AHA Chapters Spread Humanism with 2024 Grants

As the American Humanist Association (AHA) promotes and advocates for humanism nationally, our local groups find innovative ways to spread humanism in their communities. To support and expand their efforts, the AHA provides grants to publicize humanism and educate people on humanist values. Learn more about the recipients of the 2024 AHA chapter grants:

Chippewa Valley Humanists, one of our newest chapters, will use grant funds to produce promotional materials for its upcoming activities for the local Unitarian Universalist congregation, at the Jackson Correctional Institution’s AHA chapter, and with a forming humanist student group at the University of Wisconsin Eau Claire (UWEC). Member and Humanist Chaplain Lex Sackett currently facilitates humanist discussions at the prison facility and will teach a class on “An Introduction to Humanism: the 10 Commitments” for the UU church. The group is coordinating with UWEC professor Dr. Adam Kunz to host summer events sharing his new book on the separation of church and state, To Hell With Heaven (available in July), and with Dr. Janja Lalich to speak on cults and coercion later this fall.

Central New York Humanists Association will be celebrating its tenth anniversary with a booth at the Westcott Street Fair to promote the group and an event to support its future. The grant will help them secure the venue and caterer, provide raffle prizes, prepare graphics, and offer giveaways to table visitors. Tabling at the Westcott event has historically been one of the best ways to attract active new members so they’re excited to continue the tradition. They also look forward to starting a new tradition of commemorating many more anniversaries.

New Jersey Humanist Network found that buttons are a popular item and button-making is an engaging activity at tabling events, so their grant will help them purchase a quality button maker and supplies. The group will also hold a button art contest to develop creative messaging and design options that will help them connect with young people and others seeking community.

Humanists and Freethinkers of Fairfield County grant project aims to advance humanist values through event tabling, promoting dialogue around a film viewing, and offering opportunities for learning to a larger diverse audience. They will participate in five tabling events across Fairfield County in high-traffic areas to introduce attendees to humanism, the group’s activities, and the importance of humanist values in society. They will also host a film screening and discussion to explore empathy, ethics, and the human condition through cinematic narratives.

Central Florida Freethought Community has run successful radio promotions before and will use its grant to announce that it is now an AHA chapter. In two sponsorships on WMFE Orlando and WMFV they will promote that they’re “building community for the NON-religious with educational social and volunteer events across Central Florida all month long.”

Jefferson Humanists realized that its members and visitors are eager to learn more about humanism and take action to protect our secular democracy, so the grant will go towards the development and promotion of two educational programs in the Denver area. One program will educate people on humanism through member-led discussions using the AHA’s free Basic Online Studies, books, articles, and the Ten Commitments. The other program will focus on the threat of Christian nationalism.

Southeastern Virginia Atheists, Skeptics, + Humanists (SEVASH), a chapter of Washington Area Secular Humanists (WASH), will build and maintain a Free Humanist Library “as a beacon of intellectual exploration and community enrichment, embodying the core tenets of reason, empathy, and human dignity.” They will use the grant to obtain the materials (i.e., lumber, plexiglass, hinges, paint, concrete for mounting, etc.) and supply a curated collection of books that champion secular humanist principles. “From works of philosophy and science to literature and art, each selection embodying the spirit of inquiry, compassion, and ethical living.” The little library will also include space to promote events such as book clubs, guest lectures, and workshops to provide opportunities for learning, reflection, and meaningful connection.

Humanists of West Florida has been distributing Weekend Survival Snacks on Friday evenings to local hungry and homeless individuals since 2021, an invaluable service as there are no formal nearby free meals offered on the weekends. Their dedicated volunteers have found several ways to fundraise and reduce costs but need the grant to sustain the distribution of water and food items that so many local folks depend on each week.

Congratulations to all our winners and thank you for strengthening the humanist presence from coast to coast. We look forward to providing more opportunities for AHA local groups to spread humanism and practice humanist values for society.