Student leaders from all across North America are hoping to attend our 2013 Student Leadership Conference at CFI–Transnational. At the Center for Inquiry, we believe it’s important for young activists to learn from experienced leaders who have been involved in grassroots outreach and organizing for decades. However, many students lack the resources they need to cover the full cost of travel this summer.
Last year, I met Dylan Garcia at our Student Leadership Conference. Since then, his group has impacted many new people in their community. Read Dylan’s letter below to learn how the conference inspired and equipped him and his group to make a difference on his campus. Then please give what you can so that more student leaders like Dylan can attend our leadership conference.
Thank you for investing in the future of our movement.
Campus & Community Organizer
Center for Inquiry
I was first enticed by the 2012 CFI Leadership Conference logo’s rainbow of ideas that CFI supports and is engaged in, sporting words like secularism, science and skepticism (which just so happen to be my three favorite 'S' words).
Even though I was a student activist from a group in Southern California, I was fortunate enough to receive a travel grant to attend this conference 2,500 miles away in Amherst, New York, where I met people from all over the country—and even international activists. The Center for Inquiry gave several key members of Titans for Reason at Cal State Fullerton a chance to learn about social and political activism on a more grandiose scale, by inviting us to New York.
The bulk of this meeting of the minds was expressed in presentations, lectures and workshops, some in a more formal style, others looser and more interactive. It was great to meet other student leaders who were either new to the movement or had been involved for some time. We were able to bounce ideas off each other and learn how to be more effective on and off campus. During this short weekend, my view on just how large and diverse this community is grew.
Movement veterans like Joe Nickell and Tom Flynn were on an opening panel to shed some light on the positive value of the Center for Inquiry and other organizations working for secularism. There were also other big name secularists such as Elizabeth Cornwell and James Croft who expressed the art of communication and how to use it effectively.
Of all the inspirational presentations, I have to give it up for Debbie Goddard and Lauren Becker. Debbie gave a presentation on secularism concerning international affairs. She expressed the hardships that some of the world's true heroes have endured for standing up for secular rights in areas where governments have strong religious ties. To wrap up the conference, Lauren gave a magnificent and awe-inspiring presentation about humanity’s place in the natural world and why advocating for science and reason is so important. This is very near and dear to me, as I too hope to be a communicator of science and tie it to freethinking and humanism.
This four day endeavor was absolutely amazing, and I'm convinced that I am not the only one who stepped away from this event with a better understanding of the importance of the secular movement.
Titans for Reason, Cal State Fullerton
CFI On Campus has been training students to be leaders in the secular movement for over fifteen years. If you would like to help more students attend this year's leadership conference, please donate today. Thank you!