Volunteer and Program Wish List
These are suggestions for Involvement. Let us know your cool idea!
A group to establish relationships with elected officials and make them aware of us as a constituency, of our interests and positions. Communication with the CFI Office of Public Policy in Washington D.C., networking with local groups and organizing visits to elected officials as citizens. Requires some training, professional dress, talking points, probably regular meetings.
Portland Humanist Film Fest
We show films that express things that are of concern to us: skepticism, critical thinking, science, reason, humanist values. Tasks include film selection, coordinating with the venue, getting film rights, soliciting independent film submissions, designing and printing marketing materials, obtaining sponsorships from local businesses, advertising, marketing the event to drive attendance, press relations.
Community Service and Charitable Work (LtN, etc.)
In 2012, CFI–Portland will have a team in the Night the Light Walk to support the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. We hope this can become an annual project. We are also looking for other opportunities to have our members participate in community service events in areas that relate to our mission. We are looking to establish a team of people who will take charge of this.
We need an editor and possibly assistant editors who can solicit and pull together content: articles, reports, photos, etc., and who can work with potential content contributors to get everything to our DTP person by deadline.
“Logicon” or similar event
This would be an event in cooperation with like-minded organizations and people in a central location during summer, possibly an annual event. Envision an all-day or even two-day event in Pioneer Square with food, music, and entertainment, information kiosks, play areas for kids, and most important, booths dedicated to various subjects skeptics are interested in, presented in entertaining ways: Optical illusions, mathematical thinking –the kinds of mistakes we make and how to avoid them), fallacies, alternative medicine (imagine a visual representation of homeopathic dilution), psychic readings (we get psychics who gives away their secrets), perpetual motion machines, reliable vs. unreliable ways of forming beliefs about reality, the anti-vaccine movement, etc. The emphasis would be on making this fun, entertaining, and non-threatening, sparking curiosity. We’d have back-up data at the ready, but the atmosphere would be all about “playing” with the ideas. And, hopefully, a vaccination booth in cooperation with a local healthcare provider.
We are looking for a group of people who can come up with ideas for speakers, contact and negotiate with them, schedule venues and work with the board to handle flights, accommodations, speaking fees, advertisement, etc.
Next Generation Outreach
A group of people in charge of organizing events that engage young skeptics (ca. under 30) and help them connect with us as participants and volunteers, with a view toward training the next generation of leadership.
A group of people devoted specifically to education and advocacy about the “pseudos”. Possible projects discussed: homeopathy events, letters to stores that carry homeopathic remedies in their pharmacy departments (thereby giving them credibility), letters to the editor, vaccination advocacy, etc.
Independent Investigations Group/Investigating Weird Claims
A group of people who find out who is making supernatural claims in our area, and who go out to investigate such claims. Training is available, and no special skills are required. This isn’t about making people look foolish, but simply about finding out what is going on when people believe they are observing supernatural phenomena. We have a few that interest, us from myrrh-streaming religious icons to faith healing claims to claims of supernatural personal powers.
A group of people who organize fun outings. In the past, we’ve done sailing, hiking, attending events, etc. We have an annual Freethinkers’ Campout. We’re also interested in retreats, ski trips, wine-tasting trips, anything that interests you.
A program to have a table, distribute information, and have personal conversations about religious and scientific skepticism at local colleges, fairs, and events. This can involve selling merchandise and having multimedia-presentations, as well.
We have a cool venue for this already and are looking for (an) organizer(s) who can commit to bringing invited guests with interesting information to our cafe group to have a conversation about their expertise. We could invite experts on separation of church and state, reproductive rights and gay rights, have economic profs with different views talk about tax policy, get information about science funding, or beer brewing, or Renaissance art, or whatever else tickles our fancy. The atmosphere would be fairly casual, with a 20 minute or so presentation, followed by an informal conversation between the guests and the presenter. No lectern or similar, just people sitting around talking, but with the addition of an expert guest.
Education Outreach (Critical Thinking, Philosophy, Science Literacy)
We are interested in bringing several clubs/courses to middle and high schools, as well as homeschooling cooperatives:
- Critical Thinking education (a course is currently being developed by Ryan and Renee with the help of PSU faculty)
- A philosophy discussion group based on Stephen Law’s middle school book “The Philosophy Files”
- A science literacy club/course that is mostly about having discover how fascinating science can be, with lots of A/V materials and cool projects, but based on a structured survey of science.
Arts and Aesthetics
Examples are DARKTOLIGHT – The EventÔ, a performance event held in December, and our Dark to Light Gala, a formal dinner and dance to celebrate Enlightenment values, also in December. Other events could be concerts, art exhibits, literary events, but also more casual things like a monthly jam-session or talent showcase for members at a local café.
Released Time Awareness Campaign
Draft information packets and distribute them to all Oregon school districts. These would be based on existing materials drafted by CFI in cooperation with Jewish parents and Americans United for the Separation of Church and State, which helped the Sherwood School District limit the negative impact that evangelizing efforts by PREP4Kids had on already scarce instruction time.
Schedule requested events via Meetup.com and Convio software; keep CFI-Portland website and Meetup calendars professional in appearance and up-to-date with all events; make edits to calendars as necessary.
Maintain and add to existing lists of media contacts; maintain relationships with media contacts through regular communications; draft and send press releases and media advisories about important events; keep track of such communications.
*Leadership levels for the purpose of this document:
1 – Advisory Board Members– responsibility for the strategic direction of the local branch.
2 – Leads – taking charge of mission-critical and public-directed projects that involve leading and training others, working closely with the Advisory Board, and keeping track of multiple aspects of organizing ongoing events in a particular task area. An example the Community Service Team Lead.
3 – Organizers – a person who is responsible for putting on a regularly occurring event or who drives specific task situation within another program area, for example, someone who organizes a regular film/discussion event, or a particular charitable event or project in the context of the Community Service Team.
4 – Contributors – people helping out as ushers at events, bring needed supplies, make needed phone calls and generally take on tasks that are limited in scope and time.