reason for change: leadership conference - july 24-27, 2014 - amherst, ny - cfileadership.org

speakers

Sihu Song is the founder and past president of Freethinkers KAIST (Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology). He is currently pursuing a master’s in History and Philosophy of Science in Seoul National University.

Sihu Song is the founder and past president of Freethinkers KAIST (Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology). He is currently pursuing a master’s in History and Philosophy of Science in Seoul National University.

Paul Fidalgo is communications director of the Center for Inquiry, and previously led communications for the Secular Coalition for America and FairVote: the Center for Voting and Democracy. He holds a master’s degree in political management from George Washington University, where his master’s thesis was on atheists in American politics. Paul is also an actor and musician whose work includes five years performing with the American Shakespeare Center. He lives in Maine with his wife Jessica and children Toby and Phoebe. His personal blog is Near-Earth Object

Paul Fidalgo is communications director of the Center for Inquiry, and previously led communications for the Secular Coalition for America and FairVote: the Center for Voting and Democracy. He holds a master’s degree in political management from George Washington University, where his master’s thesis was on atheists in American politics. Paul is also an actor and musician whose work includes five years performing with the American Shakespeare Center. He lives in Maine with his wife Jessica and children Toby and Phoebe. His personal blog is Near-Earth Object

Sergio De Lara has been volunteering and working with several non-profits for almost a decade. These include two organizations which he co-founded, that focus on sustainability and community-building. Growing up in an irreligious household within Catholic Mexico provided him with many interesting experiences and insights. Now in based in Toronto, he is leveraging his experience and expertise to develop the community and advance CFIC’s mission locally and nationally. He is a proud and committed environmentalist, humanist, atheist and feminist.

Sergio De Lara has been volunteering and working with several non-profits for almost a decade. These include two organizations which he co-founded, that focus on sustainability and community-building. Growing up in an irreligious household within Catholic Mexico provided him with many interesting experiences and insights. Now in based in Toronto, he is leveraging his experience and expertise to develop the community and advance CFIC’s mission locally and nationally. He is a proud and committed environmentalist, humanist, atheist and feminist.

Eric Adriaans, a resident of Southwestern Ontario, joined CFI Canada as the National Executive Director in March 2014.  As a charitable sector professional, Eric has worked and volunteered for many of Canada’s best recognized charitable agencies.  Dedicated to lifelong learning, Eric obtained a B.A. (Psychology and English) from Carleton University and is currently enrolled in Athabasca University’s Legislative Drafting and Seneca College’s Paralegal programs.

Eric Adriaans, a resident of Southwestern Ontario, joined CFI Canada as the National Executive Director in March 2014.  As a charitable sector professional, Eric has worked and volunteered for many of Canada’s best recognized charitable agencies.  Dedicated to lifelong learning, Eric obtained a B.A. (Psychology and English) from Carleton University and is currently enrolled in Athabasca University’s Legislative Drafting and Seneca College’s Paralegal programs.

Lindsay Beyerstein is an investigative journalist in Brooklyn, New York. Her reporting has appeared in Slate, The Columbia Journalism Review, Newsweek, Al Jazeera America, The New Republic, and other publications. Her photography has appeared The Wall Street Journal, the New York Times’ City Blog, and other outlets. She is the co-host of Point of Inquiry, a radio show and podcast produced by the Center for Inquiry. She is the lead writer at the Sidney Hillman Foundation, a non-profit dedicated to honoring excellence in socially conscious journalism.

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Marcus Thompson is a senior at Phillips Academy, Andover and a lifelong atheist from Manchester, Massachusetts. At Andover, he is the president of the Democrats Club, Vice President of Model UN, and founder of the Andover Atheist Society, once rejected and still yet to be approved by Andover’s administration. He has led local campaign activities for Senator Elizabeth Warren and interned in her Boston office. Marcus’ interests include politics, history, and international relations. In his free time he enjoys playing squash and listening to classical music.

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Isaiah Smith is a human rights activist and is the founder of the Universal Human and Civil Rights Union (UHCRU), as well as his own political campaign. At 19 years old, he is currently a fully time correctional officer in a Texas prison and is about to start school in the fall as a full time student. He is dedicated to becoming an attorney and a politician in the future. Isaiah has over 80 online news articles about him for standing up for things that he believes in, such as gay rights and the separation of church and state.

