• Ed Buckner – AAA 2013 National Convention

    Ed Buckner received his B.A. from Rice University in 1967 and his M. Ed. and Ph.D. from Georgia State University.

    He has edited Freethought Press books by Massimo Pigliucci, Keith Parsons, Carol Faulkenberry, and Edwin Kagin. With his wife Diane, he co-edited freethinker and retired FBI agent Oliver G. Halle’s Taking the Harder Right. With his son, Michael Edward Buckner, he co-edited Quotations That Support the Separation of Church and State (1995). He has written chapters in a number of books, as well as many reviews, essays, blog contributions, and letters to the editor, in the US, India, the UK, and elsewhere.

    Now retired, Buckner has served as executive director of the Council for Secular Humanism (2001-2003) and as president of American Atheists (2008-2010).

    In addition to writing, Buckner has debated and spoken all over the United States and in the United Kingdom about freethought and secular humanism, often about the Treaty of Tripoli and about secularism. Buckner and his son, Michael, wrote In Freedom We Trust: An Atheist Guide to Religious Liberty, published by Prometheus Books in December 2012.

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  • David Niose – AAA 2013 National Convention

    David Niose is the president of the Secular Coalition for America, an advocacy group for non-theistic viewpoints in the United States. From 2009 to 2012 he also served as president of the American Humanist Association.

    Niose advocates for an identity-oriented approach to secular activism to raise awareness of the secular demographic in American society.
    David, an attorney, developed and implemented a legal strategy that emphasizes the concept of equal rights and nondiscrimination rather than the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause in cases protecting religious minorities.

    He has appeared on national and local media outlets speaking on behalf of the American Humanist Association and humanism, among other topics. His TV appearances include MSNBC, Fox News, the BBC, and The Daily Buzz and he has written for numerous media outlets, including Psychology Today, Newsday, The Huffington Post, Lawyer’s Weekly publications, Humanist magazine, and Progressive Populist.

    Niose is the author of Nonbeliever Nation: The Rise of Secular Americans, published by Palgrave Macmillan in July 2012.

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  • Ayana Watson – AAA 2013 National Convention

    Ayanna Watson is the founder of Black Atheists of America, Inc. (BAAm). BAAm is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to bridging the gap between atheism and the black community.

    The organization has been successful in bringing together black atheists and combating the common misconception of solidarity among black atheists. With BAAm, Watson has also brought light to some of the issues that discourage black atheists from being active in both the atheist and black communities.
    Ultimately with BAAm, Watson seeks to build a stronger and more diverse atheist community. She hopes that her efforts will provide for a society where one can embrace the label
    “atheist,” without the fear of being ostracized by family, friends and members of their community. She envisions a world where individuals embrace critical thinking in lieu of faith

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