Published by the Freedom From Religion Foundation, Inc. FFRF.org

Don’t delay! Sign up for FFRF’s convention

Vol. 35 No. 7 September 2018
Julia Sweeney                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Join the Freedom From Religion Foundation in San Francisco for its 41st annual convention from Nov. 2-4 at the beautiful downtown Hyatt Regency.

The conference hotel features dramatic architecture, panoramic views and a waterfront setting, directly across from the iconic Ferry Building. If you’ve got some free time during the convention, you can explore the vibrant Embarcadero district, or head a bit further to explore famous attractions like Chinatown and Fisherman’s Wharf, or ride the ferry to Alcatraz.

The Hyatt features the world’s largest hotel lobby at 17 stories tall with 42,000 cubic feet of space. Each room features floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking cityscapes or the San Francisco Bay and comes with complimentary Wi-Fi and enhanced video streaming capabilities from mobile devices or tablets to the in-room 47-inch HDTV.

Speakers

We’re gonna get serious about laughing! Julia Sweeney and Leighann Lord will bring their respective comedy routines to the convention. Sweeney will do a version of her stand-up show, “Julia Sweeney: Older and Wider” on Friday evening, and Lord will perform her “Real Women Doing It Standing Up” routine on Saturday night.

Other speakers include Salman Rushdie, Cecile Richards, Adam Savage, John de Lancie, Debra Deanne Olson, Ensaf Haidar, Bailey Harris, Dan Barker, FFRF attorneys, Sarah Haidar and Rep. Jared Huffman. (For information on who will be receiving FFRF’s numerous awards at the convention, turn to page 23.)

Lord has been seen on Lifetime, VH-1, Comedy Central, HBO and The View. She is a contributor to the Huffington Post and the author of Leighann Lord’s Dict Jokes: Alternate Definitions for Words You’ve Probably Never Heard of But Will Definitely Never Forget (2014) and Real Women Do It Standing Up: Stories From the Career of a Very Funny Lady (2016).

Leighann was New York City’s face of the “African-Americans for Humanism” outreach campaign sponsored by the Center for Inquiry and its “Millions Living Happily Without Religion” campaign. Leighann was featured in author Chris Johnson’s The Atheist Book: A Better Life.

Sweeney is a “Saturday Night Live” alum who created and portrayed the androgynous character “Pat,” which spun off the feature film “It’s Pat.” She also created and performed several award-winning one-woman shows, including “God Said, Ha!”, “In the Family Way” and “Letting Go of God,” which was about her journey from Roman Catholic schoolgirl to atheist. She has also been in several movies, including “Pulp Fiction.” She has previously received FFRF’s Emperor Has No Clothes Award.

Hotel reservations

Reserve rooms now! We’ve had to ask for more rooms after our first block filled quickly, but those are almost gone, too, with no guarantee there will be more. Rooms (at $230) are being held for Friday and Saturday nights, and a slightly more limited number for Thursday early-birds. Phone directly to make your reservations: 1-888-421-1442 and use the code “Freedom From Religion Foundation.” Or go online at ffrf.org/convention2018 for full convention information or reserve hotel rooms directly at bit.ly/FFRF2018.

Registration

FFRF registration is only $60 per member, $65 per companion, $110 for non-members, and students and children get in free. Take advantage of FFRF’s meal and registration package to save $20. Friday night dinner and Saturday lunch are on your own.

Menus

The menus for the two Saturday meals (with veggie, vegan and gluten-free options) are:

Breakfast — Chef’s bakery selection, scrambled eggs, Hobb’s bacon, breakfast potatoes, juice and coffee.

Dinner — Potage Parmentier (potato leek soup), crispy shallots, chive crème fraiche, Champagne brown butter chicken, tarragon mushroom fond, Cipollini onion and Comte risotto, steamed broccolini, French pear tart, frangipane, vanilla cream.

General schedule

Arrange your travel schedule for the convention’s expanded hours and to take in a little sightseeing as well. The official starting time is 1 p.m. Friday, Nov. 2, continuing through Saturday night. FFRF’s membership and state representative meetings take place Sunday morning with a noon adjournment.

The convention will include irreverent music, complimentary appetizers on Friday afternoon and a complimentary Friday night dessert reception. On Saturday is the annual “Non-Prayer Breakfast,” which includes the “moment of bedlam.” On Saturday night there will be the popular drawing for “clean” (pre-“In God We Trust”) currency.

Sign up at: ffrf.org/convention2018.