Today is International Women’s day, and here at Atheist Analysis we know it is necessary to recognize those who have contributed to atheism. In our society, women do not get equal recognition for the work they do. This is a shame and I hope that everyone appreciates the contributions of women especially within the atheist movement. This blog is to give an overview of some women in the atheist movement who have influenced me. Their work and dedication to humanity not only affects me but also affects the world we all live in.
International Women’s Day is a holiday we should all celebrate. It has been around since 1911. I recently discovered it from a post on Facebook and thought I would investigate it. My research led me to the main website where there was everything from events happening around the world to celebrate this holiday, to the history of the celebrations, and even a place for resources. This site should be on everyone’s list to visit this weekend. But the more research I did, the more I felt like this is an under celebrated holiday in the United States. We have many national holidays, but this one did not fall on my radar until recently. Shame on me for not investigating more, and I hope by reading the bios I will be posting below and watching our upcoming show dedicated to women on this Sunday night will inspire you to take a more active role in promoting this awesome holiday. The amount of information this site alone has will give you a whole new perspective on what women have been through, what they are going through, and how we can support them as they empower the world.
The main website mentioned above says this, “International Women’s Day on March 8th is a global day celebrating the economic, political and social achievements of women past, present and future. In some places like China, Russia, Vietnam and Bulgaria, International Women’s Day is a national holiday. Suffragettes campaigned for women’s right to vote. The word ‘Suffragette’ is derived from the word “suffrage” meaning the right to vote. International Women’s Day honours the work of the Suffragettes, celebrates women’s success, and reminds of inequities still to be redressed.”
If you want to help celebrate some of the women who have inspired me while moving the atheist and humanist movement forward, please check out our website to watch interviews with these amazing women. There is far to many for me to mention, and I feel bad because my ignorance and lack of education on all of the women who have influenced atheism. Please do not stick just with my list or interviews but seek out more women. This list is just a taste of the women who have helped change the world and we need to recognize them all. So call shout out the women who have influenced you in our comments section. Next year we will be holding another event and want as much input as we can get.
This year the theme of International Women’s Day is “Make It Happen.”
Watch our show live and chat tonight!
Check out the show after the air date and celebrate women each day.
Without further ado here is the bio’s I have acquired about our guest along with their pictures. Enjoy and please share with your friends, family, and anyone that appreciates women.
Danielle Muscato is a writer, activist, and public speaker. A former Christian praise & worship musician, she has been active in the atheism movement since 2009, and with American Atheists since 2013. As Communcations Manager of American Atheists, Muscato directs American Atheists’ online social networking presence, works directly with media outlets, promotes American Atheists in as many venues as possible, updates the blog portion of the American Atheists’ web page, issues press releases to the media and general public, and works directly with the administrative team at American Atheists to project its vision and mission. Muscato has appeared on or been quoted in Rolling Stone, People, Time, The New York Times, SPIN, Entertainment Weekly, Billboard Magazine, MTV News, NPR, MSNBC, “The Real Story” with Gretchen Carlson, The O’Reilly Factor, Huffington Post Live, Huffington Post, The Wall Street Journal, The Raw Story, CNN, CBS, Kevin & Bean/KROQ in LA, and Howard Stern. Originally from Missouri and an avid traveler, she has been to more than 140 cities in 6 countries. She also enjoys playing jazz guitar and bass guitar. Muscato is a trans woman, formerly Dave Muscato.
Post Doctoral Researcher at Emory University
Abbie Smith is a post doctoral researcher at Emory University, studying the co-evolution of HIV and the immune system, in the hopes of designing an HIV vaccine. Abbie has blogged at ERV since 2006, covering virology and immunology, and lots of fun dealing with Creationists/HIV Deniers/anti-vaxers. She has spoken at numerous conferences, on podcasts, and is dedicated to science education for everyone who is willing to listen.
Bridgett Bria Crutchfield
President of Black Non-Believers Detroit
Bridgett Bria Crutchfield is the current president of Black Non-Believers Detroit. She also sits on the board for Black Non-Believers and Minority Atheists of Michigan. She is actively involved with Michigan Atheists. She formerly sat on the board for We Are Atheism and was involved in the campaign for Obama/Biden in 2012.
