Please join us today for a special presentation on “Jupiter Strong”, a book series that was created to foster critical thinking in children. 2 pm at the Downtown Atlanta library branch!
Press Release: Black Nonbelievers, Inc. Granted 501(c)(3) Nonprofit Status
September 9, 2014
Atlanta, Georgia – Black Nonbelievers, Inc (BN) is proud to announce it is now officially a public charity with tax-exempt status under Section 501(c)(3) of the United States Internal Revenue Code. Contributions donated to Black Nonbelievers are fully tax-deductible retroactive to May 15, 2014. Black Nonbelievers is also now eligible to apply for grants, which will further broaden its access to resources and strengthen its ability to serve the community.
“Obtaining 501(c)(3) status is a major milestone for BN,” says President and Founder Mandisa Thomas. “It has been a long road, but I am glad that we have achieved this goal. This opens many doors for us to expand fundraising activities and fully realize our goals as a charitable organization that will not only support individuals (primarily minorities) who are distressed as a result of questioning and leaving religion, but will also create programs that will increase secular solutions for improvement in our communities. We are truly grateful to those who helped make this successful.”
The BN Tax Identification Number (EIN) is 45-3759816. The IRS letter granting BN its 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status is available upon request. Donation inquiries can be sent to email@example.com, and you can access the donation link directly at https://blacknonbelievers.wordpress.com/donate.
Black Nonbelievers, Inc. (BN) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization headquartered in the Atlanta area that is dedicated to providing an informative, caring, festive and family friendly environment. We strive to connect with other Blacks (and their allies) who are living free of religion and irrational beliefs, and might otherwise be shunned by family and friends. Instead of accepting dogma, we seek to determine truth and morality through reason and evidence.
BN welcomes all regardless of sex, sexuality, gender identity, age, national origin or race.
For more information, please visit www.blacknonbelievers.org”.
Hello Everyone! Please check out this article that was featured on the Rationalist Association. BN President Mandisa Thomas discusses some challenges faced with being a nonbeliever in the Black community, as well as future plans for the organization. Be sure to check back often for updates on our events and projects!
Press Release – For Immediate Distribution
Event: Atlanta Coalition of Reason’s Summer Solstice Launch Weekend!!!
Dates: June 21-22, 2014
Times: 8:00 PM 7:00 PM
Locations: Doo Gallery Atlanta Freethought Hall
205 Holtzclaw St SE 4775 N. Church Lane
Atlanta, GA 30316 Atlanta, GA 30080
Description: In the city sometimes known as “Hotlanta”, get ready for the weekend that is sure to live up to the description! Taking a different approach from the standard method of introductions, the official launch of the Atlanta Coalition of Reason (ATL CoR) will be a Summer Solstice celebration, complete with a launch party on June 21st, followed by a concert on June 22nd. Speakers and performers will include Greydon Square, Jeremiah Camara, Sam Singleton and Steve Hill.
ATL CoR coordinator Mandisa Thomas says, “This is an initiative that is well overdue. Atlanta has one of the largest populations of nonbelievers, and there are so many strides to be made by the area groups working together. I am proud to be part of facilitating this important and festive occasion, as well as all future projects.”
“There are a number of fine organizations in the Atlanta area to serve the diverse needs and styles we have and to further the cause of those of us without religion” says veteran activist and ATL CoR advisor Ed Buckner. “But we have very much long needed better ways of pulling together for the sake of the things we have in common. With Mandisa at the helm, the Atlanta Coalition of Reason is destined to serve our movement, our local groups, and our members extraordinarily well. This is great to see and I’m eager to be a part of it.”
Tickets are $25 for party and concert ($15 for party and $20 for concert separately). You can purchase tickets in advance via this link: http://www.eventbrite.com/e/atl-cors-summer-solstice-launch-weekend-tickets-11326745601
If you are traveling from out of town, please contact the coordinator for assistance with finding reasonably priced accommodations.
Contact Info: Mark W. Gura – Media Representative –firstname.lastname@example.org
Mandisa Thomas – Coordinator: email@example.com
On April 23, 2014, Candace Gorham, author of “The Ebony Exodus Project” appeared on News One Now with Roland Martin to discuss the systematic problem of the Black Church, and why Black women in particular should consider leaving altogether in order to improve their lives. While Gorham does not entirely blame the Church or the problems in the Black community, she does emphasize and outline it’s influence and how the institution as well as religion overall has a detrimental effect. Click on the link above to view the segment, and please leave feedback for News One.
