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California Freethought Day

Sunday, October 13, 2019

California State Capitol Building

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 live entertainment, an authors' panel with Q&A, and more!

More than just a single event, the weekend is packed with plenty to do including workshops at Secular Leadership Day, a fundraising Reception with live entertainment and an open bar.

Our Core Values

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

The following details are still being updated from our prior year and may be changed.

Our 2018 Theme: Discover Reason

For centuries, we have been bombarded with ideas about a reality that simply does not exist. Our grandparents' snake oil salesmen and doomsday prophecies have evolved into a sophisticated network of conspiracy theories, pseudoscience, deliberate omissions from our children's education, and worse. The problem, aided by broadcast news and social media, isn't limited to #fakenews and articles that end up on Snopes. The problem persists:

In our 2018 event, our speakers will share their experiences and concerns relating to scientific discovery and how those discoveries are communicated, portrayed, and used in our modern society. In turn, we hope this helps people everywhere become more critical of everything they see and hear, demand stronger evidence, and encourage our legislators to be prudent stewards of scientific progress.

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
  • Carly Beard, Secretary
  • Nick Gray
  • Mashariki Lawson

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

Committee Members

  • Angela Garvie
  • Bill Potts
  • Eileen Ferber
  • Jamie Snyder-Hernandez
  • Kaeleigh Pontif
  • Ken Nahigian
  • Marie Bain
  • Susan McLean
  • Tom Ikelman