IHEU is pleased to announce the appointment of a full-time Communications Officer, Bob Churchill. He has already started work at the Gower Street office in London, working alongside IHEU Administrator Colin Divens (appointed last year).
This is a new position, with responsibility for relaying IHEU’s work to humanists, and conveying the concepts and practice of Humanism to the wider public. We can look forward to more media engagement and the development of our presence online. In addition, the role will facilitate internal communications under the IHEU umbrella between Member Organizations, individual supporters, all our various delegations, communities of practice, and the IHEU executive team.
Churchill has something of an ‘international humanist’ background and will be known already to some within organized Humanism, having worked for two IHEU Member Organizations in recent years. Over three and half years at the British Humanist Association, he contributed to some high-visibility campaigns and managed the membership, web presence and various events and fundraising initiatives. Then, last year and for the first few months of 2012, he was based in Entebbe, Uganda, volunteering with the Uganda Humanist Association.
“Something I’ve seen first-hand in moving between two IHEU Members in quite different countries, is that there’s a huge amount going on in Humanist organizations internationally, and we must ensure that our news and challenges and best practice are heard from country to country,” said Churchill.
“There are IHEU supporters in the UK who know the Ugandan humanists run schools, for example. But they may not know about their work with AIDS victims, or the provision of counselling, training and capital to get vulnerable, internally displaced women and children back into functioning communities. Likewise, there are Uganda Humanist Association members who didn’t know that “African Americans for Humanism” face issues similar to their own regarding the intersection of non-religious identity and African heritage. I was able to transmit some practices of the British Humanist Association, and I believe there’s a lot that humanist groups around the world can learn from one another. Even when you find that some practices don’t translate well across borders, that’s useful information too!”
IHEU President Sonja Eggerickx said, “We knew of Bob from his time at the British Humanist Association and I’m pleased to welcome him to the IHEU team. His previous roles mean he has some unique insight into Humanism in some very different parts of the world. He has professional experience driving activity within Humanist groups as well as wider public and media relations work, and he has the technical edge required to do that in today’s communications environment. We aim to communicate Humanism, and all the work of IHEU and Member Organizations around the world, more effectively than ever before.”