CFI Speakers Bureau


The Center for Inquiry (CFI) Speakers Bureau is a tool for campus groups, community groups, and conference organizers to find quality speakers on topics related to CFI’s mission of fostering a secular society based on reason, science, freedom of inquiry, and humanist values.

If you would like to book a speaker, you may email them at the address provided on their profile. Unless indicated otherwise, CFI does not typically act as an intermediary between speakers and groups.

“CFI Speakers” are staff, board members, and volunteer representatives.

If you have questions about the CFI Speakers Bureau, please contact the CFI Outreach Department at outreach@centerforinquiry.net.

Viewpoints and information presented by speakers do not necessarily reflect the viewpoints of, nor should they be attributed to, CFI or its affiliates, or any of their directors or officers.


Found 64 Result(s)

Ronnelle Adams


Ronnelle Adams is an author/poet and secular activist from the Washington, D.C. area. His first children’s book, Aching and Praying, was published in 2011 and he has spoken at the Reason Rally, the American Atheist Convention, and for secular college groups. He has also contributed to an upcoming narratives book, Atheists In America, by Columbia University professor …

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Faisal Saeed Al-Mutar


Faisal is an Iraqi-born award-winning human rights activist, satirist, speaker and writer. He is an advocate for Universal Human Rights, secularism and the free market of ideas, and is enthusiastic about the intersection of technology and advocacy. He is also the founder of multiple online platforms that together have more than 400,000 subscribers and millions of …

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Donald B. Ardell


Donald B. Ardell is an outspoken freethinker who promotes a philosophy of REAL wellness, “REAL” being an acronym for Reason, Exuberance, Athleticism and Liberty – the four dimensions of a lifestyle conducive to well being and happiness. Don is a devotee of Robert Green Ingersoll and often performs a variety of speeches, poems and quotations …

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Ronald Aronson

Wayne State University · Detroit, Michigan
Topics: History, Media, Politics
Subtopics: Coming out atheist, Journalism, Lobbying

Ronald Aronson grew up in Detroit and was educated at Wayne State University, U.C.L.A., the University of Michigan, and Brandeis University, where he earned a Ph.D. in the History of Ideas. He studied with William Barrett, Page Smith, and Herbert Marcuse. Swept up in the political activism of the 1960s, he became a community organizer …

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Elizabeth Barre


Elizabeth Barre is a comparative ethicist who works on questions that lie at the intersection of moral philosophy and the history of religion, with a specific focus on Muslim, Christian, and secular political ethics. She has written about the ways recent Muslim debates about liberalism, democracy, and the separation of religion and politics are similar …

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Jennifer Beahan


Jennifer Beahan is the Executive Director for CFI–Michigan. She is responsible for the day-to-day operations of CFI–Michigan and is working to build a secular community throughout Michigan. Her interests include volunteer management, program development and evaluation, secular activism, and women’s rights. She holds a Bachelor’s of Music Education (K-12), and in addition to her work …

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Ryan Bell


After nearly 20 years in congregational pastoral ministry Ryan left his church in 2013 and shortly thereafter began an exploration of atheism and humanism and wrote about his experience at the Year Without God blog. His experience and writing became an international phenomenon and was covered by CNN, BBC, NPR, Los Angeles Times, and dozens …

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Ophelia Benson


Ophelia Benson is the joint-author (with Jeremy Stangroom) of The Dictionary of Fashionable Nonsense, Why Truth Matters, and Does God Hate Women? She blogs at Butterflies and Wheels and is a columnist for Free Inquiry and The Freethinker.   0 SharesShareTweet

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August Berkshire


August Berkshire is the president of Minnesota Atheists (MNA) and is a past vice president of Atheist Alliance International (AAI). He serves on the boards of directors of Camp Quest of Minnesota (CQMN) and Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF), and is on the speaker’s bureau for the Secular Student Alliance (SSA) and the Center for …

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Marwa Berro


Marwa Berro is a writer and professional translator from Beirut. An apostate from Islam, she grew up between an international expatriate community in Saudi Arabia and Hezbollah guerrilla warfare culture in Lebanon. She runs the popular blog Between a Veil and a Dark Place, where she explores womanhood and politics post-Islam, with a recurring focus on …

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Russell Blackford


Russell Blackford is a philosopher, literary critic, and freelance writer (his professional fiction credits include The New John Connor Chronicles, a trilogy of novels written for the Terminator franchise). His formal qualifications include First Class Honours degrees in Arts and Law, and separate PhDs in philosophy and English literature. Dr Blackford is editor-in-chief of The Journal …

