American Humanist Association (AHA)


American Humanist Association (AHA)

The American Humanist Association advocates progressive values and equality for humanists, atheists and freethinkers in the United States. We work to promote humanism--the idea that you can be good without a god.

Location: Washington, DC
Members: 784
Latest Activity: Jun 10

AHA Updates

Humanist Press is the publishing house of the American Humanist Association, providing material for the humanist/freethought/atheist market since 1995.

With the largest print book seller in the United States now selling more ebooks than paper books, it was time the freethought movement invested in the future of publishing so that we can remain relevant and accessible to readers in the U.S. and around the globe.

With new ebooks becoming available on a bi-monthly basis, Humanist Press will have a regularly expanding catalog of interest to atheist and agnostic humanists everywhere. Visit


Darwin Day is a global celebration of science and reason held on or around Feb. 12, the birthday anniversary of evolutionary biologist Charles Darwin.

On this website you can find all sorts of information about Charles Darwin and the International Darwin Day Foundation. If you are hosting a Darwin Day event, you can post information about it on our events listing. You can also locate Darwin Day programs near you by searching our events section.

Let Humanism Ring! The American Humanist Association is pleased to announce that its 73rd Annual Conference will be held June 5-8, 2014 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Join hundreds of humanists, atheists and freethinkers in Philadelphia for a four-day celebration of humanism! The American Humanist Association will feature informative lectures, book signings, celebrity guests, networking opportunities, child care, fun activities and more!

Book your room early by calling the Sheraton Philadelphia Downtown Hotel at 1-800-325-3535 (mention the American Humanist Association) or visit the AHA’s Personalized Reservation Page to get the special rate of $169 per night (subject to taxes). Rates increase after May 5, 2014 so reserve now!

More information will be announced soon!

Discussion Forum

New Young Adult Book

Started by Chris Brockman. Last reply by Don Feb 28, 2015. 5 Replies

Violence Against Women

Started by Joan Denoo. Last reply by Deidre Oct 7, 2014. 11 Replies

Advice for an atheist volunteer.

Started by Vulpes. Last reply by Joan Denoo Feb 4, 2013. 3 Replies

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Comment by Brian Magee on October 21, 2012 at 8:37pm

Humanists Mourn Death of Paul Kurtz, Humanist Philosopher and Advocate

(Washington, DC – Oct. 21, 2012) – Humanists and atheists are mourning the death of humanist Dr. Paul Kurtz, former editor of the American Humanist Association’s Humanist magazine and founder of the Council for Secular Humanism, who died on Oct. 21, 2012 at the age of 86. His death means the loss of one of secular humanism’s most prominent advocates.

“Paul Kurtz worked tirelessly for decades to see secular humanism become accepted as an alternative philosophy to traditional religion,” said Roy Speckhardt, the executive director of the American Humanist Association. “The attention and guidance he gave to the humanist movement had an unmistakable global impact.”

Paul Kurtz served on the American Humanist Association Board of Directors from 1968-1981 and as editor of Humanist magazine from 1967-1978 before establishing the Council for Secular Humanism.

In 1973 he worked with Edwin H. Wilson and the American Humanist Association to create the draft of what would become the Humanist Manifesto II (an updated Humanist Manifesto III was adopted in 2003).

“Humanism has been shaped by many people since the beginning of the 20th century, and Paul Kurtz was one of the greatest contributors to the development of our nontheistic philosophy,” Speckhardt said.

Kurtz published over 800 articles and authored more than 40 books, many of which have been translated into scores of languages.

In his most recent major statement, Kurtz declared that “our planetary community is facing serious problems that can only be solved by cooperative global action.” In Neo-Humanism Statement of Secular Principles and Values: Personal, Progressive, and Planetary, published in 2010, Kurtz offered 16 detailed recommendations for a humanistic world.

“These are the vital principles and values that a secular, personal, progressive, and planetary humanism proposes for humanity,” Kurtz wrote about his statement. “Today the campaign for equal rights and for a better life for everyone knows no boundaries. This is a common goal for the people of the world, worthy of our highest aspirations.”

In 2007 the American Humanist Association presented Kurtz with the Humanist Lifetime Achievement Award. During his acceptance speech, he stated, “I am a secular humanist because I am not religious. I draw my inspiration not from religion or spirituality, but from science, ethics, philosophy, and the arts.”

After leaving the Center for Inquiry and the Council for Secular Humanism, Kurtz established the Institute for Science and Human Values in 2010, a humanist think tank based in Tampa, Fl.

