Category: Chapter News

Volunteer Spotlight: Nathan Curland, HMN Pillar

“A student of the Enlightenment,” Nathan Curland cares deeply about individual freedom, personal responsibility, and critical thinking. An avid reader, he discovered HumanistsMN through a listing of local humanist organizations in the back of Free Inquiry magazine more than 20 years ago, and has been an active member ever since.

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Volunteer Spotlight: Sophie Phuong Le, Healthcare Humanist

Sophie Phuong Le joined HumanistsMN about five years ago and has contributed to event hosting and thoughtful discussion ever since. A pediatric pharmacist, she was drawn to our group, as many of us are, seeking intellectual discussion and community.

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HumanistsMN Supports End-of-Life Options Act

HumanistsMN wholeheartedly supports the Minnesota End-of-Life Options Act, which would allow terminally ill adults under some conditions to obtain and take medication to die peacefully. As humanists, we believe in individual autonomy and the right for people to make decisions about their own lives as long as they are not harming others. This includes the right to determine they do not want to prolong their lives in the face of unbearable suffering.

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Winter Solstice Celebration 2023: Dinner, Follies, and Song

Humanists and friends gathered to celebrate the Winter Solstice with food and revelry at the Minnesota Humanities Center on Dec.16. Audrey Kingstrom emceed the Festivus Follies, a program of poetry, storytelling, songs, and readings contributed by HumanistsMN members.

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Volunteer Spotlight: Craig Stilen, Photographer Extraordinaire

By Sally Johnson

Craig Stilen has been a member of HumanistsMN for nearly a decade. He can often be found at  our events behind the long lens of a Nikon camera. 

Craig was first drawn to secular humanism through his reading of nonfiction and science works by Carl Sagan, Richard Dawkins, and others. “I …

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Meet Our Secular Student Scholarship Winners

We are pleased to announce this year’s recipients of our Paul Heffron Scholarships for Secular Students. A HumanistsMN team selected three students to receive the $1,250 awards after reviewing applications forwarded by the Secular Student Association (SSA), which administers the nationwide scholarship program. Named after one of our founding members, the awards are funded by …

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Volunteer Spotlight: Secular Saturdays

“HumanistsMN is a secular community that promotes ethical living, widespread human flourishing, and a healthy planet through its commitment to science, reason, compassion, and creativity.”  

To support that mission statement, HMN brings us together as a community and offers events centered on intellectual thought, public service, education, advocacy, and socializing. These are made possible thanks to the many hours contributed by volunteers. 

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A Tribute to George Erickson

After a period of declining health, humanist leader George Erickson died on July 25 at age 90 near Eveleth, Minn. George had a long association with HumanistsMN. While living in New Brighton, he served from 1989 to 1995 in leadership roles including president, newsletter editor, program director, and host for our cable TV program. He did much to help expand our organization, then known as the Humanist Association of Minneapolis and St. Paul.  

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Humanist Picnic 2023 — Our Biggest One Yet!

Almost 100 people attended our annual potluck picnic in July — a record turnout!

Gathering at the Jaycees Shelter in Roseville, we dined on stellar food brought by guests, had inventive crafts enjoyed by kids and adults alike, and played games both physical (ladderball and bags) and mental (challenging trivia designed by Amy Butani).

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National Day of Reason 2023 at the State Capitol (With Photos)

The State Capitol was abuzz on May 3 as more than 70 advocates for secular government gathered to commemorate the National Day of Reason. HumanistsMN joined hands with First Unitarian Society of Minneapolis and Or Emet – the Minnesota Congregation for Humanistic Judaism to sponsor a breakfast with legislators to affirm that policy should be based on reason, science, and evidence, not religious preference. The event, the third of its kind, drew people from across the state, including eight legislators, most of them members of the Secular Government Caucus that was set up after last year’s Day of Reason gathering. We are lucky to have strong legislative allies.

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Supporters of Secular Lawmaking to Gather at the Capitol on May 3


April 2023

Contact: Suzanne Perry, HumanistsMN301.335.0466 /

Participants will observe the National Day of Reason, urging policymakers to keep religion and government separate. 

Three Minnesota humanist groups have planned a breakfast and reception at the State Capitol on May 3 to observe the National Day of Reason, which honors the …

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New Member Spotlight: Jennifer Morrow

Profession/Residence: I have been a native plant landscaper for about 15 years. I closed my one-woman operation this past fall and am beginning the process of discovering what my next career will be. I read The Future We Choose and Uninhabitable Earth last winter and was filled with a need to pivot to work in reducing energy consumption. Step one was winterizing at home, so in the meantime I am kept plenty busy caretaking the three duplexes my husband and I own. (I’m the handywoman in our family!) We live in one of them in the Cathedral-Hill/Summit University neighborhood. Ultimately I’m hoping to work in alternative energy production or energy reduction.

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HumanistsMN Billboards Urge Policymakers to Keep Religion out of Government

HumanistsMN (HMN), a secular community that advocates for separation of government and religion, has paid for two billboards near the State Capitol urging lawmakers to support that fundamental constitutional principle. HMN has become increasingly concerned about the rise of Christian nationalism and the impact of religious dogma on our legal system.

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HMN’s Audrey Kingstrom Gives Secular Invocation at Legislature

Audrey Kingstrom, HMN program coordinator and a humanist celebrant, gave a secular invocation at the beginning of a House legislative session in February.  The sessions normally open with a prayer, so this was a wonderful opportunity to exercise the separation of religion and government.

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A Tribute to Dale Heffron

Dale Heffron, a longtime HumanistsMN member, died on Dec. 14. Following is a tribute by his brother, HMN Founding Member Paul Heffron.

Dale Heffron was my only brother, my big brother by three years. He was my best friend and my model. He had my back. We were often together, although we each had our group of friends by age group. Increasingly he included me in his circle.
Dale got us into the Catholic Youth Center, where we took boxing lessons and had bouts in a real ring.

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