Purpose: To make atheists more visible in their communities and to provide resources for people seeking to leave religion.
Background: There are many organizations representing atheist, agnostics, freethinkers, and secular humanists throughout the United States. Some of these organizations focus on the separation of church and state and others create local groups to bring atheists together. However, many of these are fairly insular groups that do not engage in activities in their communities outside their meetings. In order to make significant social change, a much larger effort is needed. Learning from the anti-slavery, women’s suffrage, and civil rights’ movement, we can craft a strategy that can be replicated in cities across the United States on an annual basis.
Idea: Much as the gay rights’ movement focused on getting people to come out of the closet, atheists need to tell their friends, families, and their communities that they are atheists. Sometimes they will find people within their groups who share their views and were just waiting for someone else to come out. It is always more difficult to shun a group when you know someone personally who is a member. In addition, the activity will provide resources for people seeking to leave religion.
Planning: Organize a steering committee. Contact local organizations to see if they have members that want to participate.
Start a funding campaign on social media using a site such as Go Fund Me or Kickstarter.
Create a kit after the event that can be shared with other atheist groups to replicate in their own cities.
Location, date, and logistics (electronic, tables, etc.)
Marketing – booths, signs, ads, and literature
Public Relations – radio, TV
Recruitment – people to attend and speakers at the microphone
Security – reach out to police in advance of event
Research on similar events that have been held:
Secular Student Alliance – Held fifth annual Ask an Atheist Day on April 16, 2015
Draft – November 20, 2015