Sarah Levin is the Outreach Coordinator at the Secular Coalition for America. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in International Studies at American University, where she served as the self-described “majority whip” for the American University’s Secular Student Alliance affiliate, AU Rationalists and Atheists. She loves to travel and has backpacked solo through eight countries, most recently in Brazil for the World Cup. 

Sarah Levin is the Outreach Coordinator at the Secular Coalition for America. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in International Studies at American University, where she served as the self-described “majority whip” for the American University’s Secular Student Alliance affiliate, AU Rationalists and Atheists. She loves to travel and has backpacked solo through eight countries, most recently in Brazil for the World Cup. 

Jordan Balderas is a recent graduate of North Shore Senior High School in Houston, Texas. The majority of his senior year was spent attempting to start a secular group known as Youth For Truth. He now spends his time preparing the student leaders for the upcoming school year, in order for the group to keep functioning. Once the group grows out of its infancy, he hopes to get the group more involved in activism and humanitarian work. 

Jordan Balderas is a recent graduate of North Shore Senior High School in Houston, Texas. The majority of his senior year was spent attempting to start a secular group known as Youth For Truth. He now spends his time preparing the student leaders for the upcoming school year, in order for the group to keep functioning. Once the group grows out of its infancy, he hopes to get the group more involved in activism and humanitarian work. 

Leighann Lord was the New York City face of the African Americans for Humanism Outreach Campaign sponsored by the Center for Inquiry. She was featured in The Atheist Book: A Better Life by Chris Johnson. Leighann is the co-host of the weekly podcast Skeptiles and can be heard on StarTalk Radio with Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson. Her stand-up has been seen on: Lifetime, VH-1, Comedy Central, HBO & The View and she performed at CFI’s Women in Secularism III.
Curious? Want to learn more? Visit cfileadership.org to find out about our conference for leaders in the skeptic and freethought movements, taking place July 24-27, 2014.

Leighann Lord was the New York City face of the African Americans for Humanism Outreach Campaign sponsored by the Center for Inquiry. She was featured in The Atheist Book: A Better Life by Chris Johnson. Leighann is the co-host of the weekly podcast Skeptiles and can be heard on StarTalk Radio with Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson. Her stand-up has been seen on: Lifetime, VH-1, Comedy Central, HBO & The View and she performed at CFI’s Women in Secularism III.

Curious? Want to learn more? Visit cfileadership.org to find out about our conference for leaders in the skeptic and freethought movements, taking place July 24-27, 2014.
Michael Cardus has a focused expertise on leadership, organization development and team building, working with a variety of businesses, teams and individuals. He is frequently asked to create pragmatic solutions to address the development of high performance teams, retention of talent, innovation of product and profit streams, interpersonal and intergroup conflict, coaching of leaders, and development of systems to drive trust attracting behaviors and development of skilled knowledge to increase organizational and personal effectiveness. Working primarily with teams and management within these organizations, his role has been to coach, counsel, facilitate and conduct focused group work. He has been involved with CFI Camp Inquiry since 2009, has a love for philosophy and skeptical discourse, and wishes he was taller. 
Curious? Want to learn more? Visit cfileadership.org to find out about our conference for leaders in the skeptic and freethought movements, taking place July 24-27, 2014.

Michael Cardus has a focused expertise on leadership, organization development and team building, working with a variety of businesses, teams and individuals. He is frequently asked to create pragmatic solutions to address the development of high performance teams, retention of talent, innovation of product and profit streams, interpersonal and intergroup conflict, coaching of leaders, and development of systems to drive trust attracting behaviors and development of skilled knowledge to increase organizational and personal effectiveness. Working primarily with teams and management within these organizations, his role has been to coach, counsel, facilitate and conduct focused group work. He has been involved with CFI Camp Inquiry since 2009, has a love for philosophy and skeptical discourse, and wishes he was taller. 

Curious? Want to learn more? Visit cfileadership.org to find out about our conference for leaders in the skeptic and freethought movements, taking place July 24-27, 2014.
Jennifer Beahan is Assistant Director of 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 for CFI she teaches private music lessons on piano and woodwinds. Prior to being hired as the Assistant Director, Jennifer volunteered at CFI-Michigan for 4 years and was the editor of a quarterly newsletter, assisted in Long-Term planning and founded several ongoing programs at CFI–Michigan.
Curious? Want to learn more? Visit cfileadership.org to find out about our conference for leaders in the skeptic and freethought movements, taking place July 24-27, 2014.

