I Might Be a Little Excited

Here’s why.

Skepticon 8 text logo with a rainbow gradient.

That’s right. I’m speaking at Skepticon this November!

I might be a little excited. I might have answered the invitation to speak in approximately 5 milliseconds and with exclamation points. I might have worn my Skepticon t-shirt yesterday in honor of the official announcement. I might be a little overwhelmed by the group of people I’m appearing with.

Just a little excited, you understand.

Apply for Secular Women Work Scholarships Now!

If you’ve been waiting to apply for a scholarship for the Secular Women Work conference, this August 21-23 in Minneapolis, now’s your chance. Regular and student-priced tickets are also available for sale through Minnesota Atheists. Expect lots of interesting news (more speaker announcements!) soon.

From the SWW site:

Secular Women Work is committed to making the conference an accessible space, particularly for those from resource-limited settings. Scholarships include paid conference registration and a travel stipend, where available. Despite being a small, first year conference, we have a selection of scholarships available. [Read more…]

The Secular Women Work Kickstarter by the Numbers

We funded this afternoon at 4 p.m. CST. Now we just have to put on this conference we convinced people to invest in. Here’s how we did it:

  • Number of backers: 172
  • Total raised: $13,743
  • Lowest pledge: $1
  • Highest pledge: $1,000
  • Average pledge: $79.90
  • Biggest day: $3,339
  • Number of tickets sold: 66
  • Number of advertisers: 7
  • Number of t-shirts sold: ~45
  • Number of Surly-Ramics sold: ~40
  • Numbers of hours of sleep lost by the organizers: We lost track somewhere around week three.

But we did it. We’re going to have a conference.

Have You Signed Up for Secular Women Work?

The Secular Women Work logo with three inter-meshed gears.You’re nearly out of chances. The Kickstarter ends this Thursday. Right now, it’s only 51% funded, and if we don’t fund the Kickstarter, we won’t have a conference. If we do fund, but you haven’t bought your ticket through the Kickstarter, the price will go up.

Haven’t quite made up your mind to attend the conference? Then it’s time to catch up on the reasons you should.

  • Don’t just listen to us organizers. There are plenty of people out there who want to tell you why you should come to Secular Women Work.
  • Our speakers have done amazing things, and they demonstrate that you can come to activist work through many paths and interests. Check out our interviews with them. Mandisa Thomas wants to provide community and other support for the people much secular activism leaves behind. Lauren Lane has spent the last several years demonstrating that she’s not only capable of riding the tiger, but she can steer the beast as well. Desiree Schell figured out at an early age that she wasn’t okay with the world being fundamentally unfair, and she can tell you what she’s done to fix that.
  • We’re not rushing to fill our slate of workshops, because we want your input on what we should offer, but we’ve set up a few we think are important. The Ada Initiative will help you stop impostor syndrome from getting in your way when you want to get things done. Jessica Kirsner of the Secular Student Alliance will help you develop a fundraising plan for your project. A local professional photographer will provide you with a headshot for free as part of our media training.

We have a lot happening already, and we’re excited to bring you more. We just have to know that you’re excited to come. So get your ticket before the Kickstarter ends this Thurdsay, February 19.

Humanism Is People

FtBCon is over for another year. We’re resting and planning for the next one–and planning ways to keep the next one from requiring quite so much rest afterward.

Miri pulled the whole thing together into a playlist that you can find here. I also want to draw your attention to a few individual videos as well. The first of these is short. It’s our opening remarks from Debbie Goddard.

I asked Debbie to provide opening remarks because, when I talk to her, I always come away with a stronger sense of what the atheist and skeptic movements are as a whole. I don’t just see my corner of them. I don’t just think of the loud voices. I see all of us, our history, and our interests. This was no exception.

I love this talk. It’s brimming with perspective. It’s funny. It’s compassionate as hell. You should watch it. [Read more…]

Introducing the Secular Women Work Conference

Or, How I Spent My Winter Vacation

Actually, I didn’t get much of a winter vacation. Or holidays for that matter. In fact, I’ve mostly been running flat out since November. That was when I realized that no Women in Secularism conference in 2015* meant that I knew what I wanted to do for the Minnesota Atheists summer conference this year.

I wanted to put together a conference that celebrates the accomplishment of female and genderqueer activists in the secular movement and makes us all better activists. So I did that. [Read more…]

FtBCon Schedule (Updated)

Update: Now, with links to the sessions. Also, we added a session at the last minute on the psychology of trolls that I’ll be part of.

I’d say FtBCon had snuck up on me if I hadn’t put so much time into getting people prepared for it. But it’s this weekend, and I have panels I’m taking part in this time around, not just moderating. Here’s my schedule of those sessions I’ll be speaking at. I’ll come back before the conference starts and add links to each session. All times are CST. [Read more…]

Ally Skills Training at Skepticon

This weekend is Skepticon! (Have you donated yet?) Skepticon means lots of great speakers, Skeptiprom, and of course, Friday workshops.

Friday workshops means the Ada Initiative Ally Skills Training workshop at 10 a.m. on Friday. The Ada Initiative put this workshop up as an incentive in their annual fundraiser this year, and skeptics raised the target the day it was announced. In return, we get some knowledge transfer from the open tech and culture spheres. Valerie Aurora from the Ada Initiative is coming to run the workshop–and attend the rest of Skepticon as a bonus.

Because this workshop is structured to be a safe space, both for brainstorming ideas and for marginalized groups, there are a few things you should know if you want to attend the workshop. [Read more…]

Tell Me What You Want

A while back, I offered people one of those pain-for-funds incentives to donate to Skepticon. Apparently, however, Slyme Pit poetry is too painful for most or all of you.

That’s fair, but it still leaves Skepticon in need. As of right now, with less than two weeks to go before the conference, Skepticon still needs to raise $7,000 to cover their costs for this year. That’s a lot.

People reading this blog probably aren’t going to be able to donate all that money. (If you can, great! Go for it!) Still, whatever you can do would mean a lot to me, as you might be able to tell from my willingness to trawl slime for “poetry”. I’ve made my own donation and added Skepticon to my list of regular monthly donations, but we need a lot more than me.

Why should you donate to Skepticon? Several reasons. [Read more…]

It’s Skepticon’s Turn

Wow. You good folks floor me. The Skeptics for Ada fundraiser hit its goal in the first day. That means Valerie Aurora of the Ada Initiative will be coming to Skepticon to run their Ally Skills Workshop. So now that we’ve paid for the Ada Initiative to do their thing, it’s time to help pay for Skepticon itself. With the conference just over a month away, it’s only two-thirds funded. There is still over $13,000 to be raised.

Because Skepticon is a free conference in the south-central U.S., it’s the only conference that many of the attendees can afford. But someone still has to pay for the whole thing. If the attendees can’t, funding Skepticon falls to those of us who think access to these events shouldn’t be limited to those who can pay hundreds of dollars. Are you one of those people?

If you need another reason to donate, keep reading. [Read more…]