I have been a big fan of CFI since I started reading Skeptical Inquirer as a kid. When I eventually started a skeptics club on my campus, CFI was eager to help; they sent boxes of swag and connected me with amazing guest speakers. This summer, they were gracious enough to invite me to the CFI Leadership Conference at CFI headquarters in New York state. I really wanted to go, but I figured that it was too far away as I live in Vancouver, Canada. Imagine my delight when CFI offered to pay for my travel expenses! In my mind, it would have been both foolish and rude to decline.
On June 17, 2015, white nationalist Dylann Roof entered the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church and shot nine members of that church’s black congregation. Upon being arrested, Roof was discovered to have made numerous online postings about his racial views, including photographs of him draped in the flag of the Confederate States of America. As such, the past few months have seen the reigniting of a debate which has been going on since our Civil War: is it right for southern states to continue waving their flag of secession and slavery?
What did I enjoy at the 2015 CFI Leadership Conference? So much! Seriously, I can’t quantify how much leadership training and information was packed into that weekend, and I think my lack of sleep over the weekend can attest to that. I don’t have the space, and you probably don’t have the time to read all of the things I’ve learned, so I’ll just share some of my favorite parts of the conference.
With the recent passing of the 239th Anniversary of the United States’ Declaration of Independence from Great Britain, it is important for Secular Humanists to look back at history and learn from our forefathers, especially those whose thoughts helped develop what we call Humanism today. Of course, in the United States, one such figure would without a doubt be Thomas Jefferson, the author of the Declaration of Independence.
At the end of every school year the dreaded student group sustainability conversation comes into play. The group outlines their priorities for the summer, creates a conference schedule, sets goals for the coming year. And by the time summer ends, everything has come to fruition, just as planned.