Jennifer Beahan is Assistant Director of 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 for CFI she teaches private music lessons on piano and woodwinds. Prior to being hired as the Assistant Director, Jennifer volunteered at CFI-Michigan for 4 years and was the editor of a quarterly newsletter, assisted in Long-Term planning and founded several ongoing programs at CFI–Michigan.

Curious? Want to learn more? Visit cfileadership.org to find out about our conference for leaders in the skeptic and freethought movements, taking place July 24-27, 2014.
James Croft is a Humanist activist and public speaker who has swiftly become one of the best-known new faces in Humanism today. He is a graduate of the Universities of Cambridge and Harvard, and is currently studying for his Doctorate at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.  As a leader in training in the Ethical Culture movement – a national movement of Humanist congregations – he is an in-demand public speaker, an engaging teacher, and a passionate activist for human rights. James was raised on Shakespeare, Sagan and Star Trek, and is a proud, gay Humanist. His upcoming book “The Godless Congregation”, co-authored with New York Times bestselling author Greg Epstein, is being published by Simon & Schuster.

James Croft is a Humanist activist and public speaker who has swiftly become one of the best-known new faces in Humanism today. He is a graduate of the Universities of Cambridge and Harvard, and is currently studying for his Doctorate at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.  As a leader in training in the Ethical Culture movement – a national movement of Humanist congregations – he is an in-demand public speaker, an engaging teacher, and a passionate activist for human rights. James was raised on Shakespeare, Sagan and Star Trek, and is a proud, gay Humanist. His upcoming book “The Godless Congregation”, co-authored with New York Times bestselling author Greg Epstein, is being published by Simon & Schuster.

Jesse Markus is a board member of the Center For Inquiry–Portland. Along with Sarah Kaiser of CFI–Western New York, he helps coordinate the Freethought Books Project, which sends secular literature to freethinkers in prison. He currently studies linguistics at Portland State University. 

Jesse Markus is a board member of the Center For Inquiry–Portland. Along with Sarah Kaiser of CFI–Western New York, he helps coordinate the Freethought Books Project, which sends secular literature to freethinkers in prison. He currently studies linguistics at Portland State University. 

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 has been president and CEO since June 2008. Dr. Lindsay has spoken before numerous audiences and has appeared on radio and television to discuss issues in bioethics and constitutional law controversies.

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 has been president and CEO since June 2008. Dr. Lindsay has spoken before numerous audiences and has appeared on radio and television to discuss issues in bioethics and constitutional law controversies.

Julie Mankowski is co-founder and ex-President of George Washington University’s Secular Society, which was last year’s recipient of CFI’s Best New Group Award. She currently serves as its Treasurer. In her tenure as President, she helped bring Richard Dawkins, PZ Myers, Nathan Phelps, and other prominent speakers to GWU. She has been featured on the Humanist Hour Podcast, was the second place winner of the 2013 American Atheists Scholarship, and has occasionally written pieces on CFI On Campus’s The Course of Reason blog. 

Julie Mankowski is co-founder and ex-President of George Washington University’s Secular Society, which was last year’s recipient of CFI’s Best New Group Award. She currently serves as its Treasurer. In her tenure as President, she helped bring Richard Dawkins, PZ Myers, Nathan Phelps, and other prominent speakers to GWU. She has been featured on the Humanist Hour Podcast, was the second place winner of the 2013 American Atheists Scholarship, and has occasionally written pieces on CFI On Campus’s The Course of Reason blog. 

Stef McGraw is a campus and community organizer at CFI and has degrees in philosophy and Spanish from the University of Northern Iowa. She spent four years on the executive team of the UNI Freethinkers and Inquirers, which in that time became one of the most successful and active groups on campus. In addition to her experience at UNIFI, Stef served as the Speaker of the Senate for the Northern Iowa Student Government, and was active in LGBT rights and other progressive causes in Iowa.
Curious? Want to learn more? Visit cfileadership.org to find out about our conference for leaders in the skeptic and freethought movements, taking place July 24-27, 2014.

Stef McGraw is a campus and community organizer at CFI and has degrees in philosophy and Spanish from the University of Northern Iowa. She spent four years on the executive team of the UNI Freethinkers and Inquirers, which in that time became one of the most successful and active groups on campus. In addition to her experience at UNIFI, Stef served as the Speaker of the Senate for the Northern Iowa Student Government, and was active in LGBT rights and other progressive causes in Iowa.

