Atheist Alliance International relies on and appreciates the assistance of a range of contributors to its operations and activities. Thank you everyone!
Matt Kovach (Social Media Coordinator)
Matt Kovach previous ran his own business as a hairstylist, but today considers himself a habitual volunteer and activist. He has volunteered for AAI since before its separation in 2011 and is currently also a volunteer with Responsible Charity. Matt's motto is "Two hands working can do more than a thousand hands clasped in prayer".
AAI News Team
Melita's ideal vision of the future is a world free from the hate, delusional thinking, intolerance, discrimination and prejudices found in religion. She works for hire as a freelance researcher and writer, and also writes fiction. A native of Melbourne, Australia, she is currently living in San Francisco. She holds a Masters degree in applied communications and research journalism, as well as other graduate degrees in the Arts/Humanities field, and is presently studying a Masters degree in creative writing, publishing and editing at the University of Melbourne.
Christine Jaurigue (Editor/Coordinator)
Christine lives in New Zealand and works as a teacher. She has degrees in English Literature and Psychology, and a diploma in Editing. She was raised in a Catholic family and embarked on her road to atheism after reading Dawkins' The Selfish Gene and Adams' The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.
Faran J. (Asia)
Faran is a Pakistani ex-Muslim atheist with a Masters degree in International Relations. He is a teacher by profession and a passionate education activist. Born and raised in a conservative Muslim family, he renounced religion in his late teen years after reading the Koran and the Bible.
Jo Stephanie (Africa)
Jo is an ex-Catholic from southern Africa and has been an atheist since her late teens. After several years living in a secular country, Australia, and returning to Africa, the privileged position which religion has on the African continent has become ever more clear to her. Black African, female atheists such as herself are possibly the least visible group among atheists globally and she hopes to add her voice to the few out there.
Anne Kelley (Australia)
Many times Anne has been admonished for nothing more than an outlook on life that isn't infinite. Living in her quiet city of Brisbane, she still sees a lot of injustice towards those who require medical and mental health care, and cannot receive it due to religious institutions. She hopes that by helping exposing religious prejudice bit by bit to the world it will help expand the idea that secularism does not have to be taboo.
Mohammad (Middle East)
Mohammad was raised in a very religious Islamic family. He used to go to mosques frequently and do religious tasks precisely. But, about five years ago, he found out that the religious things he used to do were nonsense. He felt what he was doing within the Islamic principles was meaningless. As a result, he decided to come out of superstitious world and go in to the real world. He looks for a better world and thinks in the absence of education and knowledge gods and supernatural powers are made. He believes by thinking rationally making such a world with peace is possible. Living in a country with the right of freedom of thought and expression and going to university are two of his aims.
Raymond Clevenger (North America)
Raymond Clevenger is a computer networking specialist who works for a state university. He was raised in a household devoted to the Society of Friends (Quaker), but began to heavily question his own religious belief early in life. Upon turning eighteen he joined the U.S. military and served in the First Iraq War. His experiences in the military and a constant bombardment of religious propaganda and coercion from acquaintances, friends, and family influenced him to become a more outspoken atheist, with a desire to encourage skepticism and reason in order to live in a healthier society based on freedom of thought instead of the constricted teachings of religion.
Elizabeth Emery (North America)
Elizabeth Emery is a hereditary ex-Mormon from Utah who currently resides in Chicago. After holding many leadership positions during her active tenure with the Church, Emery embraced her Atheist views and fully resigned. She holds a Bachelors degree in English, and is a contributing writer for several publications, in addition to maintaining her personal blog: <lizeverything.com>. She is particularly passionate about Mormonism's entrenched hold on Utah culture, and continues to study modern Mormonism and Church history.
Mark Kolsen (North America)
Hoping his students will understand the power of science and reason, Mark Kolsen teaches in suburban Chicago. A long-time fan of the "four horsemen" (and the late Victor Stenger), he strives to fully grasp scientific cosmology's standard model.
Born into a religious community and raised by religious parents, Nadim's journey as an atheist has not been easy. Lebanon is a place full of sectarian and religious struggles. Clashes and wars in the name of religion caused Nadim to look for a brighter future for himself and for all of mankind. Journalism takes a huge part of his everyday life as he tries to always find the real story, exactly what happened when he decided to get rid of the fairy God.
Edy Arias (Germany)
Edy Arias is originally from Spain and was raised in a traditional Catholic family. After some years of military education, he left Spain to labour within the social development industry in countries such as Chile, Colombia and Bolivia. He later moved to India working as a project manager and administrator for private charitable organizations. Later on he went back to Central America where he supervised a project in education. Due to the fact that religious objectives unnecessarily superseded development strategies and outcomes in his work, he turned to humanism and atheism as the basis of a secular life.
