The Skepticon conference model (lots of famous atheists at no charge) made the atheist community available to a swath of new people – namely the people who couldn’t afford a few hundred bucks to see/meet their atheist heroes. A quick glance at the Skepticon crowd will confirm that a lot of those people were students, so it’s no mystery why student groups now seem to be the ones putting on similar events for others.
The biggest such event is Reasonfest put on by SOMA, the secular club at the University of Kansas. Speakers this year include myself, Jamila Bey, Darrel Ray, Taner Edis, and more. I’ll actually be doing a debate over whether or not god is compatible with science. You can guess which side I’m taking. :P Last year’s Reasonfest drew 700 people, and this year looks to be even bigger! There will be a game room for socializing and good times all around – and it won’t cost anybody a dime to get in.
However, free to get in does not mean free to produce. Putting on an event like this takes a LOT of leg work and a LOT of fundraising by the organizers – and they do it all for the benefit of this movement. Right now they’re a few thousand short of covering the event, which is where we fit in: we’re going to help them with the fundraising.
My girlfriend, Michaelyn, who is part of SOMA, will get a mohawk and dye the tips red if we can raise $1,000 in two weeks.
I will post pictures here.
…oh, and a great atheist event will happen. That’s cool too. :) So even if you have $5 laying around, toss it in the hat! And if you are free the weekend of Feb. 11 & 12, pop down to Lawrence, Kansas and say hi (and play some games with me…maybe I can convince them to have Dominion).
Dave Muscato of the MU SASHA has pledged to donate $100 if four others will do the same. If you’re willing to go in on this, leave a comment. Pro tip: Generosity makes you feel great!