HISTORY OF THE IEAA
The Inland Empire Atheists and Agnostics (IEAA) was founded in Riverside, CA in 2005 by Bruce Flemm and Jan Goings as a discussion group known as the Inland Empire Free Thinkers. Originally created to talk about topics relating to Skepticism, free thought, and Atheism, the group quickly realized there was vast demand for an organization that brought together Atheists and non-believers across the Inland Empire.
The name of the group was changed to the Inland Empire Atheists and Agnostics shortly after it was founded to attract a wider audience. The group was also brought online at Meetup.com in 2006.
Once online, the group experienced explosive growth as the IEAA quickly grew to become one of the largest Atheist groups in the nation. The IEAA quickly moved beyond its discussion group roots and started hosting prominent monthly speakers and hosting social events. Because of the efforts of its organizers, the IEAA became a community with a major role in many non-believer’s lives.
In the Summer of 2012, Bruce and Jan stepped down as leaders of the IEAA, and appointed a “Board” of four leaders to run the group, with Daniel Dunn appointed as President. The IEAA encountered several organizational difficulties and members of the IEAA saw that there was a strong need for formalized procedure.
In 2013 the IEAA was reformulated as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization with Greg McKinley-Powell as Chairperson, and bylaws were enacted to resolve conflicts.
This process of reorganization was finally concluded in the Summer of 2015 when Rebecca Kitchings was elected as the next Chairperson of the IEAA.
The IEAA continues its tradition of groundbreaking leadership. Today the IEAA is the largest group for Atheists, Agnostics, Skeptics and other Non-believers in the Inland Empire. Please browse our site to learn more about the ways we strive to help you and other non-believers.
Going forward, the future holds exciting prospects for the IEAA and Secularism in the Inland Empire. Our estimates show that we have yet to engage even a full 10 percent of the non-religious within the IE. Through programs such as our Market Night tables, greater engagement with interfaith groups, and a program of advertising and outreach in the general community, we expect to greatly increase the visibility of the Secular Community and promote the rights and dignity of all non-religious people.