What is the American Atheists National Convention?
Since 1970, American Atheists has hosted more than 40 national conventions bringing together atheists from across the nation and the world. The American Atheists National Convention is the largest annual atheist event in the nation. Our National Convention is, first and foremost, an opportunity for atheists from across our community to come together to learn from speakers, learn from one another, and to celebrate the progress our community has made.
The American Atheists National Convention creates opportunities for our members and supporters to hear from diverse voices within our community and for visionaries, leaders, and activists to share their perspectives and their work with 1,000+ of their fellow atheists. The National Convention supports the activism of the host city and raises the profile of our community in places where we need to be heard.
What’s the goal of the convention?
Let’s be clear on what our convention isn’t: It isn’t a bunch of atheists sitting around agreeing with each other that God doesn’t exist.
The goal of our convention is for atheists from all walks of life, from across the nation, to come together to fight for a country that is fair, equal, and more rooted in science and reason. We work to provide tools to allow local activists to build vibrant and sustained communities around our shared values and identity. We endeavor to raise awareness for atheism in public life throughout the nation and ensure that no one feels like they are alone in their atheism. We demand respect and equality from our government and elected officials and will not sit idly by while religion is given more and more special treatment under the law and atheists are denigrated and shut out from the conversation.
Where is this year’s convention being held? When is it?
Our 2018 National Convention will be held in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma from March 29 to April 1, 2018 at the Sheraton Oklahoma City Downtown Hotel in the Bricktown Entertainment District of Oklahoma City. You can learn more about the hotel (and make your reservation) here.
Who attends the National Convention?
In past years, we have had more than 1,000 people attend our national conventions. Our most recent convention in North Charleston, South Carolina to celebrate the total eclipse that crossed the continental United States had attendees from more than 40 states and even few attendees from other countries! We hope you’ll be a part of our 2018 National Convention!
Attendees at our national conventions show the true diversity of our community, with activists who worked with Madalyn Murray O’Hair, the founder of American Atheists, as well as student activists fighting for our cause today. We have paid staff and volunteers from countless other organizations within the broader atheist community, elected officials, educators, artists, musicians, scientists, and even faith leaders. We work hard to ensure that our National Convention is welcoming and inclusive for people of all races and ethnicities, sexual orientations, gender identities, national origins, and even religions.
What is the schedule?
Registration will open on Wednesday, March 28, from 3:00pm to 7:00pm and will be open on Thursday, March 29, from 9:00am to 7:00pm. On Thursday, we will offer a selection of activist training workshops, which are included with convention registration. A full schedule of the workshops will be available shortly.
On Friday, March 30, the registration desk will open at 8:00am and remain open throughout the day. The main stage program will begin on Friday at 10:00am.
Friday evening will feature a buffet dinner and our annual comedy show (both separately ticketed events). Saturday evening will feature an awards dinner (separately ticketed event). The after-party with music, dancing, and a cash bar is free admission.
Sunday afternoon will feature a volunteer opportunity to pack meals for families in need throughout the Oklahoma City area. Volunteers who participate will be invited to a special thank-you event.
What are the lunch and dinner options at the hotel?
On Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, “grab and go” lunches will be available for purchase. In addition, the hotel’s full-service restaurant will be open. There are additional restaurant options within walking distance of the hotel in the vibrant Bricktown Entertainment District.
Friday and Saturday’s dinners are separately ticketed events and a limited number of tickets will be available for purchase on-site. Please make sure you purchase those in advance to ensure that you will be able to attend.