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A message from President Jeff Dubin

From: HCCO C.
Sent on: Friday, January 27, 2012 2:45 PM

My name is Jeff Dubin, and I'm writing to introduce myself as the new president of HCCO.

I am a Humanist and an atheist, and happy to talk about these things anywhere but work. I have no problem being in the press; if anyone at my workplace reads something about me and doesn't like it, that's on them. I have been on the Board of Trustees for longer than any other current member, going back to when the group met at BC Rooster's and Larry Burrows was president. I'm a proud monthly donor to HCCO. Previously, I served six years on the board of the Secular Student Alliance. I have organized events for Students for Freethought, and have worn other organizational hats in the community, such as being the organizer of the Columbus Philosophers Meetup.

I earn a living as a clinical social worker at a community mental health center in southern Ohio. My clients are men and women with severe mental illnesses, many of whom have past or current problems with alcohol and other drugs. I find myself in good company with many Humanists in psychology, social work, and psychiatry, such as past Humanists of the Year B.F. Skinner, Albert Ellis, Abraham Maslow, and Carl Rogers. My job requires me to be physically present forty hours a week, with some weekends, and involves a long commute, which is why you may not see me at as many HCCO events as I would like to attend.

I'm eager to hear from you, whether you are new to our organization or a long-term member, about your vision of a Humanist community. Are you looking for a place to make friends with similar worldviews? A venue for activism to maintain freedom of religion, freedom FROM religion, and the separation of church and state? An opportunity to show that one can be "good without God" by volunteering your time? Something else entirely? Let me know what is on your mind at [address removed] .

That being said, I'm going to shamelessly paraphrase JFK: Ask not what HCCO can do for you, but ask what you can do WITH HCCO. We are an organization that was built by volunteers, with a volunteer board of directors, and numerous events that came about due to a member's initiative. Consider starting a social, educational, service or activist event, according to your skills and interests, and talk to us about how we can help.

At the last general meeting, several people asked me about the change of location for our Monthly Program. While the Northwood High Building was once the right place for us at the right time, we are no longer able to reserve the room, and even if we were, we need a larger space for the long term. We would like to remain accessible by public transit, be able to offer children's activities in a separate room or outdoors, be allowed to have food and collect donations, and pay a very modest fee if any. While there are some candidates for a permanent space, we welcome your ideas.

Speaking of major changes to our organization, the HCCO Board decided several months ago to hire our first-ever paid staff person. We are very pleased to have Julia McCain working 15 hours weekly as the HCCO Coordinator. Coordinating and recruiting volunteers, communicating with members and the press, and setting up events take a lot of time and effort. Had we not hired Julia, we would would have been forced to drastically scale back our activities and our presence in the community.

If you are reading this and are not yet a member, I invite you to join today. Just visit our website at, click on "Join," then select a contribution amount that is within your budget. If you are a member, I invite you to join me and several other members in signing up as a monthly donor: from the main web page, click on "Donate." As my public radio station puts it, you don't get to set the price for your cable TV service, or your phone, or your electricity or gas, but you can decide how much you can afford and how important it is to you for a Humanist community to thrive.

In friendship and reason,

Jeff Dubin, President



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