About Atheist Alliance of America

About Us

Atheist Alliance of America is an incubator for secular activists and community organizations. We also work to normalize atheism, unify atheist organizations and provide humanitarian aid. We are a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization started in 1992. This makes us one of the oldest atheist organizations in the United States.

Our Vision

AAoA’s vision is to transform society into one that values reason, rationality, honesty, clarity, and kindness. We actively promote atheism, naturalism, and the separation of church and state. We envision ourselves as colleagues, not competitors, in a rich network of secular organizations that seek to increase wellbeing and help people make better decisions.  We look forward to forging alliances as we equip members, affiliates, and the community with the tools needed to bring about human flourishing.

Our Mission

To develop and provide educational, advocacy, and community-building programs for atheists and atheist organizations located throughout the nation, as well as humanitarian programs for all people. AAoA and the leadership of our group hereby pledge our time and resources to further our movement, normalize atheism and unify atheist organizations.

Our Values

Reason: Reason and cooperation are essential to meeting the challenges that confront humankind.

Compassion: Human compassion and empathy are crucial to improving the human condition.

Purpose: The life that all creatures have is precious and has value, as this life is the only life we know we will have.

Empiricism: Our ethics and values are evidence-based. We rely on what we can sense and measure in the natural world. We make our conclusions based on the best evidence, and change our conclusions accordingly as new evidence becomes known.

Science: Science is the best tool we have for seeking truth and understanding our world.

Knowledge: We value knowledge and hold the endeavor to increase it as best we can in order to pursue the truths about our world to be one of the noblest efforts one can make; and any and all efforts to stifle or denigrate knowledge and learning to be immoral.

Progress: We believe in modernity and progress and the ability of humankind to develop a better world based on reason.

Freedom: We hold that all people have the inalienable right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; and that all people are entitled to freedom of conscience. We support the values outlined in the International Convention of Human Rights as inalienable human rights.

Ethics: We believe that ethics and morality evolve over time as we better understand our world and the consequences we cause in it. Do not intentionally hurt other beings except in self-defense.

Responsibility: We are responsible for humane interaction with other people, other animals and for the preservation of our habitable planet.

Our History

Organized in 1991, Atheist Alliance of America “AAoA” was officially incorporated in San Mateo, California, as Atheist Alliance, Inc., “AA” on August 25, 1992, as a 501c3, by John B. Massen and several affiliated organizations who would serve as AA’s decision-making body.

In the second half of 1994, AA began publishing its magazine, Secular Nation.

In 1995, AA began hosting US conventions, with the first one held in Los Angeles, California. Our website went online in 1997.

By 2001, the organization had a half-dozen affiliates outside the US, and so changed its name from Atheist Alliance, Inc. to “Atheist Alliance International “AAI.”

In 2003, our organization started to present the Richard Dawkins Award, named after Richard Dawkins, an English evolutionary biologist.

In 2006, we held our first international conference in Reykjavik, Iceland.

In 2010, we began our current program of co-hosting conventions with Affiliate Members, starting with the extremely successful 2010 Global Atheist Convention held in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.

In 2011, our organization which was then named “Atheist Alliance International” changed its name to “Atheist Alliance of America,” (“AAoA”). We retained our initial ID number, and we started to focus our activities only in the United States. We then formed a new and separate organization and gave it the previous name, “Atheist Alliance International,” or “AAI.” In 2013, this new AAI organization was granted special consultative status by the United Nations and now functions as a separate organization.

In 2016, Mark W. Gura, Sr. board member Dustin Kemper, and others determined that Atheist Alliance of America could more effectively pursue its goals if decisions were made by its board of directors rather than its affiliates and AAoA sought and achieved autonomy from the decision-making Affiliate Council.

▪ That year, AAoA also adopted a new logo designed by Mark W. Gura and narrowed its scope as an incubator for secular activists and community organizations. Subsequently, Gura designed a new “committee model” platform for AAoA that allows AAoA incubate atheists and atheist organizations to cultivate their talents, passions, and goals in service of secular causes.

In 2017, with the help of board member Derek Colanduno, AAoA started to hold its annual convention at DragonCon.com in conjunction with Skeptrack (www.skeptics.dragoncon.org). Dragon*Con usually draws more than 80,000 participants over Labor Day weekend and is held in Atlanta every year.▪ In 2017, Atheist Alliance of America launched its Atheist Alliance Helping the Homeless program.

In 2018, Mark W. Gura suggested that Atheist Alliance of America and Atheist Alliance International strengthened their affiliation and dissolve all past agreements and restrictions which had previously limited their operations to traditional geographic zones.

In 2019, Atheist Alliance of America dissolved all ties to the new organization it formed in 2011 named Atheist Alliance International.

In 2019, AAoA affiliated with the Atheist Republic to serve the atheist community online. The Atheist Republic is the largest online meeting place for secular folks on the Internet with more than 2 million members.

Making the most of its opportunities, AAoA has assembled a powerhouse team of secular activists, authors, educators, journalists, producers, and artists including president Mark W. Gura, and board member Derek Colanduno. Its board of advisers includes Herb Silverman, Ian Harris, Andy Thomson, Stephen Law, Candace Gorham, Buck Bowen, Micael Langer, Christopher DiCarlo, Angelos Sofocleous, Artur Perez-Cruz, Seweryn Wysokinski, Sara Al Iraqiya, and Robyn Henderson-Espinoza, PhD.,

Secular Nation Blog is run by Scott Jacobsen and Secular Nation Magazine is run by director Angelos Sofocleous. iSecularBuddhist is also powered by AAoA. Its host is Mark W. Gura.

You can find out about key contributors, advisers, and Board of Directors here.

Contact Information:
Mailing Address:
Atheist Alliance of America
3780 Old Norcross Rd.
Suite 103-132
Duluth, GA 30096

Legal Address:
Atheist Alliance of America
1267 Willis Street,
Suite 200
Redding, CA 96001

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