Our History

Known as “Atheist Alliance, Inc (from 1991 to 2003)
Known as “Atheist Alliance International (from 2003 to 2011)
Now “Atheist Alliance of America” (from 2011 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 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, Mark W. Gura, all but one AAoA affiliate and all board members unanimously agreed that Atheist Alliance of America would more effectively pursue its goals if decisions were made by AAoA’s board of directors rather than by AAoA affiliates. AAoA thereby received full autonomy.

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 developed a new committee model platform for AAoA that allows AAoA to 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 also launched its Atheist Alliance Helping the Homeless program.

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

▪  In 2022, the Board of directors adopted AAoA’s new niche and mission. AAoA has always supported rational thinking and the separation of government and religion. Now we are the only major atheist organization that promotes secular spirituality and 4th wave atheism.

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 vice president Derek Colanduno.  

 

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