With most Americans only leaving the house for only work and the essentials, American Atheists is proud to present an exciting new Summer Speaker Series to make your stay-at-home time more enjoyable.

Every Wednesday at 8:00 pm ET, you’ll have the chance to participate in a fascinating talk with experts in their fields — right from the comfort and safety of your home! Each episode will give the speaker the floor for 20 minutes, continue with a discussion between the presenter and an American Atheists representative, and conclude with a question and answer session, in which you, too, can submit your questions.

Find out all about our exciting line-up and register to take part:

American Atheists: Outstanding in Our Field!

Wed, Aug 26, 2020 8:00 PM – 9:30 PM EDT

Join us for the finale of American Atheists’ Summer Speaker Series, where we’ll celebrate fun, activism, and community.

Learn all about the activist work atheists across the country are engaged in. Whether you are an activist pro or have never been involved in activism, you’ll discover how these atheists are changing their local communities for the better and how you can do so, too. Not only that, American Atheists will honor many of these atheist activists and groups by handing out awards in multiple categories.

On top of all that, we will host a virtual happy hour, where you can socialize with atheists in your area and beyond. So many atheists have asked American Atheists to do this, and now you have it!

Register now for the finale to our Summer Speaker Series!

Previous Talks:

Empty the Pews: Using the Power of Stories to Effect Change

Wed, May 27, 2020 8:00 PM – 9:30 PM EDT

Following the 2016 election of President Trump, Chrissy Stroop coined the hashtag #EmptyThePews on Twitter as a call to take a moral stance against the kind of fundamentalist, authoritarian, or otherwise conservative churches that helped bring about the current political situation and all its cruelty, division, and hate. The hashtag continues to circulate with the eye-opening and often heartbreaking stories of those who found the resolve to leave evangelical, Mormon, Catholic, and other religious communities. The Empty the Pews anthology continues this campaign by sharing unflinchingly honest essays by those who refused to be contained by hardline Christian ideology.

Watch Chrissy’s talk.

The Founding Myth: Why Christian Nationalism is Un-American

Wed, Jun 3, 2020 8:00 PM – 9:30 PM EDT

Other authors have refuted the claim that “America is a Christian nation.” But most people assume the fallback position, that “America was founded on Judeo-Christian principles,” is true. But not constitutional and civil rights attorney, activist, atheist, and author Andrew Seidel. This important talk on Andrew’s book The Founding Myth will challenge that notion.

Not only are we not a Christian nation, says Andrew, but Christian principles are so opposed to American principles that it’s fair to say, “Christianity is un-American.” This book is People’s History of the United States meets The God Delusion. It is 250 pages of history, law, religion, philosophy, and current events written by an irreverent attorney who argues these issues for a living.

Watch Andrew’s talk.

The Power Worshippers: Inside the Dangerous Rise of Religious Nationalism

Wed, Jun 10, 2020 8:00 PM – 9:30 PM EDT

The Religious Right isn’t what it used to be. We are witnessing the rise of a distinctly politicized form of religious nationalism. It won’t be satisfied with victories on a handful of social and symbolic issues. Combating its influence requires a broader understanding of the movement’s evolving tactics and aims. 

In this stunning talk on her new book The Power Worshippers, investigative journalist and author Katherine Stewart will pull back the curtain on the movement’s inner workings and leading personalities, exposing a dense network of think tanks, advocacy groups, data operations, and pastoral organizations embedded in a rapidly expanding community of international alliances. The movement is united by a common political vision: a dedication to destroying liberal democracy and installing nationalistic, theocratic, and autocratic forms of government.

Watch Katherine’s talk.

Black Freethinkers: A History of African American Secularism

Wed, Jun 17, 2020 8:00 PM – 9:30 PM EDT

In this important talk on his new book, Black Freethinkers, University of North Carolina history professor Chris Cameron will argue that, contrary to historical and popular depictions of African Americans as naturally religious, freethought has been central to black political and intellectual life from the nineteenth century to the present. Freethought encompasses many different schools of thought, including atheism, agnosticism, and nontraditional orientations such as deism and paganism. He suggests an alternative origin of nonbelief and religious skepticism in America, namely the brutality of the institution of slavery. He also traces the growth of atheism and agnosticism among African Americans in two major political and intellectual movements of the 1920s: the New Negro Renaissance and the growth of black socialism and communism. In a final chapter, he explores the critical importance of freethought among participants in the civil rights and Black Power movements of the 1960s and 1970s.

Watch Chris’ talk.

Women of Color Beyond Belief: Where do we go from here?

Wed, Jun 24, 2020 8:00 PM – 9:30 PM EDT

In 2019, Black Nonbelievers, Black Skeptics, and the Women’s Leadership Project hosted the first ever conference that featured all women of color atheists, humanists, secularists, etc. With the constant call to action in addressing diversity and inclusion, how can the secular community better work with and support the organizations who serve this need?

