Events

2019 Humanist Training Sessions

Two training sessions for humanist activists and professionals

  • Event Type / Training
  • Date / 02 June 19 - 02 June 19
  • Venue / Askja, University of Iceland, Reykjavik, Iceland

On 2 June Humanists International will hold its yearly General Assembly in Reykjavik, Iceland. This year, after the General Assembly, Humanists International decided to organise two free parallel training sessions for humanist activists and professionals: one will be on humanist ceremonies and counselling, the other on humanist campaigns and communications.

The goal of the training sessions is to provide concrete advice and practical examples to small/middle organisations around the world.

All presentations will be recorded and then made available on our website for all members and supporters of Humanists International.

The venue of the training sessions is the same of the General Assembly: Askja, University of Iceland.

The training sessions will start right after the General Assembly, around 2.30PM, with an estimated end at 6.00PM.

The participation to the training sessions is free, but it is limited to the registered participants of the General Assembly – register to the General Assembly now!


 

Session #1: Humanist Ceremonies and Counselling

What are humanist ceremonies?

Humanist ceremonies are a secular, non-religious way to celebrate the most important moments of the life of a person, for example: getting married, the birth of a baby, the passage from adolescence to adulthood, the celebration of one’s life after passing away.

What is humanist counselling?

Patients in hospitals, people in prisons, students in schools, personnel in armed forces: at some point in their lives all these people might need help and support from someone with a like-minded vision of life. For humanists around the world, this kind of support has a name, that is, humanist counselling.

Humanist counselling – called also humanist pastoral support or humanist chaplaincy – is provided in many countries, especially in Europe and North America. However, still today these services are usually provided only from religious personnel – priests, pastors, imams, monks, etc – leaving no alternative for non-religious people.

Goals of the training session

To shed light on both humanist ceremonies and pastoral support, proving tips, best practises and expertise to organisations which are willing to start providing those services or are already doing it but need a boost.

Giovanni Gaetani

Giovanni’s presentation

Humanist ceremonies and counselling around the world: a quick overview”

  • Goals of the training session
  • The four kinds of humanist ceremonies
  • What is humanist counselling
  • A world map of all Humanist organisations that celebrate humanist ceremonies and provide humanist counselling

About Giovanni

Giovanni joined Humanists International in January 2017. As Growth & Development Officer his main task is to reach new individual contacts and humanist organisations in those areas of the world where Humanists International is underrepresented, to create media and membership resources, and to work for the development of existing Member Organisations worldwide.

Fraser Sutherland

Fraser’s presentation

“Humanist marriages in Scotland 2005-2018: a case study”

  • The outstanding growth of humanist marriages in Scotland after 2005
  • How to use marriages to spread humanism, to grow financially and to expand membership
  • How Humanist Society Scotland helped African twin organisations to train new humanist celebrants

About Fraser

Fraser joined Humanist Society Scotland in March 2017 after roles at Citizens Advice Scotland and the Scottish Parliament. He has previously run campaigns on ending Funeral Poverty, clamping down on payday lenders and protecting vulnerable people from scammers. Since May 2019 he is the CEO of Humanist Society Scotland.

Tale Pleym

Tale’s presentation

“Training and management of humanist celebrants”

  • How to train humanist celebrants
  • How to build a database of humanist celebrants
  • What make our ceremonies humanist?
  • How to advertise humanist ceremonies and use them to recruit new members

About Tale

Tale is Head of Ceremonies at the Norwegian Humanist Association. The Ceremony team consists of 6 employees managing the national structure of humanist naming, -confirmation, -wedding and -funeral ceremonies conducted by volunteers.

Freddy Boeykens

Freddy’s presentation

“What is humanist counselling and how is it spreading worldwide?”

  • Practical examples of counselling in hospitals, prisons, universities, the armed forces, etc.
  • How to start the process to have counsellors recognised by the State
  • The European Humanist Professionals network

About Freddy

Freedy works for Demens.nu, the Flemish Belgian humanist organisation. He is also the Vice-President of the European Humanist Professional.

Session #2: Humanist Campaigns and Communications

What makes a humanist campaign work?

Humanist organisations around the world campaigns on a variety of issues: defence of secularism, promotion of humanist values, protest against human rights violations, etc. They approach each cause in a different and peculiar way. The tools they use can vary widely, but there some overall standards to lead effective and impactful campaigns.

Why is communication important?

Today more than even before, communication is key both for the reputation and the effectiveness of any humanist organisation. A creative, consistent and impactful communication line can represent on its own the success of an organisation, no matter what kind of working focus they have.

