80th Anniversary Conference: Teaching Evolution and Humanist Service

We’re previewing more of the exciting sessions you’ll see when you attend the American Humanist Association’s (AHA) upcoming 80th Annual Conference. The Conference will be entirely virtual again this year, so you can join us from your very own home, or even set up a watch party with your fully vaccinated friends. After a year of isolation, gather together with humanists near you and join us in celebrating 80 years of humanism!

The main Conference sessions will be on Saturday, July 24th, and Sunday, July 25th. We’ll also have a series of social and networking events throughout the week before the Conference so you can meet and connect with other attendees—including an official send-off celebration for AHA’s long-time Executive Director Roy Speckhardt and a virtual Lobby Day “on” Capitol Hill on Monday, July 26th.

The AHA is happy to announce two more sessions for Sunday, July 25th: Twists and Turns in Teaching Evolution by Glenn Branch and Humanism and Service with Tiffany Ho and Sarah Ray.

Controversies over the teaching of evolution in public schools have rocked the nation over the past century. Evolution’s foes have consistently used the same arguments, but their ambitions have shifted, from banning the teaching of evolution through balancing it with a supposed alternative to belittling it as scientifically disputed. In his talk, Glenn Branch of the National Center for Science Education (NCSE) will discuss the causes, history, and consequences of these controversies, explain the encouraging developments in evolution education over the last fifteen years as revealed by a recent study conducted by NCSE, and discuss what humanists have done, and can continue to do, to help.

Branch has twenty years of experience at NCSE defending the teaching of evolution. He is a frequent speaker to local humanist, freethought, and skeptical groups and an occasional speaker to national groups. He has been published repeatedly in the Humanist, as well as Free Inquiry, Skeptical Inquirer (often), and Skeptic. He also collaborates with AHA on matters of shared concern, including Darwin Day.

Tiffany Ho and Sarah Ray will present ways we can put humanism into action. Their interactive presentation will focus on what it means to be a humanist who believes in taking action during times of need. They’ll talk about the opportunities for service in the real world and how service draws on humanist values. You’ll also hear about some of the successful projects and relationships they have built and how they can be replicated or adjusted to fit local needs.

Ho is the Executive Director for Foundation Beyond Belief (FBB). She also serves on the Board of Directors for Njiko, a recently founded nonprofit that advocates for social impact. Prior to joining FBB, Tif spent a lot of time in startups and nonprofits, working across multiple industries and causes. She has an M.A. in Anthropology from Hunter College and is pursuing a Ph.D. in Global Leadership from Indiana Institute of Technology. Her research focuses on gender, race/ethnicity, and age intersectionality for marginalized leaders. Ray is a transgender atheist woman who left Christianity with a passion for community building especially in rural areas where it’s often difficult to be “out” or find like-minded people. She came to humanism out of the “angry atheist” phase on seeing a need for secular communities to focus energy into productive, positive impacts in the world.  Sarah is an endorsed Humanist Celebrant and serves on the Board of The Humanist Society, Support Group Leader with Recovering from Religion, is a co-founder and Director of the Atheist Community of Polk County, and a Producer/Host of the show Freethought in Florida.

You don’t want to miss out on these and other vibrant sessions. Register for the Conference now!

See you there!