Atheist Pride Day
|Planning Time||4 to 6 weeks|
|Staff #||All members|
|Event Date||March 20th / |
Activity Overview: On this day (celebrated March 20, 2009), atheists seek to let the world know that we exist. Because we are often demonized and marginalized, in much the same way as sexual minorities, simply asserting our identities as nonbelievers can do much to overturn stereotypes, and help others who privately doubt religion. While the aim is visibility, the number of participants is less critical than is the ability to get people to publicly admit their lack of faith.
Planning timeframe: Although you want to build up a head of steam and get people excited about this, getting too involved too early can lead to a decline of interest by the time of the holiday. While you'll want to start planning it four to six weeks in advance, you'll only want to begin aggressively promoting it one or two weeks ahead.
Coordinating: This depends on what your group plans for that day. To get people to wear atheist 'scarlet As' and other symbols of non-belief, you'll need to coordinate an advertising campaign and a way for people to get atheist gear. Promotion can be aggressive or muted - this may depend, for instance, on whether there is an environment of hostility towards nonbelievers in your area. 1 or 2 people can get identifiers for your members and a limited number of other promotional items for non-members. Most importantly, you want as many people as possible openly identifying on pride day - this means going beyond your membership, perhaps even to faculty and staff.
Material requirements: Buttons, stickers, and other doodads are a great and relatively cheap way to signify. T-shirts are also great, but more expensive. Look at the OUT campaign for promotional items and ideas; they may be able to give discounts to student groups.
You can promote pride day through signs and fliers. If you face a lot of hostility, it may be best to hold off on displaying these until the day of the event, so as not to make a target of yourself.
- Decide amongst your group how aggressively to promote pride day. Again, this depends on the temperament of your group and the attitude towards nonbelievers in your area.
- Even if you want a loud and proud campaign, intolerance should not be tolerated. Caution your group members against being anti-religious.
- Designate coordinators to order gear for your group. If you think you can sell pride day gear to non-members, you may want to consider a merchandise sale that day (refer to that activity packet).
- Facebook and other social-networking sites are a great way to promote pride day. In particular, you need to focus on getting people to remember the date, particularly before they leave home for their daily activities. As always, the Group Running Guide has a number of ways to advertise.
- The day before, make sure all of your members know that pride day is tomorrow. Perhaps you can hand out t-shirts and identifiers then, and hold a sign-making party. It also gives you a great excuse to table, more information on which is in the Awareness Tabling activity packet.
- On pride day, be out and proud to be reasonable!