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Secular Students in Interfaith - Conference Call Recap

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IFYC & SSA logosOn behalf of Interfaith Youth Core (IFYC) and the Secular Student Alliance, we'd like to thank the students who attended or expressed interest in the recent conference call for Secular Students in Interfaith.  We were honored to have Chris Stedman, author of the newly released book, Faitheist and an IFYC alum, on the call with us to share his personal story as an atheist finding common ground with the religious. His story, along with many others we heard on the call, exemplified the interest and need for secular involvement within the interfaith movement.

With over 25 students registered for the call, it was an energetic and optimistic discussion. Students shared success stories and challenges from secular-engaged interfaith work at the University of Texas, Tufts University, Brigham Young University, California Lutheran University, Concordia College, Harvard University and Augsburg College, among others.

Whether you were on the call with us and are geared up to take the next steps, or weren't able to make it and want to learn more about getting involved, here are some actions you can take next:

Happy Thanksgiving from the Secular Student Alliance!

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Dear Friends,

I hope you all have a great Thanksgiving! Our students are especially grateful for a few things this time of year:

  • Access to free tabling supplies and group-starting resources
  • Our Speakers Bureau to help them bring secular voices to their campuses
  • Grants to hold incredible events and travel to conferences across the nation
  • The hands-on support they receive every day from our hard-working staff

And, of course, they are thankful for the support they get from all of you, our Active Supporters. You allow us to create incredible communities for Secular Students all around the country. Thanks to your support, the SSA is growing faster than ever!

We may not be able to say thanks with a Black Friday sale, but we can tell you this: your support makes a difference to these students every day. Thanks to you, these students have the resources they need to impact their communities.

Now is a great time to support to the SSA. We have a matching offer from Supporter Ron Verstappen, so anything you give over your 2011 gift will be doubled! You can help support twice as many secular communities by giving today.

Enjoy your Thanksgiving, and know that your support enables secular students to give back!

This Week: Group Running Guide, Holiday Planning, and Thanksgiving Break

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Getting a Group Running Guide

 If you aren't the original founder of your group (or even if you are), it's very possible that your Group Running Guide has been misplaced or lost. That's okay, we can send you a new one for free! Or if you feel like being eco-friendly, you can download a .PDF copy of it.

  Even if you're a veteran group leader, the Group Running Guide can really come in handy. It has tips on getting people to come to meetings, how to advertise effectively, and lots of great group activity ideas. It's worth a perusal, as many of the tips on how to run a secular student group can be applicable to other leadership situations in life!

 

Holiday Planning

The holidays can be a tricky time for non-theists, whether you're open about your nontheism or not. There was a recent conversation on our Facebook Leaderspace page about what to do with your group to celebrate the holidays (if you aren't already a member of that group, just request to be added!). There were some pretty good ideas, including inviting a speaker in, community service, or a "Create Your Own Holiday" party. If you have any suggestions, add them!

  There's also the problem of dealing with family members who may not be entirely supportive of nontheism. It may be a good time to have a meeting with your group, talking about the best times and ways to "come out" to family, and also to lend sympathetic ears for people with disapproving family members.

Thanksgiving Break

Like most of your schools, the SSA national staff office will be taking a break for Thanksgiving. Most of our will be out of office or out of town, so emails and phone calls (or requests for tabling supplies) may not get responded to promptly.

Group Photo of the Week

The Illini Secular Student Alliance hosts a Hug an Atheist Event

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SSA Leaderspace
Several interships are still available! Check out our jobs page to see if there any that interest you!
Newest Affiliate
University of Houston Secular Student Alliance
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Design Exchange
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Featured Speaker
Chris Stedman
Chris Stedman is the author of the new book, Faitheist, and also works for the Interfaith Youth Core. If your group is interested in Interfaith, he's the guy to go with!
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This Week: Secular Coalition for America seeks Intern, Foundation Beyond Belief seeks Interns, Hurricane Sandy Humanist Crisis Response

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Secular Coalition for America seeks Intern

The Secular Coalition for America (SCA) is pleased to offer a part-time paid internship position for Spring 2013. SCA is seeking highly motivated undergraduate junior- or senior-level students with a demonstrated interest in being active in the nontheistic movement.

The internship will be a 13-week program with one week of vacation for spring break included and will run from Tuesday, January 15, 2013 through Friday, April 12, 2013. Work hours will be 20 hours per week between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, completed on a regular schedule decided upon before the first week. Occasional weekend and evening hours may be expected. The internship will pay a stipend (minus required district and federal taxes). Transportation costs to and from Washington, D.C. will not be provided.

Complete applications must be emailed to [email protected] by November 30, 2012 at 5pm ET. A selection will be made by December 7; only the selected candidate will be notified. Do NOT send applications by regular mail. No phone calls please. Incomplete applications will not be considered.

For more information on this job, including application requirements, visit the SCA website. As always, to find the latest jobs in the secular movement go to our jobs page.

Foundation Beyond Belief seeks Interns

Foundation Beyond Belief seeks disciplined, highly motivated individuals for a five-month period beginning January 1, 2012. Desirable characteristics can be found here.

Experience in the non-profit sector is not a requirement, but certainly a plus, as is experience in grant writing or other development capacities. Though interns will do work in several areas of Foundation operations, each internship includes a primary focus area, special project, and cause area assignment.

During the application process, you will be asked to select your top three focus areas and briefly explain why you’re drawn to each.

To apply for the spring internships, please visit here to learn more and to submit your application. The deadline for spring internships is November 30th, 2012 at 11:59 pm Eastern time.

To learn more about the internship go here. To apply visit their website. Find the latest jobs in the movement by visiting our jobs page.

Hurricane Sandy Humanist Crisis Response

blank image - change thisAre you concerned about the victims of Hurricane Sandy and want to help, but are afraid of your donations will be used on faith-based initiatives or in ineffective ways? Our partner organization Foundation Beyond Belief, has set up a Humanist Crisis Response Program to help people donate securely to reputable relief organizations.
 
The Humanist Crisis Response program is working with two different organizations. International Medical Corps is a disaster response team that will be helping get basic food and medical care to people affected by the storm in the Caribbean. Team Rubicon is an organization that utilizes the skills of veterans to assist people after natural disasters. You can read more about Foundation Beyond Belief's Crisis Response Program here.

Even if you don't plan on donating, it is still worth the trouble of clicking on some of these links and familiarizing yourself with some of these organizations. You never know when this information might come in handy.

Group Photo of the Week

Members from the Secular Student Alliance of Santa Ynez Valley Union High School at their first meeting.

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SSA Leaderspace

Missed the SSA's Annual Conference? Didn't get to see all the talks? We're constantly posting new videos to our YouTube Channel, so you can check them out! This latest video comes from Amy Young encouraging inter-group cooperation.
Newest Affiliate
Secular Student Alliance @ UW Whitewater
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Featured Service
Email and Web Forwards
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Featured Speaker
David Smalley
Author of Baptized Atheist and founder of the Dogma Debate forum and radio show. He was a Christian musician who studied religion for 15 years before becoming an atheist. David can speak on marriage equality, getting involved in activism, how to debate and many other topics.
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