Mandisa Thomas, a native of New York City, is a founder and current President of Black Nonbelievers, Inc. Although never formally indoctrinated into belief, Mandisa was heavily exposed to Christianity, Black Nationalism and a bit of Islam. As a child she loved reading, and enjoyed various tales of Gods from different cultures, including Greek and Ghanaian. “Through reading these stories and being taught about other cultures at an early age, I quickly noticed that there were similarities and differences between those deities and the God of the Christian Bible. I couldn’t help but wonder what made this God so special that he warrants such prevalence in today’s society,” she recalls.
Mandisa has many media appearances to her credit, including CBS Sunday Morning, CNN.com, and Playboy, The Humanist, and JET magazines. She has been a guest on podcasts such as The Humanist Hour and Ask an Atheist, as well as the documentaries Contradiction and My Week in Atheism. Mandisa currently serves on the Board for the American Humanist Association and American Atheists. She previously served for Foundation Beyond Belief, the 2016 Reason Rally Coalition, and the Secular Coalition for America.
Mandisa was the Unitarian Universalist Humanist Association’s 2018 Person of the Year, the Freedom From Religion Foundation’s Freethought Heroine for 2019, and the Secular Student Alliance’s 2019 Backbone Award winner.
As President of Black Nonbelievers, Inc., Mandisa works to encourage more Blacks to come out and stand strong with their nonbelief in the face of such strong religious overtones.
Compensation is negotiable; usually travel, accommodations and meals, with either a honorarium and/or a chance to sell BN merchandise. She normally speaks about group organizing, how and why atheists should speak out, sex and sexuality, and how to increase the secular presence in the black community.