Atheist Alliance International
|Purpose||Advocacy of atheism and secularism|
|Affiliations||Special consultative status at United Nations|
Atheist Alliance International (AAI) is a non-profit advocacy organization committed to raising awareness and educating the public about atheism. It does this by supporting atheist/freethought organizations around the world through promoting local campaigns, raising awareness of related issues, sponsoring secular education projects and facilitating interaction among secular groups and individuals.
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AAI was founded in 1991 as Atheist Alliance, an alliance of four U.S.-based local atheist groups. Over time Atheist Alliance expanded, adding both local/regional U.S. groups and international groups as members. The organization changed its name to Atheist Alliance International in 2001. In 2010 and 2011 members approved the separation of the U.S. and international segments of AAI into separate organizations in order to accommodate the different strategic interests of each group. The U.S. group of AAI was renamed Atheist Alliance of America. In 2016, AAoA achieved autonomy from the decision-making Affiliate Council.); the international group retained the original AAI name but adopted new bylaws and a new organizational structure. The launch of the newly restructured AAI occurred at the World Atheist Convention in Dublin, Ireland on 3 June 2011.
A majority of individuals involved with AAI are men. AAI has called the gender imbalance in its ranks “a significant and urgent issue.”
In the spring 2017, the Board voted to re-organize AAI. The focus changed to a stronger emphasis on supporting atheist and freethought groups around the world in their efforts to normalize atheism. To be more responsive to groups and their campaigns, certain bylaws needed to be updated. At the Annual General Meeting held in May 2018, a new structure was voted in.
AAI's Board still consists of between 4 and 13 Directors elected for two-year staggered terms. Affiliates or individual members can nominate candidates for the Board at anytime. The current Directors are Gail Miller (Canada), Bill Flavell (United Kingdom), Howard Burman (USA), Tina Hamilton (USA), Bridget R. Gaudette (USA), Rosi Guastella (USA), John Richards (United Kingdom), Elisabeth Mathes (Austria), Narenda Nayak (India), Matt Kovach (USA), Fotis Frangopoulos (Greece) , Fauzia Ilyas (Netherlands) and Manoj John (India).
AAI has two types of memberships: affiliates and individuals. Affiliates are the atheist and freethought groups around the world which have their own individual members and operate in a democratic manner. Individual members are people who wish to support the work of AAI from outside.
AAI'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, and where individuals who lack religious beliefs enjoy free speech, freedom of association and freedom to participate in public life. AAI's mission is to support atheist and freethought organizations around the world by assisting them with local campaigns, outreach, secular education projects, coaching and promoting interactions among these groups.
In recent years AAI has been involved with projects around the world. These range from billboard campaigns telling people it is alright if they do not believe in any gods, to confronting religious leaders, to taking legal action against government officials who use public funds for religious purposes.
AAI continues to assist the Kasese School in Western Uganda. This is a humanist school that provides secular education in a remote area of the country. AAI's education policy supports the right to secular education, and asserts the need for education in critical thinking and the distinction between faith and reason as a guide to knowledge beliefs along with the spirit of free inquiry and the teaching of science free from religious interference and the respect for evidence. AAI is opposed to indoctrination (and dogma), religious or otherwise.
The organization has a flagship publication called Secular World which is published quarterly to members and is de-embargoed for general consumption when the next edition is released. Members also receive AAI Insider, a monthly newsletter.
Sikivu Hutchinson on the hiring of David Silverman
In 2018, David Silverman was fired from the American Atheists organization after allegations of financial conflicts and sexual assault. The new president of American Atheists, Nick Fish, specified that Silverman's termination was not over sexual allegations, but as a result of a "loss of confidence" stemming from violations of internal policies on staff management, conflicts of interest, and their general code of conduct. Silverman, through his lawyer, denies any wrongdoing and indicates he has never had a non-consensual sexual encounter.
The atheist Sikivu Hutchinson wrote about the hiring of David Silverman by Atheist Alliance International:
|“||The recent decision by Atheist Alliance International (AAI) to hire the former leader of American Atheists, David Silverman, to its executive director position is yet another indication that this business-as-usual rehab strategy also applies to movement atheism, which can be just as corrupt, cronyistic, and swaggeringly hostile to women as corporate America.||”|
Silverman resigned his position as Executive Director of Atheist Alliance International in December of 2019.
- "Diane Reed response on Think Atheist website to a question regarding copyright status of the symbol".
- "PDF of the Secular Nation article "A Conventioneer's Delight! Pt 5 of 5"" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2008-11-21.
- "Atheist Alliance of America Evolves". Atheist Alliance of America. Atheist Alliance of America. Archived from the original on 12 March 2018. Retrieved 12 March 2018.
- "New Atheist Alliance International Launched in Dublin, Ireland 3 June 2011". Atheist Alliance International. June 3, 2011. Archived from the original on 2013-05-18. Retrieved November 15, 2012.
- "Atheist Alliance International obtains UN Special consultative status" (Press release). AAI. 18 August 2013. Retrieved 5 September 2013.
- "Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations Recommends Special Status" (Press release). United Nations Committee on NGOs. 30 January 2013. Retrieved 5 September 2013.
- The World's Newest Major Religion: No Religion, National Geographic
- "Board of Directors". Atheist Alliance International. 13 November 2019.
- David P. Silverman Appointed Executive Director, Atheistalliance.org
- Leading atheist, accused of sexual misconduct, speaks out, Washington Post (republished article from Religion News Service) by Kimberly Winston, September 6, 2018
- American Atheists President David Silverman Fired After Sexual Misconduct Allegations, Christian Post, 2018
- Hiring of Accused Atheist Leader Is Reminder That #MeToo Is Still Needed in Organized Atheism by Sikivu Hutchinson, Rewire.News