Kurtz was born on Dec. 21, 1925 in Newark, New Jersey. He received his BA from New York University in 1948. Columbia University was next, where in 1949 he earned his MA and his Ph.D. in philosophy was awarded in 1952.

Kurtz later became Professor Emeritus of Philosophy at the State University of New York at Buffalo. That post followed time teaching at Vassar, Trinity, and Union colleges, as well as the New School for Social Research.

Comment by Brian Magee on October 19, 2012 at 10:33am

Writer, activist, and feminist Gloria Steinem is the subject of the cover story of the latest Humanist magazine from the AHA.

Steinem was named the 2012 Humanist of the Year by the AHA and was presented with the award at the AHA’s 71st annual conference in New Orleans, LA, on June 8, 2012. The article is adapted from her acceptance speech.

Comment by Brian Magee on October 11, 2012 at 8:59am

Alice Walker, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of "The Color Purple," received the AHA's Humanist of the Year award in 1997. Listen to her acceptance speech where she expresses her beautiful admiration for nature.

Comment by Brian Magee on October 9, 2012 at 3:25pm


Here is the latest image in our Sounds Like Humanism campaign.

If you run across a quote that "sounds like humanism" from a surprising source, pass it along to us at

Comment by Mriana on October 5, 2012 at 8:42am

I like Big Bird too.  If Rumnut gets into office he'll try to kill Big Bird, PBS, and education.  The only thing I didn't like about the video is when Gordon said, "Just because".  I think that could have been done better, like everything lives and dies and that's the way life is.  My older son once said, after we lost two of our cats that after the next three die, he's not getting anymore pets because they die.  It didn't make much sense to me and even though it was a bit late in his life to experience death (he was a teenager) I still had to explain it to him.  Seemed weird explaining death to a teenager, but I guess if it takes the long to experience one's first death, it's reasonable, but because he was older, explaining the psychological issues we go through was easier and his questions weren't as juvenile either.

Comment by Steph S. on October 5, 2012 at 12:22am
I loved Sesame Street! Wonderful show!
It does sound like humanism - thanks for the video Brian.
Comment by Natalie A Sera on October 4, 2012 at 11:59pm

Yeah, you're right, Brian. Sesame Street was a very culturally sensitive show -- I remember one episode where Mr. Hooper talked about his Jewish heritage, but didn't mention the religious part of it. They couldn't possibly have brought any specific religious beliefs into the discussion, because they knew that children of many different ethnic groups would be watching, and their purpose was to teach the alphabet and the numbers and nothing more. I LOVED watching Sesame Street with my son, and this clip is from that era (the 70's).

Comment by Brian Magee on October 4, 2012 at 10:02pm

Everybody's talking about Big Bird today. Here's a Sesame Street clip of Big Bird understanding the concept of death ... with no references to a god or heaven. Instead, "we can all be happy that we had the chance to know and love [Mr. Hooper], and have memories of him." Sounds like humanism, no?

Comment by Brian Magee on October 3, 2012 at 1:06pm

The AHA and the Center For Inquiry are co-sponsoring "Critical Inquiry: The Appeal to Reason," an online course beginning Nov. 1 that will explore all of the various tools necessary not just to persuade, but to make logically valid and sound arguments.

Comment by Brian Magee on October 1, 2012 at 12:06pm

The Humanist Hour #78: Gloria Steinem, 2012 Humanist of the Year

A new episodeof the Humanist Hour is available for listening. Keep reading to find out about the guests on this month’s show.

In this month’s podcast, Jennifer Bardi, editor of the Humanist, interviews world famous author and activist Gloria Steinem. “It’s not about not believing,” says the 2012 Humanist of the Year. “It’s about rejecting a god who looks like the ruling class.”

You can read a transcript of this interview in the September / October edition of the Humanistmagazine online.

Gloria Steinem is a writer, lecturer, editor, and feminist activist. She travels in this and other countries as an organizer and lecturer and is a frequent media spokeswoman on issues of equality. She is particularly interested in the shared origins of sex and race caste systems, gender roles and child abuse as roots of violence, non-violent conflict resolution, the cultures of indigenous peoples, and organizing across boundaries for peace and justice. She now lives in New York City, and is currently at work on Road to the Heart: America As if Everyone Mattered, a book about her more than thirty years on the road as a feminist organizer.

For complete information on this episode of The Humanist Hour, click here:


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