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California Freethought Day

About Freethought Day

Our mission is to host an annual festival that encourages freedom of speech and thought, civic engagement, enthusiasm for science, social justice, and the separation of church and state.

California Freethought Day combines the fun and atmosphere of a fair with the education and activism of a conference. It's a festival of freethought. We'll have speakers and entertainment, an authors' panel, and more!

Our Core Values

Our Core Values
Freedom of
Speech and Thought
Civic Engagement Enthusiasm
for Science
Social Justice Separation of
Church and State

Our 2021 Theme: "A Brighter Future with Reason"

It's hard to believe that this event, which started out with two dozen people on the steps of the Sacramento Courthouse, is now celebrating its twentieth anniversary... but there is no denying that since then, our event and the secular community in California has grown at an exponential rate.

As we reflect on those last twenty years and see how our event and the world around us has changed, we cannot help but acknowledge that for every wonderful accomplishment there have been heartbreaking setbacks.

But we cannot be dissuaded by these losses. We use them to light our path. We use them to grow stronger, to tune our strategy, to embolden our hearts, to rally together through intersectionality and empathy... because we are in this together. A future that respects atheists is also one that respects the Indigenous Peoples. A future that strives for a deeper understanding of the natural world is also one that encourages civic engagement and demands voter equality. A future that listens to science is also one that respects the bodies of women and the lives of the LGBT+.

We march, we tweet, and we vote. And before you know it, twenty years have passed. Every day brings us an opportunity to create that brighter future... together... with reason.

Learn about themes in prior years.

The History and Culture of Freethought Day

Freethought Day dates back to 1692, during the time of the Salem Witch Trials. Massachusetts Governor William Phips wrote, on October 12, about the quagmire that the trials had degenerated into, in part by a reliance on "evidence" of a non-objective nature and especially "spectral evidence" in which the accusers claimed to see devils and other phantasms consorting with the accused.

Learn more about Freethought Day from the Sacramento Atheists and Other Freethinkers and Wikipedia.

Secular Nation Article Secular Nation Article

And read this article about Freethought Day published in Secular Nation (Fall 2014).

The Freethought Day Board and Committee

Here's the team that, along with dozens of volunteers, makes this weekend possible.

Board Members

  • David Diskin, President
  • Becky Mark, Treasurer
  • Jamie Snyder-Hernandez, Secretary
  • Nick Gray
  • Mashariki Lawson

Our Bylaws and Guiding Documentation are available for all to read.

Committee Members

  • Angela Garvie
  • Eileen Ferber
  • Kaeleigh Pontif
  • Ken Nahigian
  • Marie Bain
  • Tom Ikelman