AHA News |  

The Humanist Community Project: AHA-HCH Partnership Announcement

November 19, 2012

The American Humanist Association (AHA) is delighted to announce a new partnership with the Humanist Community at Harvard (HCH) on a nationwide effort to build and promote communities for the nonreligious.

“The nonreligious population has exploded, even without much local organizing. It’s going to grow even faster and become politically influential once more atheists and freethinkers build strong, humanistic communities,” said Greg Epstein, Humanist Chaplain at Harvard University and director of the HCH, a local chapter of the AHA.

In November 2012, the HCH and the AHA agreed to co-sponsor the Humanist Community Project (HCP): a Cambridge-based initiative to help create, establish, and connect a stronger nationwide network of Humanist communities focused on individual, group, and societal betterment, for the benefit of the secular and freethought movement. The project will support and supplement the AHA’s ongoing efforts to develop successful local chapters, of which it already has more than 150 nationwide. Under the agreement, the AHA will endorse the HCP as its official community development project, providing access to staff and existing Humanist community development research. Since the AHA is not providing direct funding for the HCP, the HCH will spend the rest of 2012 raising additional funds to support research and program development through May 2015.

“There has never been a coordinated national effort to learn how to create multi-generational secular communities that can reach millions of Americans—until this project,” said James Croft, a doctoral candidate at Harvard and researcher for the HCP.

The HCP’s goals include developing how-to manuals and materials for a wide variety of community activities, including service projects, interfaith dialogue, wedding and funeral ceremonies, and youth programs. Study of existing resources, such as the curricula of the AHA’s Kochhar Humanist Education Center, will focus on determining how to sustainably and effectively integrate them with other elements of community. The HCP will also work with and learn from emerging and established forms of positive community for the nonreligious, including chapters of the AHA and the Secular Student Alliance, UnitedCoR, Ethical Societies, Camp Quest, Centers for Inquiry, Unitarian
Universalist churches, and the volunteer efforts of the Foundation Beyond Belief.

Neither the HCH nor the HCP receives funding from Harvard University. The first phase of the HCP—research design and the fundraising to make that research possible—is currently underway at the HCH. In early 2013, the HCH will kick off three years of research culminating in the creation of a book and website, as well as a collection of manuals, guides, and training seminars for those wishing to create community. In 2014-15, the HCH will hold a national conference on values-based community development for the nonreligious.

“We’re excited to help the HCP succeed in a mission so central to the ability of the secular movement to take the next step in realizing its potential,” said Roy Speckhardt, Executive Director of the AHA. “Building stronger humanist communities is essential if we're to have meaningful alternatives to traditional religion.”

American Humanist Association

Hey, take a breather and complete this puzzle! You work so hard. You really do d...

2 days ago

American Humanist Association

It is unfortunate and far from fair when humanist celebrants are considered unof...

2 days ago

American Humanist Association

Here is a break down of how religious beliefs affect political choices.

2 days ago

American Humanist Association

We are all familiar with this case. It may have been played out a bit in the med...

5 days ago

American Humanist Association

It is likely many of you will prefer this quote over the last. Enjoy!

5 days ago

American Humanist Association

What is your opinion on the United States' level of cooperation with the ICC? T...

5 days ago

American Humanist Association

The Ethical Dilemma: Advice for an Isolated Teenage Atheist Get TheHumanist.co...

5 days ago

American Humanist Association

The AHA is mentioned in this article about Humanist of the Year Barney Frank.

6 days ago

American Humanist Association

Check out the latest Humanist Hour Podcast with Muhammad Syed and Hiba Krisht on...

6 days ago

American Humanist Association

The NY Daily News reports on our recent congressional briefing

6 days ago

American Humanist Association

Carroll County: A Small Maryland Community Gets Big Attention for All the Wrong...

6 days ago

American Humanist Association

Matthew Bulger, the AHA's legislative associate, reports on our first congressio...

7 days ago

American Humanist Association

We're happy to welcome a new chapter, Washington DC, Atheists, Humanists and Agn...

7 days ago

American Humanist Association

Check out some photos from yesterday's congressional briefing on humanist celebr...

7 days ago

American Humanist Association

Our first congressional briefing was a success! The room was completely packed w...

8 days ago

American Humanist Association

Wonder Works Day Camp in Moscow, Idaho has begun! The first day was a huge succe...

8 days ago

American Humanist Association

The briefing on military chaplaincy has begun.

8 days ago

American Humanist Association

Today, the American Humanist Association will be hosting our first Congressional...

8 days ago

American Humanist Association

Thank You! Thank You! Thank You!

8 days ago

American Humanist Association

Here is a video from Harvard's Making Caring Common Project. 5 Ways to Raise M...

9 days ago

American Humanist Association

Why the Way We Live is More Important. Get TheHumanist.com by email once a week...

9 days ago

American Humanist Association

Hey, have a laugh! http://hmn.st/1sFRZ33 Get TheHumanist.com by email once a we...

9 days ago

American Humanist Association

No matter how right or how wrong, religion can not establish morality for the ma...

9 days ago

American Humanist Association

I have come across this many times. While this topic may not be important to all...

9 days ago

American Humanist Association

Jesus Cones! A new way to violate church-state separation, in Gwinnett County, G...

11 days ago

American Humanist Association

Well this is rad! AHA Board Member Herb Silverman is featured in this short (10...

12 days ago

American Humanist Association

It may seem silly, maybe even a blatant mockery, but if you really think about i...

12 days ago