Speaker Feature: Lauren Lane

Come August, the conference will feature a full slate of women and genderqueer activists. This week, we’re going to feature three such activists: Mandisa Thomas, Lauren Lane, and Desiree Schell. All three are spectacular and amazing, so we hope you enjoy them!

Lauren Lane is founder and on-going organizer of Skepticon, the Midwest’s largest Skeptic Conference.  Here’s a little bit about how Lauren got started and what she’s looking forward to at Secular Women Work.

Speaker Feature: Mandisa Thomas

Come August, the conference will feature a full slate of women and genderqueer activists. This week, we’re going to feature three such activists: Mandisa Thomas, Lauren Lane, and Desiree Schell. All three are spectacular and amazing, so we hope you enjoy them!

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.” We took some time and discussed the kind of activism atheism needs, how to build communities, and her work with Black Nonbelievers. You can find out more about New Turn here.

Secular Women Work at FtBCon(science)

The co-chairs of the Secular Women Work conference got together today for FreethoughtBlogs online conference to talk about the impetus behind the conference and what we have planned. Check it out!


The Kickstarter Is Live!

Green badge with text "funded by Kickstarter".Putting together a good conference gets expensive. Pulling together people who can educate as well as inform even more so.

This conference is a project of Minnesota Atheists; Campus Atheists, Skeptics, and Humanists; and Secular Woman. None of us have the budgets of organizations who regularly put on this kind of conference (Center for Inquiry, Secular Student Alliance). That means we need to have a good idea of how many people are interested in this conference–and how many people are willing to support it monetarily–before we spend that money. Kickstarter lets us do that.

To the best of our knowledge, no one has Kickstarted a conference in the secular movement. No one has sold the tickets for their conference in such a compressed timeframe. We’re stepping out into the unknown and taking a risk. We’re confident that the support we need to run this conference exists, though.

Go check out the Kickstarter. Get your ticket before they’re all gone. (They’re not refundable, but they are transferable, and we’ll work to help you find someone to take your ticket if it turns out you can’t attend.) Get your t-shirt and/or your SurlyRamics necklace. Get your sticker. Advertise with us. Spring for a special dinner. Or just kick something in to help us make this conference everything it can be.

If you can’t do any of that, make sure the conference and Kickstarter are seen by the people who would want to come, the activists who want to get even better at what they do. This is how we’ll make this conference happen.

Introducing Secular Women Work

We are proud to introduce the Secular Women Work conference, a conference by and for activists. Do you want to build strong non-religious communities? Do you want to change our laws and our culture to be more accepting and accommodating of non-believers? Join us in Minneapolis in August 2015.

We live in a society in which unpaid work disproportionately falls to women. Unfortunately, this means that volunteer work, including activist work, is too often undervalued. We’re here to change that.

The Secular Women Work conference is a celebration of the work of female activists who create and run projects and communities in the secular movement. And there is no better way to honor their work than by using their expertise to help us all become better activists.

At Secular Women Work, you will find workshops: both hands-on exercises to develop your skills and facilitated group discussions where you can share challenges and solutions with other activists. You will find panels on specialist topics, with panelists who can help you broaden the horizons of your activism. And when you’re ready for a rest, you’ll find speakers who will entertain and inspire you with stories and lessons from their own work. In between it all, you’ll find a conference full of other activists who want to make a difference in the world.

All workshop leaders, all panelists, and all speakers will be experienced female or genderqueer activists with demonstrated accomplishments and skills to share. We are excited to announce that Lauren Lane, co-founder of Skepticon; Mandisa Thomas, president and founder of Black Nonbelievers, Inc., and Desiree Schell, labor activist and host of Science for the People will be appearing at Secular Women Work. We are working now to add more speakers, so keep your eye on this space for announcements.

The conference will be held in the historic Humphrey Conference Center on the University of Minnesota’s West Bank. The center is ADA compliant and situated on light rail.

So, come join us this August 21st through the 23rd for the Secular Women Work conference, and help support the women who work to make these communities happen! Make your pledge now to secure your ticket to the conference, or pledge to build a better movement by helping us make more, and more effective, activists.

See you there!