The Humanist Society: Celebrating 85 Years

The Humanist Society, the endorsing organization for humanist professionals in the United States, celebrates its 85th Anniversary on July 5th. As we reflect on the long, rich, and storied history of this organization, we stand at the threshold of a new era for the leaders we endorse and the communities they serve.

I joined this board in 2020 while on a quest to find my home in our movement and found in The Humanist Society an incredible opportunity to leverage my experience in nonprofit leadership and technical skill. Jill of many trades (master of anything is questionable), I bring a variety of life experiences to our movement. I worked in Talk Radio as Producer of the #1 Morning Show in Central Illinois for many years; started a small business for computer repair and website design; was a Disney Leader for nearly a decade; produced several media projects including graphic design, podcasts, and video productions; and established and led a very successful local humanist nonprofit organization with a strong focus on building humanist community, addressing food insecurity, and engaging local governments on issues of the separation of church and state.

Since 2020, The Humanist Society Board of Directors has evolved from something akin to an “endorsement committee” to a very active and engaged board. The size of the board has expanded, bringing in more diverse voices. We’ve launched committees to drive the organization forward with focuses on marketing and better representation of the full spectrum of work our endorsees are doing to support others and advance humanism in their roles.

Now, as I step into the role of Board President, I find myself overflowing with excitement at what lies ahead. Our new website just launched, bringing our searchable directory of humanist professionals back online. We’ve added new features including back-end dashboards to help facilitate and streamline the work of the board and provide more secure access to our professional development offerings. We’re working to further support our endorsees by elevating understanding and respect for humanist professionals through educating those in areas often dominated by Judaism, Christianity, and Islam about the rich history of humanism and the importance of our voice in those spaces.

The near future will see The Humanist Society actively seeking out new ways to expand our visibility and grow our community of endorsed professionals through social media engagement, tabling, media appearances, and more. We’ll be reviewing our Professional Development offerings using feedback from our endorsees. In July, we will announce a new structure for our Chaplain endorsements, which the Chaplain Committee has been hard at work creating. This will bring our Chaplain endorsements more in line with industry standards and also provide a pathway for those who may be newer to humanism. We are rebranding to better represent the wide range of work done by our endorsees, and we’ll be taking steps to clarify our identity as the organization endorsing humanist professionals in the United States.

I am a “big idea” dreamer, and this Board of Directors has before it a great deal of opportunity. The collective talents and expertise of this board are taking The Humanist Society to a new level, and I am thrilled to be a part of it. Here’s to another 85 Years!