with Miri Mogilevsky
Workshop Track 2
Set 3

Online groups are great, in part, because the barriers to participation are lower. However, letting these spaces be overrun by any kind of behavior becomes its own barrier to participation for many people. Let’s talk about how to set boundaries for behavior that keep our spaces accessible to the people we want participating.

Miri_Mogilevsky_smMiri Mogilevsky recently graduated from Columbia University with a Masters in Social Work. Her blog, Brute Reason, covers topics such as social justice, psychology, mental health, and whatever else keeps her up thinking till 3 AM. When not writing, Miri devours books and talks to anyone who’s willing to listen about how amazing New York City is.

with Lauren Lane
Workshop Set 2
Track 2

“But what can a nobody like me do?” This is one of the heartbreaking questions we hear in activism, especially since the answer is “Nobody is a nobody” and “So very, very much”. Come to this workshop and come away with ideas on how you–yes, you–can make a difference.

Lauren_Lane_smLauren Lane is the Founder and Executive Director of Skepticon, a national conference located annually in Springfield, MO that promotes skepticism, science education and community building. During her tenure as an undergraduate, Lauren held various leadership positions in the Missouri State University Chapter of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, a secular student group that revolutionized student activism. She has been a contributor to The Friendly Atheist, MadArtLabs, and has previously spoken at conventions such as the Secular Student Alliance Convention, FTBCon, and Reason in the Rock.

with Hiba Krisht
Sunday – 11:15 AM
Workshop Set 4
Track 1

We all know self-care is necessary for activists by now, right? Good. That still leaves us figuring out the how and when. Come learn how to recognize when you need to put yourself first and develop strategies for coping with the everyday stresses and the big events.

Hiba_KrishtHiba Krisht is a writer, lecturer, and professional translator from Beirut. Her stories have been published in The Kenyon Review, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Blackbird, and Mizna, among others. She is a recipient of the 2012 Jane Foulkes Malone Fellowship from Indiana University and the 2013 JoAnn Athanas Memorial Award in literature from the National Society of Arts and Letters. An apostate from Islam, she grew up between an international expatriate community in Saudi Arabia and Hezbollah guerrilla warfare culture in Lebanon. She has been interviewed about her life and work by VICE News, BBC Radio, and Grazia Daily, among others. She is working on a memoir expansion of her retired blog, Between A Veil and a Dark Place.

with Heather Rosa
Saturday – 11:00 AM
Workshop Set 2
Track 1

One of the hardest parts of movement activism is navigating competing needs. Assertive communication is a tool to help us stay both focused and respectful while dealing with those needs. Come find out what assertive communication is and practice being assertive in some common activist situations.

 

Heather RosaHeather was a trained support group facilitator for the non-profit Fellowship for Renewed Living, an organization that served people dealing with divorce or other broken relationships. She served on the FRL board for many years, including three as the organization’s President. She has a long history in small-town politics, serving on her city council and as mayor for eight years. As her city’s representative on the library joint powers task force, she managed to expand her local library system in a time when many systems were shrinking.

with Stephanie Zvan

Saturday – 9:45 AM
Workshop Set 1
Track 1

It’s hard to hear that you’ve screwed up, particularly when you’re pouring time, energy, and heart into making things better. Defensiveness is a natural reaction, but it’s usually not a helpful one. Come discuss strategies to cope with criticism without the world exploding around you.

Stephanie Zvan is the former associate president of Minnesota Atheists, and has been part of the committee running their conferences for the past two years. While blogging at Almost Diamonds, she has put together panels for all three FtBCons, the online conference of Freethought Blogs. She has also run well-received workshops at both Minnesota Atheists conferences and for the past three years at Skepticon.

 

Events on a Budget – Lauren Lane, Chelsea Du Fresne, Stephanie Zvan

Sunday 3:00 PM – Main Hall

Psst. Want to hold a conference? Everybody’s doing it. Whether it’s a conference, a lecture, or a day of workshops, it isn’t as hard or as expensive as you think to put on event in the secular movement. Our panelists will talk about ways to keep your costs low while putting on an entertaining, educational event.

