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California Freethought Day

Sunday, October 15, 2017

California State Capitol Building


In celebration of our 16th anniversary, we are proud to have booked some amazing speakers:

Featured Speakers:


Sikivu Hutchinson, African-American Feminist Author


Larry Decker, ED of Secular Coalition for America


David Smalley, Podcaster and Activist


Jessica Xiao, Asian-American Feminist, Writer, Humanist


Elizabeth Lagesse, Arrested for Protesting


David Tamayo, President of Hispanic American Freethinkers

Special Guests:

  Athena Salman, Arizona State Representative

Community Panel:


Melissa Pugh, United COR

  More to be announced.

Live Entertainment:

  To be announced.

Victor Harris, Poet

  Uncle Sam

Author and Podcaster's Panel:

  Thomas Smith, Serious Inquiries Only

Elbe Spurling, Author

  Rebecca Hensler, The Secular Grief Support Handbook
  Candace Gorham, The Ebony Exodus Project
  David Fitzgerald, Author
  Richard Carrier, Author

And don't forget:

  • Leadership Day on Saturday for those in leadership and advocacy roles at the local and state level, featuring Robin Rinzler and others.
  • Supporters' Reception on Saturday evening with the comedy of Keith Loewell Jensen, where you can meet many of our speakers and enjoy wine, dessert, and more

Sikivu Hutchinson, Ph.D.

Sikivu HutchinsonSikivu is an educator and writer.  She received her doctorate from New York University and is the author of Imagining Transit: Race, Gender, and Transportation Politics in Los Angeles (2003), Moral Combat: Black Atheists, Gender Politics, and the Values Wars (2011), Godless Americana: Race and Religious Rebels (2013) and the novel White Nights, Black Paradise (2015), on Peoples Temple and the 1978 Jonestown massacre. 

She also wrote, directed and produced a short film of White Nights, Black Paradise and is currently working on a stage adaptation.

She has contributed chapters to The Oxford Handbook of Secularism and Gender and Planning from Rutgers University and her articles have been published in the Washington Post, the Huffington Post, Religion Dispatches, The Humanist Magazine and the L.A. Times. 

She is a contributing editor for The Feminist Wire and the founder of the Women’s Leadership Project, a feminist mentoring program for girls of color in South L.A.  In 2016, she was invited by the State Department to present her work in Johannesburg, Pretoria and Limpopo, South Africa and was also a keynote speaker at the Mandela and Kathrada Foundations’ Anti-Racism Network conference.

Her forthcoming novel Rock n’ Roll Heretic: The Life and Times of Rory Tharpe, is due in 2018. Find her on Twitter @sikivuhutch or visit her website.

David Tamayo

David TamayoDavid is the founder and president of Hispanic American Freethinkers, the first and only national organization of its kind. David was also the Vice President of the Reason Rally Coalition, and has an extensive background in the support and growth of the secular movement.

He has an MS in Information Technology from the University of Virginia, and is the CIO for a large aerospace engineering company in Washington D.C, and was a sponsor of the Langley High Shool Cybersecurity Team that competed in the U.S. Air Force's National CyberPatriot Competition.

David is currently working on a documentary about Latino beliefs in the United States.

Watch his interviews with August Brunsman and Matt Dillahunty, both on YouTube.

Larry Decker

Bio coming soon.

David Smalley

David is a podcast host, speaker, activist, author, and comedian, combining his love for entertainment and media with his passion for skepticism, truth, and equality, by starting Dogma Debate, a podcast focused on educating the public with humor and unique, respectful discussions.

David has appeared on The Adam Carolla Show, Mohr Stories w/ Jay Mohr, CNN, FOX, NewsMaxTV, and many radio shows and podcasts, encouraging humanism and extending peaceful and respectful challenges to dogmatic claims.

With 15 years as a media producer, 18 years as a live performer, and his fascinating past as a former Evangelical Christian, he is now an atheist with a unique take on biblical and political topics.

He and his team have raised over $300,000 for charity in the last 3 years through his annual 24-Hour Broadcast and other events.

Jessica Xiao

Bio coming soon.

Special Guests

Athena Salman

Bio coming soon.

Community Panel

Our Community panel will share the stage at 2:20 PM, introduce themselves and their organization, and answer questions from the audience.

Melissa Pugh, United Coalition of Reason

Melissa PughMelissa Pugh started her atheist activism when she was a member of the Atlanta Freethought Society, working tables at Atlanta's Gay Pride weekend and bringing international speakers to the Atheist Alliance of America 2015 Conference.

In October of 2015, she was appointed the president of Atheist Alliance of America and left to study biology at Chicago State University. She is now the Grassroots and Outreach Coordinator for the United Coalition of Reason, is the Sponsorship and Outreach Representative for Mythicist Milwaukee, is the Chicago Coalition of Reason Coordinator, and is an active member of The Satanic Temple