Curious? Want to learn more? Visit cfileadership.org to find out about our conference for leaders in the skeptic and freethought movements, taking place July 24-27, 2014.
Desiree Schell is the host of Science for the People, a syndicated radio show and podcast that broadcasts across North America. The program explores the connections between science, popular culture, history and public policy, to help listeners understand the evidence and arguments behind what’s in the news and on the shelves. In her day job as the Senior Organizing Advisor of a public sector union, Desiree creates and implements various kinds of activist campaigns, and helps others be more effective in their own efforts.
Curious? Want to learn more? Visit cfileadership.org to find out about our conference for leaders in the skeptic and freethought movements, taking place July 24-27, 2014.

Desiree Schell is the host of Science for the People, a syndicated radio show and podcast that broadcasts across North America. The program explores the connections between science, popular culture, history and public policy, to help listeners understand the evidence and arguments behind what’s in the news and on the shelves. In her day job as the Senior Organizing Advisor of a public sector union, Desiree creates and implements various kinds of activist campaigns, and helps others be more effective in their own efforts.

Curious? Want to learn more? Visit cfileadership.org to find out about our conference for leaders in the skeptic and freethought movements, taking place July 24-27, 2014.
Edward Tabash is the chair of the board of directors for the Center for Inquiry. He is a Constitutional Lawyer and Chair of the National Legal Committee for Americans United for Separation of Church and State, as well as the Honorary Chair of CFI–Los Angeles, and Chair of the First Amendment Task Force of the Council for Secular Humanism. He serves on the Board of Directors for the Council for Secular Humanism. 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.
Curious? Want to learn more? Visit cfileadership.org to find out about our conference for leaders in the skeptic and freethought movements, taking place July 24-27, 2014.

Edward Tabash is the chair of the board of directors for the Center for Inquiry. He is a Constitutional Lawyer and Chair of the National Legal Committee for Americans United for Separation of Church and State, as well as the Honorary Chair of CFI–Los Angeles, and Chair of the First Amendment Task Force of the Council for Secular Humanism. He serves on the Board of Directors for the Council for Secular Humanism. 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.

Curious? Want to learn more? Visit cfileadership.org to find out about our conference for leaders in the skeptic and freethought movements, taking place July 24-27, 2014.
Ben Blanchard is just returning from the Pathfinders Project, a year-long international humanist service project. He is a biomedical major at St. Cloud State University, serving as president of SSA-SCSU as well as VNC for the UpperMidWest Network for the National SSA. Ben aspires to create plastic-eating fungus, help the alleged witches of africa, then become a pediatric oncologist. In his free time, he enjoys absorbing knowledge, friendly debates, doing science, and amassing nerd-cred.
Curious? Want to learn more? Visit cfileadership.org to find out about our conference for leaders in the skeptic and freethought movements, taking place July 24-27, 2014.

Ben Blanchard is just returning from the Pathfinders Project, a year-long international humanist service project. He is a biomedical major at St. Cloud State University, serving as president of SSA-SCSU as well as VNC for the UpperMidWest Network for the National SSA. Ben aspires to create plastic-eating fungus, help the alleged witches of africa, then become a pediatric oncologist. In his free time, he enjoys absorbing knowledge, friendly debates, doing science, and amassing nerd-cred.

Curious? Want to learn more? Visit cfileadership.org to find out about our conference for leaders in the skeptic and freethought movements, taking place July 24-27, 2014.
Benjamin Cook is majoring in political philosophy and ethics at American University. He is the outreach coordinator for the American University Humanist Community. He is fascinated with science, and is a strong advocate of using reason and skepticism when examining the world. He loves working in the humanist and atheist community, and making an impact.
Curious? Want to learn more? Visit cfileadership.org to find out about our conference for leaders in the skeptic and freethought movements, taking place July 24-27, 2014.

Benjamin Cook is majoring in political philosophy and ethics at American University. He is the outreach coordinator for the American University Humanist Community. He is fascinated with science, and is a strong advocate of using reason and skepticism when examining the world. He loves working in the humanist and atheist community, and making an impact.

Curious? Want to learn more? Visit cfileadership.org to find out about our conference for leaders in the skeptic and freethought movements, taking place July 24-27, 2014.
Sarah Kaiser is a campus and community organizer at the Center for Inquiry. Prior to her work at CFI, she got her start in the freethought movement as the co-founder and president of the Secular Alliance at Indiana University, where she helped organize a nationally recognized atheist bus ad campaign and large campus speaking events. As an atheist, a feminist, and a small part of the universe’s way of understanding itself, she is thrilled to have the chance to help advance CFI’s mission.
Curious? Want to learn more? Visit cfileadership.org to find out about our conference for leaders in the skeptic and freethought movements, taking place July 24-27, 2014.

