The Secular Student Alliance (SSA), founded in May 2000, is an independent, democratically structured organization in the U.S. that aims to serve the needs of freethinking high school and college students. The Secular Student Alliance is based in Columbus, Ohio. The SSA was formed "to organize, unite, educate and serve students and student communities that promote the ideals of scientific and critical inquiry, democracy, secularism, and human based ethics".[1]

The Secular Student Alliance is an educational nonprofit whose purpose is to educate high school and college students about the value of scientific reason and the intellectual basis of secularism in its atheistic and humanistic manifestations. The SSA also offers these students and their organizations a variety of resources, including but not limited to leadership training and support, guest speakers, discounted literature and conference tickets, and thought provoking online articles and opinions.

Currently, the SSA has over 160 affiliates in North America and abroad, including groups in Africa, Europe, Asia and Australia.[2]


On August 7, 2009, the SSA organized a trip to the Creation Museum in Petersburg, Kentucky. 304 students, atheists, and scientists attended, in order to familiarize themselves with the museum.[1] One notable name in attendance was PZ Myers, who also came to experience the museum firsthand.[3] During the trip, Myers used the social networking site, Twitter, to keep worldwide followers updated.[4]


The Secular Student Alliance holds an annual conference.

Year Theme Location
2000 Minneapolis, MN
2001 Kicking Ass for the New Enlightenment Columbus, OH
2002 Education Against Indoctrination Chicago, IL
2004 Washington, DC
2005 Connecting the Secular Movement with Other Communities Columbus, OH
2006 We're Not in Kansas Anymore Kansas City, MO
2007 Harvard Humanist Chaplaincy 30th Anniversary Gala/Symposium Cambridge, MA
2008 World Humanist Congress Washington, DC
2009 Columbus, OH


In July 2005, the SSA created an online newsletter called the eMpirical. It currently has over 16,000 subscribers.


The SSA has two paid staff.

  • Executive Director, August E. Brunsman IV
  • Senior Campus Organizer, Lyz Liddell

The SSA also takes on paid and unpaid interns and volunteers.


As of October 2009, the SSA has nine board members.

  • Hemant Mehta, Chair, Board Member Since 2005
  • Don Sutterfield, Vice-Chair, Board Member Since 2008
  • Andrew Cederdahl, Treasurer, Board Member Since 2009
  • Mary Ellen Sikes, Secretary, Board Member Since 2009
  • John Figdor, Board Member Since 2009
  • Joe Foley, Board Member Since 2009
  • Matthew LaClair, Board Member Since 2008
  • Shelley Mountjoy, Board Member Since 2009
  • Ashley Paramore, Board Member Since 2008

See also

External links


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