Please welcome our new social justice digital media intern, Alec Bassett!
TheHumanist.com: What is your educational and work background?
I graduated from Ohio State University with a BA in international studies and Francophone studies. During school I worked for a refugee organization in Columbus and that was a huge introduction to human rights and social justice for me outside the classroom. Additionally, I have a background in conservation work and environmental activism. After graduation I worked for a social venture company on energy initiatives in Nepal and then on the 2016 election for an environmental nonprofit organization. I hope to continue with political economy studies in graduate school.
TheHumanist.com: How did you first learn about humanism?
I first learned about the American Humanist Association, and by extension, humanism, through TheHumanist.com actually. I started reading articles pretty regularly and that led me to realize that humanism was exactly what I was looking for—an inclusive community committed to constructing a better world.
TheHumanist.com: Did you grow up in a traditional religious faith? How did it impact you?
I was raised in a traditional Christian faith—Eastern Orthodox, so very traditional. It was a large part of my formative years for sure. As I grew up I began to increasingly distance myself from that perspective though. It became very limiting and restrictive to me. The problems confronting the world right now need a different perspective than that of traditional religion, and that was the perspective that led me to humanism.
TheHumanist.com: What interested you most about interning for the American Humanist Association?
Given the current political climate I wanted to continue advocating for progressive causes from a secular perspective, and that would be humanism! The social justice initiatives the American Humanist Association supports and engages in interested me the most. The platform is truly one defined by inclusivity, and that is definitely a mission I am passionate about.
TheHumanist.com: What book has influenced you the most?
From a humanist perspective I’d say Paolo Freire’s Pedagogy of the Oppressed. That book is transformative and should be required reading for everyone.
TheHumanist.com: If you could have dinner with any three people in the world (living or dead), who would they be and why?
Virginia Woolf, Michel Foucault, and LeBron James. How would that be for a dinner conversation?