Edy has been married for more than thirty years and lives now with his German wife in the Lower Rhine region, surrounded by lakes and in between the Rhine River and The Netherlands. He holds an MBA in Leadership and Sustainability from the University of Cumbria (UK).
Public Relations Team
Roger Chao is a social and policy researcher, managing numerous Government, NGO, and University research projects. In his spare time he also works as an independent scholar, publishing in and reviewing for journals in the field of ethics and philosophy of religion. He has been active in the secular community since the early 2000s and his extensive travels around the world, and passion for the outdoors have helped cement his secular outlook on life.
Christopher Myrick has worked in international journalism and corporate communications for more than a dozen years, primarily serving for international news agencies and corporations within East Asia. He currently is based in Toronto, Canada, providing editorial and communications services for major financial institutions, as well as speechwriting and consulting services to global clients.
Mark is a committee member of the Atheist Foundation of Australia (AFA) and was involved in the organisation of both the 2010 and 2012 Global Atheist Conventions in Melbourne. He works full time as an I.T. Project Manager. Mark was raised a Catholic but decided that it was all just a bit silly, and lapsed after leaving home and going to university. Reading Richard Dawkins' "The God Delusion" turned indifference into atheism, and Mark now helps out the atheist cause wherever he can.Technical
Peter Caires (Animator)
Former Catholic church-avoiding Peter Caires is currently finishing his BA degree in Animation - with hopes to continue at master level. His skills are generally centred around creative output, from short films, music production, poster and logo design to a splash of web design. A love of science and a passion for dinosaurs was always likely to banish religious superstition from his mind, despite taking 21 years to do so! His favourite heroes include Noam Chomsky, the late Christopher Hitchens (yes both!), Richard Dawkins, Julian Assange and Bradley Manning. Peter's YouTube channel is www.youtube.com/peterlikesthis.
Jack Karpinski (web architect, StudioExcel)
Passionate about making the world a better place, dedicated dad and round-the-clock web development addict. With 100+ websites under his belt loves a challenge and always tries to push the envelope. Favourite motto: "Like doing something, love somebody, don't be a shmuck, live your life meaningfully".
Jake Stollery (Graphic Design)
As a passionate thinker, creative and technologist, Jake Stollery consumes his energy exploring the space between the beautiful and the binary. Besides working across fashion, music and lifestyle brands, he is a passionate atheist and thinks that a better world is one where religion no long hiders the progress of humanity :)
Linda Thomsen (Graphic Design)
Linda Thomsen has extensive experience in graphic, multimedia and web design, direct sales and marketing. Linda has assisted AAI with project logo design.
THOUGHTcam (3D Animation, Broadcast, Motion and Interactive Graphics, Rich and Multi Media ) We like clients that promote atheist ideals! Anything from movies, TV, disc, print or web, and we love logos! See our work at http://www.THOUGHTcam.com, http://www.youtube.com/user/THOUGHTtube and for AAI here.
Leandro Yampolsky (Website Manager)
Leandro Yampolsky has been a member of ArgAtea (Asociación Civil de Ateos en Argentina) since December 2008. He has volunteered in many campaigns organized by ArgAtea, such as the Atheist Picnic in Buenos Aires to support the 09/27/2009 Atheist Public Display in Mexico and the Buenos Aires 10:23 Challenge 2011 against homeopathy. In April 2010, at the Second National Congress (Mar del Plata, Argentina), he participated in the introductory speech of ArgAtea. He was webmaster of ArgAtea's website from June 2009 until November 2010. Leandro was co-anchor of the first Argentine radio program on atheism, skepticism and critical thinking, Nuevos Ayres Criticos, in 2009. He has written articles promoting scientific thought, criticizing the Catholic Church and discussing abortion, which have been published in the Argentine magazine "La Res Pública" and in ArgAtea's freethought magazine. Leandro was an AAI Director for a one year term ended May 2012.
Vision: a secular world where public policy, scientific inquiry and education are not influenced by religious beliefs, but based upon sound reasoning, rationality and evidence.
The AAI Exchange is the forum for AAI affiliate and associate groups to discuss issues of interest relevant to Atheist Alliance International and our groups. The registered contacts of our affiliate and associate groups are automatically subscribed to the AAI Exchange when a new affiliate or associate group joins AAI.
The AAI Exchange serves as an advisory body to the AAI Board of Directors. The Board encourages the Exchange members to bring up issues and new projects for consideration by the Board as well as ideas and successes to be shared with the other groups included on the Exchange.
1. The vision of the Alliance (the “Vision”) is a secular world where public policy, scientific inquiry and education are not influenced by religious beliefs, but based upon sound reasoning, rationality and evidence.
2. The mission of the Alliance (the “Mission”) is to challenge and confront religious faith, to strengthen global atheism by promoting the growth and interaction of atheist/freethought organisations around the world and to undertake international educational and advocacy projects.
