Previous CSA Conferences…

The Carolinas Secular Conference is an annual event of the secular movement primarily geared toward the interests and needs of leaders, activists, and enthusiasts living in the Carolinas.

The conference allows involved individuals to meet and discuss issues related to increasing the public’s awareness of the movement and fostering its growth. Attendees are provided with opportunities to learn skills and share practical experiences as well as to suggest and set annual goals for secular action.

Beyond its role as a working event, the Carolinas Secular Conference aims to be a joyous celebration of the growing secular movement and culture, recognize individual excellence in advancing it, inspire increasing engagement, and build a supportive community of secular groups and individuals across the region.

The first Carolinas Secular Conference was held in the fall of 2011 in Carolina Beach, NC. Featured speakers included: national director of the United Coalition of Reason Fred Edwords, founder of the organization “Recovering Religionists” Dr. Darrell Ray, and then Director of Strategy and Policy for the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science Shawn Faircloth. During the awards dinner banquet, Amy Glenn received the first Carolinas Freethinker of the Year Award. Pictures from the first conference can be found HERE.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe second annual Carolinas Secular Conference was held in Charleston, SC on September 28-30, 2012. Featured speakers included: director of development and communications for the American Humanist Association Maggie Ardiente, executive director of the Secular Coalition for America Edwina Rogers. and former president of the American Humanist Association Mike Werner. President of the Secular Humanists of the Lowcountry and camp director of Camp Quest – SC Amy Monsky received the Carolinas Freethinker of the Year award; founder and then president of Western North Carolina Humanists and spokesperson for Western North Carolina Atheists Jennifer Lovejoy was presented with the FREETHOUGHT ACTION HERO award; and creator of the Rock Beyond Belief festival at Fort Bragg Justin Griffith was given the 2012 Special Achievement award. Some coverage of the conference, including links to pictures and video, can be found HERE.

CSC-5The third annual Carolinas Secular Conference was held in Charlotte, NC on October 4-6, 2013. The theme of the conference was ‘Coming Out.’ Featured speakers included: founder of the Freethought Society Margaret Downey, author of “The Good News Club: The Christian Right’s Stealth Assault on America’s Children” Katherine Stewart, managing director and in-house counsel for American Atheists Amanda Knief, host of the Godless Bitches podcast Beth Presswood, president of Triangle Freethought Society Harry Shaughnessy, president of the Secular Humanists of the Lowcountry Amy Monsky, former president of the American Humanist Association Michael Werner, and psychologist and developer of “We Are Atheism” Amanda Brown. Entertainers included singer and recording artist Shelley Segal and comedian Steve Hill. During the awards dinner banquet, Sue Kocher, production manager for two documentary film projects with filmmaker Scott Burdick: “Sophia Investigates The Good News Club,” which was featured this year at the Atheist Film Festival in San Francisco, and “The March of Reason,” a five-part video documentary series filmed at the Reason Rally in Washington DC and Rock Beyond Belief at Fort Bragg, North Carolina received the 2013 ‘Carolinas Freethinker of the Year’ award. Pictures from the conference can be found HERE.

CSC2014-groupAThe fourth annual Carolinas Secular Conference was held Sept. 26-28, 2014 once again in Charlotte, NC. The theme of the conference was “Diversity.” Featured speakers included: writer, artist, filmmaker and Humanist activist, Steve Ahlquist; writer, blogger, and author Greta Christina; president of Black Nonbelievers, Inc., Mandisa Thomas; president of the Detroit affiliate of Black Nonbelievers Bria Crutchfield; founder of the Global Secular Humanist Movement, Secular Post and public relations director for Global Secular Organizing and Strategy Faisal Saeed Al Mutar; national director for the United Coalition of Reason Fred Edwords; president of Triangle Freethought Society Harry Shaughnessy; humanist speaker and activist Conor Robinson; executive director of Atheist Alliance America, president of the Secular Humanists of the Lowcountry and camp director of Camp Quest – SC Amy Monsky; political coordinator for the Center for Freethought Equality Bishop McNeill; and founder of HowStuffWorks.com, and former host of the prime time show “Factory Floor” on the National Geographic channel Marshall Brain. Entertainment was provided by Gene Elliot. During the awards dinner banquet, activist Joseph McDaniel Stewart received the ‘Carolinas Freethinker of the Year’ award and Madison Kimrey received the first ‘Rising Light of Reason’ award. Pictures from the conference can be found HERE.

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The fifth annual Carolinas Secular Conference was held on October 2-4, 2015 in Myrtle Beach, SC. Featured speakers included: founder and president of the Secular Coalition for America Herb Silverman; president of the American Humanist Association Rebecca Hale; executive director of Atheist Alliance America, president of the Secular Humanists of the Lowcountry and camp director of Camp Quest – SC Amy Monsky; founder and current President of Black Nonbelievers Mandisa Thomas; executive director of Recovering From Religion Sarah Morehead; co-founders of Be Secular Mark and Shanon Nebo; author, managing director and in-house counsel for American Atheists Amanda Knief; anatomy & physiology professor, zoologist, lecturer and author Abby Hafer; organizer for Black Atheists of Philadelphia Jennifer Taylor; host of The Gaytheist Manifesto podcast Callie Wright; social justice advocate and former vice president of Freethought WSU Stephan Goodwin; author and administrator of DebateGod.org Bo Bennett; founder of Q&A: Queer and Atheist Charone Pagett; author and executive director of Sceptics Guide To Meditation and the Association of Mindfulness Meditation and Secular Buddhism Mark W. Gura; atheist activist and podcaster Bobby Cary; photographer and filmmaker Chris Johnson; and activist Steven Hewett. Entertainment was provided by songwriter and recording artist Shelley Segal. During the awards dinner banquet, activist Steven Hewett received the ‘Carolinas Freethinker of the Year’ award and president of Triangle Freethought Society Harry Shaughnessy received the FreeThoughtAction Hero Award. Pictures from the conference can be found HERE. Videos from the conference can be found HERE.