Goals of the training

To provide tips, best practises and expertise to organisations on how to effectively lead a campaign, from beginning to end, and how to promote their brand and activities in the right way.

Elizabeth O'Casey

Elizabeth’s presentation (with Bob Churchill)

“An overview on the most successful campaigns of Humanists International and its Member Organisations”

  • Goals of the training
  • The End Blasphemy Laws campaign
  • 7 years of Freedom of Thought Report
  • Our advocacy work at International institutions
  • Highlighted campaigns from our Member Organisations

About Elizabeth

Elizabeth manages Humanists International’s advocacy work at a number of institutions, including the UN in Geneva, New York and Paris, the Council of Europe, the OSCE, and the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights. She is a Member of the Global Steering Committee of the UN Fez Process, Vice Chair of the UN NGO Committee on Freedom of Religion or Belief (in Geneva), an International Patron for the Pink Triangle Trust and an International Advisor at the Raif Badawi Foundation.

Bob Churchill

Bob’s presentation (with Elizabeth O’Casey)

“An overview on the most successful campaigns of Humanists International and its Member Organisations”

  • Goals of the training
  • The End Blasphemy Laws campaign
  • 7 years of Freedom of Thought Report
  • Our advocacy work at International institutions
  • Highlighted campaigns from our Member Organisations

About Bob

As well as managing our communications strategy and online presence, Bob coordinates campaigns including Humanists International’s contribution to the End Blasphemy Laws campaign, and serves as editor of our Freedom of Thought Report, which monitors the rights, legal status and discrimination against non-religious people around the world.

Liam Whitton

Liam’s presentation

“Campaigning in the age of social media”

  • Social media 101: what do people want to see from humanist organisations online?
  • Growing your organisation and getting your message out
  • What does it take to make social media work well?
  • Star power: how Humanists UK uses its patrons to make an impact

About Liam

Liam joined in March 2014 after working with Humanists UK on a number of writing and design projects in 2012 and 2013. He looks after Humanists UK’s regular publications, extensive social media presence, fundraising and recruitment activities, and work to spread awareness of humanism.

Annie Laurie Gaylor

Annie Laurie’s presentation (with Dan Barker)

“It pays to complain: FFRF’s astonishing list of legal successes in favour of State/Church separation”

  • FFRF’s most important legal successes – quick overview
  • Our legal strategy: letters and litigation
  • What kind of group are you: Social, activist, or both?
  • Change comes through protest
  • Make trouble!

About Annie Laurie

Annie Laurie Gaylor is an American atheist, secular and women’s rights activist. She is the co-founder and current co-president of the Freedom From Religion Foundation. She was also the editor of the organization’s newspaper, Freethought Today (published ten times per year) until 2015. Gaylor is the author of several books, including Woe to the Women: The Bible Tells Me So, Betrayal of Trust: Clergy Abuse of Children and, as editor, Women Without Superstition: No Gods – No Masters.

Dan Barker

Dan’s presentation (with Annie Laurie Gaylor)

“It pays to complain: FFRF’s astonishing list of legal successes in favour of State/Church separation”

  • FFRF’s most important legal successes – quick overview
  • Our legal strategy: letters and litigation
  • What kind of group are you: Social, activist, or both?
  • Change comes through protest
  • Make trouble!

About Dan

Daniel Barker is an American atheist activist who served as an evangelical Christian preacher and musician for 19 years but left Christianity in 1984. He and his wife Annie Laurie Gaylor are the current co-presidents of the Freedom From Religion Foundation. He has written numerous articles for Freethought Today, an American freethought newspaper. He is the author of several books including Losing Faith in Faith: From Preacher to Atheist and the most recent Mere Morality.

Roslyn Mould

Roslyn’s presentation

“How to grow humanism in West Africa: the example of the Humanist Association of Ghana”

  • The importance of forming the sense of community beyond individual identity
  • Why and how to work with non-humanist organisations
  • Case study #1: Humanist podcast  and Feminist videos
  • The fight against superstition and witchcraft in West Africa
  • Social media as a tool

About Roslyn

Roslyn Mould is a member of the Humanist Association of Ghana since its onset in 2012. She was Secretary of the IHEYO AFRICAN WORKING GROUP from 2014 to 2016 and then became Chair of the working group from 2016 to January 2019. She has been Organizing Secretary, President and until recently, Council Member of the Humanist Association of Ghana since 2015. She was recently made Coordinator for the West African Humanist Network. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Linguistics and Modern Languages.


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