Speakers & Presenters
American Atheists offers some of the most diverse lineups of any atheist, freethought, or secular convention and is committed to presenting new, compelling, and diverse perspectives at our national conventions.
More speakers will be announced soon so keep an eye on this page!
Jim Obergefell draws from his unique experience at the heart of the Supreme Court marriage equality ruling to move and empower audiences to stand by their beliefs—and prove that love always wins.
A self-described accidental activist, Jim found himself in the role of caregiver for his partner of more than 20 years, John, as he neared the end of his life due to ALS. An unexpected series of events led to their decision to marry, eventually taking Jim to the Supreme Court and the landmark decision in Obergefell v. Hodges that resulted in victory for marriage equality.
Jim and co-author, Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist Debbie Cenziper, captured Jim and John’s story, as well as the stories of others involved in this case in the book Love Wins: The Lovers and Lawyers Who Fought the Landmark Case for Marriage Equality, which is being adapted into a feature film.
Now a self-described purposeful activist, Jim is dedicated to the fight for equality not just for the LGBTQ community, but for civil rights for all. In his moving story of love, loss, dedication, and commitment, Jim brings audiences along on his emotional and empowering journey and his continued efforts fighting for human rights.
Dr. Zachary Moore was born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio, and has been active within the American atheist community for over a decade, having previously served as the Board Chair for Foundation Beyond Belief, Board Treasurer for Camp Quest Texas, Executive Director for Fellowship of Freethought Dallas, and Coordinator of the Dallas–Fort Worth Coalition of Reason.
Josiah Mannion is a photographer, artist, and activist. His background and experience — philosophical, theological, career, and activism — feeds into how he conscientiously approaches photography as a means of making the invisible visible, and moving things that are on the margins and edges of vision or society to the center.
Gayle Jordan is the Executive Director of Recovering from Religion. She ran for state senate in rural Tennessee in 2016 and 2018 as an open atheist, and faced a profoundly unconstitutional attack on religious liberty. Gayle is a former Southern Baptist who left the faith when her then-teenagers began asking questions she could not answer. Her research led her (and her children) into the light of reason and rationality.
Candace R. M. Gorham MA, LPCS is a licensed professional mental health counselor. She is a former ordained minister turned atheist-humanist activist, researcher, and writer on issues related to race and religion. She is a member of the Black Humanist Alliance advisory board, The Secular Therapist Project, and The Clergy Project. Candace is also the author of The Ebony Exodus Project: Why Some Black Women Are Walking Out on Religion—and Others Should Too.
Kevin Bolling is the executive director of the Secular Student Alliance. With over 20 years of nonprofit leadership experience, Kevin's career has included 15 years of student association management and on-campus program development from Los Angeles to Boston. Before joining the SSA, Kevin served as the Director of Philanthropy at the Gay Men's Chorus of Los Angeles, a major LGBTQ arts advocacy organization, whose youth outreach work has moved thousands of hearts and minds across the US towards embracing LGBTQ equality.
Dr. Hector Garcia is the author of the groundbreaking books: Alpha God: The Psychology of Religious Violence and Oppression, and Sex, Power, and Partisanship: How Evolutionary Science Makes Sense of Our Political Divide. He is an assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, and a clinical psychologist specializing in PTSD among combat veterans.
Nick Fish is the President of American Atheists. A seasoned civil rights and civil liberties activist with more than a decade of political, organizing, and leadership experience with many of the nation’s most prominent political organizations and progressive non-profits, Nick was appointed President in 2018.
Lorelei is a Rochester NY native who calls Detroit home. During her time in Rochester, she helped on the board of the Atheist Community of Rochester and was a member of the Rochester Humanists. In 2017, she co-founded the Western New York Satanists. Currently, her major project is resurrecting the Detroit chapter of The Satanic Temple.
Debbie Goddard is American Atheists’ Vice President, Programs. With more than two decades of experience as an organizer and activist, Debbie joined American Atheists in 2018 after serving as a field organizer, campus outreach coordinator, and outreach director at the Center for Inquiry. Debbie is also engaged in LGBTQ activism, civil rights work, and training new organizers in her community.
Dr. Erica Klein is an industrial organizational psychologist who lives in Minnesota and works in the public sector as a management consultant. She has worked as, among other things, a swimming pool liner welder, bookstore manager, abortion clinic scheduler, computer programmer, animal shelter kennel cleaner, software consultant, and HR professional. Her doctoral dissertation was about racial bias in resume screening. She's been through two layoffs and ran a job search support group for atheists.
Kevin Bradley is a writer, speaker, trainer, and stress management counselor with over 30 years' experience. He is on the Board of Directors for Final Exit Network, which is the largest national organization supporting end-of-life freedom for anyone of sound mind facing an intolerable quality of life due to unbearable pain or disease.
Noelle George is the Executive Director of Foundation Beyond Belief. Noel first joined FBB as a volunteer in 2011 after merging and incorporating Secular Center, a group she founded, into FBB’s Volunteers Beyond Belief program, now called the Beyond Belief Network. Noelle has traveled around the country consulting with local secular groups on the topics of volunteering, leadership, and organizational skills. Noelle also founded the Mothers Beyond Belief Facebook group and is on the advisory board of Secular Woman.
Dr. David Orenstein is a full professor of anthropology within the Social and Behavioral Sciences Department at Medgar Evers College/CUNY. He is a national and international speaker on issues related to human evolution, the freethought movement, science and science education.
Frank Zindler has served on the American Atheists Board of Directors for nearly 40 years and as interim President in 2008. He is a veteran of hundreds of radio and TV talk shows and debates and is widely recognized as one of the most effective debaters defending state-church separation, evolution education, abortion, and equality.
Kent Mulcahy has been with the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County for over eight years. As the Grants Resource Librarian, he oversees the planning and presentation of all grants related classes and events for the library, and works directly with the Foundation Center to maintain the highest quality and most up to date materials for grant seekers.
Andrea is the founder and executive director of the International Freethought Film Festival—launched in March 2009. She manages all operations, which includes designing and maintaining the organization website, social media administration, marketing, promotion, public speaking, social networking, fundraising, graphic arts design, editing and curating the festival screenings. She is also a writer and folk artist. Her career as a fiber optic network design engineer is balanced with her activism and an affinity for travel.