5 Great Humanist Groups Promoting Progressive Values
As a philosophy, humanism stresses the value and potential of people, especially as they confront intractable issues such as climate change, systemic racism, and wealth inequality. All across the globe, secular groups work to improve their communities and combat these large-scale problems. If you are interested in learning more about their efforts, then here, in no particular order, are some humanist organizations striving to make the world a better place.
Coming in at #1 is the American Ethical Union. Founded in 1889 as a national federation of existing societies, it works to promote ethical humanist communities across the country. As a non-theistic organization, it values democracy, compassion, justice, and sustainability, and encourages reason and rational thinking as a means of progress.
Member societies in places like Baltimore and Los Angeles engage in a wide range of programming. Groups often host weekly talks, which allow one individual to speak at length about a specific topic such as humor, gratitude, and morality. Elsewhere, the Ethical Action Committee provides support to local groups engaged in community building and advocacy in areas like voting rights and climate change.
In the #2 spot is the Ethical Society of St. Louis. A humanist congregation, it brings together people of diverse backgrounds to discuss and explore ethical living. Conducting its gatherings without reference to scripture, God, or religion, this group emphasizes human reason and experience and strongly believes in the equal dignity and worth of all people.
Established in 1886, the Ethical Society of St. Louis has a long history of creating positive change in its community. It encourages members to stay active in a number of endeavors, including combating racism, cleaning up local highways, and helping immigrants. The group also arranges educational experiences, hosting talks and discussions on complex issues, as well as youth programs that promote critical thinking and acting kindly.
At #3 is the British Columbia Humanist Association. Formed in 1982, this group promotes progressive and secular values across Canada's westernmost province. In support of its mission, it hosts regular meetings throughout the area, provides officiants for special ceremonies, and offers members opportunities to give back to their communities.
The BCHA engages in several campaigns that align with its progressive, non-religious principles. Areas of focus include reproductive freedom, public education, human rights, and recovery from addiction. Furthermore, it publishes resources that shed light on the humanist experience, including books, member stories, and in-depth reports.
Coming in at #4 is the Humanist Society of Greater Phoenix. Serving Arizona's capital and the surrounding areas, HSGP is a welcoming community for all different kinds of non-theists, offering a wide range of educational and social opportunities. A charter member of the American Humanist Association, it explores issues in a number of fields, from science and philosophy to history and the arts.
HSGP holds weekly meetings where speakers lecture on a chosen topic like women's suffrage or science literacy. The group also runs a youth education program, a book club, and other special events throughout the year. Additionally, it encourages members to serve their communities through organizing events such as those to benefit the homeless.
Last but not least, at #5 is Black Skeptics Los Angeles. In conjunction with Black Skeptics Group, which was founded in 2010, this nonprofit engages in social justice issues in California's largest city. As a community-based organization, it provides educational resources for non-believers, humanists, and secularists of color.
BSLA supports a number of educational efforts. In 2013, it launched the First In The Family Scholarship Fund, which gives out two different awards to students pursuing higher education. Furthermore, the group assists other like-minded organizations, including the Women’s Leadership Project, a feminist humanist mentoring program, and the Dignity in Schools Campaign, which works against the criminalization of youth of color.