CFI Student Leadership Conference: Empowering Tomorrow's Secular Activists


Uploaded by centerforinquiry on 31.05.2011

Transcript:
The big thing about giving these students opportunities is that you have these small schools in the midwest
or in the south, or something
and these kids come out of these campuses and they're on an island. First off, they may have come a religious family in the midwest
and, you know
they've never been able to be around other freethinkers, other doubters, just other inquisitive people.
And then they have the opportunity to come to a conference like this where all of a sudden
here is eighty, nintey, a hundred, sometimes a hundred and twenty other people
from all around the country, all around North America
and then if we're on Skype, a few other people from around the world who are facing the same things,
the same struggles,
of the same mindset,
and it's really this... these people can come from
their small campus
and sort of realize the broader picture
and realize that it's about something much larger and there's people all over
that are into the same things, have the same worries, the same doubts; facing the same struggles with
their own families, on their campuses.
It's really...
emboldening
and lends itself to opportunism than they may not have had before. Just the smiles that people have and the ability
to relax and decompress,
and realize that they're not alone.
And everyone is so welcoming because they just came from a place where they were an outsider.
All these people sort of coming out of their shells
that they haven't been allowed to
in their homes... at their high schools... at their college campuses.
The sort of environment that gets
ignited...
You have all these people that
get so comfortable together, it sort of
sets everything simmering
and just that activist spirit... that eagerness to
go back to your campus with
everything you've just learned,
all the experiences you've just gained from the stories of others.
You can see the groups that come here,
...their leadership will come here, and they go back and literally
that next year
you see things on Facebook, they share things from their student newspapers, from their local newspapers
and they are doing fantastic work. Whether it's activism, community building...
And, it's... all of that
is ignited here.
And you can see it in their eyes and their voices as they're walking out the door to go back
to the airport.
And it makes you proud to have been here, around them, and to know them.