The AHA’s 80th Annual Conference Was the Biggest Humanist Event of the Year

Over 1,000 humanists, atheists, and freethinkers gathered online this past weekend to celebrate 80 years of humanist thought and action at the American Humanist Association’s 80th Annual Conference.

Attendees enjoyed hearing from numerous speakers over the course of the weekend on topics ranging from advancing humanist values in a red state, putting humanism into action, the cultural and social constructed identities of the growing U.S. and Diasporas of Latino/a/x/e community, a briefing on church-state separation, the neuroscience behind the surge in conspiracy theories, experiences with anti-Asian racism, anti-atheism, and sexism, connecting with humanists under forty, the history of humanism and the AHA, and the controversies surrounding teaching evolution in public schools.

We were honored to present this year’s Humanist of the Year Award on Sunday night to Dr. Anthony Fauci for his help leading the nation through the COVID-19 pandemic as a champion of science and reason.  In his acceptance speech, the leading physician-scientist and immunologist discussed his life principles, and his desire to make “the world a better place, rather than being involved in the organized religion.” He spoke to humanists about our shared values, stressing the importance of science and research, and “staying faithful to the truth, even truths that may be inconvenient to some.” Dr. Fauci wrapped up his remarks, by reiterating his values of “pursuing social justice and well as service to others,” and commenting on the “extraordinary progress” scientists have achieved with the COVID-19 vaccines.

As the nation’s largest humanist organization, it is our goal to help our members and supporters connect and to provide new opportunities for our movement to grow, succeed, and make a positive impact. While the country is still in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, it was absolutely essential to the AHA to create a welcoming, interactive community for humanists around the world. Our attendees posted fifty-four topics on the AHACON community boards, connected through six virtual meetups (in addition to attending three sponsored networking sessions), created connections through over 3,800 messages, shared over 220 photos, participated in over fifty meetings with Congressional offices as part of our post-conference Lobby Day, connected live with other organizations in the movement through exhibitor booths, and much more.

AHACON21 was a virtual conference like never before. The American Humanist Association would like to thank our Humanist of the Year, Dr. Anthony Fauci and our 2021 speakers; the AHA board members, adjunct leaders, and staff; and most importantly, our over 1,000 attendees for participating and making this the biggest humanist event of the year.

We can’t wait to see you next year for AHACON22!