In March, Americans United is going to host our first-ever National Advocacy Summit in Washington, D.C. AU Vice President for State Outreach and Engagement Sarah Gillooly, in conjunction with her department and many others at AU, is doing an incredible job of making the conference come to life. Space for the Summit is tight, so please head to our website at au.org and sign up ASAP if you haven't already.
Why should you join us, if possible, and why is the Summit an important milestone for AU? I can think of a few reasons:
You'll find your voice as a champion: Even for those of us who know how vital church-state separation is, it isn't always easy to find the words to express why, or to make the case to others about why they should care. The Summit will help. You will learn more about the intersections of our issue with issues like racial justice and LGBTQ rights and the current legal battles we are fighting; you can attend workshops on storytelling and poll-tested messaging; and you will hear directly from some of our plaintiffs, whose stories shine light on the urgency of our issue. Then, you can practice being an advocate when you take your message to Capitol Hill (see below).
You'll get inspired: These days, with constant attacks on church-state separation and many other essential parts of our democracy, it's not easy to feel hopeful. But we cannot be change agents if we don't believe we can make a difference. Come to the Summit to witness the energy, strategy and diversity we have on our side. I promise you will be in great company. Think younger and older people; leaders from the nontheist, faith, LGBTQ and racial justice communities; people willing to put themselves at risk and be named plaintiffs in our cases; and people of different religious and ethnic backgrounds from across the country who, like you, are some of AU's most dedicated supporters and activists. We have time built into the program for you to deepen your connections with your fellow separationists.
For more inspiration, what could be better than our keynote speech featuring Jeff Sharlet (whose book on the covert Christian nationalist group The Family has been turned into a popular Netflix series) followed by a musical performance by Scarlett Rabe, a talented singer and songwriter who's also a self-described...