. I’ve written about him in the past but this is a neat way to celebrate his life and how his life ended up helping other future secular activists.
How Can You Participate?
A simple way to participate is to write even a single post on Facebook or elsewhere on social media saying what you’d like to learn about the surprisingly complex histories of these topics. Just acknowledging that there’s more to our histories than we tend to write and talk about is a way for this month to achieve its ultimate purpose which is to explore, unpack, and build interest in the histories of secularism, humanism, and free-thought.
If you want to participate more intensely than just social media posts, be sure to check out and possibly organize an event with members of the International Society For Historians Of Atheism, Secularism, & Humanism, which is not only an incredible resource for those interested in this topic but is also a participating organization which has been incredibly helpful for me and some of the other historians involved in organizing this month.Another way to participate is to make videos talking about the history month, which I’ll be doing myself on my YouTube channel throughout the month.
How Can Your Organization Participate?
Your organization can participate by organizing events even super simple ones like having a festive dinner on April 13th to discuss and remember George Holyoake’s legacy, or they can arrange events with local historians because ISHASH has members all over the country and they can be emailed or otherwise contacted without a tremendous amount of difficulty.
A simple endorsement of if nothing else the idea behind this is also a way to participate especially since this year this is an experiment to learn from and build around in the future.
The last thing I think organizations can and in many cases really should do, especially organizations like Black Nonbelievers & HAFree which make inroads towards populations that are not particularly secular or irreligious is participate by pointing out and celebrating their own historic achievements. It’s okay to use this month to remind people of the very real achievements of even small and local organizations as well as bigger and more influential groups like the American Atheists and the American Humanist Association. I want organizations to celebrate themselves and to acknowledge the very real, positive, and inclusive work they’ve done and April is just as much about that and them as it is about exploring and covering the ancient historical roots of freethought, and humanism, and the younger but just as real and just as valid roots of secularism.
Expect way more posts about this in the next few weeks especially since April is right around the corner.