Commentary from Nicole Carr, Deputy Director and Editor

AHA Headquarters in Washington, DC

Each Fall we devote an issue of the Humanist to highlighting some of the sessions from our Annual Conference. This year, we’ve chosen a selection of the presentations of our 81st Annual Conference that highlight the event theme: Unity. Community. Opportunity.

The virtual 81st Annual Conference—including the sessions spotlighted in this issue—was designed to uplift a wide variety of voices and viewpoints, some new to the humanist movement, some established. AHACON22 brought together humanists from across the country to explore the most pressing questions facing our community, share effective practices to create change, explore humanist thought and action, and think about the road ahead.

I want to thank each of the speakers, panelists, performers, and presenters that made the 2022 Conference such a resounding success! I’m only sorry we didn’t have room to feature every one of the ten sessions and multiple musical performances in this issue.

Most importantly, I want to thank the Revolutionary Jé Hooper (MPS, MA, DMin & PhD) for all the beautiful, unique, loving aspects that they brought to the event. Jé organized two of our panels (including Coloring Outside the Lines, excerpts of which appear in this issue), curated all of the wonderful performances at the event, helped shape the entire schedule and theme, and co-hosted with me live online. They brought us a brilliant, shining energy and genius that no one else could contribute. There are no words to express how much Jé—and the talented people they enticed to join in—brought to our conference table and how lucky we are to have experienced it.

In 2023, for the 82nd Annual Conference, I’m happy to announce that we plan to return to an in-person event! Our first “in real life” Conference since 2018. (Remember, in 2019, we did a livestreamed event with limited in-person sessions at five universities in locations all over the country. We were ahead of the curve on virtual events. Sadly, at the time, we didn’t realize we were giving up the last chance to meet in person for a few years.)

The 82nd Annual Conference will be in Denver. Keep an eye out for upcoming announcements very soon with details of the date and venue. We promise that we’ll be bringing you inspiring speakers, thought-provoking panel discussions, live music, communal art projects, important awardees, and much more. Best of all, there will be plenty of opportunities to get together with humanists from across the country—the ones you haven’t seen in years and the friends you haven’t made yet.

We’ll keep you posted!