New Meetup: 4th Annual Iowa Secularists Conference - July 18 - 12:30 p.m. - Iowa City $25

From: Bjorn W.
Sent on: Monday, June 29, 2009 4:44 PM
Announcing a new Meetup for Minnesota Atheists Meetup Group!

What: 4th Annual Iowa Secularists Conference - July 18 - 12:30 p.m. - Iowa City $25

When: July 18,[masked]:30 PM

Where: (A location has not been chosen yet.)

The Fourth Annual Iowa Secularists Conference will be held on July 18th, 2009 at the Downtown Sheraton in Iowa City.

This year, our keynote speaker will be D.J. Grothe, Vice President and Director of Outreach Programs for the Center for Inquiry. Sessions will also include presentations by Dr. Hector Avalos from Iowa State University and Bjorn Watland, President of the Minnesota Atheists.

Due to the economic situation facing many in Iowa and the nation, the cost to attend the conference has been reduced from last year in an effort to ensure that financial considerations are not preventing secular Iowans from attending and associating with their fellow freethinkers. Pricing is $25 for individuals and $40 for a couple, which includes attendance for the day and a catered meal during our Keynote Dinner. The meal will include a vegetarian option. If you have specific dietary restrictions and would like to attend, please let us know.

In addition, groups of Iowans traveling from elsewhere in the state have the opportunity to apply for travel grants to help cover the cost of transportation to the conference. If you have a group that will attend together and would like to apply for a travel grant, please let us know by replying to this email. Please also tell us if you are traveling and willing to carpool with other members, and we will help coordinate travel groups.

2009 Iowa Secularists Conference Schedule (May be subject to change)

July 18, 2009
# 12:30 - 1:00 PM - Registration
# 1:00 - 1:15 - Welcome and Opening Remarks
# 1:15 - 2:00 - Session 1 - Secular Communities in Iowa - A facilitated discussion
# 2:00 - 2:45 - Session 2 - Intelligent Design: Why It?s Not Science - Dr. Hector Avalos, Professor of Religious Studies, Iowa State University
# 2:45 - 3:00 - Break
# 3:00 - 3:45 - Session 3 - Secular Parenting - Michael Ireland, Executive Director, Iowa Secularists
# 3:45 - 4:30 - Session 4 - Positive Atheism - Bjorn Watland, President, Minnesota Atheists and Brian Sabel, Founder, Iowa Secularists
# 4:30 - 5:30 - Cocktail Hour
# 5:30 - 7:30 - Dinner and Keynote Address featuring D.J. Grothe

Directly after dinner and our keynote address, we would like to assemble those in attendance for a group photo.

About our Keynote Speaker - D.J. Grothe is a writer and public speaker who talks about issues at the nexus of science, critical thinking, secularism, religion and the paranormal. He is Vice President and Director of Outreach Programs at the Center for Inquiry, a ?think tank that advances science, reason and secular values in public affairs.? He is associate editor of Free Inquiry magazine, and lectures throughout North America at colleges and universties. He hosts the nationally popular radio show and podcast Point of Inquiry which features leading thinkers in the sciences, skepticism and humanism.

We hope to bring together many secular, atheist, agnostic, freethinking, humanist, non-religious and other Iowans, however they define themselves, at this conference. Please pass this announcement on to any and all groups and individuals that may be interested in attending! See you in Iowa City!

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