Our History

Our History

▪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.  That same year, AAI also decided that it could more effectively pursue its goals if decisions were made by its board of directors rather than its affiliates and AAI achieved autonomy from its Affiliate Council.

▪ 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, board member John Loftus, and 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, Matt Jackson, 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 103-142
Duluth, GA 30096

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