Freethought Today · August 2017

Published by the Freedom From Religion Foundation, Inc.

Sweeney joins FFRF convention lineup

FFRF is excited to announce that actress and comedian Julia Sweeney will be speaking at its annual national convention.

Sweeney, who will be the Saturday evening keynote speaker, rounds out the complete weekend lineup of performers and speakers at the Monona Terrace in downtown, Madison, Wis., from Sept. 15-17. She is perhaps best-known as a member of the "Saturday Night Live" cast from 1990-94. She also wrote and performed three monologues, including "Letting Go of God," which details her deconversion experience from Catholicism.

Sweeney is an honorary board member of FFRF, and is also on the advisory boards of both the Secular Coalition for America and the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science.

With so many great speakers set for this year's convention, the Friday schedule will begin at 3 p.m., earlier than the start of previous FFRF conventions. FFRF Honorary Board President Steven Pinker and Katha Pollitt will both speak prior to the "Forward" Tailgate Dinner, after 13-year old Kelly Helton gives a 5-minute student activist pep talk.

After the break, FFRF Co-Presidents Annie Laurie Gaylor and Dan Barker will give the welcoming remarks, to be followed by Maryam Namazie, who will receive the Henry K. Zumach Freedom From Fundamentalism Award.

Comedian Paula Poundstone will conclude Friday's events with her performance. Attendees will be able to meet with Poundstone after she concludes her talk.

Saturday's schedule is just as exciting, and just as packed. You'll get to hear from FFRF's legal staff members regarding many of the major cases they worked on during the year. That will be followed by four freethinkers of the year presentations, activist Kimberly Veal, composer Brent Michael Davids, science communicator Cara Santa Maria, author and columnist Michelle Goldberg and singer-songwriter Roy Zimmerman. Sweeney will conclude the night with her remarks.
Plus there will be the annual drawing for "clean" (pre-"In God We Trust") currency after the Saturday dinner.

Sweeney and Zimmerman will also have DVD / CD signings at the end of the evening.

And don't forget about taking a free tour of Freethought Hall Friday morning before the convention officially begins. Complimentary light pastries and drinks will be offered.

Boat cruise sold out

Due to high demand for the Betty Lou boat cruise, all the spots have been filled. FFRF has chartered a third boat to help with the overflow, but that boat is also now filled to capacity.

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