Sikivu Hutchinson, PhD
Feminist, Author, director
Sikivu Hutchinson is an American feminist, novelist, playwright and director. She is the author of White Nights, Black Paradise (2015), Godless Americana: Race and Religious Rebels (2013), Moral Combat: Black Atheists, Gender Politics, and the Values Wars (2011), and Imagining Transit: Race, Gender, and Transportation Politics in Los Angeles (2003). Moral Combat is the first book on atheism to be published by an African-American woman.
Her sci fi speculative fiction web-series Narcolepsy, Inc., based on her 2018 Hollywood Fringe Festival play, debuted this March. She is also the founder of Black Skeptics Los Angeles, and her forthcoming book Humanism in the Hood: Unapologetically Black, Feminist and Heathen will be published by Pitchstone in 2020.
In 2013 Hutchinson was named Secular Woman of the year and was awarded Foundation Beyond Belief's 2015 Humanist Innovator award, and the Secular Student Alliance's 2016 Backbone award.
Florida Science Teacher, Director of Center for Inquiry's Teacher Institute for Evolutionary Science (TIES)
Bertha Vazquez has been teaching middle school science in Miami-Dade County Public Schools for 29 years. She has BA in Biology from the University of Miami and a Master’s in Science Education from Florida International University. A seasoned traveler who has visited all seven continents, she enjoys introducing the world of nature and science to young, eager minds.
An educator with National Board Certification, she is the recipient of several national and local honors, including the 2014 Samsung’s $150,000 Solve For Tomorrow Contest and The Charles C. Bartlett National Excellence in Environmental Award in 2009. She has been the Miami-Dade Science Teacher of the Year in 1997, 2008, and 2017. She is the 2017 recipient of the National Association of Biology Teachers Evolution Education Award and is also one of Florida’s 2017 finalists for the most prestigious science award in the country, The Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching.
As Director of the Teacher Institute for Evolutionary Science, Vazquez has organized over 140 workshops on evolution content and resources in 47 states.
Podcaster, writer, BLOGGER
Matt Dillahunty is an atheist activist. He was the president of the Atheist Community of Austin from 2006 to 2013. He has hosted the Austin-based webcast and cable-access television show The Atheist Experience since c. 2005, and formerly hosted the live Internet radio show Non-Prophets Radio. He is also the founder and contributor of the counter-apologetics encyclopedia Iron Chariots and its subsidiary sites.
He is regularly engaged in formal debates and travels the United States speaking to local secular organizations, churches and university groups on religion, philosophy, skepticism, atheism, humanism and magic.
Alongside fellow activists Seth Andrews and Aron Ra, he traveled to Australia in March 2015 as a member of the Unholy Trinity Tour. In April 2015 he was an invited speaker at the Merseyside Skeptics Society QEDCon in the United Kingdom. Beginning in the summer of 2017, Dillahunty joined a speaking tour sponsored by the Pangburn Philosophy Foundation where he shared the stage with fellow atheists Sam Harris and Richard Dawkins.
Author, Host of The Thinking Atheist Podcast
Seth Andrews, a video producer and former Christian broadcaster, now hosts www.thethinkingatheist.com, one of the most popular online atheist communities in the world. The Thinking Atheist is not a person. It is an icon encouraging all to reject faith and pursue reason and evidence.
Seth has authored three books. "Deconverted: a Journey from Religion to Reason" chronicles his journey out of superstition, "Sacred Cows: A Lighthearted Look at Belief and Tradition Around the World" is a wild romp through many of the world's strangest cultures and customs, and "Ghost Stories" is a fictional audiobook romp inspired by his annual Halloween radio show.
Seth hosts The Thinking Atheist podcast on Spreaker, a broadcast that has been downloaded 50 million times since its launch in 2010.
With a mix of humor and heart, Seth Andrews has spoken for audiences large and small in the U.S, Canada, Europe, and Australia about his former faith, the promotion of science and skepticism, the importance of Humanism in this often crazy world, and why we should all pursue a personal relationship with reality.
Dr. Ryan Cragun
Researcher, Author, Professor at the University of Tampa
Dr. Ryan T. Cragun is a partner, parent, and sociologist of religion (in order of importance). Originally from Utah, he now lives in Florida and works at the University of Tampa. His research and writing focuses on religion, with an emphasis on Mormonism and the nonreligious. His research has been published in a variety of academic journals, including: Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, Sociology of Religion, Journal of Sex Research, Journal of Religion and Health, and Journal of Contemporary Religion.
When he's not working, he's spending time with his partner and child, cooking, watching science fiction, hiking, playing soccer, or tinkering with computers.
Director of Transgender equality, Equality Florida
Gina Duncan is Equality Florida's Director of Transgender Equality. Gina also served on the HRC Orlando Steering Committee, as Co-Chair of the Diversity Committee. She chaired the Transgender Day of Remembrance and Transgender Career and Wellness Fair events. Gina served two terms as President of the Metropolitan Business Association (MBA), the LGBT Chamber of Commerce in Orlando. She was also the President of MBA's Come Out With Pride event, which annually draws over 100,000 people to the Orlando area.
