Last weekend, I was honored to welcome hundreds of our members and supporters to Philadelphia for our 2024 National Convention. These annual gatherings are truly a remarkable opportunity for nonreligious folks from all walks of life to network and learn, to discuss and debate, and, yes, to just have fun.

For myself and the staff of American Atheists, it’s a particularly valuable chance for us to meet members, share information, and receive feedback. I personally heard from dozens of attendees, and whether this was their first time or their fifth, the general consensus was that our conventions are special not only because of the programming but also simply because our secular community is so vibrant and welcoming.

If you weren’t able to join us, I still want you to be among the very first to hear a few of the highlights:

1) We are excited to officially announce next year’s gathering will take place in Minneapolis! In keeping with our longstanding tradition, it will be held over Easter weekend, so mark your calendars for April 17-20, 2025. And, a year later, American Atheists will be hosting the 2026 World Humanist Congress in Washington, D.C.

2) Board Chair Jen Scott and I unveiled a new strategic vision for American Atheists, the result of a year-long process in which we surveyed more than 34,000 nonreligious Americans, conducted interviews with scores of stakeholders, and compiled those findings into an actionable plan to guide our staff and grow this organization. We’ll share more details with you over the summer. For now, I’ll just say I’m extremely proud of what our team came up with and eager to see how far we’ll go in the next 5, 10, or 60 years.

3) At an Awards Dinner featuring speaker Ellery Schempp of the landmark Abington v. Schempp case, our Field Director, Sam McGuire, recognized a number of individuals and affiliate organizations for their efforts over the past year. Many of those groups are providing critical mutual aid within their communities – providing life-saving food and life-altering transportation services. That evening, we set a goal of raising almost $7,500 to provide additional grants for this kind of work, and we surpassed it within an hour! Then, on Sunday, volunteers packed an incredible 24,000 meals for Philadelphians in need. If you’d like to see American Atheists not only continue this work but expand it, please contribute $10 or more here.

This year’s convention speakers were truly outstanding. They were authors, academics, and activists. Their topics ranged from recovering from religious abuse and dealing with grief and parenting as a nonbeliever to organizing campaigns and pushing back school privatization. As you might expect, a common theme was the rise of religious extremism and Christian nationalism.

But one of my favorite sessions was actually from our very own Alison Gill, Vice President of Legal & Policy, who shared a lot of good news about all the progress American Atheists is making in courtrooms and state legislatures across the country.

It was a much-needed reminder that despite all the threats we face, we are doing good – real, meaningful, impactful good. And that’s all thanks to supporters like you. So, thank you.

Back to work we go,

Nick Fish

PS: I asked everyone in Philadelphia to stand in solidarity with American Atheists by becoming a monthly supporter of our work. I’m going to ask you to do the same. If you believe, as I do, that protecting the rights of atheists and a nation free from religious coercion are worth fighting for, please become a monthly supporter today with a gift of $10, $20, or even $50. By standing together, we can build a better world right now — and for the next generation of atheists.

PPS: A big thank you to Evan Clark, our California State Director and the Executive Director of Atheists United, for all the convention photos you see in this email!

American Atheists is a 501(c)(3) non-partisan, nonprofit educational organization that relies on the support of members like you. Contributions are tax-deductible. Our Federal Tax ID Number is 74-2466507 and our Combined Federal Campaign number is 52217.

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