The next step for Atheism in the Inland Empire
GREG McKINLEY-POWELL, 1-20-2014
On January 8th, at our Monthly Planning Meeting the collected membership of the IEAA unanimously approved a plan to incorporate the Inland Empire Atheists and Agnostics as a non-profit 501(c)(3) public benefit corporation.
The IEAA has always been a non-Prophet organization, but we are taking that to the next level by seeking full non-Profit status What does incorporating mean for our members?
Not much really. We’re still going to have all of our same events, we’re still going to be a completely member-run organization, and we’re still going to work to promote the Secular Community in the Inland Empire.
But what it will change is our ability to achieve these goals. By becoming a non-profit, the IEAA will be able to:
• Offer tax exemption for large donations,
• Get serious discounts (90%) when renting local civic venues,
• Discounts on other civic events, such as Market Night stalls,
• Get lower rates on financial services like PayPal and checking,
• Limit liability for our Organizers if the IEAA is ever sued,
• Discount mailing rates with the USPS,
• Publish PSAs with local radio and newspapers,
• Apply for grants from cities and other Atheist groups, and of course, becoming a non-profit will mean that our group will continue to use all money donated to support our mission.
Organizer of the Morongo Basin Free Thinkers!
Ray Miller grew up in a Pentecostal Christian household in Texas, going to church Sundays and Wednesday evenings every week. Eventually he started getting in trouble for questioning stories, church doctrine, and other inconsistencies and would only attend when forced by his parents.
Ray has seen society’s treatment of Atheists first hand. After coming out at work he noticed his coworkers treated him very differently.
Eventually Ray came across a meetup in Victorville for Atheists.
“I had no idea that there were groups of Atheists in the highly religious area of the high desert where I live and that is what led me to the IEAA,”
“One of the most profound things about the Atheist community is the diversity. I really enjoy the fact that most people are willing to challenge their assumptions and think outside the box,” said Ray.
“I think the more that we continue to call out the divisive coercion of the public through theocratic methods, the better our world will be, not just for Atheists but for everyone”
We spent a summer in Downtown Redlands, Here’s what we learned.
GREG McKINLEY-POWELL 11/15/2013
For the last several months, the IEAA has been hosting an “Ask An Atheist” booth at the Redlands Market Night.
On more than ten evenings over the summer and fall, we’ve set up our booth in one of the most Christian areas in the Inland Empire.
We’ve been yelled at, mocked and debated… but we’ve also been thanked, hugged, and strengthened.
We began hosting Market Night in April, and have kept it up about twice a month. And it’s been a wild ride. Some nights we’d have over 100 people stop by our booth.
When we first started, we just had a picnic table, an easy up and a banner hung in the back. Since then we’ve managed to create one of the nicest looking booths in the whole place, complete with some great shirts, great people, and lots of information.
While hosting Market Night we learned a few things:
1. People are really glad to see us.
2. Proselytizers are like a bear attack: The only way to survive
is to play dead and hope they leave.
3. People are REALLY glad to see us.
4. We need to keep doing this.
For some, our booth is like a light in the dark. We can’t count how many times someone would come up to us, just happy to know that they weren’t alone. And that’s why we do this.
We’ll be hosting our last Market Night of this year on Thursday, Nov. 21. Stop by to see us in action one last time.
Thank you, everyone.
Welcome to the Inland Empire Atheists and Agnostics’ website!
We are the Inland Empire’s oldest and largest group specifically devoted to meeting the needs of the Atheist, Agnostic, and Secular communities.
Please look around this site to learn about our organization, our past and future events, and about the latest secular news.
This new site offers features that meetup and facebook alone can’t, such as background information about our group and our leaders, current files and our organizational structure.
The site also allows for blog publishing and syndication, so that newsletters and other news can be moved and shared online. The new site also lets members join and donate directly to the IEAA
We hold dozens of events every month, from informative lectures, community engagement, to social and networking.
And we’re also the only completely democratically member run 501(c)(3) non-profit for the Secular community. If you would like to know more about our organization and how you can become an active participant, please see our about section.