Nonreligious people from several states are traveling to Grand Junction for the inaugural Colorado Secular Conference, to be held July 21st at Colorado Mesa University.
Speakers from as far away as Washington DC and North Carolina are flying in to offer presentations on a variety of topics ranging from separation of church and state to the civil liberties issues surrounding the Patriot Act. The primary sponsor of the event is the Colorado Coalition of Reason (COCORE), with funding provided by the national United Coalition of Reason (UnitedCoR). The Grand Junction host organization is Humanists Doing Good, a chapter of the American Humanist Association.
"We are creating an opportunity for nonreligious people from all walks of life to come together," said Jesse Bond, executive director of Humanists Doing Good. "In this way they can share ideas and knowledge as well as form new and lasting friendships."
"There are more nonreligious people in America than most folks think," added Volunteer Coordinator Velvet Johnson. "But for too long we've stayed quiet and unorganized. Conferences like these, all over the country, are changing that."
The speaker lineup will include the following:
- Dr. Kathleen Hynes of the American Civil Liberties Union speaking on the Patriot Act and its impact.
- Kelly Damerow of the Secular Coalition for America explaining how ignorance can become intolerance in matters of religious liberty.
- Michael Werner, past president of the American Humanist Association, will conduct a three-hour leadership training seminar on building, growing and better understanding secular groups.
- Leaders from Grand Junction's own Humanists Doing Good will discuss that group's efforts to "be good for goodness' sake" and the importance of volunteerism and humanitarianism.
- Leaders from Humanists of Colorado, based in Denver, will present an introduction to Humanism.
- An optional tour of the area will take place the following day to allow those unfamiliar with the area to see the sights.
The conference is free and open to the public. But all interested in attending need to register on the conference's website in order to participate: