Despite no national convention this year due to the pandemic, the Freedom From Religion Foundation will be hosting an online membership meeting, including legal and other highlights of the year, on Saturday, Nov. 14.
Please join other FFRF members and staff at this event, which will include special greetings and surprises. While the meeting by necessity is only online, for the first time the gathering is otherwise available to all members, at no cost, no matter where you live!
Legendary TV actor Ed Asner will appear during the event in a video accepting FFRF’s 2020 Clarence Darrow Award. Asner, who recently became part of FFRF’s Honorary Board, is known for portraying “Lou Grant,” and to younger audiences for voicing “Ralph” in the movie “Up” and portraying Santa in the movie “Elf.” Asner toured the country portraying William Jennings Bryan in a play about the Scopes Trial opposite John de Lancie (portraying Darrow), and has been an outspoken progressive activist. The award includes a bronze statuette, a miniature of the 7-foot statue by renowned sculptor Zenos Frudakis that FFRF erected on the lawn of the “Scopes Trial” courthouse in Dayton, Tenn. De Lancie, who helped dedicate the statue, received the debut award two years ago, and U.S. Rep. Jamie Raskin, a co-founder of the Congressional Freethought Caucus, received the award by video at last year’s convention.
FFRF’s team of “watchdog” attorneys will present legal highlights at the online meeting, and FFRF’s many other actions and achievements over the year will be featured in the hour-long report preceding the short membership meeting.
Also appearing via a taped video will be Ben Hart, who is earning FFRF’s 2020 Freethinker of the Year Award. Hart seeking to counteract license plates saying “In God We Trust,” challenged in a lawsuit his inability to get a license plate with the words “IM GOD” on it. Kentucky DMV officials denied the plate because it was deemed “obscene or vulgar” and then later “not in good taste.” The U.S. District Court for the Eastern Court of Kentucky ruled in Hart’s favor that the denial of the plate violated the First Amendment.
The “FFRF Highlights of the Year” will begin online at 1:30 p.m. (CST) on Nov. 14, followed by a short membership meeting, which includes the annual treasurer’s report and an election for the State Representatives. The agenda and other information is published in your fall Private Line, FFRF’s biannual newsletter.
State Reps, who will be voting on a bylaws change and some Executive Board elections, will be contacted by email and mail with details on their annual meeting, which will take place the following week, on Saturday, Nov. 21, at 1:30 p.m. (CST). The agenda has been published in the fall Private Line newsletter, mailed to all members unless they specify receiving a digital copy.
Any FFRF member in good standing (meaning your dues are up to date) is invited to attend the annual membership meeting. Participants will be emailed the final agenda and written reports along with easy instructions to access the meeting and to vote. All registrants of the membership meeting will receive an email with a link to the online ballot to elect the state representatives. You must attend the meeting for your vote to count.
Please be sure to register online no later than Monday, Nov. 2, or to mail your free registration so it is received by our office (FFRF, PO Box 750, Madison WI 53701) no later than Monday, November 2. See registration form this page or simply register online at: ffrf.org/2020-meeting.
FFRF’s 2020 convention slated for the weekend of Nov. 13-14, 2020, in San Antonio, was postponed due to the pandemic. Most of the scheduled speakers, including Gloria Steinem and Margaret Atwood, have agreed to appear at FFRF’s 2021 convention at the Boston Park Plaza Hotel on the weekend of Nov. 19-21, 2021. (So save the dates!) Additional honorees and speakers joining them for the two-day event will be announced in 2021, and FFRF is looking forward to an exciting post-pandemic celebration.
(Members who have not shared their email address with FFRF are encouraged to do so. Send your preferred email address to [email protected] and include you full name and mailing address.)