Workshops & Panels

Each 50-minute workshop is offered twice to give you twice as many chances to hear your top picks!

Click the "Details" button for a full description.


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Anthony Magnabosco


Street Epistemology Hands-On

Many people have heard of street epistemology, but few people are comfortable trying it in real world situations. This workshop will give you the education, tools, and confidence needed to help a person reflect on a deeply-held belief or claim without closing them down or making them feel defensive.

After a brief overview of Street Epistemology, a short video example, and a few on-screen scenarios to consider as a group, participants will break out into teams to role-play conversations. Participants will take the role as both Street Epistemologist and interlocutor (the person making the claim). The session will conclude with a brief analysis of the practice exchanges and information on where to learn more afterwards. Each workshop will cover the same material, so there is no need to attend both.


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Ian Dodd & Margot Page


“Hell, yes!”: How Humanist Values Can Improve your Sex Life

With the advent of marriage equality, the new visibility of the transgender community, the curiosity around BDSM and kink since the “50 Shades” phenomenon and the media attention on “alternative relationships”, more and more people are becoming aware of the "sex positive" movement.  Not surprisingly, there is a lot of crossover between the secular and sex positive communities.  Many sex positive people, when they embrace a freer and more authentic sexual expression often end up rejecting their hypocritical and corrosive religious beliefs.  And many religious “nones”, when they apply their secular values (like acceptance of the “other”, an evidence-based approach to risk and health issues, and a commitment to living honestly), can open themselves up to a richer, more fulfilling experience of the sensual and sexual part of being human.

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Podcasters Panel

A few of your favorite atheist podcasters talk about the business and workings of podcasting and what its like to have your voice be heard in the atheist community! Featuring:

  • Jen Aldrich (Not Another Atheist Podcast)
  • Cass Midgley (Everyone's Agnostic)
  • Chris Watson (The Podunk Polymath)
  • Patrick and Jenica Crail (Real Life Beyond Faith)
  • Tucker Drake (The Atheist in the Trailer Park)

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Phil Ferguson


How To Money

Open for questions about investments. May discuss:

  • Stock market risks / recent performance
  • Stocks Vs. Bonds
  • Why Annuities suck
  • Long term Care insurance
  • Other topics…

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Dr. Steven Davidson


Embracing Your Fetish

Fetishes (Paraphilias) are erotic attractions to specific objects or situations generally not part of a romantic or intimate relationship. They are more common in men than women and we often don’t know their origin. Most people are embarrassed about their fetishes and fear they are not normal. This workshop will examine common fetishes and address the science behind them, as well as the American Psychiatric Association’s position on just how much we should be concerned with fetish desires.


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Sarah Key


The Infiltration of Religious Bias into the School System and What We Can Do About It

Under the U.S. Constitution, Titles IV and VI of the Civil Rights Act (42 U.S.C. §§ 2000d, 2000e), and the Tennessee Religious Freedom Restoration Act (Tenn. Code Ann. § 4-1- 407) students have the right to be free from school-sponsored prayer and proselytizing. Students across Nashville right now are being subject to proselytization and the insidious infiltration of religious bias into curriculum across subject areas. This presentation will outline case studies taken from local classrooms, address the opportunities for religiously biased instruction in Common Core standards, and provide information on how secularists can take action in our community.


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Dr. Darrel Ray


SocioSexual Orientation: Explaining the Mystery – kinks to fetishes

SocioSexual Orientation is a 25 year old concept, that is little known, yet it helps explain much of our behavior and helps a person understand their own drives and urges. This work shop will use a 9 questions survey and some small group activities to give you a full understanding of why SSO is such an useful way to look at your sexuality.


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Bryan Gitschlag


Darwinian Demons: How evolution brings out the worst in us and what to do about it!

We live in the age of global communication, space exploration, and historically high rates of literacy and life expectancy. However, many problems from the past continue to affect us today: prejudice, echo chambers, and their effects on political polarization. These anachronisms exist largely because biological evolution lags behind cultural evolution; we approach problems in the modern world using brains that were adapted to survive on the savannah. This workshop will review the link between evolution, neuroscience, and contemporary social issues, with an emphasis on how this information can help us break open echo chambers and facilitate better communication with those that do not share our values.


