Some of you may recall an organization called Atheist Alliance International. It had been around for a long while and even hosted a major conference a few years ago that brought together Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, Sam Harris, Daniel Dennett, and Ayaan Hirsi Ali all under one roof.
While they sometimes helped sponsor conferences outside America, it’s probably unfair to call them “international” when it’s pretty U.S.-centric.
So they’re changing that. They voted in October, 2010 to split up the organization.
Today marked the launch of the new Atheist Alliance International. The announcement was made at the World Atheist Convention going on right now in Dublin, Ireland. (The press release is not yet up on their website.)
With membership comprising 19 atheist/freethought groups plus individuals from Europe, North America, South America, Africa, Asia and Australia, Atheist Alliance International will:
- Strengthen co-operation between atheist and freethought organisations around the world;
- Support the establishment of new atheist/freethought organisations, particularly in developing countries;
- Publish Secular World magazine, with Atheist Alliance of America;
- Co-host atheist conventions, continuing the success of international events in Australia (2010), Denmark (2010) and Ireland (2011); and
- Act as an atheist spokesperson on relevant international matters.
The new president of AAI will be Tanya Smith, an investment banker from Melbourne, Australia.
Meanwhile, later this year, you’ll see the official launch of the newly-named Atheist Alliance of America:
Nick Lee, President of Atheist Alliance of America said, “I am confident that the new Atheist Alliance International will be a great success and look forward to a co-operative relationship between Atheist Alliance International and Atheist Alliance of America.”
The names conjure up memories of that South Park episode… but no matter how important (or not) you think atheist organizations are, this split allows AAI and AAA to focus on their respective parts of the world, putting together conferences and bringing in speakers in order to get our message to a wider public. They can also support local groups in a more direct way.