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This Week: Humanist Service Corps, Light the Night fundraising, and Shelley Segal Tour

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Humanist Service Corps

If you're interested in travel, service, Humanist leadership, and community building, consider applying to the Pathfinders Project. It is a yearlong international service trip with clean water, education, sustainability, and advocacy projects in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. The trip is sponsored by Foundation Beyond Belief, a non-profit organization that focuses, encourages, and demonstrates the generosity and compassion of secular humanists.

The major aims of the project are to provide humanitarian service and address specific regional needs in the respective countries visited, foster dialogue across religious, cultural, and ethnic boundaries, and to evaluate and compare countries and partner organizations for consideration as the launch site of the Humanist Service Corps as an ongoing program of Foundation Beyond Belief.

The deadline for applicants is February 1st, 2013, so be sure to check it out soon if you're interested!

 

Light the Night Fundraising

The total fundraising for The Leukemia & Lymphoma society by all the collective atheist groups recently topped $400,000, and as of this morning we are only $18,000 from being the most successful new team in LTN history!

The Stiefel family matching will continue until the end of January when the LTN pages reset. This means that you still have a few more weeks to continue fundraising for this important cause added before the 2013 LTN season begins in February.

If you want to host an event like Stone-a-Heathen or a Soul Auction (or any of our other exciting fundraising ideas), you still have some time to help support this great cause.
 

Shelley Segal Tour

Our favorite up-and-coming Australian  singer/songwriter is going on a tour of the U.S. again, and she wants to stop at your campus! You can find out more info about her tour here, and if you fill out the speaker request form linked on the page, we'll try to get her to your campus!

If you aren't familiar with her work, check out her performance at the Reason Rally from last year.

Group Photo of the Week

  SSA at SUNY Cortland Fallfest. They did a faux palm reading event where they would go into elaborate explanations and at the end they would say 'by the way, palm reading isn't real, neither is religion'. It went over really well, they had a lot of fun, and they got a lot of the materials from SSA distributed to more of the community than ever before.
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SSA Leaderspace
Women in Secularism 2 is offering student registration for $35. The conference is May 17-19th. You can find more info here.
Newest Affiliate
Open Minds at University High School
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Design Exchange
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Featured Speaker
David Silverman
David Silverman is the president of American Atheists. Mr. Silverman has appeared on most major news programs including  The O'Reilly Factor, Scarborough Country, The Situation with Wolf Blitzer, CNN, Paula Zahn NOW, Nick News, Hannity and Colmes, Fox and Friends, CN8's It's Your Call, and  NPR's All Things Considered.
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This Week: Darwin Day, Fundraising, and Apply to Speak

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Darwin Day is Coming!

Darwin Day is coming up sooner than you might think (February 12th), and you don't want to miss the opportunity to celebrate the birthday of the biologist who reshaped our understanding of the origins of life.

Darwin Day is about celebrating how science and reason make our lives better. Why not have a party in honor of the person who made such a great contribution to our understanding of life and its development?

The events your group can hold for Darwin Day are virtually limitless. Moreover, you can combine multiple events into a day-long celebration, or even a Darwin Week! We have lots of ideas in our Darwin Day Activity Packet. If you do anything cool, or need any help planning, be sure to let us know!

 

Fundraising

Fundraising is one of the most important activities that your group can engage in. It is also one of the most overlooked activities by many groups. Fundraising can often seem challenging, but rest assured that it can also be very simple and fun. Oftentimes, there is funding available that your group might not even be aware of; you might just need to ask for it!

Many SSA affiliates have pulled of very creative and fun events to raise money for their group. If your student group has some money in the bank, it makes it much easier to pull off bigger, more fun, and more creative events. We have a page set up with advice on fundraisers (including videos from expert fundraisers and activity packets to get you started!).

Fundraising is a great way to start out the semester, and you can even combine fun activities (like Darwin Day) with a way to help raise money for you group, to help you plan activities, or possibly help pay for group members to attend our annual conference.

 

Apply to Speak at the Conference

Have you done something really awesome this year? Did your group have something go terribly, awfully wrong, so you want to warn groups on how to do it better? Do you just like the sound of your own voice?

You're in luck! We are still accepting student speakers for BOTH of our summer conferences this year! We still need volunteers, so don't be afraid that you "aren't good enough"-- we still want to hear from you! Apply today and who knows, you might just become the next big voice of atheism.
 

Group Photo of the Week

George Washington Secular Society posed for a picture for us!
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SSA Leaderspace
Newest Affiliate
Gustavus Secular Student Alliance
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Project Grants
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Featured Speaker
Annie Laurie Gaylor
Ms. Gaylor co-founded the Freedom From Religion Foundation with her mother in 1976 while she was a college student. She has appeared on numerous talk shows, including The O'Reilly Factor, National News Segments and CNN, as well as Sally Jessy Raphael and Donahue. Ms. Gaylor is a vocal feminist and was on her first feminist picket line at age 14.
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$250,000 Challenge for 2013!

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**UPDATE: We have met Jeff Hawkins and Janet Strauss's $250,000 matching challenge! Thanks to all of you who have helped us meet this challenge.**

Dear friends,

We have exciting news to share with you!

Secular Student Alliance Supporters Jeff Hawkins and Janet Strauss saw the SSA’s incredible growth last year. They know that Secular Students are key to the movement’s future.

This Week: Atheist Census, Atheists Giving Aid, Out for the Holidays

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Atheist Census

(We sent this last week, but the website was hit with a DDOS attack shortly after we sent the email, so we're giving you another chance to be counted.)

Atheist Alliance International (AAI) is pleased to announce the launch of Atheist Census.  Atheist Census is a global project to count and capture a snapshot of the world’s atheists.  The census records people's preferred title (e.g. atheist, rationalist, humanist, freethinker, etc), religious background, education level, age, gender identity and country. Please note that entries in Atheist Census are not personally identifiable. 
 
Help us demonstrate the atheist presence around the world!  Please contribute to Atheist Census and spread the word to your secular friends and group members!

 

Atheists Giving Aid

Many people have been asking how they can help after the tragedy that happened in Newtown, Connecticut last week. One of our affiliate groups, Society of Open-Minded Atheists and Agnostics at University of Kansas has teamed up with We Are Atheism and American Atheists to create a fundraiser for the families of the victims. If you're interested in helping, please check out their page. Since we know students cannot always contribute financially, consider sharing this with friends or family members who may be able to help.

Out for the Holidays!

The staff will be in and out of the office sporadically until the beginning of 2013. If you need something done soon, try to it send soon, or you may have to wait for a response.

Have a great winter break, and enjoy whatever holidays you choose to celebrate! By the way, this is the last This Week of 2012! See you next year!

Group Photo of the Week

Members from the Secular Student Alliance at Mesa Community College host a Stone a Heathen event.

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Newest Affiliate
Secular Students of Ozarks Technical Community College
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Media Relations
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Featured Speaker
Andy Thomson
Dr. Thomson is a psychiatrist in Charlottesville, Virginia. He has a private practice of general psychiatry and forensic psychiatry as well as serving as a staff psychiatrist at the University of Virginia's Institute of Law, Psychiatry and Public Policy and the Counseling and Psychological Services of the University of Virginia Student Health Services. Dr. Thomson would love to speak on suicide terrorism, psychology of religion, and many other topics.
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