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Ben Blanchard


Ben is an organizer and activist best known for his service work through the Pathfinders Project, a yearlong international service trip sponsored by Foundation Beyond Belief. The Pathfinders supported clean water, education, human rights, and environmental conservation work around in eight countries the globe, as well as providing the framework for the Humanist Service Corps. …

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Rob Boston


Rob Boston is director of communications for Americans United for Separation of Church and State and also serves as assistant editor of AU’s monthly magazine Church & State. Boston is the author of four books: Taking Liberties: Why Religious Freedom Doesn’t Give You The Right To Tell Other People What To Do (Prometheus Books, 2014), Why the Religious …

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Ed Brayton


After spending several years touring the country as a stand up comedian, Ed Brayton tired of explaining his jokes to small groups of dazed illiterates and turned to writing as the most common outlet for the voices in his head. He is now the owner of the popular blog, Dispatches from the Culture Wars. He has appeared …

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Ed Buckner


Ed Buckner received his B.A. from Rice University in 1967 and his M. Ed. and Ph.D. from Georgia State University. He has edited Freethought Press books by Massimo Pigliucci, Keith Parsons, Carol Faulkenberry, and Edwin Kagin. With his wife Diane, he co-edited freethinker and retired FBI agent Oliver G. Halle’s Taking the Harder Right. With his …

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Diane Burkholder


Diane Burkholder is a cisgender, queer, mixed race, Black feminist community organizer who has lived in Kansas City since 2011, via South Dakota and California. Her education is in sociology (CSU-Long Beach) and Ethnic Studies (San Francisco State University). She’s a co-founder of One-Struggle KC, a coalition of Kansas City activists seeking to connect the struggles …

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Christopher Cameron


Christopher Cameron is Associate Professor of History at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. He received his M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and is the author of To Plead Our Own Cause: African Americans in Massachusetts and the Making of the Antislavery Movement (Kent State University Press, …

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Greta Christina


Greta Christina has been writing professionally since 1989, on topics including atheism, sexuality and sex-positivity, LGBT issues, politics, culture, and whatever crosses her mind. She is author of The Way of the Heathen: Practicing Atheism in Everyday Life; of Comforting Thoughts About Death That Have Nothing to Do with God; of Coming Out Atheist: How to Do It, How …

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Doug Cowan


Doug Cowan is a professor of Religious Studies at Renison University College at the University of Waterloo, and specializes in religion and film, television, and popular culture. Lately, he has become particularly interested in the spiritual relationship we have with things, with the objects around us and with which we fill our lives. He has …

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Ryan Cragun


Born and raised in rural Utah, Ryan Cragun was raised Mormon. He was a devout Mormon – including serving as a Mormon missionary in Costa Rica – until 25 when his graduate training helped him turn a critical eye to his religion. He became a secular humanist shortly after leaving Mormonism. He completed his PhD …

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James Croft


James Croft is the Research and Education Fellow at the Humanist Community at Harvard, where he works on the Humanist Community Project, helping build communities for nonreligious people. He is a graduate of the Universities of Cambridge and Harvard, and is currently studying for his Doctorate in the philosophy of education at the Harvard Graduate …

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Heina Dadabhoy


Heina spent her childhood as a practicing Muslim who never in her right mind would have believed that she would grow up to be an atheist. She has been an active participant in atheist organizations and events in and around Orange County, CA since 2007. Her forthcoming book, A Skeptic’s Guide to Islam, represents her aim …

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Kevin Davis


Kevin Davis is a secular activist focused mainly on fighting back against the harms that aggressive indoctrination can cause, especially in public school settings. He’s the head writer and editor for SecularVoices, a Patheos blog, and is the co-founder and Executive Director of Young Skeptics, an elementary-level after school program for kids, focused on critical …

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Margaret Downey


Margaret Downey has had a prolific career in secular activism. Downey is the founder of the Freethought Society, Anti-Discrimination Support Network, Mentor Connection, Tree of Knowledge, Helping Hands Committee, and the Thomas Paine Memorial Committee. She is a past board member of the American Humanist Association, Scouting For All, The Humanist Institute, and the Thomas …