Blogger at FTB
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. They are currently writing A Skeptic’s Guide to Islam. She is a blogger at Freethought Blogs and soon-to-be author of A Skeptic’s Guide to Islam. Former Muslim, current atheist.
Founder of Godless Family
Aubrey Adrianson is a blogger and runs the Being Atheist in a Christian America and Godless Family websites. She has a bachelor’s degree in English education from Western Michigan University and a master’s degree in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) from Grand Valley State University. Aubrey has taught English in a variety of settings but most enjoys teaching English to adults. Currently, she works in faculty development and training. Aubrey became interested in the secular movement after having children. She was becoming concerned about what seemed to her as the institutionalized and systematic indoctrination of her children. Since then, she has sought out other atheists, started a blog, and written a book. Aubrey’s book is children’s fiction that focuses on the struggles children who are raised without religion face, both internal and external.
Communications Associate for the Secular Student Alliance
Kelley Freeman is the Communications Associate for the Secular Student Alliance as of October 2014. Kelley graduated from the University of South Carolina in 2013 with a B.A. in Russian and a minor in sociology. She was the president of SSAUSC and is a former intern for both the Secular Student Alliance and Foundation Beyond Belief. During her time in college, she also founded a progressive student coalition at the University of South Carolina and was service director for her university chapter of Omega Phi Alpha, national service sorority. Currently, Kelley is one half of the Secular Start Up team. When not at work, Kelley is an avid tea drinker, cat lover, and enjoys crocheting and reading.
Rebecca is the Co-host at Ask An Atheist. She has recently become Humanist Disaster Recovery Teams Development Coordinator at Foundation Beyond Belief.
Founder/Author of Ebony Exodus Project
Candance is the founder of the Ebony Exodus Project. Ebony Exodus is about Black women who are leaving organized religion. It is about Black people who have decided to free themselves from all manner of bondage. Ebony Exodus is about examining the unique intersection of racism and sexism which African American women must face, especially in the context of religion. Black women are the single most religious demographic in the United States, yet they are among the poorest, least educated, sickest people in the nation. It’s time that we take a closer look at the many dynamics that affect these issues. Their page is mostly about black women who have left organized religion but it’s for anyone who cares about the plight of black women. This page is open to all people, male, female, transgendered, black, white, yellow, green, alien, human.
Founder/President of Be Secular
Shanon is the founder and president of Be Secular. She guest blogs over at Dan Arel’s patheos account. Be Secular is proud to accept religious and non-religious secular Affiliates that support our core values. Here are a few examples of the secular Universal Human Rights issues we support: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Equality, Sex/Gender Equality, Racial/Ethnic Equality, Women’s Reproductive/Contraception Rights, Separation of Church and State. Be Secular gives 50% of the proceeds they make back to the affiliate of your choice.
Executive Director of CampQuest
Amanda K. Metskas is the executive director of Camp Quest, Inc. She has been involved with Camp Quest since 2003, and served on the board of directors from 2004-2007. Amanda became executive director when Camp Quest, Inc. hired her as its first staff person in January 2008. As executive director, Amanda oversees the growth and development of Camp Quest. In addition to her work with Camp Quest, Amanda is a board member of the Secular Coalition for America. She co-authored Raising Freethinkers: A Practical Guide for Parenting Beyond Belief with Dale McGowan, Molleen Matsumura and Jan Devor. Amanda holds an M.A. in political science from The Ohio State University, and a B.A. in international relations and psychology from Brown University. She lives in Columbus, Ohio with her husband August E. Brunsman IV and their two cats.
Founder of Moving Humanity Forward Podcast
Esta has recently deconverted from Catholicism over the last two years. She has decided that it is her passion to help people recover from their religious upbringing. She started as a PR Director for Inspiring Doubt podcast. She later branched out and started her own show called Moving Humanity Forward where she wants to work with Christians who share similar political beliefs to try and accomplish more.
