Buildings, Conferences, YouTube, and More: How AHA Chapters Expand Their Outreach

AHA Chapters and Affiliates are reaching out like never before. AHA Communications Associate Brian Magee explores how local groups are using sleek websites, advanced social media, and more to make an impact in their communities.

The number of local groups associated with the American Humanist Association as Chapters and Affiliates is not only continuing to grow, but they are reaching out to the public like never before. Using a variety of assets and avenues of communication, the nearly 180 local groups connected with the AHA are taking the necessary steps to boldly offer humanism to the country.

Local group websitesAlmost all local groups connected with the AHA have a presence on the web, but local groups are increasingly putting together and maintaining independent high-quality websites with a growing amount of substance for local group members—as well as maintaining pages on places like and Facebook. The Triangle Freethought Society and Humanists of North Alabama are nice examples, as are the sites maintained by Humanists Doing Good, the Humanist Community of Central Ohio, the Humanist Society of Greater Phoenix, the Humanists of North Puget Sound, Atheists and Other Freethinkers, the Humanist Fellowship of San Diego, the Concord Area Humanists, the Humanist Society of Greater Philadelphia.

Atheists on Air podcastThe New Orleans Secular Humanist Association produces a cable access interview and discussion program that also gets posted to Youtube. The Humanists of Minnesota do something similar. Charlotte Atheists and Agnostics have a Youtube page where they post videos of local speakers and events, as do the Humanists of Houston. Portland Humanists post their event videos to Vimeo. In addition to doing a cable TV program, Minnesota Atheists has a weekly radio program on radio station KTNF and puts the program online as a podcast. Organizers of Western North Carolina Humanists produce the Atheists on Air podcast.

Red Bank Humanists just put up a billboard to mark their 10th anniversary.

Red Bank Humanists billboardExamples of very active blogs include the Humanist Chaplaincy at Rutgers University, “Applied Sentience,” and the Corvallis Secular Society.

Regional conferences are now regularly organized by local groups, including the Humanists of Florida, the Carolinas Secular Association, and the Minnesota Atheists.

The Secular Hub is “a location where the secular community of greater Denver/ Boulder can meet and do good for goodness sake.” The site is supported by several groups in the area. The very active Humanist Community at Harvard is also constructing a Humanist Hub.

The Humanist Society of Gainesville has a lending library, so does the group Iowa Atheists and Freethinkers, among many others.

Newsletters are also still a standard method of reaching out. There are many groups to who do this and they include (but not limited to) The Humanist Society of the Suncoast, the Secular Humanist Society of New York, the Washington Area Secular Humanists, who also offer additional material they’ve published on their own, the Piedmont Humanists, the Rationalists of East Tennessee, and the Free Inquiry Group, Inc. of Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky.

LaGrange Humanists are having an essay contest, the Humanists of Greater Portland do regular book displays in libraries.

Local group library displayHumanists of the Palouse sponsor a major Darwin Day event each year.

Leaders of the Humanist Society of New Mexico are also leaders of the AHA’s Feminist Caucus and recently co-hosted a very successful Women’s Equality Day event.

Several Unitarian Universalist churches are affiliated with the AHA, including the DuPage Unitarian Universalist Church in Illinois, the Humanist Union of Madison ,and the Humanist Forum of Central Kentucky as are some Ethical Culture groups like the Ethical Humanist Society of Chicago, the Baltimore Ethical Society, the Ethical Humanist Society of the Triangle, the Ethical Humanist Society of Long Island, the Ethical Society of Austin, the Ethical Society of Boston, and the Ethical Humanist Society of Philadelphia.

The New Jersey Humanist Network is where HumanLight began.

This is just a sampling of the ongoing efforts of some of the groups connected with the AHA. To see if there is a local group near you—or want to start a new one—check out the local group section of our website.