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CFINO Humanism Awards Banquet 2013

Join us for Center for Inquiry Northeast Ohio's 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 Cleveland Freethinker and 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; the student price is $25. A delectable banquet dinner is included! 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.

  • Marni H.

    Congratulations, Roni on your outstanding lifetime achievements - so glad your whole family could come out for the celebration. Thanks to everyone for attending - I think this may have been the highest attended event ever? Can someone verify that?

    2 · September 22, 2013

    • Roni & Elliott B.

      Thanks, everybody, for being there, for making me feel special. It was nice to see members I hadn't seen lately, and meet some I had never seen. It was a wonderful event.

      1 · September 22, 2013

  • Mark T.

    Congratulations on your well-deserved award, Roni! And heartfelt thanks to all who attended.

    2 · September 21, 2013

  • mardell

    I, too, am looking forward to seeing everyone and to sharing in honoring Roni

    September 19, 2013

  • Suzy W.

    Looking forward to seeing all of you tomorrow! :)

    September 19, 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

  • Roni & Elliott B.

    I guess I'd better be there.

    4 · September 14, 2013

  • Matt

    August 9, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Unfortunately I'm worried about my back, etc. I'm now having probs with my knees. The seating may not be acceptable for my probs.
    Have a great time :)

    July 23, 2013

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