We here at Skepticon HQ are super pumped to announce our travel grant recipients!
First up, the winner of the SurlyAmy Grant for Awesome Women who are Awesome:
“To be honest, the skeptical/secular community saved my life. When I first got involved a little over a year ago, that was the first time I really made friends who were into activism, writing, nerdery, and the other stuff I’m into. The people I’ve met through blogging and going to conferences have become my closest friends and they’ve supported me through a lot of difficult life stuff. Seeing them at these cons means the world to me”
and now, the Skepticon Dino Grant Winners:
“My wife and I are recent skeptics/deconverts from christianity. We have kind of weathered the storm together and are still going through coming out to our families and friends. We are surrounded by religious people and it would be great to just get away and meet new people and friends who think like us. My wife is due with our third baby in December and it would be great to have one more mini-vacation before.”
AND David Gier!
“I want to attend because I enjoyed the conference last year for a number of reasons. I was able to meet new people, reconnect with friends I had met at the SSA conference last year, listen to great talks and find fantastic secular books, clothing and flair. I expect to have the same experiences as last year and get the same fantastic memories from it. Also, I hope this trip will benefit the Society of Open-Minded Atheists and Agnostics at KU, of which I’m the president this year, to discuss issues, find new things to do in SOMA, and bond.“
And now, the Secular Women Travel Grant Winners:
I am relatively new to the secular community, having been a Christian for most of my life until about a year and a half ago. Exposure to new ideas and a community of freethinking people assisted me in a transition that was a type of crisis. I expect to be challenged in my thinking, meet new people, and network in a way that will be helpful not only for my own development but also for that of the community I serve (as a speaker and organizer for Columbus Rationality and a cognitive-behavioral therapist). I am part of the Secular Therapy Project and have several clients who are at various points in their transitions away from faith and coming out to their families. As they seek support in their exploration of existential questions, additional ideas and resources that I can share with them from great thinkers in the skeptic/freethought community will be invaluable.
Seth Andrews is one of the people who heavily influenced me to take the final steps in admitting that I am an atheist. I listen to his podcasts weekly, connect with him on Facebook, and own his book, DEconverted. I benefit from hearing speakers who can dissect religious arguments with skill and a great attitude, rather than hearing religious communities bashed with hate and malice. Also, I am the only atheist in my very Christian family. Even my long-term boyfriend is religious! I yearn to connect with others in this freethinking community!
Last year was my first Skepticon, and it was amazing. This year, I expect it to be even better, because a bunch of my favorite speakers are attending! I’m really excited to hear what new topics they have to discuss, and what different perspectives they have to offer. I also really value the chance to network with other Skeptics. Skepticon is especially cool because it isn’t so limited to students/student leaders, so I get to encounter a much more diverse community. I really appreciate the opportunity to make and maintain connections with the wider skeptic community.
I want to attend because I have heard great things about past Skepticons. As treasurer and a member of SOMA who put on Reasonfest, seeing how other conferences do their organizing helps me organize our event. I also would love to meet and see people to further connections and relationships in the community out side my group.
and Amber Adamson!
My mother recently made the observation that she only knows two atheists, and one of them is me. I grew up in the heart of the deep South, amid a family which — with no exaggeration — posts to Facebook on a routine basis with prayers and insistence upon salvation from demonic influences. My aunt claims to perform exorcisms, and friends of my family have been known to remark upon sightings of Jesus standing in the trees. Needless to say, I haven’t had an opportunity for much atheistic solidarity in my life.
If you would like to donate to these recipients travel costs or to Skepticon in general, click here!
The Skepticon Team