Last year, the Black Skeptics Group, a 501c3 organization, was the first atheist organization to address educational inequity in communities of color with our First in the Family Humanist scholarship for undocumented, foster care, homeless and LGBTQ students. Over the past three years we’ve also sponsored STEM education, prison-pipelining and youth leadership outreach to highlight the challenges confronting youth of color in under-resourced high poverty schools. In 2011-2013 we collaborated with faith organizations, schools and nonprofits to amplify the connection between humanism, anti-racism and social justice.
Yet neither organized atheism nor humanism have ever addressed social, economic, gender and racial justice from the perspective of communities of color.
Given that deficit, in October of this year, Black Skeptics’ People of Color Beyond Faith network— in conjunction with the Secular Student Alliance and African Americans for Humanism—will sponsor a “Moving Social Justice” conference at CFI-Los Angeles. Going beyond the narrow scope of “atheist good” versus “religion bad”, the conference will feature panels, presentations and strategy sessions on the following issues:
- What political voice should people of color non-believers have in a national and global context in which the racial wealth gap has become gargantuan, increasing numbers of Black and Latino youth are being imprisoned and fewer have access to a college education?
- What coalition-building needs to be done between activist non-believers of color and progressive faith institutions in our communities?
- How can the under-represented issues of queer and LGBTQ youth of color (who have the highest rates of homelessness in the U.S.) be addressed beyond mainstream single variable paradigms of “coming out” and same sex marriage?
- What does a humanist feminist of color agenda look like given the European American feminist orientation of most freethought scholarship and activism in the U.S.?
- How can atheists of color effectively challenge homophobia and transphobia in the Black Church and other faith institutions?
- What is the connection between economic justice, community development and culturally relevant humanism?
Mercedes Diane Griffin Forbes, Mercedes Parra Foundation
Sikivu Hutchinson, Black Skeptics Group
Meredith Moise, Creative Heart Mission
Anthony Pinn, Rice University
Raina Rhoades, Black Freethinkers Network
Kimberly Veal, Black Freethinkers/POCBF
Donald Wright, Houston Black Non-Believers