June 13, 2014
Merrill Miller, American Humanist Association, 202-238-9088 ext. 105, firstname.lastname@example.org
Joe Beck, Humanists of the Treasure Coast, 772-934-6167, email@example.com
David Williamson, Central Florida Freethought Community, 321-804-3373, firstname.lastname@example.org
WHO: Secular invocation speakers and humanist celebrants Joe Beck and David Williamson.
Joe Beck is the president and founder of Humanists of the Treasure Coast, a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization headquartered in Jensen Beach, Florida.
David Williamson is the founder of the Central Florida Freethought Community (CFFC) in the Orlando, Florida area. Its mission is to provide opportunities for secular activism and engage members in state-church separation efforts on the front lines and behind the scenes.
Both organizations are affiliates of the American Humanist Association.
WHAT AND WHY: Beck, Williamson, and other members of the CFFC will be offering secular invocations or reflections to solemnize local government meetings across the state of Florida. A secular invocation is a short speech that calls upon the audience’s and the government body’s shared human values for guidance in public discourse. In light of the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision in Town of Greece v. Galloway, which allowed local governments to invite individuals from the community to offer prayers before meetings, the American Humanist Association launched a secular invocation program to ensure that atheists, humanists and other nontheists are included in these public meetings.
WHEN AND WHERE: Currently, Joe Beck will be offering the first ever secular invocation before the Martin County Board of Commissioners meeting on June 17, 2014, at 9:00 am ET at 2401 SE Monterey Rd., Stuart, FL.
David Williamson and several other CFFC members will be giving many secular invocations throughout the summer. The first is scheduled for June 16, 2014, at 5:30 pm ET before the Osceola County Board of County Commissioners meeting at Commission Chambers, 4th Floor, 1 Courthouse Square, Kissimmee, Florida. Other secular invocations are scheduled on the following dates:
June 23, 2014 at 2:00 pm ET—Orlando City Council Meeting at City Council Hall, 400 South Orange Ave., Orlando, FL (Chris Allen, Humanist Chaplain)
July 3, 2014 at 9:00 am ET—Volusia County Council Meeting at the Thomas C. Kelly Administration Building, 123 W. Indiana Ave., DeLand, FL (Jack Maurice, Humanist Celebrant)
July 7, 2014 at 6:45 pm ET—Groveland City Council Meeting at City of Groveland City Hall, 156 S. Lake Ave., Groveland, FL (Paul Tjaden)
July 14, 2014 at 3:15 pm ET—Winter Park City Commission Meeting at the City Hall Commission Chamber, 401 South Park Ave., Winter Park, FL (Chris Allen, Humanist Chaplain)
July 17, 2014 at 5:45 pm ET—City of Eustis Commission Meeting at City of Eustis City Hall, 10 N. Grove St., Eustis, FL (David Williamson, Humanist Celebrant)
August 26, 2014 at 8:45 am ET—Lake County Board of County Commissioners Meeting at 315 W. Main St., Tavares, FL (Paul Tjaden)
December 3, 2014 at 3:45 pm ET—Tavares City Council Meeting at 201 E. Main St., Tavares, FL (David Williamson, Humanist Celebrant)
MORE INFORMATION: More information about the American Humanist Association’s secular invocations program can be found here. More information about Humanists of the Treasure Coast can be found at http://www.humtc.com/, and more information about the Central Florida Freethought Community can be obtained at http://cflfreethought.org/.
Founded in 1941 and headquartered in Washington, D.C., the American Humanist Association works to protect the rights of humanists, atheists and other non-religious Americans. The AHA advances the ethical and life-affirming philosophy of humanism, which—without beliefs in any gods or other supernatural forces—encourages individuals to live informed and meaningful lives that aspire to the greater good of humanity.