AHA Chapter Profile: Hartford Area Humanists

This week we’re featuring the Hartford Area Humanists in Rocky Hill, Connecticut. AHA Grassroots Coordinator Rachael Berman interviews Dan Blinn, chair of the group’s Steering Committee.

HNN: Why did you decide to start the group? How did you decide to be a chapter?

Blinn: Hartford Area Humanists started out as a monthly dinner meeting in the Hartford area that was organized by the Humanist Association of Connecticut, an AHA chapter that is located in the New Haven area. Soon, it became apparent that there was a significant need for an active humanist group in Hartford, and the original group decided to schedule an organizational meeting so that Hartford Area Humanists could form their own group. Twenty humanists came to that organizational meeting, and they unanimously voted to become a chapter.

HNN: What activities does Hartford Area Humanists do?

Blinn: We have a monthly meeting with a guest speaker. We have scheduled social hikes, dinners, and cookouts, and we are about to start a regular discussion group. We also are planning to get involved in charitable activities and will hopefully also engage in outreach with other groups.

HNN: Any exciting events or speakers coming up?

Blinn: We are one of the sponsors of a Regional Assembly that is scheduled for October 19, and we are holding a Pig Roast (w/ vegan options!) as a fundraiser on August 3 to help keep the cost for attendees down.

HNN: How big is the humanist community in Hartford? What has the public’s reaction to humanists and humanism been?

Blinn: We have more than 50 members in less than 3 months. But, we are really too new to have a good idea on how big the community is. The reaction of the public so far has been very positive!

HNN: Where do you see the humanist movement in five years?

Blinn: We would love to see humanists accepted as part of the social fabric of the community, accepted widely by government and interfaith groups.  We are hoping to build a real community of mutual support that is dedicated to our members’ wellbeing and the betterment of society.