Founder of Godless Mom Blog
She have moved from a large urban centre on the West Coast of Canada, to a small rural town in the Southern Interior of BC. While she’s yet to really meet anyone and get to know them, she may have taken note of the numerous churches in a town of 12,000. The bells, they ring out across our little town too. She is clearly outnumbered, and she is gonna need an outlet. And so, godlessmom.com was formed. She am a well-traveled, well-read extreme left atheist mother, wife and writer. She has a little dude about 5, a stepdaughter about 11, a rescue pup about 13 and a husband who likes to play the drums. Goidless Mom was not born and raised anything in particular. She has Catholics in my family, plenty of Christians, been to churchy funerals and godly baptisms and holylike weddings and such. I’ve had Jewish, Muslim, Sikh and Hindu friends and boyfriends. But I’ve always found wonder in science, the universe and the natural world. She requires empirical evidence to believe something and contrary to popular belief, this creates more mystery and wonder than a couple of old books will ever be able to.
Former President of American Atheist
is an American activist for the civil rights of atheists and for the separation of church and state in the United States. She served as the president of the organization American Atheists from 1995–2008. She is an active speaker for atheism. Recently she spoke at the Michigan Atheist convention on the need for atheist to step up and speak out against religion in our government.
Assistant Director at CFI Michigan
Jennifer Beahan is Assistant Director of Center for Inquiry–Michigan. She was raised in a fundamentalist christian family and graduated summa cum laude from Cornerstone University with a Bachelor’s of Music Education. While attending Cornerstone University she and her childhood sweetheart/best friend of almost 21 years, and husband for 10, Jeremy Beahan, came to see the light of reason and were introduced to philosophy and critical thinking. Jennifer and Jeremy became members of the Freethought Association of West Michigan, now CFI–Michigan in 2002 and have been actively involved in the organization ever since. In 2007 she was hired on as the first staff person, and since she began volunteering in 2003 she has helped to develop numerous programs, and expand the programming of CFI–Michigan from 3 events each month to over 30 events a month in 8 cities throughout Michigan. Her professional interests include volunteer management, program development and evaluation, secular activism, and women’s rights. She holds a Bachelor’s of Music Education (K-12), and in addition to her work for CFI she teaches private music lessons on piano and woodwinds. She also enjoys hiking/camping, gardening, and loves to cook.
Founder of Grief Beyond Belief
Rebecca Hensler founded Grief Beyond Belief in 2011, following the death of her infant son Jude. She runs Grief Beyond Belief from her home and continues to write and speak on the topics of grief without faith and secular grief support.
Mandisa Lateefah Thomas
Founder/President of Black Non-Believers
Mandisa was born and raised in New York City and has lived in Atlanta since 1998. Although never formally indoctrinated into religious belief, she was heavily exposed to Christianity and Islam. Mandisa is a graduate of the famous LaGuardia High School of Performing Arts, and attended Queens College (C.U.N.Y.). She likes to read, travel and spend time with her immediate family, as well as the newfound friends and colleagues gained in the freethought community. In her professional life she is an events manager at a conference center and is the owner of D & D Desserts.
