Original October Ideas from Organizers Like You

Pumpkin spice up your programs and group engagement this fall!

Secular Day of the Dead: Celebrating 
life and honoring loved ones as a community

The San Diego Secular Latinos, Freethought Society, Humanist Fellowship of San Diego, and Sunday Assembly San Diego organized a joint "Secular Day of the Dead" event this year. 

Three Reasons to Organize a Secular Day of the Dead Event:

1) Family-friendly events build community. With built-in activities that both kids and adults will love, you can get a great turnout and bring members out of the woodwork who may not be able to attend other events, like happy hours and speaker presentations, that are tailored for adults. 

2) Present humanism as a supportive alternative to religious institutions. Grappling with loss and mortality is something everyone faces, and religious institutions have played a major role in helping individuals navigate these difficult topics, and difficult times in their personal lives. As more and more Americans leave religion, the secular community has an opportunity to present a compassionate, positive, and compelling alternative to religious institutions' traditional approach to life and death. 

3) You can provide a secular "family" to the nonreligious. This kind of event provides an opportunity for nontheists — especially those who may have religious families — to mourn, remember, and celebrate their loved ones who have passed while surrounded by people who share their secular worldview and in an environment full of support, love, comfort, and acceptance.

But I've never done this before! Where do I start?

Action your community can take now: GET OUT THE VOTE!

As voter registration deadlines in most states have passed, it's time to switch gears from voter registration to voter turnout. Secular America Votes —a partnership of the Secular Coalition for America, American Atheists, American Humanist Association, Center for Inquiry, Freedom From Religion Foundation, and the Secular Student Alliance — has a how-to guide on how to get out the vote, all while bringing visibility to secular voters. Check out the guide here.

Upcoming webinars for secular organizers:

Walking the Talk: How to Effectively Diversify Your Group
Presented by Mandisa Thomas, Executive Director of Black Nonbelievers, Inc.
October 24 at 7:00 pm eastern time

Register for this webinar here.
In case you missed it! 
Listen to the recording of our recent "How to Recruit and Retain Young People in your Group" webinar, presented by Kevin Bolling, Executive Director of the Secular Student Alliance.  
In case you missed it!
Listen to the recording of our recent "Succession Planning for Local Secular Groups," presented by Nicholas Carrillo, Campus Organizer at the Secular Student Alliance.
In case you missed it! 
Listen to the recording of our recent "Messaging on Medical-Aid-in-Dying" webinar, presented by Corinne Carey, New York State Campaign Director of Compassion & Choices.

Program Spotlight

You may have seen recent headlines about the disappearance of Washington Post reporter and Saudi Arabian national, Jamal Khashoggi, who was allegedly murdered at the direction of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. Freedom of religion and expression are fundamental secular values, and your local group can participate in the global conversation on these issues through the International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU).

IHEU is the global representative body of the humanist movement, uniting a diverse group of non-religious organizations and individuals. They work to build, support and represent the global humanist movement, defend human rights, particularly those of non-religious people, and promote humanist values worldwide.

How can my group promote religious freedom and free expression abroad?
Consider joining IHEU as an Associate Member to receive member communications with advance warning of their work and campaign actions, receive an invitation to attend their General Assembly alongside national organizations, participate in proposing motions and setting policy for the organization, and to be eligible for grant funding to support capacity-building and humanist work. 

Your local group can also participate in the United Nations Universal Periodic Review of every UN members' human rights record. Check out IHEU's guide here to learn how your group can participate and make its voice heard on the international stage.

Resource Spotlight

The holidays are a great time to get your group involved in community service. The secular community continues to fight the stereotype and misconception that having faith is necessary to be a good person and an upstanding citizen. You can help change that narrative by organizing initiatives that give back to the community and bringing visibility to your group's contributions. 

The Kol Hadash Humanist Congregation, an affiliate of the Society for Humanistic Judaism, generously put together this step-by-step, how-to guide on running a blood drive. This guide includes detailed instructions for organizing the event, tips on how to get a "donor code" that will help measure your event's impact and how to work with other groups in your area, and even a sample press release. 
Copyright © 2018 The United Coalition of Reason, All rights reserved.

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