Sarah Kaiser is a campus and community organizer at the Center for Inquiry. Prior to her work at CFI, she got her start in the freethought movement as the co-founder and president of the Secular Alliance at Indiana University, where she helped organize a nationally recognized atheist bus ad campaign and large campus speaking events. As an atheist, a feminist, and a small part of the universe’s way of understanding itself, she is thrilled to have the chance to help advance CFI’s mission.

Curious? Want to learn more? Visit cfileadership.org to find out about our conference for leaders in the skeptic and freethought movements, taking place July 24-27, 2014.
 Michael De Dora is director of the Center for Inquiry’s Office of Public Policy and the organization’s representative to the United Nations. Michael received a master’s degree in political theory from Brooklyn College, and a bachelor’s degree in rhetoric and communication from SUNY–Albany.
Curious? Want to learn more? Visit cfileadership.org to find out about our conference for leaders in the skeptic and freethought movements, taking place July 24-27, 2014.

Michael De Dora is director of the Center for Inquiry’s Office of Public Policy and the organization’s representative to the United Nations. Michael received a master’s degree in political theory from Brooklyn College, and a bachelor’s degree in rhetoric and communication from SUNY–Albany.

Curious? Want to learn more? Visit cfileadership.org to find out about our conference for leaders in the skeptic and freethought movements, taking place July 24-27, 2014.
Max Nielson is a rising junior at the College of Charleston, majoring in Political Science and Economics. He got his start in freethought activism in 2012 when the FFRF helped him to challenge a graduation prayer at his public high school. Currently, Max runs the Secular Student Alliance at the College of Charleston and works as the social media specialist for the Secular Coalition for America.
Curious? Want to learn more? Visit cfileadership.org to find out about our conference for leaders in the skeptic and freethought movements, taking place July 24-27, 2014.

Max Nielson is a rising junior at the College of Charleston, majoring in Political Science and Economics. He got his start in freethought activism in 2012 when the FFRF helped him to challenge a graduation prayer at his public high school. Currently, Max runs the Secular Student Alliance at the College of Charleston and works as the social media specialist for the Secular Coalition for America.

Curious? Want to learn more? Visit cfileadership.org to find out about our conference for leaders in the skeptic and freethought movements, taking place July 24-27, 2014.
Cody Hashman is a campus and community organizer at the Center for Inquiry. Before working for CFI, he was founder and president of the University of Northern Iowa Freethinkers and Inquirers. As UNIFI president, he organized the first ever Darwin Week, participated in and helped organize a monthly interfaith dialogue event called “Grab a Brew, Share Your View,” and coordinated an extensive set of intellectual and social events that helped UNIFI establish itself as a very successful group on campus.
Curious? Want to learn more? Visit cfileadership.org to find out about our conference for leaders in the skeptic and freethought movements, taking place July 24-27, 2014.

Cody Hashman is a campus and community organizer at the Center for Inquiry. Before working for CFI, he was founder and president of the University of Northern Iowa Freethinkers and Inquirers. As UNIFI president, he organized the first ever Darwin Week, participated in and helped organize a monthly interfaith dialogue event called “Grab a Brew, Share Your View,” and coordinated an extensive set of intellectual and social events that helped UNIFI establish itself as a very successful group on campus.

Curious? Want to learn more? Visit cfileadership.org to find out about our conference for leaders in the skeptic and freethought movements, taking place July 24-27, 2014.
Debbie Goddard is the director of outreach at the Center for Inquiry and the director of African Americans for Humanism, a program of the Council for Secular Humanism. Before working for CFI, she participated in local freethought groups in the greater Philadelphia region and helped organize and support campus groups internationally as a volunteer. She has also been involved with LGBTQ issues and progressive activism.
Curious? Want to learn more? Visit cfileadership.org to find out about our conference for leaders in the skeptic and freethought movements, taking place July 24-27, 2014.

Debbie Goddard is the director of outreach at the Center for Inquiry and the director of African Americans for Humanism, a program of the Council for Secular Humanism. Before working for CFI, she participated in local freethought groups in the greater Philadelphia region and helped organize and support campus groups internationally as a volunteer. She has also been involved with LGBTQ issues and progressive activism.

Curious? Want to learn more? Visit cfileadership.org to find out about our conference for leaders in the skeptic and freethought movements, taking place July 24-27, 2014.