We’re less than three months away from the American Humanist Association’s 78th Annual Conference, and this year’s event is totally different from anything we’ve ever done before. It’s our first-ever virtual conference—held at five university venues and broadcast online in real-time! The conference will take place June 7-9, 2019, at the following universities: Carnegie Mellon University (Pittsburgh, PA), Rice University (Houston, TX), Medgar Evers College (Brooklyn, NY), Pitzer College (Claremont, CA), and the University of Miami (Miami, FL).
This year, there will be five half-day sessions over the span of three days. On June 7, the conference will begin with morning sessions at Carnegie Mellon and continue into afternoon sessions at Rice. On June 8, morning sessions will be streamed from Medgar Evers, with afternoon sessions at Pitzer. The conference wraps up on June 9 with the final morning sessions at the University of Miami. Each venue will accommodate a live audience (registration is free!) and an off-site contributor’s reception with an awardee.
“This year’s conference takes advantage of technological advances to give humanists across the country and around the world a chance to be part of the action inexpensively and with much less environmental impact,” says AHA Executive Director Roy Speckhardt.
Session speakers will include our friends and allies from progressive organizations across the country and around the world. Noelle George, executive director of Foundation Beyond Belief (FBB), will join a panel discussing philanthropy and humanism. Dr. Madhvi Potluri will be joining us from the South Asian Humanist Association (SAHA) to discuss humanist issues around the existing caste system. Kevin Bolling, executive director of Secular Student Alliance (SSA), will help us prepare for next generation of the secular movement.
Other sessions will feature scholars discussing artificial intelligence, race and whiteness, street epistemology, humanist celebrations, humanist sociology and psychology, human rights, and more!
And of course, it wouldn’t be an AHA conference if we didn’t take time to honor notable humanist luminaries and leaders who help cultivate a more progressive society. This year’s awardees include:
Pamela Gay (astronomer, writer, and podcaster): Isaac Asimov Science Award
Barry Kosmin (Director of the Institute for the Study of Secularism in Society and Culture): Lifetime Achievement Award
Leighann Lord (standup comedian): Humanist Arts Award
Mara Wilson (writer and actress): LGBTQ Humanist Award
Richard Wiseman (professor and psychologist): Humanist Media Award
Our Humanist of the Year will be announced soon!
If you can’t make it to one of the conference locations, join us via webcast! The entire conference will be streamed online. Local chapters and affiliates are encouraged to attend in-person or host a conference watch party. For help with planning a watch party in your area, contact me (Melody Stringer, conference and grassroots coordinator).
Visit conference.americanhumanist.org for a complete schedule and the latest updates. And don’t forget to register—it’s free! We hope you’ll join us for a weekend of informative sessions, networking, and celebrations of humanism!