3. The Alliance is legally established in the State of California, USA, and is subject to the relevant laws and regulations of that state.
4. The Bylaws were adopted by the Board following incorporation of the Alliance.
5. These Bylaws may be amended at a General Meeting. Motions to amend the Bylaws must be received by the Secretary at least eight weeks prior to a General Meeting.
6. Notwithstanding clause 5 the Board may make trivial amendments to the Bylaws for the purposes of grammar, punctuation or clarity, subject to appeal at a General Meeting.
7. Any doubt that may arise as to the interpretation of these Bylaws shall be resolved by the Board, subject to appeal at a General Meeting.
8. Any Director or Member may propose an amendment to the Bylaws. Such a proposal must state the specific new language proposed, indicate the old language to be modified or replaced, and be accompanied by a statement of the reasons for the proposed changes.
9. To be effective, amendments to the Bylaws must be passed by at least a Two-Thirds Majority of votes cast by Members at a General Meeting.
10. In these Bylaws:
11. There are three classes of membership of the Alliance – Affiliate Members, Associate Members and Individual Members.
12. Membership is open to all organisations or individuals who subscribe to the Vision and Mission of the Alliance.
13. The Board can suspend or revoke any Membership if it judges that the Member concerned has failed to meet the relevant Membership criteria, or if it considers that the Member’s activities are incompatible with the best interests of the Alliance as a whole.
14. The Board shall set annual Membership fees for each category of membership, which must be paid in full within 60 days of receipt of an invoice by the Member. The Board may waive or reduce fees for any organisation at any class of membership if it is satisfied that the group suffers financial hardship and its membership would be a benefit to the Alliance.
15. Any Member whose annual fees (as adjusted for any waiver or reduction by the Board) have not been paid on time will forfeit their votes (if any) at any General Meeting, may not nominate a person or stand for election to the Board, and may have their membership suspended or revoked by the Board.
16. Any Member wishing to terminate their Membership can do so by notifying the Secretary in writing of their intention, their reasons, and the effective date of the termination.
17. Affiliate Membership is open to local, regional, national and supra-national organisations throughout the world (with one exception in relation to groups from the United States of America, detailed in clause 23) that are determined by the Board to meet the following criteria:
18. Applications for Affiliate Membership will be subject to review and approval by the Board. All such applications must include at least: the application form, a copy of the applicant’s bylaws or constitution or similar document, a statement that the applicant subscribes to the Vision and Mission of the Alliance, contact details for three current officers of the applicant, its membership figures, and details of the applicant’s activities.
19. The criteria for Affiliate Membership may be changed from time to time by the Board.
20. If an organisation’s Affiliate Membership application is refused by the Board it may have its application voted on at the next General Meeting. If the application is approved by a Simple Majority of the votes cast at the General Meeting the organisation will be approved for Affiliate Membership by the Board (subject to the exception stated in clause 23).
21. A condition of continuing Affiliate Membership is that each Affiliate Member must respond as reasonably requested to an inquiry from the Board regarding its up-to-date membership figures, most recent elections, current bylaws and current contact details for at least three officers.
22. Affiliate Members hold voting rights at General Meetings. The number of votes each Affiliate Member is eligible to cast is weighted based on the size of their membership as per clause 75.
23. While the Alliance may admit national organisations from the United States of America (the “USA”) as Affiliate Members, only local and regional groups based in the USA that are members of Atheist Alliance of America Inc., may be accepted by the Board as Affiliate Members.
24. Associate Membership is open to local, regional, national and supra-national organisations throughout the world that want to have a co-operative relationship with the Alliance and that are determined by the Board to meet the following criteria:
25. Applications for Associate Membership will be subject to review and approval by the Board. All such applications must include at least: the application form, a statement that the applicant subscribes to the Alliance’s Vision and Mission, contact details for one current officer of the applicant and details of the applicant’s activities.
26. The criteria for Associate Membership can be changed from time to time by the Board.
27. If an organisation’s Associate Membership application is refused by the Board it may have its application voted on at the next General Meeting. If the application is approved by a Simple Majority of the votes cast at the General Meeting the organisation will be approved for Associate Membership by the Board.
28. A condition of continuing Associate Membership is that each Associate must respond as reasonably requested to an inquiry from the Board regarding its current contact details for at least one officer.
29. Associate Members may participate in General Meetings but have no voting rights.
30. Individual Membership of the Alliance is open to any person throughout the world who wants to support the work of the Alliance. Individuals may join the Alliance independently of any Affiliate Member or Associate Member.
31. Applications for Individual Membership will be subject to review by the Board. All such applications must include at least: the application form, a statement that the applicant subscribes to the Alliance’s Vision and Mission and the applicant’s contact details.
