Recently a young transgendered woman in Ohio, Leelah Alcorn, took her own life. In her final notes Leelah cited her parents’ refusal to accept her for who she was, the isolation that they had made her feel, and her parents continued pressure through religious means to change her identity. This is an absolute tragedy, and a tragedy that can be avoided by providing outreach and community for those that feel isolated and alone. Iowa Atheists and Freethinkers is dedicated to providing a safe and open community for those that feel unwelcome or isolated from their family and friends because of their (lack of) religious beliefs or LGBTQ status.
IAF wants to assist at-risk teens in the LGBTQ community and elsewhere with information about how, when, and why to Come Out. The book "Coming Out Atheist: How to Do It, How to Help Each Other and Why”, by Greta Christina, provides guidelines and advice applicable to secular people or those in the LGBTQ at-risk group - especially pre-adults. This book is a wonderful tool written by an author that is intimately familiar with both of these topics. Iowa Atheists and Freethinkers would like to provide this book for free to anyone that would like access to additional resources or assistance in Coming Out.
By contributing to the link below, your donation will allow IAF to purchase a case or more of this book along with other IAF resources. This book will be available on hand for free for at-risk individuals.
IAF appreciates your contribution and support in ending the kinds of isolation and alienation where Leelah Alcorn or anyone like her feels the need to take their own life.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Atheist Iowans to Target Religious Rally
Des Moines- Religious influence in politics is harmful, and in order to raise awareness of this, Iowa Atheists and Freethinkers (IAF) will be staging a protest against the Family Leadership Summit hosted on August 9th at Stephens Auditorium in Ames, Iowa by The Family Leader. The protest will begin at 9 AM and will continue throughout the day.
IAF is a diverse socially aware group of Iowans with a vested interest in maintaining the separation of church and state. This event features prominent national politicians with the stated goal of bringing religion into law and using theocratic dogma to drive policy. This is an event that many Iowans, including IAF, believe to be not only harmful to fair and equitable legislation, but also serves to discriminate against people of different faiths; or those with none at all.
Iowa Atheists and Freethinkers will be on site to show that not all Iowans support politicians like Ted Cruz, Rick Santorum, or Rick Perry that seek to use religion to legislate for all citizens. IAF will also be there with a message that religious values do not equate to family values and that love, not religious dogma, is necessary for families in Iowa.
All are welcome to join the Iowa Atheists and Freethinkers, regardless of religious belief.
About Iowa Atheists and Freethinkers
Iowa Atheists and Freethinkers, Inc. (IAF) is a non-profit social and educational group working to provide a community of support and friendship for atheists, freethinkers, secular humanists, agnostics, and other non-religious people.
IAF provides educational events; is active in community service projects; conducts charitable donation drives; and provides an environment where non-believers can be themselves.
PO BOX 672
Des Moines, IA 50303-0672
The results are in! Below are the winners of the IAF Election held on July 19th.
Board Member at-Large
Our annual meeting will be held on July 19th between 6:00 and 9:00 PM at Isla Cozumel in Urbandale. We'll meet in the restaurant's private room.
This meeting will feature elections for the following board positions:
Board Member at-Large
The voting for Board Member at-Large will proceed as follows: Members will choose two candidates on the ballot. The candidate with the most number of votes will receive the two-year board position, the candidate with the second most number of votes will receive the one-year position.
In the event of a tie for any position, a runoff election will be held.
If you are a paying member of IAF and cannot attend the annual meeting to vote, you may vote by proxy. You may email your choices to Dayna at email@example.com or may assign another member to be your proxy and have them submit a ballot for you.
Any errors or omissions in the nominee list should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Other business will also be discussed. An agenda will be posted when available. If you have items you wish to have added to the agenda, please send them to email@example.com.
Please note that you must be a contributing member of Iowa Atheists and Freethinkers to vote or to be eligible to hold an office. Annual dues are $25 and can be paid through PayPal at iowaatheists.org or can be paid via check or cash at most IAF events. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for details.
Announcing the Third Annual IAF School Supply Drive!!
It's back to school season again, and that means IAF has a yet another great opportunity for some community outreach. Over the next few weeks we will be collecting school supplies for donation to children, teachers and schools in need. We will be taking donations at the weekly meet up (every Sunday at the Hy-Vee on the corner of Railroad Ave and Grand Ave in West Des Moines) and at any other IAF event. School starts a little earlier than usual this year. As a result, the deadline is for donation will be Sunday, August 10th.
This year we are doing something special! In the spirit of friendly competition and in an effort to beat our goals from the last two years, we are also announcing the first annual IAF School Supply Drive Trivia! For every donation you bring to a meet up or submit online (contact Jenni F. to participate online) we will enter your name in for a drawing! Then you may also answer a trivia question for a chance to have your name entered in the drawing again. Prizes include two tickets to a Science Center of Iowa IMAX documentary film, one of two $5 Starbucks gift cards, one $10 Hy-Vee gift card and a Sterling Silver wrapped arrow head necklace valued at $25 or more.
Every donation is greatly appreciated! We're looking for supplies like backpacks, pencils, notebooks, etc. You can also find more detailed lists of supplies under the "Files" tab on our Facebook Group for this event (https://www.facebook.com/groups/307130632787335/) and on any Des Moines Public School website.
After some diligent research by one of our SSD Committee members, we have calculated the average minimum cost of school supplies for an elementary school student to be around $85.00. This amount does not include the cost of student lunches, or registration and text book fees. Help us sponsor students this year with a donation of supplies or funds. Consider it an investment in the future of our society.
You can directly donate supplies that you've purchased, or donate cash and have the IAF SSD Committee do the shopping for you!
To donate cash, you may either use the Donate link at http://www.iowaatheists.org/what-s-happening/schoolsupplydrive2014 or you may donate cash at the Sunday meet up.
Please contact Jenni F. or John F. with questions.
One-One at One!
Make history on Jan. 1, 2014, at 1 pm, on the west steps of the Iowa State Capitol. Be in the record-setting largest photo of Iowa atheists (and friends) ever. Parade a ring-around-the Capitol to remind legislators to honor equality by keeping religion out of state laws. Vote for the slogan that best calls for separation of church and state. Meet up, have fun, launch a new year of equality and good times with like-minded people.
It's back to school season and that means IAF has a great opportunity for some community outreach. Over the next few weeks we will be collecting school supplies for donation to children, teachers and schools in need! We will be taking donations at the weekly meet up (every Sunday at The Tavern II in West Des Moines) and at any other IAF event. The deadline is Sunday, August 18th.
Every donation is greatly appreciated. We're looking for supplies like backpacks, pencils, notebooks, etc. You can also find more detailed lists of supplies next to the back to school section at most stores.
You can either donate supplies, or donate cash and IAF will do the shopping for you. To donate cash, you may either use the Donate link at http://www.iowaatheists.org/what-s-happening/schoolsupplydrive2013 or you may donate cash at the Sunday meetup.
Please contact Dave G. or John F. with questions.