A comedic actress. A spoken word poet. A champion of civil rights. A sex-positive writer. These are just some of the outstanding speakers and humanist awardees scheduled to attend the American Humanist Association’s 76th Annual Conference June 8-11, 2017, in Charleston, South Carolina.
This year’s 75th Anniversary Conference in Chicago, the city where the American Humanist Association was founded in 1941, was one of the AHA’s most successful conferences ever, with over 500 attendees who heard from and met popular speakers like Jared Diamond, John de Lancie, Elizabeth Loftus, Jerry Coyne, and Medea Benjamin.
The American Humanist Association has already announced several recipients of its 2017 awards, to be given at the annual conference. Susie Bright, best-selling author and one of the world’s respected voices on sexual politics, will receive the Feminist Humanist Award. Martin Castro, appointed by President Obama as the first Latino chairman of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, will accept the Religious Liberty Award. Staceyann Chin, poet, author, and currently performing her solo theater piece MotherStruck (directed by Cynthia Nixon and produced by Rosie O’Donnell), will be receiving the LGBTQ Humanist Pride Award. Johnetta Elzie, the prominent social justice activist who was named one of the “30 Most Influential People on the Internet” by TIME magazine, will accept the Humanist Pioneer Award. And the 2017 keynote speaker will be Annabelle Gurwitch, comedic actress and essayist who has appeared on Seinfeld, Boston Legal, Dexter, and was the co-host of the popular program Dinner and a Movie on TBS.
The 76th Annual Conference, hosted by the AHA’s Charleston-based chapter, the Secular Humanists of the Lowcountry, will cover topics of concern to humanists such as climate change, LGBTQ equality, reproductive freedom, sexual politics, death with dignity, nontheist rights, and more. And of course, underlying many of these issues, the question on many humanist minds is: What will humanist advocacy look like under a Trump administration?
Other prominent humanist leaders and allies scheduled to attend include:
- Dot Scott, president of the NAACP Charleston Branch and a civil rights leader
- Diane Burkholder, social justice activist and co-founder of Kansas City Freethinkers of Color
- Lucien Greaves, founder of The Satanic Temple and church-state separation activist
- Herb Silverman, president of the Secular Coalition for America and author of Candidate Without a Prayer
- Abby Hafer, scientist and author of The Not-So-Intelligent Designer
- Tom Krattenmaker, USA Today reporter and Yale Humanist Community board member
- Greta Christina, author and recipient of the 2013 LGBTQ Humanist Pride Award
- Ali A. Rizvi, author of The Atheist Muslim
- Carl Coon, former U.S. Ambassador to Nepal and author of One Planet, One People: Beyond “Us vs. Them”
In the coming weeks the American Humanist Association will announce the recipient of its 2017 Humanist of the Year Award and more speakers to its lineup. Early-bird registration is now open at conference.americanhumanist.org.