32. The criteria for Individual Membership can be changed from time to time by the Board.
33. If an individual’s Individual Membership application is refused by the Board the person may have their application voted on at the next General Meeting. If the application is approved by a Simple Majority of the votes cast at the General Meeting the individual will be approved for Individual Membership by the Board.
34. A condition of continuing Individual Membership is that each member must respond as reasonably requested to an inquiry from the Board regarding their current contact details.
35. Individual Members may participate in General Meetings but have no voting rights.
36. The Board may establish several categories of Individual Membership for various purposes at its discretion.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
37. There shall be a Board of the Alliance. The Board has full executive authority and responsibility for the operations and activities of the Alliance, subject only to compliance at all times with the provisions of relevant laws, these Bylaws and any policies passed by the Board.
38. The Board will comprise a minimum of four Directors and a maximum of thirteen Directors.
39. The Board will include at least four Officers – President, Vice President, Treasurer and Secretary.
40. The Board may create or abolish additional Officer positions from time to time as it deems appropriate.
41. The President of the Alliance shall be the chairperson of meetings and of the Board and in the absence of the President, the Vice President shall so act. If at any meeting, neither the President nor the Vice President is present, the Directors present must choose an alternative chairperson for the meeting.
42. The Board may meet and otherwise despatch its business and regulate its meetings as it sees fit, but must hold at least six scheduled meetings to which all Directors are invited per year. Meetings of the Board may include in-person meetings, teleconferences, videoconferences and other formats as the Board chooses.
43. Meetings of the Board may be called by the President, Secretary or any two Directors.
44. A quorum shall consist of the minimum whole number of Directors that is more than half the number of Directors (excluding any Directors that have been suspended in accordance with clause 66) at that time.
45. Subject to clause 66, the business of the Board shall be decided by a Simple Majority. Where there is an equality of votes, the chairperson shall have a second or casting vote
46. The Board may delegate any of its powers to committees consisting of its members as it thinks fit. Any committee so formed shall, in the exercise of the powers so delegated, conform to any regulations that may be imposed upon it by the Board.
47. The Board is required to submit to each Annual General Meeting a report on the current and proposed operations of the Alliance and a statement of the previous year’s accounts.
48. Only the President, and any other persons specifically designated by the Board as the President’s agents for this purpose, may communicate or purport to communicate officially on behalf of the Alliance.
49. Director (including Officer) positions are voluntary roles. The Alliance shall not make any salary, stipend or similar payments to Directors (including Officers) in their capacity as Directors (or Officers). Directors may, however, receive reimbursement of expenses incurred in the performance of their duties, subject to Board approval.
ELECTION OF DIRECTORS
50. The inaugural Directors were appointed by the Incorporator on the basis of the votes recorded by the Affiliate Members at the Members’ meeting held in Dublin on 3 June 2011.
51. Subsequent to appointment of the inaugural Directors, the Members who are entitled to vote at General Meetings will elect the Directors.
52. Any person nominated by an Affiliate or Associate Member or who is an Individual Member may be considered for election as a Director. Affiliate and Associate Members may nominate one of their own members or such other person as they consider appropriate. Individual Members may nominate themselves.
53. All Members will be given reasonable notice of any upcoming Director election and a reasonable opportunity to nominate for the available positions.
54. Nominations for the election of Directors must be submitted to the Secretary at least eight weeks in advance of the Annual General Meeting. If fewer nominations than the maximum number of positions available, have been received by such time, additional nominations may be made up to the earlier of the time at which nominations equal to the maximum number of positions available are received or one week prior to the next Annual General Meeting.
55. Notwithstanding the provisions of any other clause in these Bylaws, in all circumstances, no more than one person nominated by any single Affiliate or Associate Member may be a Director at any time, and no more than three people from any single nation may be Directors at any time. Regardless of whether or not a person was actually nominated by an Affiliate or Associate Member, a person will be deemed to be “nominated” by an Affiliate or Associate if they are a member of the board (or substantially similar body) of, hold an executive position at, or have a significant influence on the operations of, the relevant Affiliate or Associate. If a person may be deemed to be “nominated” by more than one Affiliate or Associate then that person may choose which applicable Affiliate or Associate from which they will be nominated by for the purposes of this clause.
56. The election of Directors shall be conducted by a person nominated by the Board, who shall not be a person standing for election at that time (the “returning officer”). The voting, counting and recording of votes shall be carried out in the most efficient manner reasonably available. At the conclusion of counting the votes, the returning officer shall prepare a report advising: the outcome of the election, the number of Members voting, the total number of votes cast, and the number of votes cast for each nominee.
57. Elections to the Board shall be conducted on the following basis:
TERMS OF APPOINTMENT AND VACANCIES IN THE BOARD
58. Subject to clauses 59 - 61, Directors shall generally serve terms of two years and are eligible for re-election when their term expires.
59. As an exceptional measure, to establish a staggered pattern for Directors' terms, when the inaugural Board was appointed by the Incorporator, seven Directors were appointed for a term of one year.
