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At the Minnesota Atheists meeting today, I was nominated for the position of Associate President for the coming year. Since I was the only person nominated for the position, I’ll be starting in March, even though the elections aren’t for a month.

I wasn’t expecting this, even as recently as a month or so ago. I volunteer, particularly with the radio show, and I talk shop with board members. Still, I didn’t see myself becoming one. Then, “Would you consider running for the board?”

…and I discovered I had things I wanted to do and resources that could help. After the last year, I know a lot of people in the broader atheist community, and I’ve had a lot of discussions about where people and organizations have set their priorities. I think those kinds of talks (and these people) are interesting, but they also turn out to constitute networking. In an situation where we have lots of organizations with overlapping goals and constituencies, this turns out to be useful.

I also want to work on membership. Minnesota Atheists has plenty of participants in our various events, but our paid membership is much smaller. This isn’t surprising, as we’ve rarely told people about the value of membership–or offered one. We can fix this, and we can do it without adding cost for people who aren’t members because they can’t afford to be.

Then there’s the conference. It’s ambitious to put on our own conference just a year after hosting one with American Atheists. We can do it, though. We’ve already started talking about how to open it to new audiences…and how to keep from competing with SkepTech, which will be only four months before. Save the date: August 10 for the conference, August 9 for the baseball game. Both will be fun. Both have something new to offer this year.

Finally, as far as my current priorities go, there is always the radio show. We’re working on ways to create steadier funding, so both we and the station can plan for the future.

So expect to see more Minnesota Atheists business here on the blog. Not only am I excited for the next year, but this is going to take free time I don’t really have. If I’m going to keep up the blog, there will have to be some multitasking. :)


  1. Pteryxx says

    Congratulations! (and conga rats, if you’re a fan of rats.)

    I’m interested to see your writing about how the business actually gets done.

  2. left0ver1under says

    With the position comes the power to influence policy for the better (re: the nonsense going on at JREF). No doubt SZ will put it to good use.

  3. theobromine says

    Congrats! (What’s with all these women in leadership positions of atheist organizations anyway? I thought it was a “guy thing”.)

  4. smhll says

    Yeah, if you make paid membership more obviously appealing, then when the economy turns around and people have spare money you’ll probably see a delayed positive movement in membership rates.

  5. says

    Congrats, Stephanie! The conference date is saved. And about membership…

    Minnesota Atheists has plenty of participants in our various events, but our paid membership is much smaller. This isn’t surprising, as we’ve rarely told people about the value of membership–or offered one.

    I’ve donated to the radio fund in the past, but yeah, this describes me. I look forward to having you change my mind about the value of official membership. :)

  6. kaboobie says

    Congratulations, Stephanie! I am sure you will achieve good results and help make your organization a model for others.

  7. chasstewart says

    Congratulations! I bet this will be a very rewarding position. I love your ideas for the convention and baseball game (hope you flesh that out later. Is it a fundraising idea or just community?) and wish you the very best luck. If it wasn’t for a creative individual like yourself (William Poire) Oklahoma would still be without a convention and probably no one would see the need for it but it’s been a smashing success so far. That leads me to believe that Minnesota will be incredibly grateful for being so bold. May you encounter the least amount of headaches as possible along the way.

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