SWoA Celebrates the Power of Community Action

For ten days each year—encompassing the National Day of Reason on May 4th, the National Day of Prayer on the first Thursday of May, and two weekends—the secular movement rallies together for inclusive responses to social problems and promotes the welfare of humankind. We’re one month away from the beginning of Secular Week of Action 2024 (SWoA), taking place Friday, April 26 – Sunday, May 5. Here’s what you need to know so we can all make it a success.

What is SWoA?

SWoA unites compassionate communities to organize service events, connect volunteers to impactful projects in their neighborhoods or online, and celebrate what human beings can achieve together when we dedicate ourselves to ethical action. It puts our values of critical thinking, empathy, and responsibility to work to support each other, our environment, and our communities. It reminds us there are many ways a few people can make a lasting difference. We can ease the suffering of others, beautify our communities, and inspire allies to join our work for a world with a safe and sustainable future for countless generations to come.

Who participates in SWoA?

SWoA welcomes collaboration from individuals interested in gathering a team, local groups hosting opportunities in their regions and online, and national organizations supporting various projects and campaigns. The week provides a basis for humanist-interfaith collaboration by offering a way for all Americans to participate in civic life through volunteerism, that never discriminates based on religious belief or nonbelief. Major partners include American Humanist Association, American Atheists, Secular Student Alliance, The Freethought Society, and Secular Coalition for America.

Why join SWoA?

While service projects, educational events, and advocacy opportunities happen throughout the year, SWoA is a special opportunity for us to amplify our work, promote our values, and show how much we can do when we take action together. Thoughts and prayers are not enough for real change and there are many ways we can better support all in need. When we host a food drive, deliver meals, hand out bus passes, or volunteer at a local food pantry, we’re making it easier for someone to stay housed or find shelter. When we clean up local parks and beaches, plant trees, grow pollinator gardens, and remove invasive plants, we’re protecting vulnerable wildlife and modeling healthy stewardship of our earth. When we organize or participate in a blood drive, we not only provide vital health resources but also can educate people on the unethical ban on blood donations from gay and bisexual men and work to end that discrimination. When we advocate for progressive change locally and nationally, we’re helping transform our political structures into systems that empower people and our planet to flourish. When we build partnerships with other successful changemaking organizations in our communities, we expand important work that can have a near-infinite ripple effect.

How can I help SWoA?

Check out the Secular Week of Action website for suggested actions you can organize and join. But don’t let our recommendations limit your creativity and energy. You can get involved with all sorts of activities like helping neighbors with errands, garage/yard/stoop sales where the profit goes to a charity of your choice, get-out-the-vote campaigns that include postcard writing or phone banking, fundraisers like bowl-a-thons or walk-a-thons that provide both social opportunities and funds to an organization in need, and so much more. Make sure to register your planned events on the site so others can join and we can later hear about your impact through the report form so we can brag to the secular community and press, further showing the power of community action. Like, follow, and share content from the Secular Week of Action Facebook page to promote SWoA, its events, and the awesome teams making it all happen. Remember to post your events on social media before, during, and after using the hashtags #SecularAction #SecularValues and #WeekOfAction so we can share it to further the outreach. And share other teams’ and groups’ events so we can support each other in building a more empathetic and just society for all.