60. Any Directors elected will be elected for the term stated in the relevant Notice of Meeting. A reference to “one year” and “two year” terms will be taken to mean the time until the next Annual General Meeting (in the case of a one year term) and until Annual General Meeting after the next (in the case of a two year term) regardless of the actual length of time to the dates of those meetings.
61. If required to assist with the effective function of the Board, the Board may permit Directors to be nominated for a term other than as prescribed by clause 58. Any such term shall not be longer than two years.
62. The Board may, at any time, appoint a Director, either to fill a casual vacancy or as an addition to the existing Directors provided:
63. Any Director appointed in accordance with clause 62 may remain a Director until the next Annual General Meeting, at which time that person must nominate for election by the Members or resign as a Director.
64. The position of any Director shall be vacated:
65. In exceptional circumstances, where concerns are raised or allegations are made that a Director has failed in material and serious degree to observe established rules of conduct, or has engaged in conduct materially and seriously prejudicial to the purposes and interests of the Alliance, a special Board meeting may be held to consider such concerns or allegations, on the following basis:
66. At the special meeting the Board may decide to take no action, to suspend the Director for a period it considers appropriate, to recommend that the Director is expelled at a General Meeting or to sanction the Director in some other way (excluding expulsion of the Director). Any decision to suspend or recommend the expulsion of a Director will only be effective if approved by a Two-Thirds Majority.
67. For the period of any suspension a Director will not be invited to or participate in Board meetings or Board discussions or decisions of the Board that occur outside Board meetings.
68. If there is a vote to expel any Director at a General Meeting and that Director is the nominee of an Affiliate Member, any votes cast by that Affiliate Member on the matter will be discounted.
ELECTION OF OFFICERS
69. The inaugural Officers were appointed on the basis of the votes recorded by the Affiliate Members at the Members’ meeting held in Dublin on 3 June 2011.
70. Excluding the inaugural Officers, the Board will appoint Officers following such positions becoming vacant.
71. An Officer position becomes vacant:
72. Elections of Officers will be conducted on the following basis:
VOTING RIGHTS OF MEMBERS
73. Only Affiliate Members are eligible to vote at General Meetings.
74. Associate Members and Individual Members may participate in General Meetings but are not entitled to vote.
75. The number of votes each Affiliate Member is eligible to cast is weighted based on the size of their paid membership. All Affiliate Members are entitled to at least one vote, those with between 100 and 300 paid members are entitled to an additional vote (two votes in total) and Affiliates with over 300 paid members are entitled to an additional two votes (three votes in total). In the event that an Affiliate has members that are also organisations of individuals the Board will determine the appropriate voting level.
76. At least four weeks before each General Meeting, a roll will be prepared of the Affiliate Members entitled to vote at the General Meeting, including the number of votes they are entitled to cast and the person authorised to cast those votes on the Affiliate Member’s behalf.
77. The first Annual General Meeting of the Alliance must take place within 15 months of incorporation. Thereafter, the Alliance shall hold an Annual General Meeting each calendar year and not more than 18 months after the last Annual General Meeting.
78. The Annual General Meeting will approve the accounts and elect Directors.
79. At least twelve weeks prior to the Annual General Meeting, Members shall be notified of the date and location of the meeting if it will be held in a physical location, or the electronic process by which the Annual general Meeting will run if it will not be held in a physical location, and of the general nature of the business to come before the meeting.
80. At least eight weeks prior to any General Meeting other than the Annual General Meeting, members of the Alliance shall be notified of the date and location of the meeting if it will be held in a physical location, or the electronic process by which the Annual General MeetiNg will run if it will not be held in a physical locaiton, and of the general nature of the business to come before the meeting.
81. Members that wish to propose a motion at an Annual General Meeting must submit that motion to the Secretary at least eight weeks prior to the date of the meeting.
82. Members that wish to propose a motion at a General Meeting other than an Annual General Meeting must submit that motion to the Secretary at least seven weeks prior to the date of the meeting.
83. If a Member proposes a motion for consideration at an Annual General Meeting or a General Meeting and will not be present (in person or by proxy) at that meeting, the Member may request that the Secretary (or an appropriate person arranged by the Secretary and approved by the Member) represent the Member at that meeting.
84. All motions will be presented to Members at least six weeks prior to the date of a General Meeting, and any proposed amendments to motions must be received by the Secretary at least five weeks in advance of the meeting.
85. The Secretary will present to all Members, no later than four weeks prior to the date of the General Meeting, a complete agenda including all Director nominations, all motions and amendments, the roll of voters as per clause 76, and any necessary background information. In the case of Director nominations, this information will include a short description of each nominee’s qualifications and statement related to their candidacy, the country in which they are based and whether or not they are an Individual Member and/or the nominee or member of any Affiliate or Associate Member.