Founder of Atheist Avengers/President of Carolinas Secular Association
Jennifer “Love” Lovejoy is a wife, mother, activist, and disabled veteran. Raised by an agnostic father and a Pentecostal Christian mother- she entered adulthood seriously questioning the biblical teachings she heard as a child. Jennifer enlisted in the US Army in 1997. It was while serving in the Army that she got her first real taste of activism by marching in uniform in support of gay rights. When medical issues abruptly ended Jennifer’s military career, she and her family moved to Asheville, NC. Her early retirement brought newfound free time; she immersed herself in separation of church and state issues after being shocked by the amount of biblical references in her children’s school work and the pamphlets sent home with her children that promoted local churches and discriminating organizations such as the Boy Scouts of America. Jennifer’s activism took a back seat after 9/11 when her husband – also a US soldier was deployed to Afghanistan. The needs of her children and family became her primary focus during her husband’s absence, but the hiatus from activism was short lived when her husband returned a year later with a spine injury. Jennifer came to realize that, as the war progressed, the idea that to be a “good and proud American” meant supporting the war and the troops with “under god”. Jennifer then took up the fight to recognize atheists within the military. Jennifer’s life was forever changed in the summer of 2010 when she agreed to become the Asheville spokesperson for the “One Nation Indivisible” billboard campaign in North Carolina. The international attention catapulted Jennifer into the spotlight and under the microscope. She had to learn how to juggle motherhood, being a wife, and being recognized as an atheist activist on a much larger scale. Jennifer is now busier than ever and wears many hats. She is the Affiliate Services Manager for Atheist Alliance of America. She is the founder and former president of WNC Humanists, former co-chair for the North Carolina Chapter of the Secular Coalition for America, president of the Carolinas Secular Association, a regional organization that supports secularity in the Carolinas and surrounding states. Jennifer also sits on many other boards for organizations that focus on secular issues and humanist values as well as national committees. “Love” as her fans know her, she is probably most recognized as a popular podcast personality. Her brand new show Atheist Avengers is sure to be a hit In the future we may see her name on a ballot for public office or running a national group. Jennifer Lovejoy is determined to change the world.
Kristi MD Winters
Atheist Youtube Activist
GESIS – Leibniz-Institut für Sozialwissenschaften
Project Manager for CharmStats in Germany. The Data Coding and Harmonization (DataCoH) project will provide the software package CharmStats (Coding and Harmonization of Statistics) and be an online resource for researching the coding and harmonization of social science data. CharmStats products are a line of free and open-source software programs developed by GESIS to assist researchers in documenting, organizing and publishing data harmonizations. She is a Postdoctoral Fellow from British Academy UK and conducted the Qualitative Election Study of Britain. She runs a youtube channel focusing on what an Atheist would ask and reviewing literature she finds important.
Shelley’s third studio album, ‘An Easy Escape’ brings a cool indie-folk vibe to her Beach_shoot (10 of 21) musings. The album was recorded at Britannia Row studios (Pink Floyd’s old studio) in London and was produced by Tom Nichols (All Saints, Kylie, Celine Dion, Tina Arena). Lead single ‘Morocco,’ a travelling song that includes depictions of poverty, drugs and sexual inequality is already making waves with over 55,000 views and a heated response in the national and international press. Segal’s fierce yet emotive voice sings with an almost prescient, ‘Find your own way and be happy,’ a mantra to keep pushing forward despite criticisms and controversy. Segal grew up in a musical household. She began singing at the age of three, then writing and performing at eleven. Joining her father’s Jewish wedding band early on provided her with an ease and enjoyment performing and writing across a broad range of styles including pop, folk, jazz, blues, rock and reggae. Intimate, story-telling and biographical lyrics are what unifies Segal’s song-writing across genres. Shelley accompanies herself on guitar and has been performing her original music around Melbourne and internationally for the last twelve years. In 2009 she recorded her first EP with acclaimed producer Josh Abrahams at Fishtank Studios. In 2010, Segal completed a Bachelor of Applied Music from the Box Hill Institute of Tafe. The same year she also wrote and recorded a song with world-renowned DJ Carl Cox. The track, ‘Chemistry’ was a drum and bass single from his latest album ‘All Roads Lead To The Dance Floor.’ Segal has performed to crowds with Cox at Stereosonic festival and at Melbourne’s iconic Billboard. In November 2011 an award winning remix of ‘Chemistry’ spent two weeks at number one on the Beatport techno charts. 2012 saw the release of her forthright, ‘An Atheist Album’ highlighting her versatility as a singer and song writer. The folk-pop protest record embodies Segal’s thoughts on religion and quickly made her “a new pin-up girl for the international atheist movement.” (Barny Zwartz -The Age) Last year Segal teamed up with talented US guitarist Adam Levy (Norah Jones, Tracy Chapman, Ani Difranco) to create ‘Little March,’ an enchanting and delicate collection of jazzy, bluesy folk tunes. Produced by grammy award-winning S. Husky Hoskulds, ‘Little March’ is intimate and reflective, combining both artists’ genuine song writing with Adam’s stunning, mellow guitar playing and Shelley’s captivating voice. The two enjoyed a successful Australian tour last July, with sold out shows at Melbourne’s premier jazz venue, Bennett’s lane.
