What a year it’s been! Today is the perfect opportunity to take a moment to reflect on our work.
Before I get into that, I would also like to hear what your experience has been!
How have the issues we tackled affected you? What areas do you think should receive more attention in 2023? And what are your plans for advocating for nonbelievers in the new year? You can simply respond to this email. I will read all responses, and will write back to as many of you as possible.
So here’s what 2022 was like for us at American Atheists:
- We won the Arkansas case against Christian nationalist and (now ex-) State senator Jason Rapert, who discriminated against his own constituents by blocking them on his official social media accounts.
- We filed a lawsuit in Mississippi on behalf of state residents who object to the state’s requirement that all license plates bear the divisive slogan “In God We Trust.”
- We denounced the Supreme Court decision ending the Constitutional right to an abortion and exposed the underlying Christian privilege that now permeates the country’s highest court.
- We met with Biden Administration officials across government, including the Department of Education, Department of Justice, and other agencies, to shape policy and protect atheists’ rights.
- Our 2022 convention in April, AACon2022, was our first conference held post-COVID, and we had a blast. We heard from dozens of speakers, had lively discussions, lots of fun, and also came together to pack 50,000 (!) meals for families in need in the Atlanta area.
- At our convention, we raised more than $30,000 for a local abortion fund to help people access the abortion care they need.
- We filed multiple briefs at the Supreme Court, including in Kennedy v. Bremerton (the High School coach who coerced his student athletes to participate in Christian prayer at the 50-yard line) and Shurtleff v. Boston (the Boston public property dispute over the Christian flag). Our legal team worked hard to convince the Supreme Court that these rulings open up the possibility for even more flagrant violations of our civil rights.
- We hosted a lobby day in partnership with the American Humanist Association, helping more than 150 people meet with their members of Congress to advocate for the Every Child Deserves a Family Act.
- Our board leadership changed in April, when Jen Scott replaced Neal Cary as board chair. Her prior role as Treasurer was taken on by Debby Williams.
- Our team continues to grow and we welcomed our new State Policy Counsel, Brittany Williams, to help empower our grassroots advocates to make their voices heard in their states.
- We launched Secular Action Teams in two additional states (for a total of six) to give atheists a voice in state government.
- Working with our partners, we passed a law in Massachusetts that ended child marriage and closed religious loopholes that put young women and girls at risk of abuse.
- We hosted the global launch of the Freedom of Thought Report and welcomed guests from the U.S. Department of State and partners from other human rights groups.
- We briefed the Congressional Freethought Caucus and the Association of Secular Elected Officials on the threat of White Christian Nationalism and the discrimination faced by atheists and nonreligious people.
- And more…
I have said this many times before, but it bears repeating: none of our work would be possible without the strong support of members like you.
As we head into our 60th year, we know we will be able to do even more because of you.
Thank you for your remarkable generosity over the years. And if you would like to make a big impact before the end of 2022, you can do so on our website.
On behalf of the rest of the American Atheist team, I want to wish you a healthy and happy New Year!
PS: Don’t forget to respond to this email and tell us what your year has been like. Our community has always been supportive of our members. After all, we are in this together!
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