I hope your holiday season is going well.
On December 5th, five affiliate organizers dissociated from BN. They issued a statement for their reasons that same day. I will disclose that I reacted to a personal matter during this year’s BN SeaCon, and while it was independent of the official events, it did impact some attendees and members of the organizing team.
While I acknowledged and accepted my responsibility for said reaction, apologized to individuals that were affected, and made corrective actions before the cruise ended, the decision of the former organizers has been accepted. I thank them for their service to BN, and they are wished all the best with their future endeavors.
Contrary to what has been implied in some social media posts, I assure you that Black Nonbelievers IS a safe space. We are a safe space for people who are deconstructing religious beliefs and need a welcoming community. We are a safe space for those who are learning about and deconstructing societal stigmas, including those that judge unconventional practices (and which has openly been discussed on this show and previous BN events). We are also a safe space for those who practice them. We uphold autonomy, consent, clear communication, and respect for one another, even if we disagree at times. We understand that as human beings we make mistakes, and that compassion, support, tact, and understanding is crucial. But most important, we will always be a safe space where reason and evidence will prevail over dogma of any kind.
In my eleven years of being active in this community, it is a privilege and an honor to not just be what many consider a leader, but more importantly, a friend. And I want to thank each one of you who has supported the work of BN this year. While we mourned the deaths of two of our beloved members, and my own father, we also launched In The Cut, offered Religious Trauma Group Coaching, participated in the Secular Week of Action and the Freedom From Religion Foundation’s billboard campaign, co-sponsored the 2022 Hurston scholarship, and brought you the Women of Color Beyond Belief conference and BN SeaCon. This is work that we are proud of, and that we know is needed.
2023 will see us revitalizing and expanding on our liberation work, and we will need you now more than ever. We have board positions that need to be filled, and we need new organizers and YouTube moderators. Also, stay tuned for the announcement of a new leader for our Detroit affiliate.
I hope you all have a very Happy New Year.
Mandisa L. Thomas
Founder and President
|Our work to raise the profile for Black Nonreligious people by providing support and community is vital. Whether you donate $5 or $500, every bit helps. Thank you for your support!|
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Check out the details on BN SeaCon 2023!
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