Gina was invited to attend the first ever Human Rights Campaign’s National Women’s Diversity Leadership Conference, and also served on the HRC National Business Council. Gina serves on the Steering Committee of Equality Florida and on the Orlando Anti-Discrimination Alliance, which has been instrumental in passing the Orange County Human Rights Ordinance as well as a Domestic Partnership Registry in both the City and County.
Gina currently chairs TransAction Florida's Advisory Council, Equality Florida's Transgender Inclusion Initiative, dedicated to ensuring that Transgender Inclusion is woven into all program areas of Equality Florida statewide. Gina is recognized as a national and international spokesperson and educator on transgender rights, public policy and civic engagement. She was recently featured on the cover of Florida Trend Magazine, Florida's largest business magazine. Gina was also recently chosen in the Top 100 LGBT Movers and Shakers in Florida.
Science Teacher, Author, Spokesperson and Co-Founder of Florida Citizens for Science
Brandon is a former Marine Corps combat correspondent and former public information officer for the Volusia County Sheriff's office. He is currently a Volusia County high school science teacher.
He authored Going Ape: Florida's Battles over Evolution in the Classroom. and, in his spare time, advocates for science education in Florida through is work as a board member of Florida Citizens for Science. He has appeared on NPR’s Science Friday.
Dr. Anjan ChAkravarty
Appignani Foundation Chair for the Study of Atheism, Humanism, and Secular EthicS
Anjan Chakravartty is an analytic philosopher and Appignani Foundation Chair for the Study of Atheism, Humanism, and Secular Ethic at University of Miami. Previously, he was a professor of philosophy at the University of Notre Dame. His work focuses on topics in the philosophy of science, metaphysics, and epistemology.
He received his BSc in Biophysics and MA in philosophy from the University of Toronto. Chakravartty obtained his PhD at the University of Cambridge and previously taught at the University of Toronto. He was the Director of the John J. Reilly Center for Science, Technology, and Values at Notre Dame, and the Editor in Chief of the journal Studies in History and Philosophy of Science before leaving Notre Dame for the Florida sunshine in 2018.
Chakravartty authored Scientific Ontology: Integrating Naturalized Metaphysics and Voluntarist Epistemology and A Metaphysics for Scientific Realism: Knowing the Unobservable (Cambridge University Press) puts forward the concept of semirealism. The book won the Biennial Book Prize of the Canadian Philosophical Association in 2009. He has edited collections entitled Ancient Skepticism, Voluntarism, and Science, and Explanation, Inference, Testimony, and Truth, in memory of his doctoral supervisor Peter Lipton, Hans Rausing Professor of History and Philosophy of Science at the University of Cambridge.
Vice president, American Atheists
Before joining American Atheists, Debbie served as the Center for Inquiry’s Director of Campus & Community Programs and Director of African Americans for Humanism. During her time at the Center for Inquiry, Debbie created a billboard campaign highlighting black atheists nationwide, coordinated an international campaign on blasphemy laws and free expression, and organized the Women in Secularism 4 conference and the annual CFI Leadership Conference.
Science communicator, secular activist
Aron Ra is a science communicator and secular activist with roughly 200,000 subscribers to his YouTube channel. His videos promoting scientific skepticism, secular politics and humanist values have been mirrored, featured, referenced, and recommended by many professional scientists, secularists, and educators.
He is Director of the Phylogeny Explorer Project—a navigable online encyclopedic depiction of the entire taxonomic tree of life. He produces the Living Science Lessons classroom supplement video series teaching high school biology according to national standards, and unapologetically includes explanations of evolution, climate change, deep-time and other culturally controversial topics in America’s “Bible belt”.
Aron Ra is best known for contesting Texas’ State Board of Education in their attempts to denigrate evolution and teach notions of conservative Christian creationism in both science and history classrooms of public schools. Aron Ra is the author of Foundational Falsehoods of Creationism. He serves as the Regional Director of the Gulf Coast for the American Atheists.
Executive Director, Camp 42
Amy Monsky is the executive director for Camp 42, bringing a week of fun, friends, and freethought to kids (and adults!) in South Carolina, Florida and Mississippi.
Amy first became involved in Camp Quest in 2010 while searching for a secular alternative to Boy Scouts. After that first transformative week, she went on to found Camp 42 which has served over over 475 kids and is now expanding Camp 42 locations throughout the southeast, including Camp 42 Natchez Trace in Mississippi operating for the first time in June 2017 and Camp 42 Florida which opened in 2018.
