Humanists of West Florida

June, 2014 Newsletter

In This Issue...

From the President

  • From the President
  • First Friday FreeUp: Open Mic Night!
  • Upcoming Event Teaser
  • Share Your Ooice
  • Discovering Myself a Humanist: Taylor Wells
  • Status of Election Results
  • Get Involved! HWF Committee Action
  • Adopt-A-Highway
  • Opportunity to make a difference!
  • Partners for Secular Activism

From the HWF President...

reader, the work that has been done by the first HWF board of directors has been incredible and ongoing. I feel very fortunate to have been a part of this great team, building our community that values science, creativity, and compassion.

We have a special story in this months edition of The Human Element. Please click on the link to read all of Taylor Wells story (from our "Share Your Voice" section) on our website. Taylor is sharing his humanist values from inside our prison system, not a small feat at all. I think you'll enjoy his story.

Our fiscal year is coming to a close and we're getting ready to take on a partial new board of directors. New people bring on new ideas, and with new ideas come the potential for growth. We've experienced a slow and steady growth and in my experience that's the best kind. The members we have are dedicated and passionate about human values and the board appreciates every one of them.

Thank you for allowing me to serve as the president of our humanist chapter.  

Rose Jansen, HWF President

First Friday FreeUp: Open Mic Night!

Friday, June 6, 5:45-7:00pm 

WE'VE MOVED to the 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: Open Mic Night-lets share our stories.

This month we'll hear from members that want to share their stories. How did you get to where you are now? Many of us may come from a similar, yet different background. Lets find out how similar we are in our differences.

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

Upcoming Events: July First Friday FreeUp;

Put the first Friday of July on your calendar! Bill Downs, an American playwright, director and author will be speaking at our July First Friday FreeUp.

(From IMBDBill's plays have been produced by The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, The Orlando Shakespeare Theatre, The InterAct Theatre in Philadelphia, The San Diego Rep, The Berkeley Repertory Theatre, the Salt Lake City Acting Company, the Actors Theatre of Charlotte, the International Theatre Festival in Israel, the Stadt Theater Walfischgasse in Austria, the Jewish Theatre of Toronto, The Bloomington Playwright's Project, the Detroit Rep, the New York City Fringe Festival, the Civic Opera House in downtown Chicago, the Durban Performing Arts Center in South Africa, and over 100 other theatres worldwide. A member of the National New Play Network, Bill has also developed dozens of new plays.

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.)

This is the first installment of Wells' story. I'm sure you will be as intrigued and touched by his story as we have been.

Discovering Myself a Humanist

In 2013 HWF welcomed a member in a unique situation; a humanist in prison. While incarcerated in the Santa Rosa County prison system, Taylor Wells read about humanism and asked his mother to search for humanist groups in the area. At first nothing came up. Then, in late 2012 when the Humanists of West Florida became a chapter, his mother found our …

Read more.

Status of Election Results:

Our Nominating Committee has been sorting out the process for elections and we're running a bit behind. The following are the nominees for the HWF Board and a ballot will be sent in a separate email to all voting members (regular and student/hardship members) shortly. If you have any questions please contact the nominating committee chair,

Nominees for the 2014-15 HWF Board of Directors

Kay Rudolf has experience teaching, developing training programs, researching and organizing. She's had experience with nonprofit organizations and is interested in community service, policy development and program evaluation among other things.

Buz Ryland is running for a second term, currently serving as the HWF treasurer. "I've enjoyed immensely being on the HWF board this past year, and would look forward to another term to help advance and grow the chapter."

Amanda Kondrat'yev is a business student at UWF and the mother of two daughters raised without religion. Amanda experience in finance, accounting, human resources, fundraising, and grant writing among other things.

Suren Shah is running for a second term, currently serving as the HWF vice president. "There is two aspects of the growing group like Humanists of West Florida. Community Building and Community Service. I can help in both areas; although I get more into the Community Service projects."

Michael Fulford is running for a second term, currently serving as a member-at-large on the HWF BOD. Michael has provided connection to the greater humanist community through his work with New Covenant Group and his skeptics YouTube show. to our chapter.:

Charles Stauffer has management experience that will be beneficial to our chapter. His experience includes the areas of fianance, accounting, personnel, community service, outreach and advocacy among other things.

Open: We have one unfilled member-at-large seat. If you are interested please contact the nominating committee chair at

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: Suren Shah - Email:
  • Team Leaders: Buz Ryland, Michael Fulford, Rose Jansen


  • CCP Chair/Contact Person: Rose Jansen - Email:
  • Team Leaders: Michael Fulford, Dayna Beddick, Amanda Kondrat'yev


  • PPE Chair/Contact Person: Buz Ryland - Email:
  • Team Leaders: Barry Fulford, Dayna Beddick, Suren Shah

Team leader emails:

Michael Fulford:

Barry Fulford:

Dayna Beddick:

Amanda Kondrat'yev:


Sunday, JUNE 8


Meet at Ballpark on Nine Mile--look for our HWF banner.

Lunch or Brunch afterwards for those that are interested.

Want to join us? We'll make it easy on you. If you haven't watched the safety videos or signed the participants list yet, we'll have the videos for you to watch when you arrive, and then you can sign the sheet that you have watched the videos.

We need you to RSVP so we can make sure we have enough equipment, bags, and safety gear. Please let us know even if you are not certain you will be able to participate. It's easier to have too much than it is to not have enough.

The state provides the tools we need, you should wear comfortable clothing, bring WATER, sunscreen, and gloves.

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: 

June 3, 2014 District 3 – Commissioner May
June 26, 2014 District 4 – Commissioner Robinson
July 10, 2014 District 5 – Commissioner Barry
July 24, 2014 District 1 – Commissioner Robertson
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. (

Upcoming online workshops:

Only $59 for a one month course. Course readings, lectures, and forums for discussions between instructor and students are within the website classroom. There is nothing “live” to be missed – participate anytime day or night, 24/7.

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.