86. The Board can propose and accept emergency motions later than the times referenced in clauses 81, 82, 84 and 85, but only on matters that have arisen since the closure date for receipt of motions.
87. No business shall be transacted at any General Meeting unless a quorum is present. At least one representative each from at least five Affiliate Members constitutes a quorum for the purposes of a General Meeting.
88. Representatives participating in a General Meeting in person, by proxy or through such electronic forums as the Board approves will be considered present, hold their allocated voting rights and count towards quorum.
89. Any Affiliate Member that is unable to attend a General Meeting may authorise another Member or the Chair of the meeting to cast a proxy vote on its behalf, provided that the Secretary is notified of this arrangement at least three days prior to the meeting.
90. The President of the Alliance shall be the chairperson of any General Meeting and in the absence of the President, the Vice President shall so act. If at any General Meeting, neither the President nor the Vice President is present, the Directors present must choose an alternative chairperson for the meeting.
91. Motions other than Special Resolutions put to a General Meeting shall be decided on either a Simple Majority or a majority based on preferential voting, as determined by the Board and described in the Notice of Meeting, depending on the nature of the motion. Where there is an equality of votes, the chairperson shall have an additional or casting vote.
92. Special Resolutions must be approved by at least a Two-Thirds Majority of votes cast at a General Meeting. The Alliance may only undertake the following actions or transactions with the support of a Special Resolution:
93. The Board, or Affiliate Members representing at least 25% of the total votes that may be cast at a General Meeting, may, whenever they think fit, convene a General Meeting.
94. The accidental omission to give notice of a General Meeting to, or the non-receipt of notice of a General Meeting by, any Member shall not invalidate the proceedings at that meeting.
95. The Board shall cause proper accounts to be kept, showing: all money received and expended by the Alliance; all sales and purchases of goods and services by the Alliance; and the assets and liabilities of the Alliance. The accounts shall be such as are necessary to give a true and fair view of the state of the Alliance’s affairs and to explain its transactions
96. The Alliance’s financial year shall end on 31 December.
97. Each Director of the Alliance shall be indemnified by the Alliance against any claim against them, provided that the act committed or omission made by such Directors that led to such claim arose out of the Director’s lawful discharge of their duties for and on behalf of the Alliance.
98. The Alliance will pay the costs and expenses incurred by the Director or for which that Director is liable for (as reasonably evidenced by such Director) that arise from a claim as set out in clause 97.
Russian: Международный Альянс Атеистов Arabic: اتحاد الملحدين الدولى Spanish: Alianza Atea Internacional
Links to this page in languages other than English:
Atheist Alliance International (AAI) is a global federation of atheist and freethought groups and individuals, committed to educating its members and the public about atheism, secularism and related issues.
A positive global voice for atheism and secularism, Atheist Alliance International:
Atheist Alliance International's vision is a secular world where public policy, scientific inquiry and education are not influenced by religious beliefs, but based upon sound reasoning, rationality and evidence.
Atheist Alliance International's mission is to challenge and confront religious faith, to strengthen global atheism by promoting the growth and interaction of atheist/freethought organisations around the world and to undertake international educational and advocacy projects.
Education is the core approach of Atheist Alliance International. AAI supports its members and the public in the acquisition of new knowledge by:
Basic rights, justice and social responsibility form the foundation of what it means to be human. AAI works to defend and protect the rights of atheists and like-minded people by publicising relevant issues, distributing media releases, developing policy statements and cooperating with other groups to bring issues and injustices to the attention of media and government.
AAI recognises the value of social communities and the importance of providing a strong and protective foundation for individuals, families and groups. In addition to promoting and encouraging the formation of new atheist organisations around the world, AAI supports international outreach and community-building programs such as the atheist "OUT" campaign. Such programs raise general awareness of the atheist community, help new communities to become established and counter the bias and discrimination directed at atheists. Some of these activities are operated through the AAI Foundation.
Atheist Alliance International is run by a volunteer international Board of Directors and relies on membership fees and donations to fund its activities. If you support atheism and secularism please join us!
Atheist Alliance International was founded in the United States as the Atheist Alliance in 1991 by four local US atheist organisations: Atheists United (Los Angeles, California), Atheist Coalition (San Diego, California), Atheists of San Francisco Region (California) and the Atheist Network (Houston, Texas). Atheist Alliance quickly added additional affiliates. Within a year, it had eight US organisations as members and by the end of 1992, its first international affiliate.
Atheist Alliance began publishing its magazine, Secular Nation, in the second half of 1994.
Atheist Alliance began hosting US conventions in 1995, with the first one held in Los Angeles, California. The Atheist Alliance website went on-line in 1997.
By 2001, the organisation had a half-dozen affiliates outside the US, and so changed its name to Atheist Alliance International (AAI).
