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CFINO Humanism Awards Banquet 2013

Join us for our biennial Humanism Awards Banquet, to be held on Friday, September 20 at 7pm at the Crowne Plaza Hotel Cleveland South in Independence, OH. Held every other year since 2003, the purpose of the Awards Banquet is to honor a humanist from in and around our local community. In addition, a special guest speaker is featured at each Awards Banquet.

The Center for Inquiry Northeast Ohio is proud to announce longtime CFINO member Roni Berenson as the recipient of the 2013 Humanism Award!

Register online.














Roni, a secular humanist since the 1950's, has for decades dedicated herself to assorted humanist causes. She was one of the founders of the Humanist Association of Cleveland East, established in the late '50s as a chapter of the American Humanist Association. In the early 1960's Roni began to speak out as a non-theist in the form of letters to the editor for such publications as the Cleveland Plain Dealer & the Cleveland Press (and also the local News Journal). At times, Roni & family received hate calls & hate mail because of her views, but she remained undaunted in her outspokenness.

Roni went on to become a “warrior” for social justice and world peace during the tumultuous 1960’s. She was a very active member of Women Speak Out for Peace and Justice, and she along with husband Elliot took part in numerous marches and demonstrations including the very large gatherings in Washington, DC.

During the 1970’s, Roni took somewhat of a break but remained active in local issues such as school/community relations. In the 1980’s Roni focused her activism on issues of world peace and nuclear disarmament. She and Elliot helped to establish the Nuclear Weapons Freeze Campaign, which later morphed into the Peace Action network. Roni’s activism in this area culminated in 1986, when she led the Chicago-to-Cleveland segment of the Great Peace March for Global Nuclear Disarmament (a 9-month march from Los Angeles to Washington D.C.).

Besides being tirelessly devoted to issues related to humanism, Roni has been an active Humanist Celebrant for over 20 years. Through it all she has retained her outspokenness as a secular humanist, writing numerous clear, concise letters to the editor and letters to elected officials. In addition to her membership in CFI, Roni has been active in the Jewish Secular Society of Greater Cleveland for nearly 20 years. She also remains active in Cleveland Peace Action, and is a longtime member of the Freedom from Religion Foundation and the American Humanist Association.

The CFINO Board is also proud to announce our featured guest speaker for the 2013 banquet; the noted philosopher/evolutionary biologist/author/secular humanist/skeptic Massimo Pigliucci !














Massimo is a Professor of Philosophy at City University of New York's Graduate Center. He has a Doctorate in genetics from the University of Ferrara (Italy), a Ph.D. in botany from the University of Connecticut, and a Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of Tennessee. Additionally, he has been a post-doctoral associate at Brown University.

Dr. Pigliucci's academic research focuses on philosophy of science, philosophy of pseudoscience, and the relation between science and religion. He has published over 100 technical papers in evolutionary biology and philosophy of science.

Massimo has authored a number of books, including Answers for Aristotle: How Science and Philosophy Can Lead Us to a More Meaningful Life (2012) and Nonsense on Stilts: How to Tell Science from Bunk (2010).

His latest book, to be released on Aug. 16 and co-edited with Maartin Boudry, is titled Philosophy of Pseudoscience: Reconsidering the Demarcation Problem. A review from Francisco J. Ayala, University of California:

“Philosophy of Pseudoscience is a remarkable contribution to one of the most vexing problems in science: the ‘demarcation’ problem, or how to distinguish science from non-science. The well-designed diversity of topics and the collective breadth of knowledge of the authors make this book the most comprehensive and authoritative treatise on a majority of the traditional and current demarcation issues. . . . You have a jewel in your hands.”

Massimo also authors the popular blog Rationally Speaking.

The registration fee is $40 p/p for CFI members, $45 for non-members, $25 for students; it includes a delectable banquet dinner! The choices include almond chicken, salmon, vegetable lasagna and another vegetarian option TBD.

Online registration is now available! Also, those on the Center for Inquiry NE Ohio mailing list will be receiving brochures by mail in early August; these can be used for mail-in registration.

Stay tuned for more details... see you there! :)

Join or login to comment.

  • Mark T.

    Congratulations to Roni, and a BIG thank you to all who attended! I very much enjoyed Massimo's presentation, and it was great to have Debbie Goddard with us from CFI headquarters. I heard after the fact that some in the back had issues with their meals- I sincerely hope that everything was worked out to everyone's satisfaction.

    2 · September 21, 2013

    • Mark T.

      ...And it was a pleasure to have Rafiq join us from 10,000 miles away!

      3 · September 21, 2013

  • Sam S.

    What a great banquet. Roni is an incredible woman. If I come out of life Accomplishing half of what she has I will be happy with myself. And Massimo helped strengthen my skeptic skills. Also I love this community

    4 · September 21, 2013

    • Rafiq M.

      I love this community too!

      2 · September 21, 2013

  • Laura

    Roni is an inspiration. Wonderful banquet.

    3 · September 21, 2013

  • Suzy W.

    I truly enjoyed the 2013 CFINO Awards Banquet and thank all who worked so hard to have it happen! Looking forward to next year already!

    3 · September 21, 2013

    • mardell

      Me, too! I always seem to be tagging along with Suzy...

      2 · September 21, 2013

  • Patricia M.

    The humanists and guests were GREAT. It's very comforting to be around people who share my worldview. Rony and Massimo are amazing people. They inspire me to be more outspoken about skepticism, atheism and humanism.

    3 · September 21, 2013

  • Lloyd Nash, J.

    Thanks and congratulations to the officers and core group assistants who made tonight's award banquet a very nice, informative, and enjoyable event
    So happy and proud to be associated with this group.

    4 · September 20, 2013

  • Matt

    Tomorrow is the last day to register (and if you could register today, that'd really help us out). You can do so here:

    September 16, 2013

  • Ray V

    The online sign up was pretty painless, I'll be eating for two!

    1 · September 7, 2013

    • mardell

      Ray dearest..I'm sure I can help you out if eating for two becomes more than you can handle.

      September 7, 2013

  • Suzy W.

    Is there any way I can make sure and have a Vegan meal choice?

    July 23, 2013

    • Suzy W.

      The waitress brought me some fruit after I told her the problem. :)

      July 24, 2013

    • mardell

      Suzy, I'll be more than happy to eat your ice cream...

      September 7, 2013

  • Rafiq M.

    Wonderful! Ray is going to link me in. I have bought my ticket but Matt can you tell the chef that I won't actually be needing the vegetable lasagne

    2 · September 6, 2013

    • Matt

      OK, will do. It's great that you can join us!

      1 · September 7, 2013

  • Matt

    1 · August 9, 2013

  • Brian C.

    Nice to see that we've snagged Massimo!

    1 · July 30, 2013

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