Message from the Senior Editor: “If you don’t respect yourself…”

(August 30, 2019) — Fall in DC is lovely—the humidity drops and the swamp-like feel subsides. (The political swamp is another story. Also, crisp autumn temps are no reason to ignore a warming planet!)

Anyway, if you’re a nontheist looking for a reason to visit Washington, DC, this lovely fall, consider the Humanism & Self-Respect conference we’re putting on September 21-22 with an organization called Periyar International USA.

I know what some of you may be thinking: “Self-respect? Isn’t that the purview of self-help seminars and therapists?” For me, “self-respect” immediately evokes the Staple Singers’ 1972 classic soul hit (If you don’t respect yourself/Ain’t nobody gonna give a good cahoot, na na na na). But this conference is about a different kind of self-respect, namely the eponymous movement based in India that, according to AHA Program Coordinator Brody Armstrong,

promotes a rationalist life stance, calls for an end to the caste-based social hierarchy in India, and seeks women’s empowerment and equal opportunity, liberation from religious dogma, and economic and social equality.

We’re bringing together speakers from around the world—India and the US, as well as Canada, Germany, and the Netherlands—to explore the self-respect movement and more. To riff on another great soul song about respect, find out what it means in DC—at the PI-AHA Humanism & Self-Respect conference. I’ll see you there!

Jennifer Bardi
Senior Editor