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Catherine Dunphy


Catherine Dunphy is the Associate Humanist Chaplain at the University of Toronto, a founding member of the Clergy Project, and its former acting Executive Director. She was trained as a Roman Catholic Chaplain and is currently writing a book, Apostle to Apostate, about the founding of the Clergy Project and her experience of losing her …

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JT Eberhard


As a student, JT Eberhard co-founded the Missouri State University Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, which became one of the nation’s largest and most active college skeptic groups within a year.  He would go on to lead the group for five years. He previously served as the High School Specialist with the Secular Student …

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Paul Fidalgo


Paul Fidalgo has been communications director of the Center for Inquiry since 2012. He holds a master’s degree in political management from George Washington University, and has worked previously for FairVote: The Center for Voting and Democracy and the Secular Coalition for America. Paul is also an actor and musician whose work includes five years …

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David Fitzgerald


David Fitzgerald has been called “one of the busiest atheist activists in the Bay Area.” In addition to serving on the board of San Francisco Atheists and CFI-SF, he has also been the Director/Co-Founder of both the world’s first Atheist Film Festival and Evolutionpalooza!, San Francisco’s oldest annual Darwin Day celebration. In addition, he is …

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Tom Flynn


Tom Flynn is Executive Director of The Council for Secular Humanism, Editor of Free Inquiry magazine, and Director of the Robert Green Ingersoll Birthplace Museum. A journalist, novelist, entertainer, and freethought historian, Flynn is the author of numerous articles and editorials for Free Inquiry magazine. He edited a massive reference work, The New Encyclopedia of Unbelief, in …

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Vyckie Garrison


Vyckie Garrison was once a prominent member of the Quiverfull community, a rapidly growing Christian fundamentalist movement that bans birth control and encourages huge, “Biblical families” such as the Duggar Family of TLC’s 19 and Counting fame. Garrison edited and published a Christian “pro-life, pro-family” newspaper for 16+ years in northeast Nebraska while home-churching, home birthing, …

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Noelle George


Noelle George is a secular activist who grew up in Seattle and studied chemical engineering at the University of Washington. She didn’t become passionate about secular activism until she moved to Houston, TX in 2004 and was often asked, “Where do you go to church?” Noelle moved to Houston to work for a Fortune 500 …

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Candace Gorham


Candace received her Bachelor’s degree in Secondary English Education from North Carolina Central University. She received her Master’s degree in mental health counseling from Wake Forest University. Candace’s religious background is varied, including Jehovah’s Witnesses and Methodist. At 18, she joined a very charismatic ministry during which time she was ordained as an evangelist, prophetess, …

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Victor Harris


Victor Harris has been a staple on the Bay Area poetry scene for the past twelve years, featuring at various venues in Oakland and Berkeley, he was on the finals stage in Oakland in 2003. He is the recipient of the 2001 Frederic C Fallon Award for poetry from Chabot College, and a 2006 graduate …

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Mark D. Hatcher


Mark D. Hatcher is a PhD candidate of Neurophysiology at Howard University and CFO of Black Atheists of America. He started Secular Students of Howard University (SSHU). SSHU is the first officially recognized secular organization to be held at a historically black college or university. Mark has given talks for the Center for Inquiry, The …

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Jim Helton


After attending the 2012 Reason Rally, Jim G. Helton co-founded the Tri-State Freethinkers and was appointed American Atheists’ Kentucky State Director. Under his leadership, Tri-State Freethinkers adopted the highway in front of the Creation Museum and Ark Encounter and led a protest that received international attention. He played a key role in eliminating Gideon’s bible …

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George Hrab


Multi-instrumentalist, singer, songwriter, producer, composer, and heliocentrist George Hrab has written and produced six independent CDs; published one book; recorded hundreds of episodes of an award winning podcast; and even performed for President Clinton- all in a personal quest to improve his audience’s cognitive skills by reaching them through their funny bones and dance shoes. …

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Roger Scott Jackson


Roger Scott Jackson is a lecturer and orator in the classic tradition (but with profanity). A former reporter and editor, he has worked at dozens of jobs, including stints teaching speech, debate, and English. A longtime amateur historian, he combines his passion and skill in a series of lectures on two historic orators of particular …

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Douglas Jesseph


Douglas M. Jesseph holds a Ph.D. in philosophy from Princeton University.  Previously a professor of philosophy at North Carolina State University, Dr. Jesseph currently teaches at the University of South Florida in Tampa.  His research and publication are concerned with issues in the history and philosophy of mathematics, but he also has a keen interest …

