Skepticon is so excited (and maybe only a little bit nervous in a good way) to be bringing back panels this year! Let’s see who will be gracing the stage and making it awesome:
Heina Dadabhoy, Joshua Hyde, Nola Olsen, and Benny Vimes with Moderator Stephanie Zvan!
Heina Dadabhoy spent their childhood as a practicing Muslim who never in their right mind would have believed that they would grow up to be an atheist feminist secular humanist. Heina has been an active participant in atheist organizations and events in and around Orange County, CA since 2007, and on the national stage since 2011. Heina is a speaker and panelist on a range of diverse topics including feminism, race, LGBT issues, the challenges of deconversion, Islam, non-monogamy, strategies for inclusivity, and the various intersections of the above. You may have heard them at Skepticon, the American Atheists National Convention, the Huffington Post Live, and Have Your Say on the BBC World Service or read about them in the New York Times. They are currently writing A Skeptic’s Guide to Islam.
Joshua Hyde is currently serving as president of the Kansas City Atheist Coalition, was a founding board member of Kansas City Oasis, and currently serves also as a board member of the Oasis Network. He is a polymath that has spoken on a number of topics, including cyber security, building community, the history of religious freedom in the United States, and “cutting the cord” with services like Plex.
Nola Olsen has lived in Missouri most of her life. She spent a couple years in Portland, OR, learning about the housing crisis. Her hobbies include coffee, baking, and reading Felicity Smoak fan-fiction. Secret identity: @realgreendress
Benny Vimes is a proud Social Justice Cleric, skeptic, atheist, and transman. He lives in Chicago with his spouse, bunny, and slightly radioactive cat who yells a lot. Currently a student completing a degree in Science Stuff, Benny spends his spare time with his poly family in Madison, WI. He writes the blog Scrappy Deviations at The Orbit about atheism, science, trans issues, neurodiversity, polyamory, kink, and anything shiny that catches his eye.
Stephanie Zvan is the producer of American Humanist Association’s podcast, The Humanist Hour and a host and interviewer for Minnesota Atheists’ radio show, Atheists Talk. She’s a former associate president of Minnesota Atheists and a co-founder of Secular Women Work, which provides activist training through conferences and workshops. She’s also a co-founder of The Orbit, a network focused on atheism, activism, and culture. She writes at Almost Diamonds and has been known to impulsively start large research projects.
Art & Skepticism Panelists:
Greta Christina, Alix Jules, Lauren Lane, and Ashley F. Miller with Moderator Josiah Mannion!
Greta Christina has been writing professionally since 1989, and has been writing about atheism since 2005. She is author of several books, including “The Way of the Heathen: Practicing Atheism in Everyday Life,” “Comforting Thoughts About Death That Have Nothing to Do with God,” “Coming Out Atheist: How to Do It, How to Help Each Other, and Why, and “Why Are You Atheists So Angry? 99 Things That Piss Off the Godless.” She blogs at Greta Christina’s Blog, at The Orbit, and is on both Facebook and Twitter. She lives in San Francisco with her wife, Ingrid.
Alix Jules is a secular activist in the Dallas – Ft. Worth area commonly involved in issues and topics regarding the role of diversity in the atheist community as well as atheism in diverse communities. He’s the chair of the Dallas – Fort Worth Coalition of Reason’s Diversity Council, Organizer for Black Nonbelievers of Dallas, and is a founding member of the largest family-based secular humanist organization in Texas, the Fellowship of Freethought. Alix has been featured in Ebony magazine, “One Man’s Journey into Atheism,” Godless – the documentary, ia a regular co-host on Dogma Debate (he’s the funny one), and is a contributing writer on Patheos, The Orbit, and other outlets where he provides social commentary and critique on race, religion, politics, and pizza.
Lauren Lane is the Founder and current President Skepticon, a national conference located annually in Springfield, MO that promotes skepticism, science education and community building. During her tenure as an undergraduate, Lauren held various leadership positions in the Missouri State University Chapter of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, a secular student group that revolutionized student activism. She has been a contributor to The Friendly Atheist, MadArtLabs, and has previously spoken at conventions such as the Secular Student Alliance Convention, FTBCon, and Reason in the Rock. She likes art, dinosaurs, action movies and making weird faces.
Ashley F. Miller is a writer, activist, and communications scholar from South Carolina, who has worked for LGBT, secular, and women’s rights for over a decade. She is one of the leading young women in the secular movement, speaking regularly at schools and conferences across the country about feminism and communications. She has written for dozens of publications, including Salon, Freethought Blogs, and the academic journal CrossCurrents, and run local communications campaigns for law firms, news websites, and secular organizations. She is a PhD candidate in Mass Communications at the University of South Carolina, where she has focused on women and minorities in the media. Before returning to school for her PhD, she worked in film and television in Los Angeles, including on the show Toddlers & Tiaras She has a Masters in Film Production from FSU, and a Bachelors degree in Film Studies from Emory University.
Josiah Mannion takes pictures of humans; this is his Humanism. He likes to try to make the unseen seen in photography. He has a B.A. from St. John’s College – Santa Fe, the Great Books Program, and never finished his Master’s in Religious Studies, ’cause he joined the Army instead, which was a bad decision, but they did teach him Korean, which was cool. He reads a lot, too.