Humanists of West Florida

August, 2014 Newsletter

In This Issue...

• From the President

• First Friday FreeUp: Democracy--What's it to you?

• Share Your Voice

• Discovering Myself a Humanist: Update on Taylor Wells

• Get Involved! HWF Committee Action

• Adopt-A-Highway

• Opportunity to make a difference!

• Partners for Secular Activism


From the President...

Dear all members and friends of the Humanists of West Florida. I am humbled to be your president for this next year to July 2015.I am looking forward to working with our fine board of directors to continue to bring good humans beings together to do good in our community.

We hope to continue to have events that are fun, interesting, and mentally stimulating, that bring ourselves together as an organization that cares about the whole human condition. I make myself available for conversations with all you members and friends to talk about any subject that interests you.

Please let me or anyone on the board know of any concerns you may have. Thank you for your faith and trust in your board of directors and officers, and I'll see you around our meets.

Andre "Buz" Ryland,
President of HWFL


First Friday FreeUp: Democracy--What's it to you?

Friday, August 1, 5:45-7:00 pm 

Bayview Senior Center

2000 E Lloyd St, Pensacola, FL 32503
Cross Streets: Near the intersection of E Lloyd St and N 20th Ave on Bayou Texar north of Cervantes

The Topic: Democracy--What's it to you?

As we head into another election cycle, take a moment to reflect: What's the point? Is democracy delivering on the promise, here and around the world?

Join us for Free Thinking open-mike discussion.

These events are free but donations are accepted to cover the cost of the facility rental.


Would you like to guest post in our newsletter or our blog?

We want to keep our newsletter informative, and local. If you are interested in writing about local events and activities, inform readers about local personalities activities in our greater communities, or even have photos or artwork related to humanism you'd like to share, please submit your 500 words or less article by the 20th of each month for consideration. (Not all submissions will be published, depending on the space available.)

UPDATE: Taylor Wells has postponed his stories, for now. He now has a lawyer that is accepting his case and has been advised to wait until after his court dates.

We wish Taylor good fortune on this next step of his journey!


HWF Board of Directors

President: Buz Ryland,

Vice President: Suren Shah,

Treasurer: Amanda Kondrat'yev,

Secretary: Kay Rudolf,


• Michael Fulford,

• Charles Stauffer,

• Sedona Strong,

HWF Membership Application

Have you joined us yet?

Here's why I'm a member... I think it's important to have an organization like HWF because even though you can find "like-minded" people online, it's even better knowing that you have some real-live locals that are doing good things for no other reason than to help someone else. 

It's also a good feeling to have a group of people that you can talk with honestly, without having to tip toe around what their religious beliefs might be. I support this organization because I feel like it's an opportunity for other people to find out that they are not alone 

Here's a list of some of the things we've done so far:

• Gave out Personal Care Packets for the Homeless

• Adopted 2 miles of Nine Mile Road for beautification

• Purchased and gave out 500 pounds of food to families in need

• Began monthly FreeUps to build social community and spark discussion

• Received $1500 grant from AHA

• Received several generous donations from local businesses and individuals

• We'd like to do so much more, but we need YOUR help! Come join us!


Get Involved!


Want to get involved in some of our activities and help build our humanist community? Contact the committee chairs and find out how you can help!

You can find a brief outline of our committee structure HERE.


• FFM Chair/Contact Person: Buz Ryland - Email:

• Team Members: Suren Shah,  Michael Fulford, Sedona Strong


• CCP Chair/Contact Person: Kay Rudolph - Email:

• Team Members: Michael Fulford, Rose Jansen, Amanda Kondrat'yev


• PPE Chair/Contact Person: Charles Stauffer - Email:

• Team Members: Suren Shah, Kay Rudolph, Robin Tillman

Team member emails:

Charles Stauffer:

Michael Fulford:



NOTICE: This will continue to run in the newsletter to keep members and friends updated about this opportunity.

Here's your chance to get involved and make a difference, right here in Pensacola!

Old News: The City Council and County Commission still offer invocations (almost exclusively Xtian prayers) before every meeting.