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Chris Johnson


Chris Johnson is a New York-based photographer and filmmaker. He received his undergraduate degree in film production (along with a minor in religious studies) from Concordia University in Montreal, Quebec. His photography has been seen in various outlets, including The New York Times. He is the author of the coffee table photography book, A Better Life: 100 …

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Alix Jules


Alix Jules is a secular activist in the Dallas–Ft. Worth area who is commonly involved in issues and topics regarding the role of diversity in the atheist community as well as atheism in diverse communities. He chairs the Dallas–Fort Worth Coalition of Reason’s Diversity Council and is a founding member and presiding Historian for the …

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Lauren Lane


Lauren Lane is a Founder and the President of Skepticon, a national conference located annually in Springfield, MO that promotes skepticism, science education and community building. During her tenure as an undergraduate, Lauren held various leadership positions in the Missouri State University Chapter of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, a secular student group that revolutionized student activism. …

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Stephen Law


Stephen Law is Reader in Philosophy at Heythrop College and Head of the Center for Inquiry in the UK. He has published many introductory philosophy books, including books for children. His popular books include The Philosophy Gym: 25 Short Adventures in Thinking and The Complete Philosophy Files (for children). Stephen is a well-known humanist and atheist. He wrote the …

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Ronald A. Lindsay


Ronald A. Lindsay, J.D., Ph.D. is by training and experience both a lawyer and a philosopher. An honors graduate of the University of Virginia School of Law, he practiced for twenty-six years with the national law firm of Seyfarth Shaw LLP prior to joining the Center for Inquiry, where he served as president & CEO …

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Eric Maisel


Eric Maisel, Ph.D., is the author of more than fifty books. His books include The Future of Mental Health, Humane Helping, and 60 Innovative Cognitive Strategies for the Smart, the Sensitive and the Creative with Routledge, Rethinking Depression, Life Purpose Boot Camp, Overcoming Your Difficult Family, Coaching the Artist Within, The Van Gogh Blues, Mastering …

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Marissa Alexa McCool


Marissa Alexa McCool, 32, is a podcaster, author, performer, speaker, ​and an LGBT rights/atheist activist. She’s a trans woman, married, partnered, and a parent. Born in Akron, Ohio and currently residing in Saint Paul, Minnesota with her family, she graduated the University of Pennsylvania in 2017 with degrees in English, Cinema and Media Studies, and …

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Dale McGowan


Dale McGowan double-majored in music and evolutionary anthropology at UC Berkeley and taught interdisciplinary courses centered on writing and critical thinking at the college level, as well as music theory and music history. As a writer, Dale has variously focused on science, parenting, and the interface between religious belief and unbelief. His books include Sharing Reality: How …

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Maryam Namazie


Maryam Namazie is an Iranian-born writer and activist. She is the Spokesperson for Fitnah – Movement for Women’s Liberation, One Law for All and the Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain. She hosts a weekly television programme in Persian and English called  Bread and Roses. She is on the International Advisory Board of the Raif Badawi …

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Andy Norman


Andy Norman teaches philosophy and directs the Humanism Initiative at Carnegie Mellon University. He’s a dynamic presenter who likes to challenge audiences to think hard about reason and faith, science and spirituality, and the natural foundations of ethics. Andy authored the popular “Brainstormin’” column for the Humanist Network News, and works at understanding how ideologies corrupt …

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Nate Phelps


Nate Phelps is the son of Pastor Fred Phelps of the Westboro Baptist Church, which gained infamy from their protests at soldiers’ funerals around the United States. He is the sixth of thirteen children, and was taught his father’s extreme version of Calvinism from an early age. This was accompanied by extreme physical punishments and …

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Aron Ra


Aron Ra is the author of Foundational Falsehoods of Creationism, the host of the Ra-Men podcast, director of the Phylogeny Explorer Project, and a regional director for American Atheists. Aron is one of the “YouTube atheists” and an advocate for rationalism in science classrooms. His videos promoting secular science education have been mirrored, featured, referenced, and recommended by …

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Ian Robinson


Ian Robinson is President Emeritus of the Rationalist Society of Australia. He has been active in the Australian rationalist movement for more than forty years since as a student he became President of the University of Melbourne Rationalist Society back in 1967. He studied philosophy and history and philosophy of science at the University of …

