2014 National Convention
American Atheists offered activist training sessions during the first day of our National Convention, Thursday, April 17, 2014.
Our workshop training sessions featured activists, leaders, and experts in a variety of subjects who worked with participants in an intensive, hands-on, 2-hour course on a wide variety of topics. Two workshops ran concurrently, so participants had to choose which they would prefer to attend.
Admission to these workshops is not included with the regular convention admission price. The cost for all three sessions was just $99.
Session 1 (10:00am - 12:00pm)
So You Want To Start Your Own Group...?
Work with members of the American Atheists staff, including National Affiliate Director Grag Lammers, Development Director Nick Fish, and Public Relations Director Dave Muscato on the ins-and-outs of starting a local atheist group. Topics included: finding members, working with your local media, organizing meetings, and general best-practices for any new group.
So You Want To Debate Christians...?
Featuring expert debaters Matt Dillahunty, JT Eberhard, and Jamila Bey, you will learn how to change minds and debate Christians in both formal and informal settings. If you think debating doesn't actually change minds, Matt, JT, and Jamila are going to change yours.
Session 2 (1:00pm - 3:00pm)
So You Think You Know Mormonism...?
If you want to hear first-hand about being a Mormon, come work with West Monnett, Dan Ellis, and Joanne Hanks as they give you an insider's look at one of the most bizarre and little-understood religions in America. A great introduction to Mormonism that will put the entire convention into context while informing you of the details of what it's really like to live, work, and go to school in a place surrounded by extreme, insular religion in a country with a government that's supposed to be secular.
So You Want To Be A Lobbyist...?
Do you think that "lobbyist" is a bad word in Washington? That only powerful special interests have lobbyists? Amanda Knief and Edwina Rogers are here to change your mind. With nearly 50 years of combined lobbying experience, these three veterans of Capitol Hill will help you make your voice heard in Washington DC and in your state capital.
Session 3 (3:30pm - 5:30pm)
So You Want To Run For Office...?
There has only ever been one out atheist in the United States Congress. We need to change that. The first step is running for local office. People like Cecil Bothwell and Juan Mendez have had the courage to speak out and we're going to show you how to run for (and win) elected office. Eddie Tabash, Amanda Knief, Nick Fish and a special guest will talk about the basics of starting and running a campaign for elected office.
So You Want To Be On Fox News...?
Live appearances on national media outlets are not for the faint of heart. But they are a necessary and effective way of raising awareness about the work that our groups do and the importance of being an "out" atheist in the United States. Learn how to work with local media to get out the word about your group and how to handle yourself on television with David Silverman, Dave Muscato, and journalist Jamila Bey.