Richard Dawkins Foundation, Secular Coalition Leadership Announce Partnership

Washington, DC-The Secular Coalition for America today announced a strategic partnership between the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science U.S. and top leadership of the Secular Coalition for America, through the remainder of 2013.

The partnership aims to maximize the strengths of both organizations-drawing on the Secular Coalition's strong nonprofit and strategic planning experience and the Dawkins Foundation's strong web and social media savvy, scientific expertise, and broad outreach.

"It is because the missions of our respective organizations dovetail so naturally that we are particularly pleased about this partnership," said Richard Dawkins. "The Secular Coalition is among the most effective organizations for long-term change in the United States precisely because it is focused on protecting and promoting science and evidence-based legislation-including in public school science class rooms, among other areas."

Secular Coalition Executive Director, Edwina Rogers said, "We are thrilled at the prospect of working so closely with the Dawkins Foundation-it's a natural fit for both organizations." The mission of the Dawkins Foundation is to "support scientific education, critical thinking and evidence-based understanding," which, Rogers explained, blends well with the Secular Coalition's mission to promote a religiously neutral government that bases legislation on reason, science and evidence.

The Secular Coalition and the Richard Dawkins Foundation will be working closely together in many ways over the next few months, including organizational logistics as well as several events and initiatives. Some fall of 2013 collaborative events as a result of the partnership include:

  • 9/16: SCA's Model Policy Guide Release/Capitol Hill Briefing (Including Contribution from Dawkins Foundation U.S.)
  • 9/22-10/22: Richard Dawkins' New Book Tour and Collaborative SCA/SCA State Chapter Events, Select Cities Nation-Wide
  • 10/1: SCA's Science Education Capitol Hill Briefing with Richard Dawkins (U.S. House)
  • 10/1: SCA's Science Education Capitol Hill Briefing with Richard Dawkins (U.S. Senate)
  • TBA: International Relief for Secularists (Joint SCA-Dawkins Initiative)

Rogers said that because Dawkins' field is evolutionary biology, which is often attacked by religious fundamentalists, he has had to become a "warrior in defense of his science."

"He has never hesitated to step into the fray and fight the good fight to ensure that a strong science education is available to all-something that is increasingly under attack at both the federal and state levels," Rogers said. "Not only has he enthusiastically carried the banner for nontheists, but he is one of the world's most recognizable intellectuals and his contributions to science and the public debate will be long remembered outside of his battles for secularism."

The Dawkins Foundation U.S. has existed in the United States as a private foundation but with the help of the Secular Coalition leadership, will reorganize as a public foundation, which will include broadening the donor base and reorganizing the Board of Directors. Secular Coalition Executive Director, Edwina Rogers, and Deputy Director, Aisha Goss will work in conjunction with the Dawkins Foundation and serve as management of the Dawkins Foundation during the partnership.

 "One of the goals of the Secular Coalition is to unify the secular movement, and this partnership shows just how effective the Secular Coalition has been in doing that," said David Niose, President of the Secular Coalition for America. "This is an exciting partnership not only because it demonstrates just how far the movement has come as a collective unit-but also because it shows legislators that nontheists are a community with the ability to organize, and there's significant strength in that."   

The Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science U.S. and the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science U.K. are separate entities. This partnership agreement affects only the U.S. Foundation.

CONTACT: Lauren Anderson Youngblood, SCA Communications Manager at [email protected] or (202)299-1091 ext. 205, cell (202)630-9725


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