Mohawks and Charity

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!

About JT Eberhard

When not defending the planet from inevitable apocalypse at the rotting hands of the undead, JT is a writer and public speaker about atheism, gay rights, and more. He spent two and a half years with the Secular Student Alliance as their first high school organizer. During that time he built the SSA’s high school program and oversaw the development of groups nationwide. JT is also the co-founder of the popular Skepticon conference and served as the events lead organizer during its first three years.

  • Umlud

    Maybe I’m missing something here, but what’s the significance of the mohawk? I read over the post several times, and I couldn’t find any reference there to why a mohawk and why red. I’m assuming that it’s got something to do with Kansas State (and perhaps an in-joke because your girlfriend is wearing an Arkansas shirt).

    In other words, is this a college rivalry thing that I’m not really that attuned to in the first place (due to growing up outside the US and having next to no interest in college rivalries from around the country)?

    • Michaelyn

      The main idea is if we raise enough money, I’m willing to have my hair cut into a Mohawk onstage at ReasonFest for everyone’s entertainment. The red is really an unimportant detail. I told JT I’d dye it red because we’re going to an Arkansas basketball game the week after ReasonFest.

  • seadeatea

    Living in Topeka,KS I am very glad that Reasonfest exists, and hope I can manage to find some cash to throw in the pot.