EVENT: Atheists Announce Initiatives, Host Interfaith Dialogue at Park51

Harvard Humanists to Introduce Nationwide Project Building Community for Atheists

Atheist-Interfaith Work to be Highlighted by Park51 Islamic Center, Major NYC Organizations

NEW YORK CITY—Harvard University’s community of atheists and agnostics is set to announce two new programs to support communities for the nonreligious and interfaith-atheist dialogue, at one of the most visible interfaith spaces in the United States.

On Tuesday, November 15th at 7:00 PM (EST), the Humanist Chaplaincy at Harvard will hold an event hosted by Park51 and Center for Inquiry NYC, in partnership with a wide swath of NYC-based organizations, to discuss communities for the nonreligious and the role of atheists in interfaith work, while launching two groundbreaking new initiatives: The Humanist Community Project, and Values in Action at the Humanist Chaplaincy at Harvard.

“The Humanist Community Project seeks to unify millions of nonreligious Americans and develop a comparable social and cultural experience to that of a religious congregation,” said Greg Epstein, the Humanist Chaplain at Harvard. “We are convinced, based on history, sociological research, and personal experience, that the success of the Humanist and secular movement depends almost entirely on our ability to build strong local communities.”

In a society where 25% of Americans born after 1980 identify as nonreligious (according to a recent Pew Forum study), the Project seeks to support the formation and growth of Humanist communities with a four-pronged approach, which will be detailed at the November launch event.

This event—“A New Way to Be Nonreligious at Harvard and Beyond”—will also feature the formal launch of Values in Action at the Humanist Chaplaincy at Harvard (VIA at HCH), the first ever interfaith community service program based out of an atheist organization.

“The word ‘via’ means ‘by way of’ or ‘through,’” said Chris Stedman, HCH’s Interfaith and Community Service Fellow. “This really gets at the heart of VIA at HCH’s three-fold goal: to better the conditions of life for others through service to humanity, build alliances between religious and nonreligious individuals and communities, and combat the misconception that the nonreligious do not contribute to society.”

This event will be co-sponsored by the Harvard Humanist Alumni and major NYC-based atheist, religious, and LGBT organizations: GLAAD (Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation), New York Society for Ethical Culture, HUUmanists, The Humanist Institute, Ethical Humanist Chaplaincy at Columbia University, Reasonable New York, Faith House Manhattan, World Faith, Groundswell, Auburn Seminary, Journal of Inter-Religious Dialogue, Bronx Community College Secular Humanist Club.

Park51 is located at 51 Park Place, about halfway between Church St. and West Broadway, on the north side of the street. For information about the Humanist Chaplaincy at Harvard, visit http://harvardhumanist.org. RSVPs for this event are appreciated and donations are welcome at http://hchnyc.eventbrite.com.

To contact Greg Epstein, call 617-495-5986or email:

To contact Chris Stedman, email: