Carolinas Secular Student Summit Recap

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Hello there! I’m back TWO DAYS IN A ROW with a video for you!

This past weekend I was at the Carolinas Secular Student Summit – surprisingly enough, not the same conference as the similarly named Carolinas Secular Conference, but follows the trend of being a traveling conference. This is the second year of CSSS, which was the North Carolina Secular Student Leadership Summit or NCSSLSLSSLSLSSSSLLSS. It was probably a good idea to change the name (and include their friends to the south). Last year it was held on the Eastern Carolina University campus, this year it was at North Carolina State University, and next year it will be held at supposedly one of the most beautiful college campuses: University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.

Unlike the Carolinas Secular Conference, however, CSSS is completely FREE. 100% free. You only have to register. It’s a relatively small conference, but that doesn’t prevent it from being one of my favorites. I understand the appeal of huge conferences that draw thousands where big name speakers you can get your picture with, but there’s just something wonderful about the small, hometown ones. I love that I can meet and know everyone at the conference by the time I leave. I love that I can see people that I met last year! I love that Nick distinguishes it as a summit where you can all collectively share your knowledge. These small conferences are where I can’t help but feel like real work and community building is being done. They are the heart of grassroots organizing.

There were only about 35 people in attendance, with Dr. Darrel Ray being the keynote speaker. I’ve been at conferences with Dr. Ray, but never actually really heard him speak. He’s done a lot of leadership training for corporations and whatnot, and it’s pretty great, even for a hardened leadership veteran like me.

Shoutout to Triangle Freethought Society for sponsoring this and in general just being awesome!

About the Author:

Kelley is a recent graduate of the University of South Carolina. Most of her biography lists her as 'formers', including intern for both the Secular Student Alliance and Foundation Beyond Belief, and president of the Secular Student Alliance at the University of South Carolina. She is currently a board member of Camp Quest South Carolina and a blogger for Friendly Atheist. Post-graduation, Kelley is attempting to garner more skills in order for people to be like 'hey! I want to hire her!' but she's currently pretty fantastic when it comes to crocheting and cat facts. She likes reading, doing crafty art stuff, and community service. Follow her on twitter for some reason @ramenneedles

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