Published by Minnesota Atheists on

By August Berkshire

Headshot of August Berkshire, smiling.

This year we once again plan to have a booth at the Juneteenth Celebration, held in north Minneapolis on Saturday, June 19th. As a bonus, we are hoping to have a special presentation later that week by one of our members that we will advertise at the event. African-Americans are greatly underrepresented in the organized atheist community (as are all racial minorities) and we wish to correct this.

The weekend of June 26-27 kicks off the first of five Gay Pride celebrations (including two parades) that we do each year. The Twin Cities Pride celebration is the largest festival and source of new names we have each year, and we will be needing a lot of volunteers for this event. We follow this with Gay Pride celebrations in Rochester, Duluth, Mankato, and La Crosse.  The issue of equal rights for GLBT people is one of the most visible state-church separation issues in the country and we are proud to support it.   For many years at these parades and festivals, we carried fun, colorful, hand-drawn signs made by Jerry Rauser. However, last year we were pleased to carry some great new signs that were created and donated to us by Dan Norte.  Special thanks to both of them for helping to make us visible! One of our most popular signs last year was “Hug An Atheist” and the most huggable atheist of all turned out to be our immediate past president Jeannette Watland.

Of course, we also have our regular meetings with speakers, which are open to the public.  On Sunday, May 16th, we featured science-atheist blogger extraordinaire and 2009 Humanist of the Year PZ Myers.  On Monday, June 28th, we will have a special meeting in the evening (probably at a public library) with Sean Faircloth, the new executive director of the Secular Coalition for America.  We are pleased to co-sponsor this event with our colleagues, the Humanists of Minnesota.

Finally, as the lazy days of summer approach, we have some fun social activities for families. We had a 5th Sunday “All-You-Can-Eat Flying Spaghetti Monster Fundraising Dinner” on May 30th at 4:30 p.m. at Roseville Central Park.  Thanks to Steve Petersen and George Kane for organizing this.  We will also have our series of annual summer Potlock Picnics in Columbia Park in northeast Minneapolis at noon-3:00 p.m. on Sundays, June 13th, July 18th, and August 15th, hosted by the Campus Atheists, Skeptics, and Humanists (CASH); the Humaists of Minnesota; and Minnesota Atheists respectively.  Thanks to Ron Julien for setting these up.

These and many other events that we sponsor and participate in are advertised through our Minnesota Atheists Meetup.  Sign up for free at http://www.meetup.com/minnesota-atheists/ .  We hope to see you at one or more of our many upcoming events!

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