Reason in the Rock...
Help us present a conference on science and secularism in the Bible Belt!
We are the Arkansas Society of Freethinkers, and we are dedicated to promoting critical thinking, scientific inquiry, tolerance, and separation of church and state.
Last year we put on a conference on secularism that was completely free for anyone who wanted to attend. At Reason in the Rock's inauguration, we treated 150 attendees to presentations by leaders in the pro-science and secularist movement.
We want to do it again this year, but with a bigger impact - and we want to keep Reason in the Rock free for anyone who can't afford to pay to go to a conference like this.
What It Is
We have already committed many exciting speakers! Over a two day period, October 26-27, 2013, at the Wyndham Hotel in North Little Rock, we'll present these speakers and - with your help - others:
Zack Kopplin - Student activist who is challenging the Louisiana state legislature over creationism in the science classroom.
David Silverman – President of American Atheists
Dan Barker – Co-President of the Freedom From Religion Foundation, former Christian pastor, Author of Godless; The Good Atheist: Living a Purpose-Filled Life Without God; Maybe Yes, Maybe No: A Guide for Young Skeptics; and Losing Faith: From Preacher to Atheist
Johnny T. Stine, Ph.D. – Biologist, Former Arkansan, Owner of the Seattle biotech firm North Coast Biologics, cancer researcher.
Jason R. Wiles, Ph.D. – Biologist, former Arkansan and graduate of Searcy's Harding University, now at Syracuse University, Associate Director of McGill University's Evolution Education Research Centre.
Jerry DeWitt, Former pastor; author of Hope After Faith
Kyle Sanders & Ben Bell – Hosts of Little Rock's Skeptics in the Pub talking about how to spot pseudoscience.
Lecia Brooks – Director of Outreach at the Southern Poverty Law Center, speaking about the State of Intolerance
All the money we raise will be used to pay for the venue and to pay for hotel accommodations and travel expenses for our speakers. We actually need about TWICE the amount of this Indiegogo campaign! If we have a surplus, the funds will be applied to Reason in the Rock 2014.
We are passionate about science and about secular humanism! Unfortunately, Arkansas is not. Nonreligious Arkansans often face outright hostility from coworkers, neighbors, and even family - especially if we promote unpopular ideas like evolution, critical thinking, and separation of church and state. Arkansas ranks a distressing 41st in science education, and is one of the most religious places in the United States.
The Arkansas Society of Freethinkers organizes, hosts, promotes, and works at Reason in the Rock. We are agnostics, atheists, and "nones" who have come together in a secularist community devoted to social progress, science education, humanism, and separation of church and state.
Our path is always uphill. Our inoffensive bus ad campaign two years ago was blocked by prejudiced officials in the public transit agency, and we had to go to federal court just to be allowed to advertise our group's existence. Four years ago, we had to sue the Secretary of State to be allowed to erect an educational winter solstice display next to the annual nativity scene placed on the state capitol grounds.
We do good, and we want to do more good!
The speakers we host all promote good critical thinking, and foster a greater understanding of the world for those who are nonreligious. Help us and our guests let secularist, science-loving Arkansans know they are not alone!
Other successful events such as The Amaz!ng Meeting in Las Vegas, Skepticon in Springfield, Missouri, Skepticamp, and CSICON have taught us valuable lessons in hosting a powerful convention. We've been told to plan to double our attendance each year for the first few years of our existence.
This means we need to pay for a bigger venue, more speakers' lodging and airfare, and make way for 300 attendees! We're still trying to get this conference off the ground and establish its reputation, so we're working hard to raise money. We want more than anything to keep this conference free to the public, because in addition to all its other issues, Arkansas remains one of the poorest states in the country, too.
Your donation will make the difference!
Please help us show the science-deniers and anti-secularists that they can't stop science and reason.
Every penny we raise will go toward this conference. If the Flying Spaghetti Monster is good to us and blesses us with a surplus, we'll have a start on next year's Reason in the Rock!
Would you like to know more about us, or even join us? We do a LOT of stuff, and we have a great time in the process! Check out the website for the Arkansas Society of Freethinkers and see our calendar on Meetup.com.
Other Ways You Can Help
If you just can’t contribute, that doesn’t mean you can’t help.
- Get the word out and make some noise about this campaign. Talk about us to your friends and family, and link to us in your blog, on Facebook, Twitter (#ReasonInTheRock), Tumblr, and everywhere else you have an Internet presence.
- Volunteer! We need help with everything from web design to registration the day of the event.
- Use the Indiegogo share tools!