CFI-Harlem Special Event: Toni Van Pelt on Faith-Based and Community Initiatives

Sunday, September 13th 2009 at 1:00 pm
Sunday, September 13th 2009 at 4:00 pm
Harlem State Office Building, 163 W. 125th Street, 8th Floor (Trains: 2, 3, A, B, C, D).

Did you know that our organization is eligible for funds under the Faith Based/Community Initiative Program? Should we take this money? If so, would we be compromising our principles? Toni Van Pelt is the director of the Center for Inquiry's Office of Public Policy in Washington, D.C. and will talk about the U.S. government's Faith-Based and Community Initiatives program, CFI's organizational stance on the matter, and all other issues surrounding the program.

As a registered lobbyist, Van Pelt promotes and advances science and secularism on Capitol Hill. She asks Congressional Members to base law and policy on empirical evidence where possible, and the scientific method as opposed to faith. She also champions separation of church and state and social justice issues including women's equality and lesbian and gay rights. She interacts closely with her colleagues assigned to the United Nations on international issues of concern, including The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women.

Prior to her reassignment to Washington, Toni was the first executive director for the Center for Inquiry-Florida, where she fostered new CFI Communities and campus groups. In her prior role as the president of Florida National Organization for Women, she lobbied the Federal and Florida Legislature, helping to write and establish new law in the state. She is a veteran of Congressional and state political campaigns working for candidates as well as on issues. She has appeared on television and has been interviewed by national and international media.