In 2006, AAI held its first international conference, in Reykjavik, Iceland. In 2010, it began its current program of co-hosting conventions with Affiliate and Associate Members, starting with the extremely successful 2010 Global Atheist Convention held in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.
In 2010 AAI determined that it could more effectively pursue its goals by separating its US-focused activities from its global activities. The US-focused group, Atheist Alliance of America, became an Affiliate Member of AAI.
1. Reason and rational thought. Reason and rational thought are the basis of logical decision making and essential to address the issues faced by humanity.
2. Science and empiricism. The scientific method is the best tool we have for seeking truth and understanding our world. We make conclusions based on the best available evidence and change our conclusions accordingly as new evidence becomes known.
3. Compassion. Human compassion and empathy are the basis of a cooperative social structure that benefits all people.
4. Purpose. This life is the only life we know we will have and it is up to each of us to utilise it meaningfully.
5. Freedom. All people are entitled to freedom from discrimination on the basis of gender, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity and disability. All people are entitled to freedom of conscience. AAI supports the values outlined in the International Convention of Human Rights.
6. Responsibility. Each person is part of a global society and is responsible for humane interaction with other people and animals and for the preservation of our habitable planet.
The Atheist Alliance International Board consists of 13 Directors elected by the AAI Affiliate Group Members for two-year staggered terms. No more than one nominee from any Affiliate/Associate Member may be a Director at any time and no more than three Directors may be from any one country.
The AAI Board has responsibility and full executive authority for the operations and activities of Atheist Alliance International, subject only to compliance at all times with the provisions of relevant laws, AAI's Bylaws and any policies passed at Board meetings.
All AAI Directors are volunteers.
President: Christine Shellska (Canada, term: 2016) - president [at] atheistalliance [dot] org
Christine is currently a PhD candidate (ABD) at the University of Calgary, Department of Communication and Culture, Faculty of Arts. Her research involves studying the rhetorical means by which the intelligent design movement translates religious claims into a form that convinces many to believe it is scientific discourse. She is active in several secular organizations, and in 2011, she prepared a successful application to represent the university’s students, staff and faculty who identify as non-religious, bringing together local, national and international secular groups to endorse the establishment of a Secular Humanist Liaison position at the University of Calgary’s Faith and Spirituality Centre (formerly Multi-Faith Chaplaincy). She also runs a small business, offering a repertoire of specialized graphic design services, and extensive experience in marketing, advertising, corporate communications, and public relations. Christine sees atheism as a site of political engagement; she believes that many of the threats to environmental sustainability, global peace, and social justice stem from irrationalism and superstition, and that reason and compassion are the requisite tools to promote a reality-based understanding of our world, and to counter ignorance, fear and hatred. Christine joined the AAI Board in May 2012 and served as the Secular World Board Liaison from 2012-2013.
Vice President: Carlos Diaz (Argentina, term: 2015) - vicepresident [at] atheistalliance [dot] org
Carlos Diaz has been the Regional Coordinator for the Buenos Aires Metropolitan Area chapter of the Argentine Atheist Association (Asociación Civil de Ateos en Argentina, better known as ArgAtea) since early 2009. He co-hosted the first Argentine Atheist radio talk show (Nuevos Ayres Críticos), in a Country where the State still maintains an official religion, during 2009. As Regional Coordinator he spoke at the Second Argentine Atheist Congress in April 2010. He spoke about the Catholic Church and the Argentine State at the AAI North American Atheist Convention in Montreal in October 2010. Carlos joined the AAI Board in June 2011 and served as its President from 2012-2013.
Languages: Spanish, English, French, German and Portuguese
Membership Director: Stuart Bechman (US, term: 2015) - membership [at] atheistalliance [dot] org
Stuart Bechman served as AAI's President from 2008 to 2010 and from 2013 to 2014. Stuart has been active in the US freethought community for almost 20 years. His "day job" is working as a Business Analyst, and he holds graduate degrees in Accounting, Management Information Systems and Sociology. He is also a graduate of The Humanist Institute (Class 17, 2013). Stuart has served on the boards of the Secular Coalition for America, Americans United for Separation of Church & State and his local chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, as well as serving as treasurer for a number of not-for-profit organizations over the course of his career.
Languages: English, Spanish
Secretary: Karol Tapia (Colombia, Asociación de Ateos y Agnósticos Atlántico, term: 2016) - secretary [at] atheistalliance [dot] org
Karol is a co-founder and the current Secretary of the Asociación de Ateos y Agnósticos Atlántico in Barranquilla, Colombia. She is a psychologist and is currently completing a Master’s Degree on Clinical Neuropsychology at the University of Salamanca in Salamanca, Spain. Karol grew up with Catholic, Adventist and Presbyterian influences, but in her youth she eventually decided that the answers that religion gave her weren’t enough for her, and she began a slow evolution first to skepticism, then agnosticism, then atheism.
Languages: Spanish, English
Treasurer: Gail Miller (UK, term: 2015) - treasurer [at] atheistalliance [dot] org
Gail has been an atheist for over 20 years. For the past 6 years, I have been actively involved in atheist activities including co-writing a children’s book on the topic. She has been a Social Worker for 20 years and worked in government agencies and hospitals. Before joining the AAI Board in 2014, Gail served in a non-Director role with AAI as its Middle East liaison and researcher on refugee and asylum issues.
General Board members:
René Hartmann (Germany, IBKA, term: 2016)
René Hartmann has been serving various on positions within IBKA since 1997. He has been the AAI representative of IBKA since 2002. Currently, he is the first chairman of IBKA, with areas of responsibility including press work, website maintenance and social media. He is also editor of IBKA’s newsletter. René holds a Diploma in informatics from the Technical University of Darmstadt. He joined the AAI Board in June 2011.
Languages: German, English
Richard Honess (UK, Atheism UK, term: 2015)
Richard Honess is an avid convention attendee, regularly attending atheist conventions in both Europe and North America, and has been a supporter/individual member of AAI since 2009 . Richard believed that the work of AAI was so important that he was the driving force to have his home group, Atheism UK, affiliate with AAI immediately after the formation of Atheism UK. He became a director to help AAI grow and develop further and to help it do more on the international stage. Richard was elected to the AAI Board in July 2013.
Languages: English, French
Elida Radig (Australia, Progressive Atheists, term: 2015)
Elia Radig is a Feminist and an Atheist in Victoria, Australia. She has 20 years’ experience Broadcasting at 3RPP Radio on the “Free Waves” Feminist program and 5 years on the “Atheist Age” program. Elida worked for 30 years as CEO at the women’s shelter “Jill House”, and as a Liaison Officer with the Police Force and Family Court. She is currently a Branch Officer of Progressive Atheists Inc. Her study at the moment is on the loss of revenue from the community due to the financial benefits received by the religious institutions in Australia. Elida was appointed to the AAI Board in July 2013 to fill the remaining term of a vacant Board seat.
Languages: Spanish, English
Karl Karnadi (Indonesia, Indonesian Atheists, term: 2015)
Karl Karnadi first became active in atheism in 2008 when he founded an Indonesian Facebook group, Indonesian Atheists (IA). While the group attracted members, he worked with various atheist, freethinker, and humanist organizations in the South-East Asian region to form a collaborative association, www.SEA-Atheist.org. But they were frustrated at the feeling of disconnect and alienation that they felt between their communities and the international atheist community. In 2011, Karl was contacted by AAI to have IA become a new group member. This gave him a new window of communication to the international atheist community; and in 2012, when one of his group's members was arrested for posting "There is No God" on his personal Facebook page, Karl worked with AAI first to provide legal support and then, with his conviction, to provide support for his family and create a scholarship for the victim upon his release from prison. The campaign elevated the visibility of Indonesian Atheists worldwide and brought to international attention the religious oppression and bigotry still condoned and practiced in Indonesia. Because of that experience, Karl wanted to participate in AAI's efforts to support, nourish, and help other atheist groups just as his group was helped, and have them know that they are not alone. He joined the AAI Board in 2013.
Languages: Indonesian, English, German
Melita N. Granger (Australia, term: 2016)
Melita Granger has always been a staunch atheist. Her interests include politics and social justice, and her vision of the future is a world free from the hate, delusional thinking, intolerance, discrimination and prejudices found in religion. She works as a freelance researcher and writer and is also writing a novel and a book of short stories. A native of Melbourne, Australia, she is currently enjoying living in San Francisco, America. She holds a Masters degree in applied communications and research journalism, as well as other graduate degrees in the Humanities field, and is presently studying a Masters degree in creative writing, publishing and editing at the University of Melbourne. Melita is pleased to have the opportunity to help AAI fight the damage that religion inflicts all over the world.
Languages: English and intermediate Hindi, German
Andrew Rawlings (Australia, term: 2015)Andrew Rawlings has been active in the Atheist community for over 25 years. He has held state (Victoria, Australia) committee positions in Skeptic, Humanist and Secularist organisations.
Andrew is a long-time member of the Atheist Foundation of Australia and a member of Progressive Atheists since it was incorporated in 2010.
Andrew has also been very much involved in starting some university Atheist and secularist groups as well as starting and administrating some Yahoo email discussion groups, Meetup.Com groups and Facebook groups and pages.
He has also started and managing some (and assisted with starting other) local Atheist community groups. Andrew co-hosted 'Atheist Age', Australia's first Atheist radio program.
Andrew sees Atheists and the Atheist Alliance International as making a difference to the world.
Andrew had previously done some volunteer work for the AAI. He joined the AAI Board in September 2014.