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FFRF convention will be back in Madison

Mary Ziegler
Kate Cohen
Kelda Roys
Mike Freiberg

The Freedom From Religion Foundation will hold its 46th annual convention at the Monona Terrace Community and Convention Center in Madison, Wis. The city is home to FFRF’s Freethought Hall, the impressive building which houses the FFRF offices. 

The convention will be held over two full days on Friday, Oct. 13 and Saturday, Oct. 14. (An optional early registration and evening tour of Freethought Hall, with its auditorium, library and studio, will take place that Thursday night, Oct. 12.)

The annual membership and State Representatives meeting will take place Sunday morning, Oct. 15.

Registration and hotel information will be forthcoming.

Early awardees and speakers already include:

Kate Cohen, who will receive FFRF’s “Freethought Heroine” Award. She is a columnist for the Washington Post, where she has written about America’s reflexive deference to religion and its effect on education, health care and human rights. Kate is the author of We of Little Faith: An Atheist Comes Clean (And Why You Should Too), forthcoming from Godine Press. She will sign copies of her book at the convention. 

Mary Ziegler, a noted abortion rights expert and advocate. Her newest book is Roe: A History of a National Obsession. Ziegler is a law professor at the University of California-Davis and will receive FFRF’s “Forward Award,” given to those who are moving society forward. She will also sign copies of her books.

There will be a panel of secular, nonreligious state legislators. Already confirmed for this panel are Minnesota state Rep. Mike Freiberg and Wisconsin state Sen. Kelda Roys.

Freiberg has served as a Minnesota state representative since 2013, after serving on the Golden Valley (Minn.) City Council for nine years. He is a founding member of the Secular Government Caucus. As a legislator, he has focused on issues related to health care, local government, the environment and election policy. Freiberg works as an attorney for a nonprofit organization committed to improving public health. He has also worked as an adjunct law professor, teaching courses in legislation and public health law. 

Roys, who was first elected to the Wisconsin state Assembly in 2008, served as minority caucus chair in 2011 and was elected to the state Senate in 2020. Kelda earned her BA in drama, politics and cultural studies, magna cum laude, from New York University in 2000, and her JD, magna cum laude, from the University of Wisconsin Law School in 2004. She has worked as an attorney, a small business owner, and former nonprofit executive. She has served as a board member on a number of diverse civic and nonprofit groups, ranging from Common Cause of Wisconsin to Madison Repertory Theatre. An ardent supporter of abortion rights, she currently serves on a number of committees, such as Administrative Rules, Finance and Judiciary.