Good News: Anyone can deliver an invocation! You just have to ask. From what I can tell, they need volunteers. I've done it three times, offering non-prayers and mocking pan/non-theist prayers. We need more! PLEASE PARTICIPATE. Here's how.

CITY: Contact Ericka Burnett ( and ask to be included on the list. Don't accept no for an answer. You don't have to be a clergyman, nor should you be put off for months. Currently, they have a list of local churches they ask and they have a hard time finding speakers. Why not fill that list with free thinkers?

COUNTY: Contact a commissioner. They choose who will speak. Yes, they mostly pick Xtians too. Here is the rotation: 

August 7, 2014 District 2 – Commissioner Valentino
August 21, 2014 District 3 – Commissioner May
September 4, 2014 District 4 – Commissioner Robinson
September 25, 2014 District 5 – Commissioner Barry
October 9, 2014 District 1 – Commissioner Robertson
October 23, 2014 District 2 – Commissioner Valentino
November 6, 2014 District 3 – Commissioner May
November 20, 2014 District 4 – Commissioner Robinson
December 11, 2014 District 5 – Commissioner Barry
January 8, 2015 District 1 – Commissioner Robertson

PLEASE, let's get some diversity into this archaic, religion-dominated practice. 

Here's some information about giving a secular invocation.

If you'd like to know more about getting involved in offering a humanist/secular invocation at a meeting, or discuss this more, contact David Suhor at 850 512-2220.


Partners for Secular Activism

Partners for Secular Activism is a new nonprofit educational organization based in the Washington DC area. The PSA President is John Shook, PhD., and you can email him at

The mission of Partners for Secular Activism is to facilitate education about secular, scientific, and civic issues and activities for the public. By bringing knowledgeable scholars and expert communicators together with audiences wanting more information about issues that matter to their lives, we will elevate the general understanding of reasoning, science, civics, ethics, and topical issues affecting the public. Courses announced by PSA are open to anyone, and they deliver educational value for everyone. (

Online classes for August and September:

Special discounts for the summer! Use the temporary discount code 081153  - $10 off most classes !

Can Humanism Reorient Unitarianism, Before It’s Too Late? – with Mike Werner

Kile Jones and Ryan Bell on Working with Christians

Why Create Humanist Community, and How To Do It – Jen Hancock and Ann Fuller

The Historicity of Jesus – with Richard Carrier

Creating Atheists: The Manual – with Peter Boghossian and Richard Carrier

Only $59 for a one month class online (before discount), accessible 24/7, so you can participate at any hour of the day when there's some time. There's nothing 'live' to be missed, and you aren’t using video, just text-based forums. Instructors respond individually to all questions and love extended conversations. Many classes are offered each month, so sign up for email alerts at **.

Know someone interested in earning a master’s degree? The ‘Science
and the Public’ program from the University at Buffalo, NY, is a
part-time and completely online Masters of Education degree. This is
America's only entirely online program for the secular promotion of
science and science-based policy.

 **Partners for Secular Activism is a nonprofit educational
organization. PSA admits students of any race, color, and national or
ethnic origin.**


How are we using Social Media?

We now have a Facebook group!

If you hang out on Facebook, please come join us for conversation!

We also have a Meetup group to schedule our community service projects so please join it and choose to receive emails from that group if you'd like to participate! 

Also, please "like" our Facebook page, follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn, circle us on Google+ (follow links below)!


Please share this newsletter with anyone you think might be interested! If you look at the top of this newsletter in your email box, you should see a link that says, "Display problems? View this newsletter in your browser." Click that link and when it opens in your browser, copy and paste it into an email or on Facebook or other favorite social media.

Not a member yet? Join us today!

 Like what we're doing and want to help HWF out financially? We're a 501c3 organization so your donations are tax deductible! Thank you!


The Mission of the Humanists of West Florida...

,,,is to facilitate the advancement of humanist thought and action in Pensacola and surrounding areas by interconnecting groups of humanists, atheists, agnostics and non-religious. We will strive for equal participation in government and societal life through building strategic partnerships with other humanist and freethought organizations and with our religious neighbors to advance the greater good of humanity.