Mandisa Thomas will discuss the conference goals, and the work that women of color offer in the secular movement. She will also advise on improving communication with people of color and subject matters pertaining to race, reproductive justice, and others issues that affect marginalized demographics.

Watch Mandisa’s talk.

Our Non-Christian Nation: How Atheists, Satanists, Pagans and Others are Demanding Their Rightful Place in Public Life

Wed, Jul 1, 2020 8:00 PM – 9:30 PM EDT

Less and less Christian demographically, America is now home to an ever-larger number of people who say they identify with no religion at all. These non-Christians have increasingly been demanding their full participation in public life, bringing their arguments all the way to the Supreme Court. The law is on their side, but that doesn’t mean that their attempts are not met with suspicion or outright hostility.

In this funny yet fascinating talk on his equally entertaining new book, Our Non-Christian Nation, Jay Wexler will take us on a tour of the country introducing us to the non-Christians who have called on America to maintain it ideals of inclusivity and diversity.

Watch Jay’s talk.

Let’s Talk About Sex: Advocating for Comprehensive and Medically Accurate Sex Education

Wed, Jul 8, 2020 8:00 PM – 9:30 PM EDT

SIECUS advocates for the rights of all people to comprehensive sex education and accurate information on the full spectrum of sexual and reproductive health services. In the recently released Reality Check: Being Nonreligious in America, 96% of our respondents stated that comprehensive and medically accurate sex education was somewhat or very important to them as a policy issue that we should be focused on.

Join Jennifer as she argues that sex education is a powerful vehicle for social change that can be used to build a foundation for a long-term culture shift that will positively impact all levels of society, particularly issues of gender and racial equity, sexuality, sexual and reproductive health, consent, personal safety, and autonomy. She will introduce the SIECUS State Profiles, which includes a picture of sexual health programs across the country, discuss sound policies that promote positive sexual and reproductive health outcomes across the lifespan, and outline the tools needed to build support in your state or community for implementing impactful programs.

Watch Jennifer’s talk.

Medical Aid in Dying: Ensuring Access to the End-of-Life Options You Want

Wed, Jul 15, 2020 8:00 PM – 9:30 PM EDT

Kim CallahanCompassion and Choices is a national organization that has been at the forefront of the battle to pass medical aid in dying legislation for more than 30 years. They believe that the ability to achieve end-of-life care that reflects a person’s wishes and priorities, and to have access to a full range of options should be a universal human right.

In this important talk, learn how you can become involved in advocacy in your state to expand end-of-life options and to ensure that these important decisions are made by patients, their loved ones and their physicians.

Watch Kim’s talk.

American Atheists’ Supreme Court Year in Review

Wed, Jul 29, 2020 8:00 PM – 9:30 PM EDT

Join us for a wrap-up of 2019-2020 Supreme Court cases impacting the First Amendment rights and separation of religion and government. Our panel of experts will give a summary of the cases that American Atheists was watching this term, a run down of the briefs that we filed, what the ruling was and how it will impact us going forward.

Watch our SCOTUS year in review.

Why The Atheist Movement Needs Good Storytellers

Wed, August 5, 2020 8:00 PM – 9:30 PM EDT

Atheist activism is loaded with educated, informed people dispensing data points, but is data really enough to change minds and the culture? Seth Andrews is a broadcaster and communicator who is convinced that religious criticisms and science advocacy are often most effective in the framework of “story.” He discusses the importance of engaging the mind and the heart in our discussions with others.

Watch Seth’s talk.

Nonbelievers at Risk: Protecting Atheists Abroad

Wed, August 12, 2020 8:00 PM – 9:30 PM EDT

Humanists International works on policy issues on a global scale, representing their members and supporters at international bodies like the United Nations in Geneva and New York, the African Commission on Human and Peoples Rights, the Council of Europe, and other bodies. They produce the Freedom of Thought Report, an annual report on discrimination against humanists, atheists and the non-religious across the world. Join Gary McLelland as he describes the initiatives that Humanists International is currently working on, and how it relates to the work of American Atheists and our community in the US.

Watch Gary’s talk.

Responsible Homeschooling: Accountability in Education During COVID-19 and Beyond

Wed, Aug 19, 2020 8:00 PM – 9:30 PM EDT

Current oversight of homeschooling is patchy at best. In many states, parents need not have any contact with state or local officials whatsoever. The result is a staggering lack of accountability that can have negative consequences for thousands of homeschooled children. In some cases parents shortchange their children educationally, and in extreme cases homeschooling serves to hide abuse. The Coalition for Responsible Home Education’s mission is to empower homeschooled children by educating the public and advocating for child-centered, evidence-based policy and practices for families and professionals. CRHE has created a set of policy recommendations that will help protect the interests of homeschooled children.

During the uncertain times of COVID-19, many parents who have not previously considered homeschooling are exploring their options. CRHE is supporting parents, students, and families with information, resources, and encouragement to help them navigate this process.

Watch Rachel’s talk.