Lauren_Lane_smLauren Lane is the Founder and Executive Director of Skepticon, a national conference located annually in Springfield, MO that promotes skepticism, science education and community building. During her tenure as an undergraduate, Lauren held various leadership positions in the Missouri State University Chapter of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, a secular student group that revolutionized student activism. She has been a contributor to The Friendly Atheist, MadArtLabs, and has previously spoken at conventions such as the Secular Student Alliance Convention, FTBCon, and Reason in the Rock.
Chelsea DuFresneBrother Jed once called Chelsea Du Fresne devil spawn, so she has been involved in atheist community organizing ever since. Her biggest not-big project was Skeptech, a progressive student-run conference about critical thinking and technology at the University of Minnesota. Now she mostly plays Skyrim and makes tradigrade jokes.
Stephanie Zvan is the former associate president of Minnesota Atheists, and has been part of the committee running their conferences for the past two years. While blogging at Almost Diamonds, she has put together panels for all three FtBCons, the online conference of Freethought Blogs. She has also run well-received workshops at both Minnesota Atheists conferences and for the past three years at Skepticon.

with Lauren Lane

Sunday 9:00 AM

Main Hall

Lauren_Lane_smThis is a working conference, but working on a conference morning can feel like, well, work. Come get revved up and ready for your day as the coffee kicks in.

Lauren Lane is the Founder and Executive Director of Skepticon, a national conference located annually in Springfield, MO that promotes skepticism, science education and community building. During her tenure as an undergraduate, Lauren held various leadership positions in the Missouri State University Chapter of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, a secular student group that revolutionized student activism. She has been a contributor to The Friendly Atheist, MadArtLabs, and has previously spoken at conventions such as the Secular Student Alliance Convention, FTBCon, and Reason in the Rock.

with Mandisa Thomas

Saturday 2:00 PM – Main Hall

Mandisa ThomasWhen a movement isn’t meeting your needs and the needs of the people around you, sometimes you have to take matters into your own hands. Mandisa Thomas did just that, and she will share her challenges and triumphs with us.

Mandisa Thomas is the president and founder of Black Nonbelievers, Inc. She also has a new project called New Turn. From their website: “The focus is to provide help for ex-convicts, at-risk juveniles and individuals who are at a general education and economic disadvantage by developing critical thinking and practical instruction and skills, as well as maximize entrepreneurial capability.” You can find out more about New Turn here.

with Amy Monsky, Debbie Goddard, Heather Hegi

Friday 8:10 PM – Main Hall

As the secular movement grows and matures, the face of its leadership becomes more diverse. Research tells us that’s great for our creativity and further growth, but it also comes with challenges. Diversity means diverse priorities and practices as well. Our panel will talk about some of the challenges they’ve faced being the “new guard” and tips for meeting those challenges.


 

Amy_Monsky_smAmy Monsky is executive director of the Atheist Alliance of America. She is also president of the Secular Humanists of the Lowcountry in Charleston, S.C., and has been active on their board of directors since 2009, having served as family activities coordinator before being elected president in 2012. She also serves on the board of Camp Quest Inc., a summer camp geared toward children from non-religious families. Monsky founded Camp Quest South Carolina in 2011 and continues to be its director.


 

Heather_Hegi_smHeather is the current Secretary for Minnesota Atheists after having served the maximum term as its Chair. She was the youngest Chair in Minnesota Atheists’ history and has consistently advocated for events and practices that make Minnesota Atheists accessible and appealing to people of all ages.

 


 

Debbie GoddardDebbie Goddard is the director of outreach at the Center for Inquiry and the director of African Americans for Humanism. Before working for CFI, she participated in local freethought groups in the greater Philadelphia region and helped organize and support campus groups internationally as a volunteer. She has also been involved with LGBTQ issues and progressive activism.

Mandisa Thomaswith Mandisa Thomas

Saturday 9:00 AM

Main Hall

This is a working conference, but working on a conference morning can feel like, well, work. Come get revved up and ready for your day as the coffee kicks in.

Mandisa Thomas is the president and founder of Black Nonbelievers, Inc. She also has a new project called New Turn. From their website: “The focus is to provide help for ex-convicts, at-risk juveniles and individuals who are at a general education and economic disadvantage by developing critical thinking and practical instruction and skills, as well as maximize entrepreneurial capability.” You can find out more about New Turn here.