Although exclusively focused on Camp 42 now, Amy has served the freethought community since 2009 in various local, state, and national capacities, including executive director of Atheist Alliance of America, co-chair of the Secular Coalition for South Carolina, president of the Charleston-based Secular Humanists of the Lowcountry, and founder of Secular Humanist Families of Charleston, South Carolina’s first secular parenting support group. She received the Carolinas Freethinker of the Year award in 2012 and Camp Quest’s Builder award in 2016. Amy lives with her family in Charleston, South Carolina.
Dr. Dan Batcheldor
Author, head of Aerospace, Physics and Space Sciences at the Florida Institute of Technology
Dr Batcheldor authored Astronomy Saves the World: Securing our Future Through Exploration and Education.
His research started with super-massive black holes; those exotic objects whose masses can reach billions of times that of the Sun and have been observed at, or near, the centers of galaxies. He uses photometric, spectroscopic, and polarimetric techniques to examine the role super-massive black holes may have played in the evolution of galaxies.
Daniel holds a BSc (Hons) Astronomy University of Hertfordshire and a Ph.D. Astrophysics University of Hertfordshire. He has been conducting research into the next generation of imaging devices which are theoretically capable of imaging Earth-like planets around other stars.
Senior Counsel, American Humanist Association
Monica L. Miller, Esq., is Senior Counsel at the American Humanist Association (AHA). Since joining the AHA in 2012, Ms. Miller has vigorously defended the constitutional mandate of separation of church and state by litigating Establishment Clause cases across the country. She has served as lead counsel in over 25 federal cases, including before the U.S. Supreme Court, and the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Fourth, Fifth, Ninth, Tenth, and Eleventh Circuits. Ms. Miller has presented oral arguments before the U.S. Supreme Court, as well as the Courts of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit (twice), Fifth Circuit, and Eleventh Circuit.
She has filed a number of briefs in the U.S. Supreme Court and served as counsel of record in our Supreme Court case challenging the Bladensburg Cross. Ms. Miller has appeared live on Fox News and MSNBC, as well as local television stations and radio shows, and is regularly quoted by national and local media outlets throughout the country, including Fox News, NPR, ABC, NBC, Aljazeera, USA Today, Newsweek, the Washington Post, the New York Times, the National Law Journal, among many others.
In pursuit of her concern for fundamental rights, Miller is also an attorney for the Nonhuman Rights Project (NhRP), working to obtain common law personhood rights for nonhuman animals. Miller’s work at the NhRP has captured the interest of the world’s leading legal scholars, scientists, and journalists. She is also featured in an HBO documentary, Unlocking the Cage.
Vice President for state Outreach & engagement, Americans United for the separation of church and state
Sarah Gillooly is the Vice President for State Outreach & Engagement at Americans United for Separation of Church and State.
Sarah works every day to build the power of AU’s members and supporters to protect religious freedom for all Americans. As a Quaker and a queer, non-binary, white co-conspirator from the South, Sarah knows that their liberation is bound up with yours.
Before joining AU, Sarah served as the Director of Political Strategy & Advocacy at the ACLU of North Carolina, where they oversaw the organization's political, organizing and legislative agendas in North Carolina. In that role, Sarah lobbied in the North Carolina General Assembly on a broad range of civil rights and liberties issues including LGBTQ equality, reproductive freedom and the First Amendment and built integrated advocacy campaigns in the areas of immigrant rights and criminal justice reform.
Prior to joining the ACLU, Sarah worked at Planned Parenthood for 10 years at the state and national levels. While serving at Planned Parenthood Federation of American (PPFA) in Washington, D.C., Sarah led a nationwide contraceptive equity policy project and worked with affiliates across the country to help them develop advocacy campaigns for a changing world. Sarah started their professional career as a community health worker in Kansas City and later as an organizer for LGBTQ equality.
Sarah holds an M.A. in women’s studies from Loyola University Chicago and a B.A. in women’s studies from Agnes Scott College in Atlanta, Ga. Sarah is also an experienced full-spectrum doula.
Carlos Guillermo Smith
REpresentative Carlos Guillermo Smith Represents the orlando area and the 49th district.
Representative Carlos Guillermo Smith (D) has proven himself to be an advocate for secular values and we look forward to hearing about the hard work of keeping religion out of government.
Upon his election in 2016, Smith became the first openly gay Latino to serve in the Florida Legislature. In April 2017, Smith formed and was subsequently elected chair of the Florida Legislative Progressive Caucus. Modeled on the Congressional Progressive Caucus, the group aims to serve as a voice for the progressive left in Tallahassee and advocate for social and economic justice, civil rights, and environmental protection.
Carlos served as communications director and senior advisor to Joe Saunders State House 49 race in 2012. After winning his election, Saunders hired Carlos to run his legislative office and become his policy chief during his two years of service in the legislature. In 2013, Carlos was elected by local leaders to become chairman and leader of the Orange County Democratic Party. He previously served as the governmental affairs manager for Equality Florida, the largest civil rights organization dedicated to securing full equality for Florida’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community.