I am proud to announce the second round of Surly Grant winners for the American Atheist Convention happening in Austin, Texas March 28-31st. WIth this announcement I am closing down the applications for this event so that I can turn my attention to the next Surly Grant project.
The next Surly Grant project is the one where I will be sending men to the Women in Secularism 2 event. More about that at the end of this post but first, lets meet our second group of American Atheist winners!
1. Moniqa Paullet is a belly dancer, fire spinner, HAES and GLBTQ activist, medieval larper, Locks of Love donor, mud runner, and a staunch Oxford comma advocate from Dallas. She is a copy editor easily charmed by the correct usage of “nonplussed” and likes to wear silly hats. When she grows up, she wants to be a Russian ballerina, a space explorer, a flying trapeze artist, and Wonder Woman.
2. Erin Donohue is an Information Science graduate student at UT Austin. She is particularly interested in cross-cultural processes of categorization and the influence of classification systems on language. She hopes to be an archivist when she grows up. Erin holds a bachelors degree in creative writing and philosophy, and thus excels at writing funny stories about Kant.
3. Vyckie Garrison was once a prominent member of the Quiverfull community, a rapidly growing Christian fundamentalist movement that bans birth control and encourages huge, “Biblical families” such as the Duggar Family of TLCs “19 and Counting” fame. She made waves when she left the Quiverfull movement, divorced her husband, and began speaking out against the lifestyle. SInce then she has appeared on numerous radio shows and podcasts. She started the blog, No Longer Quivering, to provide support to women and children who are escaping abusive religious movements, and to provide the public with accurate, compassionate information on the unique challenges faced by the spiritually abused.
4. Cat Burns is a life-long non-believer, who finally took the label of atheist 5 years ago when she became politically active and discovered the existence of the atheist community/movement. She is excited about the opportunity to attend the American Atheists 50th Anniversary Celebration.
5. Temple Lentz is a writer, storyteller and troublemaker in the Pacific Northwest. She also writes a satirical blog about Southwest Washington, called the Daily ‘Couve.
For those of you doing the math, this means Surly Grants has paid admission for ELEVEN women to go to this event. The first round of winners were announced here.
Thanks again to everyone who has donated or bought jewelry to help out! I really look forward to seeing all the grant winners in Austin. With this announcement, I will be wrapping up this portion of my grant program but that doesn’t mean I am done helping.
It’s time to turn our attention to an event that was groundbreaking and influential last year and is gearing up to build on that past success by opening doors and minds and showcasing some of the best and brightest of secular women. This event is of course, Women in Secularism 2. WiS2 is taking place in Washington, DC on May 17th-19th.
As you may know, I have started a grant program to send men to this event. I usually send women to secular events like the one mentioned above because the participation and attendance of women is lower in numbers than male participation and attendance. I use my Surly grants as a quantifiable way to encourage more women to feel welcome and included and to get involved in the secular community. It’s a very satisfying feeling to be able to say things like, there are eleven more women attending this event because we decided it was important and we did something about it.
At Women in Secularism last year, some people, myself included, noticed that there were substantially less men in attendance than women, which is understandable, but something I feel we can effect in a positive way. So I am using my grant program to try to help encourage men to participate at this year’s WiS event in the same way I use it to encourage woman to participate in other events.
The good news is I have gotten a lot of applicants which means men are interested in this event!
The bad news is I cant pay for everyone.
Other good news is that I will start contacting and announcing grant winners for WiS2 next week. So if you have applied, you may hear from me very soon. And if you haven’t applied, there is still some time! If you would like to apply for an admission grant and you identify or present as a man you can go here to apply. But please do so soon, like I said, I will start picking and announcing the winners in the next week.
Women in Secularism 2 will be a momentous event. I highly encourage you to attend if you can.
If you want to help out by donating you can go here or you can buy something from my online store. This is a privately run project, I use my own money that I make from selling ceramic jewelry and from donations to fund this project.
That’s all for now. Congrats to all the American Atheist winners and stay tuned for more good times ahead with Women in Secularism 2!
*”I’m an Atheist Goddamnit” photo taken by me at the Reason Rally.