Seth Andrews, a video producer and former Christian broadcaster, now hosts “The Thinking Atheist”, one of the most popular online atheist communities in the world, a site which encourages all to reject faith and embrace doubt, curiosity and reason.
Seth has chronicled his transition from believer to atheist in his autobiography, “Deconverted: a Journey from Religion to Reason”, and his weekly radio podcast downloaded 1.7 million times a month.
With a mix of humor and heart, Seth Andrews speaks around the country about his former faith, the rise of reason, and why we should all pursue a personal relationship with reality.
Matt Dillahunty is not only the current host of the webcast and cable access television show The Atheist Experience, he is also the founder of the most comprehensive counter-apologetics wiki, “Iron Chariots”.Mr. Dillahunty has participated extensively in debates both online and for large audiences, becoming a voice sought after in any debate. After 20-some years as a fundamentalist christian, Matt tried to bolster his faith by aspiring to become a Baptist minister. Studying Christianity led him to reject his beliefs. Since then, he has also been the President of the Atheist Community of Austin, as well as an accomplished magician, mentalist, and vlogger.
Find more about Matt at atheist-experience.com.
David Fitzgerald is an atheist activist, writer and national public speaker. He was the co-founder & director of the world’s first Atheist Film Festival and San Francisco’s oldest annual Darwin Day celebration, “Evolutionpalooza!” Today he works for the Secular Student Alliance and co-runs The Godless Perverts Story Hour. He is also author of NAILED: Ten Christian Myths That Show Jesus Never Existed At All and The Complete Heretic’s Guide to Western Religion series.
His 2010 book NAILED critically examines the historical evidence of Christ, and he is currently working on the follow-up book, Jesus: Mything in Action, which will take on the secular arguments for the Historic Jesus.
Amanda K. Metskas
Amanda K. Metskas is the executive director of Camp Quest, Inc. She has been involved with Camp Quest since 2003, and served on the board of directors from 2004-2007. Amanda became executive director when Camp Quest, Inc. hired her as its first staff person in January 2008. As executive director, Amanda oversees the growth and development of Camp Quest.
In addition to her work with Camp Quest, Amanda is a board member of the Secular Coalition for America. She co-authored Raising Freethinkers: A Practical Guide for Parenting Beyond Belief with Dale McGowan, Molleen Matsumura and Jan Devor. Amanda holds an M.A. in political science from The Ohio State University, and a B.A. in international relations and psychology from Brown University. She lives in Columbus, Ohio with her husband August E. Brunsman IV and their two cats.
We are excited to have Mark Nebo as the MC for this year’s conference. Mark founded Be Secular with his wife and the president of the company Shanon in 2012. He is also the co-host of The Ra Men Podcast with Aron Ra. Mark started the #NormalizeAtheism campaign and maintains one of the most epic beards east of Dan Ellis.
Beth Presswood, host of the well-known Godless Bitches podcast, actively speaks at conventions, has appeared on the regular podcast of fellow atheists “The Non-Prophets” as well as their affiliated project, “The Atheist Experience” television program. Having grown up in a hardcore Southern Baptist household and becoming a closeted atheist around the age of 15, Beth began her atheist activism with the founding of the Atheist and Freethought Club of East Tennessee State University. She currently resides in Austin, Texas.
For more information about Beth’s work, visit godlessbitches.com.
Aron Ra is a Youtuber and an advocate for rationalism in science classrooms. He grew up in an exclusively creationist environment where he felt like a lonely outcast just for understanding evolution, let alone accepting it. He was drawn into activism when the Religious Right dominated his state’s Board of Education, and began undermining education in history, health, science, and social studies. His videos often focus on evolution and the evidence indicating an interrelated tree of life. His series summarizing the ‘Foundational Falsehoods of Creationism’ and his subsequent series, ‘Falsifying Phylogeny’ (including the Phylogeny Challenge’) have been mirrored, featured, referenced, and recommended by many professional scientists, secularists, and educators, and has attracted more than 100,000 subscribers to his YouTube channel.
Mandisa Thomas is a founder and 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 been featured in the April 30, 2012 issue of JET magazine, as a guest on podcasts such as The Humanist Hour and Ask an Atheist, as well as the documentaries Contradiction and My Week in Atheism. She also serves on the Board of Directors for Foundation Beyond Belief and the Secular Coalition for America, and has presented at conferences/conventions for American Atheists, Freedom from Religion Foundation, Secular Student Alliance, and many others.
As the 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. “The more we make our presence known, the better our chances of working together to turn around some of the disparities we face. We are NOT alone.”