CFI Indiana Civic Day

Saturday, February 11th 2017 at 10:00 am

 Indiana Civic Day 2017

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Light snacks will be available during the afternoon.

February 11, 2017

Conference-10:00 am-4:00 pm

Indiana State Library, 315 West Ohio Street, Indianapolis, 46202

Wine and Cheese Reception--4:00 pm

Catered Buffet Dinner--5:00 pm

CFI-Indiana 350 Canal Walk, Suite A, Indianapolis 46202

Ticket Information

Conference Only: $10--CFI and AU members, $15--nonmembers, $5-- students.

Conference and dinner: $35--CFI and AU members, $40--nonmembers, $25 --students. Box Lunch--$10 [delivered at 10:00 am] Wine and Cheese Reception--no charge to conference partricipants.

Dinner reservations and box lunches must be ordered by February 4.

Light snacks will be available during the afternoon.


Weather note: The event will not be canceled because of weather unless the streets are closed by the city government.


10:00 am--Registration

10:15 am--Introductory Remarks--Reba Boyd Wooden, Executive Director, CFI-Indiana

10:30 pm--Nicholas Little, Legal Director, Center for Inquiry.

11:15 pm--Erin Taylor, Director of the Field Department, Americans United for Separation of Church and State.

12:00 noon--Christina Hale, former member of Indiana General Assembly and 2016 candidate for Indiana Lieutenant Governor. Speaking on "The Case for Civic Involvement."


12:45--2:00--The State of Indiana

Climate Change—Jesse Kharbanda, Hoosier Environmental Council

Women's Rights--Emily O'Brien, Indiana NOW.

LGBTQ Rights—Rick Sutton, Editor & an Equity Partner at The Midwest Eagle

Public Education—Tim Skinner, Indiana Coalition for Public Education   Board President and former Indiana State Senator. 

Redistricting —Julia Vaughn, Common Cause Indiana 

2:00-3:45--Round Table Discussions:  The State of Indiana speakers will each be at different tables and participants will rotate at 15 minute intervals to each table and be able to interact with these speakers. This is a great time to learn about other organizations and opportunities to network with them.

4:00-5:00 pm--Wine and Cheese Reception at CFI-Indiana where more interaction can take place among participants and speakers. 

5:00 pm--Catered dinner

Conference attendance will be limited to the first 100 who register and the dinner to the first 60 who register. 




Reba Boyd WoodenReba Boyd Wooden is Executive Director of Center for Inquiry Indiana and Director of CFI’s Secular Celebrant Program.  She has a BA from University of Indianapolis with a major in Social Studies Education and a minor in Business Education, an MS from Butler University in History/Education, and an MS in Counseling and Counselor Education from Indiana University. She retired after 37 years in public education in 2005. She spent her last 13 years as a high school guidance counselor and the previous years in the classroom.


nicholas little headshotNicholas Little is the Legal Director of the Center for Inquiry, based out of Washington, D.C. After his education at Oxford University and the University of Warwick in the U.K., Nick moved to the United States and received a law degree from Vanderbilt University. He joined the firm of Howrey, LLP and litigated national and international antitrust matters, as well as a series of pro bono engagements. Nick successfully represented an apostate from the Middle East, who faced deportation to and execution in his native Sudan for the crime of converting away from Islam, winning him asylum in the United States. He also worked with mentally ill New Yorkers to ensure adequate provision of state resources enabling patients to leave institutions and safely and productively live in the community; represented hearing disabled citizens in their efforts to ensure local hospitals provided sign language interpreters as required by the Americans With Disabilities Act; and represented individuals in complaints of malpractice against the D.C. Metropolitan Police. When his firm closed, Nick moved to the non-profit sector and accepted a position with CFI. Aside from internal legal work for CFI, Nick has filed amicus briefs in the Hobby Lobby Supreme Court case and the Seventh Circuit challenge to unfair tax breaks given to housing allowances paid to religious ministers. Nick is always seeking cases in which CFI can involve itself, either as an amicus in an existing matter, or directly representing a plaintiff.


Erin TaylorErin Taylor is the Director of the Field Department at Americans United for Separation of Church and State. Prior to joining Americans United, Erin was a Senior Project Manager at Grassroots Solutions, where she provided engagement and strategic support to multiple non-profit, political, and foundation clients. 

Over her career, Erin served as the Political Director for Vice President Gore’s climate organization, the Climate Reality Project, Director of State Affairs at the American Association for Justice, Deputy Campaign Manager for Kirk Watson for Texas Attorney General, and Associate Director of Communications for the Texas Trial Lawyers Association among other positions.

