2024 Convention Speakers

Freedom from Religion Foundation 2024 National Convention | Denver | September 26-29

September 26-29, 2024

The Sheraton Denver Downtown
1550 Court Place
Denver CO 80202

 

DAN BARKER

Headshot of Dan BarkerFFRF Co-President Dan Barker, besides doing a little entertaining at the piano, will speak on his brand new book, “Contraduction: The Death of the Design Argument”. After 140 debates for FFRF, Dan proposes a new way of looking at assumptions behind “fine-tuning” arguments for the existence of God. He’s the author of other books, including “God: The Most Unpleasant Character in All Fiction“, “Godless“, “Life Driven Purpose“, “The Good Atheist“, “Just Pretend: A Book for Young Freethinkers“, “Losing Faith in Faith: From Preacher to Atheist“, and “Free Will Explained“.

 

 

COLORADO STATE LEGISLATIVE PANEL

A panel including some of Colorado’s nonreligious/secular legislators, will take place. Confirmed to date:

REP. JUDY AMABILE

Headshot of Representative Judy AmabileJudy Amabile has served as a state representative in the Colorado General Assembly representing the 49th district, including Boulder, since 2020. She has sponsored a slate of progressive and pragmatic bills, including measures to increase mental health resources, improve the criminal justice system, increase gun safety and make communities more resilient in the face of wildfires fueled by the climate crisis. Managing a growing business, caring for up to 65 employees and parenting three boys has informed her work in the General Assembly. She has received a number of awards from Colorado groups, including the 2023 Advocacy Award from Suicide Prevention Coalition of Colorado. She is chair of the Business Affairs & Labor Committee and serves on a number of committees.

REP. BRIANNA TITONE

Headshot of Representative Brianna TitoneBrianna Titone, a geologist with a Master’s in geochemistry, moved from New York State to Colorado, where she earned a second Master’s degree in information communication technology at the University of Denver in 2018. She was first elected to the Colorado House of Representatives, representing the 27th district, in 2017. She serves as chair of the Legislative LGBTQ+ Caucus and the Joint Technology Committee and on a variety of volunteer boards. She enjoys trail running and photography, and was the first openly transgender state legislator elected in Colorado and the fourth elected in the U.S.

RYAN T. CRAGUN

Headshot of Ryan T. CragunRyan T. Cragun, a professor of sociology at the University of Tampa, focuses on both Mormonism and nonreligion. Professor Cragun was born and raised in Utah as a Mormon and served as a Mormon missionary. He’s author or co-author of many books, including “Beyond Doubt: The Secularization of Society.” – “What You Don’t Know About Religion (but should)“, “Christianity and the Limits of Minority Acceptance“, subtitled: “God Loves (Almost) Everyone“, the intriguingly titled book “How to defeat religion in 10 easy steps“, and “From One Missionary to Another“.

BONNIE GARMUS

headshot of Bonnie GarmusBonnie Garmus will be on hand to accept FFRF’s Emperor Has No Clothes Award. Garmus’ charming and thought-provoking novel, “Lessons in Chemistry“, has sold in the multimillions. The award-winning global phenomenon, which has been translated into 42 languages and has been on the bestseller list for more than a year, was recently turned into a series on Apple TV starring Brie Larson. The novel, part romantic comedy and part satiric commentary, is about a determined chemist who encounters so much sexism in the 1950s that she turns to hosting a highly scientific TV cooking show. While the book’s feminism has been much remarked upon, almost every main character in it is a pronounced atheist.

MICHELLE GOLDBERG

Headshot of Michelle GoldbergMichelle Goldberg, an opinion columnist at the New York Times since 2017, who writes about politics and culture, will receive FFRF’s Clarence Darrow Award. Her work has appeared in the New Yorker, the Washington Post, the Nation, the New Republic, Slate and other publications. Her first book, “Kingdom Coming: The Rise of Christian Nationalism“, 2006, was an early warning call. “The Means of Reproduction: Sex, Power and the Future of the World“, 2009, is about global battles over gender and reproductive rights, and won the Ernesta Drinker Ballard Book Prize. Her most recent book is “The Goddess Pose“, 2015. She earned an undergrad degree at the State University of New York at Buffalo, and a masters of journalism at the University of California, Berkeley. She is an on-air contribution to MSNBC.

