For Immediate Release
Contact: Paul Fidalgo
Phone: (207) 358-9785
December 17, 2015
CFI to Represent Secular Americans and “Nones” in “Know Your Neighbor” Coalition
On December 17, the Center for Inquiry will join a religiously diverse coalition of groups at the White House for the launch of the Know Your Neighbor campaign, which seeks to promote dialogue and improve understanding among Americans of differing beliefs. CFI’s inclusion is particularly notable, being the sole organization in the Know Your Neighbor coalition to represent the perspective of nonreligious Americans.
The Know Your Neighbor coalition is made up of fifteen organizations, which, despite holding differing positions on a wide variety of issues, strongly believe that a respectful nationwide dialogue is needed to reduce escalating religious tensions, and to take full advantage of the benefits of our country’s diverse heritage. The Center for Inquiry, which advocates for reason, science, and humanist values, is a global proponent of freedom of religion, belief, and expression, and has long partnered with religious organizations to achieve common goals.
The campaign will formally kick off at an event hosted by the White House on December 17 at 1:00 p.m. ET. Speakers will include officials from the White House and selected representatives from the Know Your Neighbor coalition, including Michael De Dora, the Center for Inquiry’s public policy director and chief representative to the United Nations. The event will be streamed live on the web at www.whitehouse.gov/live.
“The nonreligious and, more broadly, the religiously unaffiliated are the fastest-growing and second-largest belief group in the country, and we are honored to have the opportunity to bring their voice to this diverse assembly of organizations,” said CFI’s Michael De Dora. “All of us in this coalition share a commitment to work toward a crucial common goal: a country made stronger by the common values shared among Americans of all beliefs — religious and nonreligious alike.”
Added De Dora, “We stand strongly for reason and science, and against policymaking based on sectarian religious beliefs. But we stand just as strongly for each individual’s right to believe, think, and speak as they wish, and to do so without fear of discrimination, persecution, or threat of violence. With an openness to dialogue and inquiry, and a willingness to listen to each other’s stories, we can make great strides for understanding, tolerance, and freedom for all of us.”
Further details about the campaign are at KnowYourNeighbor.us.
Know Your Neighbor coalition members:
American Civil Liberties Union
Baptist Joint Committee
Becket Fund for Religious Liberty
Center for Inquiry
Hindu American Seva Societies
Interfaith Youth Core
Islamic Networks Group
National Council of Churches
National Sikh Campaign
Religion Action Center
Religions for Peace USA
Shoulder 2 Shoulder
# # #
The Center for Inquiry (CFI) is a nonprofit educational, advocacy, and research organization headquartered in Amherst, New York, with executive offices in Washington, D.C. It is also home to both the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry and the Council for Secular Humanism. The mission of CFI is to foster a secular society based on science, reason, freedom of inquiry, and humanist values. CFI‘s web address is www.centerforinquiry.net.