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Dr. Brynda Quinn


Assertiveness: No “No,” No “Yes”

This workshop will explore the power of being able to say "no" in all kinds of interpersonal situations. Many of us feel guilty when we say no. We fear that others will resent us, or that we do not have the right to say no. These ideas can be difficult to overcome, so we trap ourselves by saying yes when we mean no. Then, of course, we worry that when others say yes, we assume that they are doing the same thing, leading to the "I hate to ask" cycle. We will discuss practical techniques to say no without guilt. Being able to freely and without guilt say "no" is what allows us to truly say "yes."


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Fernando Alcántar


Sex, God, and Other Unsatisfied Desires

In this presentation we will examine the journey of sexual frustration that can exist while withholding sexual desires within conservative doctrine. Learn the ins and outs of sex-negative theology found within different branches of Christian belief, and the extreme consequences of religious judgement.


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Bob Faw


Power of Touch

The right kind of touch is essential to us flourishing. The wrong kind of touch corrodes our flourishing. One key difference between these two is mutual consent. In this highly interactive workshop we’ll discuss flourishing-enabling touch such as nurturing, friend-bonding, pair-bonding, etc., that we may experience in secular communities and hopefully at home. We’ll talk, and experiment, with the ideas of true consent—how to ensure it, how to offer it, and how to ask for touch in helpful, safe ways. This topic is extremely timely, in this era of #metoo, and it is understandably highly sensitive. We’ll create safe, positive atmosphere for discussion of how to have touch that helps us all flourish.


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Jen Scott


Strategic Protest Planning

Want to have an impact on your community? Direct actions make a difference. Come and learn how to create an effective strategy from the group who brought you the Genocide & Incest Park and Ark Encounter protests. Learn how to capture the public attention and highlight your cause through protests and other creative tactics.


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Kalai Mugilan, PhD


Humanism 101

Emotional Quotient and the Emotional Needs of Humans.


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Jim Palmer


The ‘S’ Word (Reclaiming spirituality in the secular community)

Humanism, to be a viable movement in the 21st century, needs to expand its parameters to explore, address and include the spiritual dimension of human experience. 33 percent of the population identify themselves as SBNR, and 72 percent of millennials identify themselves as “more spiritual than religious.” And yet the words “spiritual” or “spirituality” appear nowhere in the AHA’s Humanist Manifesto. Many Brights and Atheists equate spirituality with religion, supernaturalism or mysticism. What gives? Author, Religious Trauma Counselor and Humanist Chaplain, Jim Palmer, will be leading this workshop and discussion about spirituality in the secular community. Some of the questions Jim will be addressing are:

  • Should the secular community be exploring and promoting the positive, non-supernatural aspects of spirituality?
  • Is it a semantics quandary for the secular community to be using the word “spiritual”?
  • Is there a secular spirituality and what is it?
  • What’s Yugen got to do with it?

As part of the workshop, Jim will be facilitating a secular spiritual practice for the group.


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Trav Mamone


How to Avoid Activist Burnout

Being an activist of any kind is thrilling at first. You’re pumped full of energy fighting the good fight, and you’re encouraged when you see progress being made. Unfortunately, there comes a time in every activist’s life when it becomes too much. Quitting sounds like a nice idea, but there’s too much work left to do. So what’s the answer?

In this workshop, I will use my experiences to teach other activists how to avoid burnout. I’ll explain how perfectionism kills activism, how to unplug when things get too overwhelming, and how to pick battles.


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Casper Rigsby


Unpacking Religious Baggage

So you've let go of religion…? Well that's a good start, but you might still be carrying some left over baggage… and perhaps it's so ingrained in our society that most of us carry that baggage and don't even know it. Explore with Casper Rigsby in this workshop how religion has shaped your thinking and so shaped the society we live in. Work together to recognize this baggage and how to let go of it to move forward and embrace progress.


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