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Freethought Today · November 2013

Published by the Freedom From Religion Foundation, Inc.

Meet an Activist Staffer

Name: Dayna Elizabeth Long.

Where and when I was born: I was born in Urbana, Ill., in 1989. 

Education: I graduated from the University of Illinois in 2011 with a degree in English literature. 

How I came to work at FFRF: I was working at a software company but knew I wanted to be doing work that was more meaningful to me and would also allow me to spend more time volunteering for the National Organization for Women [Dayna is the newly elected volunteer president of the Wisconsin chapter of NOW]. When I saw that FFRF was hiring, I jumped on it. 

What I do here: I’m an administrative assistant, so I get the mail, process sales orders, answer the phone, do some data entry plus a hundred other miscellaneous things. 

What I like best about it: It’s really wonderful to work in an office where I can be very open about my atheism and also my politics without worrying about offending anyone. Also, everyone who works here is really bright and funny. I laugh all day long. 

What sucks about it: Occasional long lines at the post office.

I spend a lot of time thinking about: Feminism, activism, politics and how my cats, Oscar and Sally, spend their time when I’m not around. 

I spend little if any time thinking about: Answering a question like this.

My religious upbringing was: Zilch. My family started attending a Lutheran church when I was 15, but happily it was a short-lived practice. 

My doubts about religion started: When I was pretty young. I can remember asking my mom if she thought God was real around the same time that I started asking why she and Santa Claus used the same wrapping paper. When I was in my late teens and early 20s and really growing into feminism, I became frustrated with organized religion’s attempts to impose its doctrine on everyone, especially on issues like same-sex marriage and reproductive rights.

When I moved to Madison after college, I started hanging out with UW’s student group Atheists, Humanists, and Agnostics, which is when I became comfortable openly identifying as an atheist. 

Things I like: My cats, chai tea lattes, nonfiction, incredible female leaders and great Wisconsin beer. Also blueberry danish. 

Things I smite: Sexism, racism, homophobia, transphobia, drivers who don’t observe pedestrian crosswalks and online dating. 

In my golden years: I’ll have constitutional equality under the Equal Rights Amendment! I hope.

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