The Center for Inquiry Comes to Portland

February 23, 2008

The petition for a nonprofit CFI Portland Community has been approved!

This is good news for our Beaverton Atheist Meetup .  Members have long wanted to choose between gatherings that were light and social on the one hand, and others meant to build community on the other.  Having CFI as a sponsor makes this choice meaningful.  For instance, members may now collaborate on larger events (like a Summer Party), or use CFI resources to do outreach and activism if they so choose.

To recap the survey of a few months ago, we polled to find out the kinds of things members wanted to do and have access to.  The leading choice cited by members was speakers, and this is indeed one of the great benefits CFI Portland brings to BAM members and the community at large.  We are already planning to bring in our first speaker.  Sometime too in the next few months, we are anticipating a visit by DJ Grothe, the host of the radio show and podcast "Point of Inquiry" ( www.pointofinquiry.org ).  Lauren Becker, a former Beavertonian herself who has been working on secular causes for the past few years for CFI in New York, is also likely to pay us a visit.

Apart from speakers, there were a myriad of projects suggested/requested from the survey, many of which are now in various stages of development awaiting volunteers, and to that end volunteers will be contacted soon and the call for more will go out.

The new Community itself will be called the CFI Community of Portland.  If this is something you consider worthwhile, I'd encourage everyone to allow themselves the opportunity to dream a little about what it is they would like from building a larger community.  This is an exciting, formative time, and your vision of how it could and should look is going to directly shape what the future of our community looks like.  Getting involved as a volunteer, joining as a Friend of the Center, and/or possibly becoming a committee or board member of this new organization are all ways you can help to realize your vision.  It won't be easy work, but as we build our community, it will be rewarding work, and I expect we will go far.

Thanks again to all of you for your interest and enthusiasm.  CFI Portland will have an "official" launch in the months to come - in the meantime, it's time to roll up our sleeves and start turning our hopes of a community into a reality.

If you would like to become involved in the new Center for Inquiry Community of Portland, please contact portland@centerforinquiry.net .