Humanist Meetings Begin at NC Correctional Facility – One Year After Ordered
For Immediate Release
Sarah Henry, (202) 238-9088, shenry@
(Washington, D.C., October 15, 2019) – Incarcerated humanists at Nash Correctional Institution, in Nashville, NC, just attended the facility’s first ever humanist meeting. This victory has been a long-fought battle.
After the North Carolina prison system refused to recognize humanism, the American Humanist Association’s legal team intervened. The case was filed in February 2015 on behalf of Kwame Jamal Teague, an incarcerated member of the American Humanist Association, after prison officials failed to heed a warning letter sent in July 2012. In March 2018, the court ruled in favor of the nontheist organization, but Teague and his fellow humanists continued to face bureaucratic challenges.
In a recent email to officials at the North Carolina Department of Public Safety, Monica Miller, AHA’s Legal Director and Senior Counsel, demanded the facility begin allowing the group to meet on a regular basis.
Kwame Teague, the humanist at the heart of this case, said, “Fighting the state of North Carolina by myself seemed like an insurmountable task until Miller and the AHA law center got involved. They fought for me for seven long years, and we just got our first meeting on October 10, 2019. We couldn’t have done it without her.”
The AHA’s legal team advocates for the rights of incarcerated humanists to assemble in accordance with constitutional rights entitling humanist inmates to the same recognition and privileges extended to their religious counterparts.
Learn more about this case here.
The American Humanist Association (AHA) works to protect the rights of humanists, atheists, and other nontheistic Americans. The AHA advances the ethical and life-affirming worldview of humanism, which—without beliefs in gods or other supernatural forces—encourages individuals to live informed and meaningful lives that aspire to the greater good of humanity.
Special thanks to the Louis J. Appignani Foundation and the Herb Block Foundation for their support of the Appignani Humanist Legal Center.