Humanists of West Florida

May 2015 Newsletter

Friday FreeUp: Dr. Jason Heap-the man behind the billboards, May 8! Thomas Paine Potluck Family Picnic May 9!

In This Issue...

• From the President

• Friday FreeUp May 8: Guest speaker: Dr. Jason Heap, The Man Behind the Billboards

• Thomas Paine Potluck Family Picnic, Saturday, May 9

• Humanist Disaster Recovery Drive

• National Day of Reason Resolution Introduced

• Your Board of Directors

• Partners for Secular Activism: Upcoming Classes Available





From the President...



Hello member and friends. It's Picnic time!

It's time for our 2nd annual Tom Paine potluck Picnic celebrating the National Day of Reason. And we have a special guest again like last year. We are so fortunate to have visit us, Dr. Jason Heap, the national coordinator and director of the United Coalition of Reason in Washington, DC. Dr. Heap is personally responsible for getting four billboards from Pascagoula and Mobile to Pensacola back in February supporting the Gulf Coast Coalition of Reason, of which the Humanists of West Florida helped sponsor. Dr. Heap will speak the night before the picnic Friday May 8th at 6pm at Bayview Park Sr. Community Center room 101, with Q&A, and we will have up a full size billboard in the room. Then the next day Saturday, May 9th at 3pm Bayview Park on the Bayou, he will attend our HWF picnic. Join us for a fun weekend celebrating the National Day of Reason which is Thursday, and the same day as the National Day of Prayer, of course.

I also want to announce that our Board of Directors has been completed for the new operating year coming in July. We have a staggered system of electing three this year and then four in 2016 to fill the board of seven. The way this process occurs is by appointment of a 3 member Nominating Committee that calls for nominees and then reviews applications received. The By-Laws call for the Committee to vet the nominations and recommend to the current Board for acceptance. We are fortunate to have had 3 nominations for the 3 open seats and no more, thus not requiring a voting election. The three recommended nominees are repeating Board members that re-applied. We are pleased to announce that Amanda Kondrat'Yev, and Charles Stauffer, and Sedona Strong will be accepted and appointed to the Board of Directors for the two year term from July 1, 2015 to June 30, 2017. Next years election process will begin again in March and we will have the other four members terms expiring, Perhaps we will have some more members interested in applying for the Board of Directors. We are always pleased to have you attend a meeting so you can see how it operates.

Thanks for your support, and see you at Jason Heap night and Tom Paine's picnic. 

Buz Ryland, President

Humanists of West Florida


SECOND Friday FreeUp:

Guest speaker: Dr. Jason Heap, The Man Behind the Billboards

Friday, May 8

6:00-8:00 pm

Bayview Senior Center, Rm 101
2000 E Lloyd St., Pensacola, FL 32503

TOPIC: Reason Across America

Dr. Heap has coordinated the installation of “godless” billboards across the country since taking the position of Executive Director of the Washington DC-based United Coalition of Reason. A humanist celebrant certified by the Humanist Society, Heap filed suit against the US Navy in November 2014 for its refusal to endorse a humanist chaplain (

His world travels over the past 15 years have put him in close contact with religions such as Daoism, Shintoism, Buddhism, and Hinduism: religions that don't look toward a theistic being to control life and ethics but rather encourage people to look to themselves for answers to life's questions.

Dr. Heap will come fresh from a speaking engagement in Sacramento, California—giving a literal meaning to his topic "Reason Across America." Q&A will follow.


Thomas Paine Potluck Family Picnic

Saturday, May 9


Bayview Park, E. Mallory St., Pensacola, FL

Celebrate the National Day of Reason with the Humanists of West Florida. Friends, family, and pets are welcome! Bayview Park has picnic tables, barbecue grills, children's playground, dog park and beach, and lovely views of the bayou.


HWF Board of Directors

President/Treasurer: Buz Ryland,

Vice President: Suren Shah,

Secretary: Kay Rudolf,


Charles Stauffer,

Sedona Strong,

Amanda Kondrat'yev,

Michael Kimball,

Become an HWF Member!

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 15000 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!


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.)

HWF Facebook Page

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)!


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The Mission of the Humanists of West Florida... 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.