Committees

Minnesota Atheists is a volunteer organization, with most of our activities carried out by committees.

We encourage members who want to get actively involved to join a committee to facilitate the work they want to do. Here you will find a list of our standing committees, who’s involved in each committee (unless requested not to be listed), and what the current goals are for each committee so you may find one which fits you best. 

Contact information for each committee is below and general committee inquiries may be sent to volunteer@mnatheists.org. Additional committees may be established to meet shorter-term goals and are typically advertised at monthly meetings and/or in our newsletter. 

Operations Committees 

Membership Committee 

Works to maintain current membership, solicit new members, welcome new members, and foster a positive atheist community. Secondary role is to solicit donations. 
 
Chair: Heather Hegi, heather@mnatheists.org 
Committee Members: Shirley Moll, Steve Petersen 
Current Goals: Increasing awareness of the fact that Minnesota Atheists collects dues and highlighting the value of becoming a member. 

Building Committee 

This committee was originally established to purchase a building for Minnesota Atheists. Since that time, real estate markets have shifted significantly. This committee is responsible for researching possible buildings to buy, planning for the successful transition to ownership, and supervising the use of the building once obtained. This committee had most recently been looking into leasing options for as a step toward ownership. 

Chair: Ross Meisner 
Committee Members: Steve Peterson, Chris Matthews 
If you’re interested in working towards this goal, please contact us at volunteer@mnatheists.org 

Technology/Web Committee 

Designs and manages website. Also manages the mailing list, Mail Chimp, and Atheists Weekly E-mail (AWE). 
 
Chair: Grant Hermanson, web@mnatheists.org 
Web Developer: Jason Thibeault 
Committee Members: Stephanie Zvan, Alyssa Ehni, Ben Blanchard, Steve Petersen, Chris Matthews 
Current Goals: Migrate website to WordPress. Build a schedule and document responsibilities for ongoing content updates. Capture Minnesota Atheists history for site. If you’re interested in getting involved, please contact us at volunteer@mnatheists.org 

Code of Conduct Committee 

Reviews and tracks code of conduct violation reports and actions taken in response. Trains organizers in handling complaints and concerns. Periodically reviews code and procedures for best practices to maintain a welcoming community. 

Chair: Stephanie Zvan, stephanie@mnatheists.org 
Committee Members: Alyssa Ehni, Ben Blanchard 
Current Goals: Update organizers on code of conduct revisions and their responsibilities. Assess training needs. Due to confidentiality requirements, this committee is limited to board members. If you have a question or concern about the code or the committee, please send it to info@mnatheists.org. 

Activism Committees 

Legislative Committee 

Facilitate dialog between our elected representatives and Minnesota Atheists. Pursue changes in the law as sees fit. 
 
Chair: August Berkshire, augustberkshire@gmail.com, 612-868-2267 
Committee Members: Steve Adams, Stephanie Zvan 
Current Goals: Facilitate the passing of a bill which would amend the constitution to allow for secular celebrants to conduct legal marriages as atheists. You can help by voicing your support to representatives in the committees these bills are currently in, especially if they represent your district or share your party affiliation. 

Activism Committee 

Chair: Maddy Love 
Committee Members: 

Public Policy Committee 

Review and make revisions to the Public Policy document. 
 
Chair: George Kane, nup@minn.net, 651-488-8225 
Committee Members: August Berkshire, Mahad Muhammad, Georgia Hancock Tsoi 
Current Goals: Facilitate the committee in meeting to review and make revisions to the Public Policy. If interested in joining the committee, contact George at nup@minn.net 

Public Relations Committee 

Increase our media presence by coordinating the writing of press releases, opinion pieces, and letters to the editor. Also oversees effective use of our Twitter Account, Facebook Page, and any other social media presence. 
 
Chair: OPEN 
Committee Members: Heather Hegi, Eric Jayne, Stephanie Zvan 
Current Goals: To increase our social media efforts 

Community Committees 

Public Service/Charities Committee 

Partner with Foundation Beyond Belief to plan and initiate activities that help people and strengthen our community. 
 
Chair: OPEN 
Committee Members: Caroline Brunner, Alyssa Ehni, Mahad Muhammad, Steve Petersen 
Current Goals: Recruit more ‘kitchen leaders’ to coordinate the planning of quality meals at our reoccurring volunteer event at The Family Place Shelter. If you’re interested, please email Alyssa at alyssa@mnatheists.org 

Education Committees 

Library Initiative 

Facilitate member access to our lending library. 
 
Library Coordinator: Georgia Hancock Tsoi, library@mnatheists.org 
Digital Library Coordinator: Les Stordalen 
Current Goals: Make this service known and available to our members. Les is working on creating a digital lending library. 

Speakers’ Bureau 

Maintains a list of free atheist speakers within Minnesota for the media, schools, and events hosted by other groups. Other duties include developing a curriculum for speakers, training speakers, creating handouts, and promoting this service. Also maintains list of MNA-approved secular celebrants. 
 
Chair: OPEN 
Current Goals: We need a motivated individual to take on the position of chairing this committee and fulfilling the goal of maintaining this list. If you’re interested in getting involved, please contact us at volunteer@mnatheists.org 

Editorial Board 

Produces the newsletter The Minnesota Atheist. 
 
Chair: George Kane, nup@minn.net, 651-488-8225 
Editor: Milo Grika, editor@mnatheists.org 
Board Members: Heather Hegi, Chris Matthews, Shirley Moll, James Zimmerman 
Current Goals: Feature more pictures and articles of past and upcoming events. Build interest so we receive more submissions from our membership and greater atheist community. Solicit articles. Submit articles to editor@mnatheists.org 

Radio/Podcast Committee 

Creates and broadcasts the radio show Atheists Talk and posts podcasts. 
 
Chair/Producer: OPEN 
Committee Members: Steve Petersen, Stephanie Zvan 
Current Goals: Recruit a new producer! Recruit more volunteers to develop programming, invite speakers, and conduct interviews. If interested in becoming involved, please contact us at radio@mnatheists.org 

Outreach Committee 

This committee coordinates Minnesota Atheists appearances at parades, conventions and conferences, local festivals, etc. Current recurring events include our presence at Minneapolis Pride and the Magic School Party Room at CONvergence. 

Chair: OPEN
Committee Members: Ben Blanchard, Alyssa Ehni, Steve Peterson, Stephanie Zvan 
Current Goals:  

Social Committees 

Programs and Activities Committee 

Plans and executes activities for members (most of which are also open to the general public), such as monthly meetings, social hours, picnics, 5th Sunday dinners, Day of Reason, booths and marches at festivals, Winter Solstice Party, Regional Conference, debates, etc. Also oversees online promotion and coordination of events, most notably overseeing Minnesota Atheists Meetup Page on Meetup.com. 
 
Chair: Heather Hegi, heather@mnatheists.org 
Family Programming Lead: Jill Carlson 
Committee Members: the serving board, all Meetup Assistant Organizers 
Current Goals: Strategically make use of the budgeted amount of funds designated for speakers. We would also like to schedule a Newbie Night for new members to be introduced to the organization. If there’s an event you would like to organize or would like to share your ideas, please contact Heather at heather@mnatheists.org 

Wellbeing Committee 

The Wellbeing Committee was formed to address the ongoing needs of members who are experiencing short-term life challenges. 
 
Chair: Georgia Hancock Tsoi, well-being@mna.org 
Committee Members:  
Current Goals: Recruiting volunteers who are looking for opportunities to provide some support to members of Minnesota Atheists in need. If you are interested in volunteering, please email well-being@mna.org.