San Francisco, here we come!

Adam Savage
Bailey Harris
John de Lancie
Debra Deanne Olson
Sarah Haider
Leighann Lord

Join the Freedom From Religion Foundation in the city on the bay for its 41st annual convention!

FFRF’s annual national convention will meet in San Francisco from Nov. 2-4 at the Hyatt Regency, 5 Embarcadero Center, just two blocks from the bay.

The strong lineup of speakers and

View of the bay from the Hyatt Regency in San Francisco.

entertainers already includes “Mythbuster” Adam Savage, who’ll be receiving FFRF’s Emperor Has No Clothes Award, reserved for public figures who “tell it like it is” about religion.

Future issues of Freethought Today will update convention speakers as they are confirmed.

Confirmed speakers

Adam Savage is co-host of “MythBusters” on the Discovery Channel and is master of many trades. Savage has acted, designed, sculpted, anchored TV shows, and been an educator. Savage’s special effects have been on view in a dozen feature films, including the “Matrix” sequels and “Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace.”

John de Lancie, an actor, director, producer, writer, singer, musician, and voice artist, will be receiving FFRF’s first “Clarence” award — a statuette version of FFRF’s 7-foot statue of Clarence Darrow on display in front of the site of the Scopes trial, in Dayton, Tenn. De Lancie spoke at that dedication.

Well-known for portraying “Q” in the TV series “Star Trek: The Next Generation,” he has many film credits, including: “The Hand that Rocks the Cradle,” “The Fisher King,” “Fearless,” “Multiplicity,” “Women on Top” and “The Big Time.” De Lancie has appeared in numerous television shows including “The Librarians,” “Breaking Bad” and “The West Wing.”

Sarah Haider is a co-founder of Ex-Muslims of North America. Born in Pakistan and raised in Texas, she spent her early youth as a practicing Muslim. Haider directs EXMNA’s Life Beyond Faith mini-documentaries, a series of video portraits of ex-
Muslim atheists and humanists. She is also heading EXMNA’s Normalizing Dissent tour, and travels the United States and Canada to cover a range of issues related to apostasy in Islam. She is currently a columnist for Free Inquiry magazine. In addition to atheism, Sarah is particularly passionate about civil liberties and women’s rights.

She will receive a Freethought Heroine Award.

Bailey Harris, 12, a sixth-grade student at Salt Lake City’s Open Classroom, will be receiving the $5000 Beverly and Richard Hermsen Student Activist Award. When Bailey was 8, she was watching the episode of “Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey” in which host Neil deGrasse Tyson said, “The planets, the stars, the galaxies, we ourselves and all of life — the same star stuff.” Inspired, she immediately went up to her family’s computer and started writing what would eventually become the beautiful picture book, My Name is Stardust. Her father, Doug Harris, gets a co-credit on the book. Her second book in the series, Stardust Explores the Solar System, will be released in the fall.

Leighann Lord, a veteran stand-up comedian, who will do stand-up routine at the convention. Lord has been seen on Lifetime, VH-1, Comedy Central, HBO and “The View.” She is a contributor to the Huffington Post and the author of Dict Jokes: Alternate Definitions for Words You’ve Probably Never Heard of But Will Definitely Never Forget and Real Women Do It Standing Up: Stories From the Career of a Very Funny Lady. Lord was the New York City face of the African-Americans for Humanism outreach campaign sponsored by the Center for Inquiry and its Millions Living Happily Without Religion Campaign. Author Chris Johnson has featured her in The Atheist Book: A Better Life.

Debra Deanne Olson, who, with Dr. Craig West Wilkinson, just authored a book about her atheist grandfather, The Honorable Culbert Levy Olson: Governor of California 1939-1943. She is a political, environmental and peace activist and held volunteer positions on both of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaigns. She was a national senior advisor and a fundraising consultant for the Kucinich for President campaign in 2003. She is founder of Peace Solutions.

Registration

FFRF registration, always a deal, is only $60 per member, $65 per companion, $110 non-member, and students and children free. Take advantage of FFRF’s meal and registration package to save $20 (and get a chance to socialize with other members). Friday night dinner and Saturday lunch are on your own. The menus for the two Saturday meals (with veggie, vegan and gluten-free options) are:

Breakfast Chef’s bakery selection, scrambled eggs, Hobb’s bacon, breakfast potatoes, juice and coffee.

Dinner Potage Parmentier (potato leek soup), crispy shallots, chive crème fraiche, Champagne brown butter chicken, tarragon mushroom fond, Cipollini onion and Comte risotto, steamed broccolini, French pear tart, frangipane, vanilla cream.

Hotel info

Reserve rooms now to avoid disappointment! Rooms (at $230) are being held for Friday and Saturday nights, and a slightly more limited number for Thursday early-birds. Phone directly to make your reservations: toll free 1-888-421-1442 and use the code “Freedom From Religion Foundation.” Or go online at ffrf.org/convention2018 for full convention information or reserve hotel rooms directly at bit.ly/FFRF2018.

General schedule

Arrange your travel schedule for the convention’s expanded hours and to take in a little sightseeing as well. The official starting time is 1 p.m. Friday, Nov. 2, continuing through Saturday night. FFRF’s membership and state representative meetings take place Sunday morning with a noon adjournment.

The convention will include irreverent music, complimentary appetizers on Friday afternoon and a complimentary Friday night dessert reception, plus the popular drawing for “clean” (pre- “In God We Trust”) currency on Saturday night.

Sign up at: ffrf.org/convention2018.