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Andrew Seidel


Andrew Seidel is the Director of Strategic Response at the Freedom From Religion Foundation, where he fights to keep state and church separate. He regularly writes for Freethought Now!, and other popular outlets such as Friendly Atheist, Religion News Service, and ThinkProgress, and in more scholarly venues like Constitutional Studies and the Education Law & Policy Review. …

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David Smalley


David Smalley grew up Christian, but started to question his beliefs as a teenager. His questioning and seeking after the truth led to his atheism and now he is the host of the podcast and radio show Dogma Debate and the founder of Secular Media Group, LLC. David is a secular humanist activist and works toward the goals …

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Kylie Sturgess


Kylie Sturgess is the President of the Atheist Foundation of Australia and an award-winning Philosophy teacher with over ten years experience in education. She has lectured on teaching critical thinking, feminism, new media and anomalistic beliefs worldwide, and regularly writes editorial for numerous publications. In 2011, she was the winner of the Best Individual Activist …

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John Suarez


Dr. John M. Suarez is a retired Professor of Psychiatry at UCLA, and the founder and director of the Section on Law and Psychiatry.  He is a lifelong social activist, concerned with Civil Rights, Social and Economic Justice, the Environment, Public Education and the First Amendment.  He is on the Board of Trustees of Americans …

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Edward Tabash


Edward Tabash is a Constitutional Lawyer in Los Angeles and Chair of the Board of Directors of the Center for Inquiry. He has filed amicus briefs arguing for the preservation of the separation of church and state with the United States Supreme Court and the California Supreme Court. Mr. Tabash graduated Magna Cum Laude with …

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Robert Talisse


Robert Talisse is W. Alton Jones Professor of Philosophy, Professor of Political Science, and Chair of the Philosophy Department at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee. He holds a Ph.D. in philosophy from City University of New York Graduate School. Professor Talisse has published widely on political philosophy, ethics, and American pragmatism.  His current research focuses on …

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Mandisa Thomas


Mandisa Thomas is a founder and President of Black Nonbelievers, Inc. Although never formally indoctrinated into belief, Mandisa was heavily exposed to Christianity, Black Nationalism and a bit of Islam. As a child she loved reading, and enjoyed various tales of Gods from different cultures, including Greek and Ghanaian. “Through reading these stories and being …

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Gleb Tsipursky


Dr. Gleb Tsipursky is passionate about promoting truth-oriented behavior, rational thinking, and wise decision-making. He serves as the President of Intentional Insights, a nonprofit devoted to popularizing these topics. Its main current focus is the Pro-Truth Pledge, a project that aims to reverse the tide of lies and promote truth in public discourse through combining …

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Gretta Vosper

Canadian Centre for Progressive Christianity · Toronto, Ontario
Topics: Atheism & Secularism, Philosophy, Religion
Subtopics: Ethics & morality, Meaning of life

Named one of 2009’s Most Compelling Women in Canada by More Magazine, Gretta Vosper has been in the spotlight since founding the Canadian Centre for Progressive Christianity in 2004.  Her national bestselling book, With or Without God: Why the Way We Live is More Important that What We Believe, quickly became a national bestseller and attracted media …

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Judith B. Walker


Judith Walker is a graduate of Wellesley College with a degree in sociology and anthropology. She earned her JD from the University of Colorado School of Law and served as an Assistant Colorado Attorney General in the Higher Education Unit representing Colorado state institutions of higher education. She joined the University of Colorado Foundation in …

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Kayley Whalen


Kayley Whalen is an activist who works at the intersections of humanism, racial justice, transgender and queer issues, immigration, disability advocacy and drug policy reform. She is the Digital Strategies and Social Media Manager at the National LGBTQ Task Force and the Digital Strategy Co-Director at Trans United Fund. She is multi-racial Latina/white. She skated with the DC …

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Phil Zuckerman


Phil Zuckerman is a professor of sociology and the founder of the secular studies program at Pitzer College, in Claremont, California. He is the author of several books on secularity, including The Nonreligious (Oxford, 2016), Living the Secular Life (Penguin, 2015), Faith No More: Why People Reject Religion (Oxford, 2011), and Society Without God (NYU, 2008). He has also edited several books, …

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Stephanie Zvan


Stephanie Zvan is the producer of the American Humanist Association’s podcast, The Humanist Hour, and a host and interviewer for Minnesota Atheists’ radio show, Atheists Talk. She is one of the founders of Secular Women Work, which provides activist training (for all genders) through conferences and workshops. She’s been educating audiences in science and skepticism …

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