Detroit Sunday Assembly Leader
Susan has worked hard to promote and lead the Detroit Sunday Assembly chapter in Detroit Michigan. She is a long time support of Michigan Atheists and has worked hard for the rights of atheists and minorities in Michigan.
Stephanie Renee Guttormson
Operations Director for RDFS
Stephanie joined the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science in March of 2013. She was the leader of an award winning student group at the Metropolitan State University of Denver that developed widely successful unique events such Food for Freethought and The Pseudoscience Fair. She also brought in notable names such as Michael Shermer and James Randi to speak on campus. She holds two Bachelor of Arts degrees in Linguistics and Theoretical Mathematics from the Metropolitan State University of Denver.
Founder and Blogger at No Longer Quivering
Vyckie Garrison started No Longer Quivering to tell the story of her “escape” from the Quiverfull movement. Over time, NLQ has developed into a valuable resource of information regarding the deceptions and dangers of the Quiverfull philosophy and lifestyle. Several more former QF adherents are now contributing their stories to NLQ and our collective voice makes these Quiverfull warnings impossible to dismiss or ignore. NLQ is a gathering place for women escaping and recovering from spiritual abuse.
Zinnia Jones is a writer and videoblogger, co-blogging with Heather McNamara and Lux Pickel. She’s written extensively on the subjects of secularism, feminism, and being transgender. Since 2008, her videos have received over 8 million views, and her articles have been featured in Autostraddle, the Huffington Post, and The Fight magazine. She has been producing informed commentary on YouTube since 2008, covering news, politics, religion, secularism, civil rights, LGBT issues, philosophy, ethics, and just about anything else. Zinnia has been transitioning for the past two years, which has required her to learn a lot about a variety of transgender-related subjects. In that time, she’s found that most mainstream coverage of trans topics is largely inadequate – presenting only shallow oversimplifications, produced by cis (non-trans) people, for cis people.
Assistant Director for Recovering from Religion’s Hotline Project.
Teresa MacBain became a non-believer after serving for many years as a pastor in the Deep South. Through a long process of questioning, research, and reality-based thinking, she discovered the religious faith she’d built her life upon was simply a lie. She came out publicly as an atheist during the 2012 American Atheist convention in Bethesda, Maryland.
In addition to her former work as a pastor, Teresa has worked for the Humanists of Florida as Executive Director and as the Public Relations Director for American Atheists. In 2013 she was named “Atheist of the Year” for her dedication to the secular community. Currently Teresa is the Assistant Director of the Hotline Project.
In her spare time, you’ll find Teresa playing fetch with her beloved Yorkie, wandering the country-side photographing the wonders of nature, or catching up on missed episodes of a Doctor Who.
Executive Director at Recovering from Religion
A life-long evangelical Southern Baptist, Sarah spent years as a dutiful wife and mother before finding the courage to leave an abusive marriage. She ultimately let go of her faith, becoming a passionate advocate for growing the secular community by developing resources for practical support as people reconsidering the role of religion in their life.
In 2011 she joined the leadership of Recovering From Religion and in 2012 she was appointed the Executive Director. Thanks to her tireless efforts, Recovering From Religion is well known as the bridge of hope for those negatively impacted by religion. In 2014 she was honored with the American Atheists “Atheist of the Year” award for her activism throughout the secular movement and in January 2015 she was elected President of the Reason Rally Coalition.
When she is not busy directing RR and organizing events like Apostacon, she enjoys spending time with her family and homeschooling her many children.
Madalyn Murray O’Hair
Former President of American Atheist
Madalyn who also used multiple pseudonyms (her most preferred being M. Bible) was an American atheist activist, founder of American Atheists, and the organization’s president from 1963 to 1986. She created the first issues of American Atheist Magazine. One of her sons, Jon Garth Murray, was the president of the organization from 1986 to 1995, while she remained de facto president during these nine years.