What Happens in Vegas… Is a Whole Lotta Humanism at the AHA’s 77th Annual Conference!

The AHA's 77th Annual Conference will take place at the Flamingo Hotel on the Las Vegas Strip.

We are just eight weeks away from the American Humanist Association’s 77th Annual Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada! The AHA takes pride in this thought-provoking event that takes place over four days and is chock-full of diverse expert speakers on topics that matter most to the humanist movement.

This year we will be joined by speakers from across the country who are activists, writers, and educators bringing their expertise on a range of topics including LGBTQ rights, environmental action, grassroots activism, secular women, political action, social injustice, science, and more. Don’t miss our screening of Science Moms, a film featuring real moms in the science field who are determined to debunk dangerous fear mongering and myths surrounding bogus science. Parents are often our first educators, and this film explores how belief in fake medical and nutritional science can cause real harm to families, physically and mentally. Science Moms writer and director Natalie Newell will join us after to discuss her film.

Dr. Anthony Pinn

Former AHA board member Dr. Anthony Pinn will lead a panel discussing the humanist response to racial inequality. Joining him are Dr. Juhem Navarro-Rivera, political director and managing partner at Socioanalítica Research, and Dr. Monica R. Miller, author and associate professor of religion & Africana studies and director of women, gender, and sexuality studies at Lehigh University in Pennsylvania.

In today’s political climate we must be more proactive than ever but not always knowing how to go about that often prevents concerned citizens from becoming active. This year we’ve included sessions to rev your activist engines. Join the Center for Freethought Equality (CFE) PAC Coordinator Ron Millar; Audra Killingsworth, a member of the town council of the city of Apex, North Carolina; and AHA Executive Director Roy Speckhardt for a special CFE meeting to learn how to become more politically active as a humanist.

We are also excited to feature speakers from some of our members’ favorite organizations (other than the AHA, of course!). Toni Van Pelt, president of the National Organization for Women (NOW), will be joining us as a proud humanist and feminist. Chris Thompson from National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) will also join our group of like-minded humanists as he leads a chat about marijuana reform.

Your schedule will likewise be full of workshops and training sessions from the Foundation Beyond Belief and the Center for Humanist Education. And be sure not to miss the Cardio Spider Improv Team featuring one of our favorite humanists and former AHA board member, Raul Martinez.

Red Rock Canyon

And the fun doesn’t stop there. Las Vegas is a town of endless possibilities. If you aren’t the partying type, Vegas may not seem like the most ideal vacation spot at first glance, but it has so much more to offer than gambling and booze. Las Vegas is surrounded by some of the nation’s most breathtaking scenery. Visitors can take a day trip to the Grand Canyon, Zion National Park, and Death Valley all within a three-hour drive from Vegas. If you want to stay a little closer, Valley of Fire State Park, Lake Meade Recreation Area, and Red Rock Canyon offer a wealth of history and priceless views.

In fact, our 2018 post-conference tour will bring humanists on a five-hour bus tour through Red Rock Canyon, Nevada’s first national conservation area! Just seventeen miles west of Las Vegas, Red Rock offers a thirteen-mile scenic drive, more than thirty miles of hiking trails and picnic areas, and a visitor’s center. The fossilized red and cream-colored sandstone of the Calico Hills, ten-million-year-old sand dunes (now petrified), limestone Indian roasting pits, and the pictographs at Willow Springs make for a one-of-a-kind experience.

A weekend of humanism surrounded by natural landmarks, dozens of unique museums, amazing food, and history—what could be better? Come experience Vegas from a humanist perspective!