JON HUERTAS

Headshot of Jon HuertasActor Jon Huertas is best known for starring as Miguel Rivas for six seasons on NBC’s “This Is Us,” also directing multiple episodes. Audiences also know him as Detective Javier Esposito from ABC’s hit dramedy “Castle,” as well as for his stand-out performance of Sgt. Tony “Poke” Espera in HBO’s limited docudrama series, “Generation Kill,” where he offered an unheralded streetwise view of the Marine Corps invasion of Iraq. As an Air Force veteran himself, Jon calls that his most meaningful role. He is one of the few LatinX actors who has broken the ceiling in mainstream TV, portraying characters telling diverse but universal stories. He’s an open atheist who has participated in events such as the Secular Day of the Dead. Jon will be speaking on “True Freedom: Breaking The Shackles Of Religious Indoctrination.” He notes: “Blacks and Latinos in the Americas have long been two of the most religious groups. I want to talk about how we can help people of color feel safe about facing their skepticism and allow people like me to feel free enough to be open about being non-believers.”

BRADLEY ONISHI

headshot of Bradley OnishiDr. Bradley Onishi is faculty at the University of San Francisco and a research associate at the UC Berkeley Center for the Study of Religion. He co-hosts the top-ranked religion and politics podcast “Straight White American Jesus” and is the author of “Preparing for War: The Extremist History of White Christian Nationalism – And What Comes Next“. His work has appeared at the New York Times, NBC News, Huffpost, Religion + Politics, among others. A former Christian nationalist pastor, Dr. Onishi speaks around the country about the dangers of Christian nationalism to democracy and the public square.

RON REAGAN

Headshot of Ron ReaganRon Reagan, the “unabashed atheist, not afraid of burning in hell,” who kindly recorded a recent much censored TV commercial for FFRF, is the liberal son of Ronald and Nancy Reagan. He dropped out of Yale to become a ballet dancer, joining Joffrey Ballet Company. He is an actor and TV and radio personality. He does commentary, including for MSNBC and “Both Sides Now,” and is the author of “My Father at 100.” He serves as an honorary director of FFRF. He has previously received FFRF’s Emperor Has No Clothes Award and addressed the convention in Seattle in 2009 and in Madison, Wisconsin in 2015.

KATHERINE STEWART

black and white headshot of Katherine StewartAuthor and investigative reporter Katherine Stewart, will be accepting FFRF’s Freethought Heroine award at this year’s convention. Katherine has covered religious liberty, politics, policy and education in her various professional roles. Her latest book, “The Power Worshippers: Inside the Dangerous Rise of Religious Nationalism“, is a rare look inside the machinery of the movement that brought Donald Trump to power. The recent documentary feature movie “God and Country,” co-produced by Rob Reiner and Stewart, is based on “The Power Worshippers.” Stewart’s journalism appears in the New York Times op ed, NBC, the New Republic, and the New York Review of Books. She last spoke at FFRF’s convention in 2021 in Boston.

BRANDON WOLF

Headshot of Brandon WolfBrandon Wolf, a nationally recognized advocate for LGBTQ+ civil rights and gun safety law, currently serves as national press secretary for the Human Rights Campaign, and will be accepting on behalf of HRC the 2024 Henry Zumach Freedom From Religious Fundamentalism Award (a minimum of $35,000). A survivor of the 2016 shooting at Orlando’s Pulse Nightclub, he’s a frequent face on MSNBC and CNN, and an opinion contributor in Oprah Daily, Newsweek, USA Today, and others. Brandon hashaving been named one of Logo TV’s 30 LGBTQ Changemakers and Out Magazine’s 100 Most Influential LGBTQ People.

In 2019, he became the first survivor of the Pulse tragedy to testify before Congress and returned in 2022 to testify on the rise of anti-LGBTQ hate violence before the House Oversight Committee. His debut memoir, A Place for Us, was released in July 2023 and became an instant bestseller.

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