Conference-Call1

About the International Coalition Calls

Every first Thursday of the month, the Secular Policy Institute holds an international coordinating call for its 300 members to discuss the future of the secular movement.

Call for April 2, 2015

Here’s the recording of the Secular Policy Institute’s international coordinating call from April 2, 2015.

Agenda

Agenda Item I: About the Secular Policy Institute

Presenter: Edwina Rogers, CEO, edwina@secularpolicyinstitute.net, 202-674-7800

  • SPI Mission: The Secular Policy Institute (SPI) is a think tank organization of thought leaders, writers, scholars, and speakers with a shared mission to influence public opinion and promote a secular society. We believe governmental decisions and public policies should be based on available science and reason, and free of religion or religious preferences.
  • World Future Forum. The Secular Policy Institute convenes some of the world’s most prestigious scholars and scientists to develop and disseminate compelling resources to influence the world’s decision makers. Open to policymakers and the public alike, the inaugural World Future Forum provides an unparalleled opportunity for an informed discussion of authoritative perspectives on the critical issues facing contemporary societies across the globe.
  • Community Action Network (CAN) promotes the development and application of science and reason in an ongoing quest for secular solutions to local problems. As an inclusive, affirming, and action-oriented initiative, CAN seeks to promote rational relationships and effective community building in support of collective problem solving and the ongoing advancement and enjoyment of a more just and reasoned world.
  • World Future Guide
  • Secular Demographic Guide
  • International Secular Leaders Summit, in Miami, Florida, January 2016
  • Monthly Conference Call Schedule: First Thursday of Every Month at Noon Eastern Standard Time (GMT -4): April 2; May 7; June 4; July 2; August 6; September 3; October 1; November 5; and December 3, 2015.
  • Recruit National and Regional Leaders
  • International Hotspots in Need

Agenda Item II: Fellows’ Corner

Presenter: Madeline Schussel, Director of Policy, madeline@secularpolicyinstitute.net

  • Fellows’ Update: 30 Fellows, of which 11 outside the US.
  • SPI Secular Daily Digest is your daily news update on science, politics, religion, and our Fellows.

Agenda Item III: Coalitions & Resources

Presenter: Johnny Monsarrat, Alliance Director, johnny@secularpolicyinstitute.net

Coalition Opportunities:

  • Submit your project for funding and acceleration
  • Become a National Coordinator to build country-by-country policy guides
  • Get free or “pay what you can” website work
  • We’re Hiring!

Other Reports:

  • World SPI Calendar – Upcoming Major Conferences
  • Volunteers & Interns
  • Coalition Update: 300 groups
  • Newsletter
  • Resources

Agenda Item IV: US Public Policy Update

  • Despite federal courts telling a growing number of states that they do not have a religious freedom-based right to prevent gay couples from marrying, many lawmakers are once again pushing legislation that would stop the expansion of same-sex. North Carolina, Oklahoma, Texas, and Virginia have all entertained this sort of legislation so far this year.
  • Legislators in Arkansas, Colorado, Georgia, Hawaii, Indiana, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, West Virginia, and Wyoming are looking to either pass or expand so-called “religious freedom” laws that are actually forms of religious coercion! These states are trying to legalize discrimination against entire groups of people simply because they don’t conform that what fundamentalists claim the Bible commands.
  • Lastly, there are voucher programs that would use tax dollars to fund the teaching of creationism in public schools. These are serious threats to church-state separation and have been on the rise in recent years. And the Religious Right is also trying to force Bible classes in public school curricula. Such bills have appeared in Colorado, Indiana, Kentucky, Missouri, Montana, New York, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, and South Carolina.

Agenda Item V: International Public Policy Update

  • The Campaign for Free Expression website has lots of important information about the appalling state of blasphemy rights around the world.
  • Saudi Arabia – In the news is the harsh punishment of Raif Badawi, a Saudi blogger, for “insulting Islam” online, and the imprisonment of Badawi’s lawyer Waleed Abu Al-Khair, for standing up for human rights.

Agenda Item VI: Project and Member Spotlight

Foundation Beyond Belief will present two projects that the SPI is proud to help fund and accelerate: