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This Week: Darwin Day, Buying Shirts, and Media Relations

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Darwin Day!

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!

Buying Shirts

Many of our affiliates like having shirts that everyone in the group can purchase. They help provide a sense of unity within the group, and can also be free advertising and a good conversation starter when you wear them around. However, they can also be very expensive and difficult to design.

That's where we come in! We arenow offering awesome SSA shirts for just five dollars! We offer a variety of sizes, in both men's and women's styles. You can learn more about ordering shirts here, or you can go directly to the store (you do need to be logged in to the website in order to do that. If you need help, click here).

Media Relations

Want to get your group more attention? Not sure if you're using social media effectively? Not sure how to send out a press release? We've got your back!

We just revamped our Media Relations page, which has tons of info on how to use social media, write a press release, send letters to the editor, and crafting talking points. There are videos from previous conferences from people who are great at using media effectively available on the page. Check it out if you're interested in getting more attention for your group!

Group Photo of the Week

Texas Secular Humanists bought Christmas gifts to donate to the Austin Children's Shelter as part of their Secular Santa event.

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SSA Leaderspace
Center for Inquiry is hosting an Indiana Civic Day on Saturday, February 9th. Check it out here.
Newest Affiliate
Groton Humanist Group
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Featured Service
Business Cards
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Featured Speaker
Katherine Stewart
In 2009, the Good News Club came to the public elementary school where journalist Katherine Stewart sent her children. Stewart soon discovered that the Club’s real mission is to convert children to fundamentalist Christianity and encourage them to proselytize to their “unchurched” peers.
 Astonished to discover that the U.S. Supreme Court has deemed this legal, Stewart set off on an investigative journey to document the impact. In her book, The Good News Club, she demonstrates that there is more religion in America’s public schools today than there has been for the past 100 years.
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Despite Gallup Survey, Signs Point to Nonreligious America

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Young Americans Point to a Secular Future of America

For immediate release January 10, 2013
Contact: Jesse Galef, [email protected], 614-441-9588 x101

Columbus, OH - Despite a recent survey finding a slowed increase in the percent of Americans claiming no religion, signs among its younger citizens point to a more secular future for the country.  The Gallup Daily tracking survey reported this morning that the percent claiming no religion increased by its smallest amount since the survey began, rising only 0.3% in the past year.  It had increased 1.1% in each of the past two years.  A spokesman for the Secular Student Alliance says the "rise of the nones" is still going strong, citing the growth of secular students and youth.

The Secular Student Alliance, a national nonprofit which supports nonreligious students, currently supports 394 campus groups for nonreligious students, up from 310 a year ago.  Surveys have repeatedly found that Americans 18-29 are the least religious generation of Americans, and Gallup found them to be almost three times as likely to be unaffiliated with religion as senior citizens, 27% compared to 10%.

"Anyone hoping for the Secular American population to slow down is going to be disappointed," said Jesse Galef, Communications Director for the Secular Student Alliance. "With demographic patterns like these, which way do you think the country is going?  America is trending secular, and the youth are leading the way."

Galef also pointed out that the Gallup survey didn't count Americans under the age of 18, a demographic where the Secular Student Alliance has seen a dramatic increase of interest.  At the end of the Fall 2012 semester, they supported over 60 campus groups at high schools - double what they had a year ago.

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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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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Featured Service
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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Featured Service
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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