You Say You Have a Resolution…

We all want to change the world, as the Beatles song goes.

Incidentally, “Revolution” might be my favorite Beatles song, and my favorite lines might be: You say you’ll change the Constitution/Well, you know, we all want to change your head. Something tells me a great many of us have a specific head in mind.

Anyway, humanists—and many others who may not realize they have a lot in common with humanists—do indeed want to change the world, and we feel especially drawn to the idea when one calendar year turns into the next. Conditioned to think in specific units of time, we’re compelled to look both forward and back, assessing the year that’s coming to an end (the decade too this time around), while pledging to make improvements in the coming span.

I asked my colleagues at the American Humanist Association to share any New Year’s resolutions they may have, along with hopes for 2020 and beyond. Reflected in their responses is what I see on a regular basis—a group of committed, talented, and fun-loving folks who care a great deal about their work at the AHA and the world in general. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all the staff at the AHA for their strong contributions and very fine work over the past year.

What are your hopes and goals for 2020? Let me suggest getting more involved with the AHA—by learning more about humanism through our educational programs, finding or starting a humanist group, becoming a pen pal to an incarcerated humanist, being HERE for Climate, attending the World Humanist Congress, signing up for action alerts, or looking out for Establishment Clause violations and sharing them with our legal team. Whatever your plans for 2020, the American Humanist Association wishes you a Happy New Year!

ROY SPECKHARDT, Executive Director

I’d like to see the humanist and atheist organizations in the nontheist movement prioritize equity and inclusion so much so that: 1) the sincere wish to achieve such an end is clear to all in 2020 (both internally and externally), 2) groups come to grips with where they are and how far they must go to get there, and 3) substantive actions are underway to work toward that goal with leaders bolstering each other’s efforts to get there.

MONICA L. MILLER, Legal Director and Senior Counsel

Resolution: Set groundbreaking church-state separation precedent.

Hope: More humanistic leadership for our country.

BRODY ARMSTRONG: Program Director

Resolution: A big goal for 2020 is to make more phone calls. I’m usually terrible at keeping in touch with people, especially with my friends who live in different parts of the country. I think about them all the time but seldom let them know that I do. I also need to read more, improve at guitar, write more songs, do more activism, and generally get healthier and more organized.

Hope: My hope for 2020 and the coming decade is that people and politicians will wake up to the dangers of the global climate crisis and work in unison to address the existential threat with a justice-centered approach. I hope the global response can serve as a shining example of the feats humanity can accomplish when working together toward a common goal.

RACHEL DEITCH, Policy and Social Justice Manager

My resolution is to switch to decaf (wish me luck and energy).

COLIN E. MCNAMARA, Staff Attorney

Resolution: Spend more time living humanist values through volunteer work, including taking on some pro bono cases.

Hope: To see meaningful international cooperation to combat climate change. And also, to see the Mets win the World Series.

MEREDITH THOMPSON, Development Associate

I resolve to a) become more aware of the ways I participate in and benefit from social oppressions, and b) to do something about it.

JENNIFER BARDI, Deputy Director, Editor in Chief

This year I resolve to be a better writer, editor, mother, and mate. A more regular tofu-eater, a more engaged citizen, a more well-rounded reader, and a longer-distance runner. (No sweat!)

While I don’t harbor any illusions that humanity’s vision will become perfect in 2020, I do hope for some clarity and for some beautiful sights along the way.

KRISTIN WINTERMUTE: Director of Education

I resolve in 2020 to be more intentional about my art, returning to painting.


I hope that in this coming decade, I learn to value myself and grow without the validation of others as a necessity. I want to release the pressure of expectations (those self-imposed and external).