The American Humanist Association’s Annual Conference is always a great occasion to learn about the humanist movement’s successes, challenges, and new opportunities. It offers time to reconnect with old friends and space to meet new folks. In past times it was a fun excuse to visit a different city (or welcome visitors to your area if your group co-hosted with us) and, in 2019 and 2020, we brought the conference online to make our programming more accessible to people across the country and around the world. Our upcoming 80th Annual Conference will be a multi-day celebration of AHA’s 80th anniversary with lots of ways to interact with humanists nationwide from the comfort of your own home.
In previous #AHACON21 articles, we previewed some of the many inspiring speakers and panelists you’ll hear from during the conference on Saturday, July 24th and Sunday, July 25th, including our 2021 Humanist of the Year awardee Dr. Anthony S. Fauci. This year we’re also looking forward to hearing more from you and helping you connect with each other through social and networking opportunities throughout the conference:
- Once you register, you’ll be able to join organizers and attendees on the Whova platform. There you can chat with everyone, send direct messages to other attendees, post and respond to ice breakers, start and join meet-ups (both online and in person), share photos and articles, and ask questions (both in general and for specific sessions). You get points for your activity on Whova and can win a spot on our Leaderboard.
- On Wednesday, July 21 from 5-6pm ET, the Humanist Legal Society is hosting a mixer open to all. This is a good place for legal professionals to network and share resources for ongoing church-state separation work.
- Missing the casual, personal experience of striking up a conversation with someone new? Get to know other humanists in brief video gatherings during networking breaks on Friday, July 23, Saturday, July 24, and Sunday, July 25. Network Tables place attendees who join the session at a virtual table with a small group of other attendees on video chat. Tables will shuffle every few minutes to create the casual feeling of spontaneously chatting with a few interesting strangers and the excitement of face-to-face connection within a virtual setting. We hope you’ll use the opportunity to create lasting humanist friendships.
- During our Saturday, July 24 Regional Socializing event from 6:30-8pm ET, you can meet humanists in your area and find or start a local humanist group so you can stay connected in between AHA conferences.
- We’re also running a Virtual Lobby Day on Monday, July 26th to connect our attendees with their legislators. Join other constituents to learn how to speak up in support of the Do No Harm Act and ensure our government officials know why it matters.
- And check out exhibitor booths anytime to get to know our sponsoring organizations and their folks. Some are even offering special giveaways and discounts to AHACON21 attendees. We love partnering with other secular and humanist groups to expand our work and better serve our communities.
Our registration offerings include an individual option, a student discount, and an opportunity to host a watch party so you can enjoy the events in the company of friends. We look forward to connecting with you and together celebrating 80 years of humanism!