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Our History

Known as “Atheist Alliance, Inc (from 1991 to 2003)
Known as “Atheist Alliance International (from 2003 to 2011)
Known as “Atheist Alliance of America” (from 2011 to 2022)
Now dba “Secular Helping People Alliance” (from 2022 to present)

▪ Organized in 1991, Atheist Alliance of America “AAoA,” was officially incorporated in San Mateo, California, as “Atheist Alliance, Inc., “AA”

▪ On August 25, 1992, with the help of John B. Massen and several affiliated organizations, AAoA was designed by the IRS as a 501c3. They 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 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 highly 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 IRS ID number and started focusing our activities only on 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, the affiliate council voted to give AAoA full autonomy. AAoA commissioned Mark W. Gura to redesign its logo and narrow its scope to that of an incubator for secular activists and community organizations. The new committee model platform allowed AAoA to concentrate on philanthropic projects.

▪ In 2017, with the help of board member Derek Colanduno, AAoA started to hold its annual convention at DragonCon.com at Skeptrack. 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 also launched its Atheist Alliance Helping the Homeless program.

▪ In 2018, the Atheist Alliance of America dissolved all its ties and past agreements with the organization it helped form in 2011, the Atheist Alliance International, allowing AAoA to further its geographic scope and mission internationally.

Making the most of its opportunities, AAoA assembled a powerhouse team of secular activists, authors, educators, journalists, producers, and artists, including current president Mark W. Gura and vice president Derek Colanduno, to better achieve its mission.

▪ In 2022, our success in helping people through homeless programs and other philanthropic activities motivated the Board of directors to rebrand as “the Secular Helping People Alliance” “SHPA,” and fully embrace this mission. SHPA now not only promotes rational thinking and separation of government and religion, but it also provides other philanthropic and educational services and helps individuals navigate life’s struggles and challenges.

Help us help people!!!

 

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

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

Legal Address:
Atheist Alliance of America
1401 21st Street
Suite R,
Sacramento, CA 95811