Erin grew up in Austin, but headed north to study Political Science at Wellesley College, only to return home when the opportunity arose to work for Texas Governor Ann Richards. She later attended graduate and law school at the University of Texas at Austin.

Christina HaleChristina Hale, former member of Indiana General Assembly and 2016 candidate for Indiana Lieutenant Governor.

As a former executive at Kiwanis International, Christina worked to strengthen and support communities across the globe. Her work taught Christina something very important: communities thrive when they have active, engaged citizens collaborating for the greater good.

Christina brought that experience home to Indiana serving two terms in the Indiana General Assembly. Most recently, Christina ran for Indiana Lieutenant Governor. While unsuccessful, she did earn the endorsement of almost every newspaper in the state, and accolades from leader on all sides of the aisle. 

Christina serves on the boards of Indiana Humanities, Heartland Film, Film Indy, the Domestic Violence Network, Indiana Coalition Against Sexual Assault, the Indiana Latino Commission, and is a member of the Kiwanis Club of Indianapolis.

Jesse KharbandaJesse Kharbanda is the Executive Director of the Hoosier Environmental Council, Indiana’s largest environmental policy organization.   He oversees HEC’s strategic and program development, legislative initiatives, operations, and fundraising.  Jesse has spearheaded focusing HEC’s efforts on three core initiatives: clean energy, sustainable agriculture, and 21st century transportation systems.  Jesse has made it a priority of HEC to build bridges with groups that may not have been as engaged with the organization in the past, such as the business community and religious conservatives.   Jesse was named to the “Forty Under 40″ list by the Indianapolis Business Journal in 2011, and was the sole Indianapolis-based community leader named to Delta Omega, the national public health honorary, in 2010.  Jesse has graduate degrees from Oxford University and undergraduate degrees from the University of Chicago. Jesse lost a bid for a seat in the Indiana Senate in the primary in such a close election that it required a recount.


Julia VaughnJulia Vaughn is the policy director for Common Cause Indiana. She joined the organization in 1995 and is responsible for policy development, lobbying, grassroots organizing and coalition building in the Hoosier State. She previously served as director of health policy for the Citizens Action Coalition of Indiana, and as director of Count Us IN, a project sponsored by the Governor's Council for People with Disabilities to increase political participation by Hoosiers with disabilities. Julia has a degree in telecommunications from Indiana University.


Rick Sutton (2)Rick Sutton is the Editor & an Equity Partner at The Midwest Eagle, the Midwest’s largest LGBT publication.  In that position, he covers politics and government for the newspaper and oversees the twice-monthly publication’s editorial content.  He is a Life Member of the Indiana University Alumni Association, and was executive director of Indiana Equality, and the founding president of the Freedom Indiana coalition.  Recently, he has served as a special consultant to national LGBT civil rights organizations Lambda Legal and Human Rights Campaign.  He is a commissioned Stephen Minister at his church, St. Luke’s United Methodist, where he’s served on numerous boards and committees for over 35 years.  He served as an elected member of the MSD Washington Township School Board, and as a gubernatorial appointee and Vice Chairman of the Indiana Real Estate Commission Appraisal Standards and Practices Board. He and his husband, Purdue football alum Bobby Owens, reside in Irvington; he’s the proud father of three and grandfather of one.


Emily O'Brien.jpgEmily O'Brien is the Vice President of Indiana's state chapter of the National Organization for Women (NOW), the largest national organization of feminist grassroots activists in the country. She was elected this fall and primarily focuses on reproductive justice issues in Indiana, running IN NOW's blog, and writing about reproductive justice issues. Her work was recently published in Salon, and she has work forthcoming in Rewire. Emily is also a graduate student in English at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, where she teaches first-year college composition, and where she is writing her thesis on the transformative political potential of abortion narratives. Emily has an English degree and a History degree from Indiana University East.


Tim SkinnerTim Skinner is current President of ICPE, Indiana Coalition for Public Education. ICPE is a bipartisan group whose mission is to support public schools. They advocate for legislation that supports public schools and raise awareness of legislation that is harmful to public schools either financially or otherwise.  He received  BS and MS Degrees from Indiana State University in Social Science Education. Recently he retired after nearly 30 years of teaching economics, government, sociology, and geography to high school students. His career also includes coaching football, basketball, and baseball. He served on the Vigo County Council before being elected to the Indiana State Senate in 2002 where he served on the Education, Tax and Fiscal Policy, Pensions and Labor, Appropriations, and Budget committees during his tenure.



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