The Freethought Trail lies in New York State between Rochester and Syracuse, and is the nation's richest trove of freethought and radical reform history. It was a bubbling cauldron of radical social innovation: freethought, women’s rights, abolition, anarchism, radical politics, and more.
Margaret Downey will bring the knowledge she's gained through travelling the Freethought Trail as an activist and tour guide in an engaging presentation. From the great agnostic orator Robert Green Ingersoll to feminist Elizabeth Cady Stanton to many more famous freethinkers, Margaret will share her love of freethought history by highlighting important people and historical events that shaped the freethought movement in the nineteenth century.
If you consider yourself a freethinker, don't miss her presentation and, by all means, don't miss out on the opportunity to meet Margaret Downey.
Margaret Downey has herself played an important part of twentieth and twenty-first century freethought history. Her first major involvement as a nontheist activist was when she took on the Boy Scouts of America for not allowing her son to renew his membership since he was raised in a nontheist household. Since then, Margaret has been a prominent public representative of atheism, and her achievements are vast and impressive.
She founded the Freethought Society and the Anti-Discrimination Support Network in 1993. In 1994, Margaret founded the Thomas Paine Memorial Committee. She has been published two books, "Parenting Beyond Belief" and "Voices of Disbelief."
Margaret has represented the interest of the nontheist community (since 1995) at several United Nations conferences. She is a past board member of the American Humanist Association, The Humanist Institute and the Thomas Paine National Historical Association. She is a current board member of the Freedom From Religion Foundation, Scouting For All and is a member of the Advisory Board Member of the Robert Green Ingersoll Museum. In the year 2002, Margaret became the first “Secular Humanist Celebrant” in Pennsylvania. Margaret created the Richard Dawkins Award in 2003. Margaret served as president of the Atheist Alliance International for two years. In 2007, Margaret designed the Tree of Knowledge. Media Training Worldwide has endorsed Margaret to conduct media training for the nontheist community. Margaret has been a guest on National Public Radio’s Talk of the Nation and Radio Times. Television appearances include features on local news stations as well as ABC’s Nightline, PBS and Fox News.
When: Sunday, 4/20/14 at 4pm
Where: Gage Hall, 4 Archdale Street
Bonus: After Margaret's program, the children of Sunday Quest will present an original skit. They will delight you with a creation story that they made to explain the origin of the universe. In it, you will also see the development of a humanist society through their eyes as they incorporate the ethics and values they've explored through this past year at Sunday Quest.
Easter Bonus: Our regularly-scheduled third Sunday meeting falls on Easter this year, and we have a special surprise planned! Margaret will read a spoof on Easter book to the children, but she says that adults love it as well! She even has a special gift for the children at the end. Margaret will read her book to those who are interested after the children's skit.
Refreshments: We will offer beverages before the meeting, but since we are having a potluck after, there will be no pre-meeting refreshments this time.
Though we normally go to a restaurant after the meeting, this time we will have a potluck dinner in the meeting hall after the presentation. Please bring your favorite (homemade or storebought) dish. SHL will provide drinks and paper goods.