Distant but Together: A Virtual Celebration of Humanism

The American Humanist Association (AHA) will host a day-long virtual conference, Distant but Together: A Virtual Celebration of Humanism, on Saturday, August 8 from 11am – 6:30pm (ET). The free event will bring together exciting humanist speakers who will explore the values and principles that undergird our community.

Every year the AHA hosts a gathering of humanists. These annual conferences bring people together to discuss all aspects of humanism and to explore new ideas. This year, as you may know, we planned to host the 2020 World Humanist Congress in Miami on behalf of Humanists International. What was meant to be an international event, drawing humanists from all over the world, has unfortunately been cancelled due to the pandemic.

Instead, you’ll have the opportunity to join the AHA and like-minded people from the comfort—and safety—of your own home as we bring you exciting sessions and awards presentations that explore the importance of humanism and the ways our values are acted out in our daily lives.

Rep. Jared Huffman

US Representative Jared Huffman (D-CA) will accept one of our Humanist of the Year Awards! Rep. Huffman is the founder and co-chair of the Congressional Freethought Caucus which he created to promote sound public policy based on reason, science, and moral values while protecting the secular character of government and championing the value of freedom of thought worldwide. He’s a four-term member of the US House of Representatives and the only member of Congress to openly identify as a humanist and an agnostic.

Our growing list of speakers already includes:

Hemant Mehta! He’s the editor of Friendly Atheist, co-host of the eponymous podcast, and author of I Sold My Soul on eBay and The Young Atheist’s Guide to Survival. Mehta will speak about whether atheism and humanism are still taboos in politics.

Rachel Laser! The president and CEO of Americans United for the Separation of Church and State will discuss the current status of the battle over separation of church and state with a member of AHA’s Humanist Legal Society.

Anjan Chakravartty! He’s a philosopher and the Appignani Foundation Chair of the Center for Atheism, Humanism and Secular Ethics at the University of Miami, one of the few endowed chairs studying nontheism in the country. He’ll explore some of the core values of humanism from a philosophical point of view.

Krista Cox! She’s an essayist, poet, and chair of the Advisory Council of the AHA’s Feminist Humanist Alliance. Her talk will examine the ways activism can make us uncomfortable—along with why that’s a positive thing and what humanists can do about it.

Debbie Goddard! The vice president of programs at American Atheists will share techniques for organizing and activism in the atheist/humanist community.

Je Hooper and David Breeden! Both are leaders at First Unitarian Society in Minneapolis, Minnesota. This duo will examine the colonial roots of Western humanism and the effect they have on our community today.

Some truly exciting additions to the list of awardees are in the works, so be on the lookout for additional awardee announcements in the coming days, along with additions of people who will speak about the racial and economic inequities revealed by the COVID-19 pandemic and about humanism in the world of entertainment.

The event will also feature updates on the “State of Humanism” from AHA’s own board and staff. To get more information on or to register for the conference, visit americanhumanist.org/conference.

Join us for this celebration—distant but together!