Things to Do in Denver When You’re a Humanist Panels, Plenaries, Receptions, and More Await AHA Conference Attendees

In just a couple of short weeks, the 74th Annual Conference of the American Humanist Association will be in full swing in the “Mile-High City” of Denver, Colorado. We are thrilled to host so many great speakers covering a range of topics from science to racial issues and everything in between.

This year, Dr. Robert Melamede will be just one of our many great speakers. Dr. Melamede has a PhD in molecular biology and biochemistry from the City University of New York. He retired as chairman of the Biology Department at University of Colorado, Colorado Springs in 2005, where he continues to teach and research cannabinoids, cancer, and DNA repair. Recognized as a leading authority on the therapeutic use of cannabis, Melamede’s Saturday plenary (May 9, 5:00 p.m.) is titled, “In GOD We Rust: Marijuana, Evolution, and the Brain.”

We will be hosting two panel discussions this year. First up, on Saturday, May 9, from 9:00 a.m. – 10:15 a.m., we have the Clergy Project Panel (“Atheists in the Pulpit”), featuring best-selling author and clinical psychologist Gretta Vosper; professional speaker and writer John Compere; Terry plank, president of the Clergy Project Board of Directors and a board member of the Humanist Society; and writer Michael Thomas Tower. This panel will highlight the origins and story behind the four-year-old Clergy Project. Created as an online support community for current and former members of the clergy who deconverted from their faith, the Clergy Project assists members with difficult career transitions, teaching them how to deal with the reactions of friends and family, how to cope with changes in belief, and with the many other problems that come along with the experience.

Later that day, from 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., we present Humanism and Race, a panel that serves to discuss the way the humanist movement has addressed issues of race and what we can do as a community to combat racism. The panel will be moderated by Anthony Pinn, author, professor of humanities and religious studies at Rice University, and research director for the Institute for Humanist Studies in Washington, DC. Panelists include Chris Driscoll, visiting assistant professor of religion and africana studies at Lehigh University and cofounder of the American Academy of Religion’s Critical Approaches to Hip Hop and Religion Group; Sikivu Hutchinson, author, educator, and senior intergroup specialist for the Los Angeles County Human Relations Commission and founder of the Women’s Leadership Project (WLP); and Monica Miller, author and assistant professor of religion and africana studies and director of women, gender, and sexuality studies at Lehigh University.

Planning to arrive to the conference on Thursday, May 7th? Don’t miss our great workshops for humanist chapter leaders led by Rachael Berman and Fred Edwords and our humanist celebrant training led by Kristin Wintermute. We will be hosting a National Day of Reason welcome reception for all attendants, located in the hotel lobby from 5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., and will finish up the night with an 8:00 p.m. viewing of the acclaimed documentary The Unbelievers, featuring Lawrence Krauss and Richard Dawkins.

Online registration ends on April 27th,so visit us online and register today!