Black Nonbelievers, Inc. is proud to host an encore presentation of the acclaimed film by Jeremiah Camara!
What has been the collective impact of church loyalty and deep faith?
In Contradiction, Jeremiah Camara, author of the book Holy Lockdown travels around the country examining the saturation of churches in the midst of dependency and powerlessness. Camara seeks to find if there is a connection between high praise and low productivity.
*Rolling Out is the official media sponsor for Contradiction (Rollingout.com)
****The following piece is an adaptation from one of my 16 year old daughter’s class assignments. I was unaware of her choice to write about this subject until she told me. She received a grade of 95, and of course, being so please with the outcome, I asked her permission to share. The content has been slightly edited, but her ideas and thoughts come through loud and clear. Please share this with others who may be feeling the same way, but may have trouble with open expression.**** ~ Mandisa
Its half past 10 and my mom and I are headed towards her meeting she has every 3rd weekend of the month, I gazed at the stagnant gray clouds and counted the number of black cars that passed. 24….25….suddenly, I see a license plate with peculiar text on it. “God loves me”.
I paused. Bewildered, I turned to my mother.
“Hey, did you see that?”
“See what?” she asked.
I point towards the blue colored sedan.
My mom sighed, and I could only think that this is just another person looking for attention.
That was the starting point of what it meant to be a nonbeliever -or at least that was when I noticed. I remember a time when I felt like a rainbow colored fish in a dull black ocean. When I was five, I attended a private school named Romar Academy. It had a wide variety of activities, such as karate, piano, and dance. It had a friendly vibe in an overachieving learning environment. However, one thing stood out the most. At lunchtime, we couldn’t eat until prayer was done – which I never understood. So I waited until they finished, then hungrily ate my food.
One thing I love most about my family is that we are skeptical. We love to question things that seem to interfere with the daily activities of others. We’ve also traveled many places – from the blue-green beaches of the Bahamas to the lively, spectacular city of New York. When we eat, we never pray over our food, nor is there any mention of any god at any given time (as a real being).
2011 was the start of my mom’s group “Black Nonbelievers”. Taking from her childhood experiences of growing up Black Nationalist, being exposed to religion in various aspects, and questioning life in general, she developed an atheist group of her own. I support her by going to some of the meetings, and I have learned new things about her and what it means to be considered atheist.
Recently, I saw a documentary called “Contradiction”. It is a movie about how religion affects African American culture. I taught me many new things. For example, during slavery, religion was used as a tactic to mentally restrain slaves. Like a box filled with colors, a dull world – religion – kept that box from being opened. But as I continued to watch, I realized that many other races have that same problem. After learning this, I was able to picture the transition that many cultures took when they were exposed to Christianity.
Transitioning to a new environment is never easy. You have to get used to new routines and people. When I transferred from public school from private, I noticed the students weren’t all Black or African American. And I felt happier as a result. Seeing people from different races and cultures made me feel completely comfortable with myself. Even now, I feel extremely apprehensive if I find myself surrounded by one race/culture in particular at any given time. Also, I find it hard to cope with not being able to get along with many of my fellow African Americans. It started as a joke, but I sat down one day and brain vomited all of my thoughts. Everywhere I looked, I saw some Blacks either committing themselves to a higher deity, or making a fool of themselves and being disrespectful in some way. I always wanted to know why these bad apples are shown in the media. But moreover, when I did make friends with other Blacks, something would eventually distance us – religious belief. When I told them I was atheist, they stopped talking to me. When I told them I was bisexual, they stopped talking to me. I find it much easier to talk with my peers from other races. In fact, more of them are atheist – just like me.
In a world filled with extravagant things and adventures, I never thought too hard about religion. I accept people for who they are as long as they accept me for who I am. My mom is my role model. She is able to overcome obstacles head on, and still keeps a smile on her face – even when someone tells her to “go to hell”. Being an atheist to me isn’t worshipping the devil, or even saying things like “God doesn’t exist”. It means that I‘m an adventurer who is a skeptic and feels free. As I travel and meet new people, I question and explore whatever I want. And I expect a straightforward answer, and will never stop looking for my own.