2021 BN Seacon Speakers

We will be back in 2021 with a fantastic lineup, including:

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Bridgett “Bria” Crutchfield was baptized and raised in the Jehovah’s Witness faith, from which she was later disfellowshipped. In 2006 she came out as an atheist, in 2011 she founded Minority Atheists of Michigan, and in 2013 she established the Detroit affiliate of Black Nonbelievers. In 2016 she spearheaded the initiative, Operation: Water For Flint via GoFundMe and raised $7k. Bria has 4 grandchildren, affectionately known as “Suga Babies” and is in a long term relationship with her partner, Kimberlee.

Bria also serves on the board for Black Nonbelievers, and has presented at the organization’s 5th Anniversary celebration in 2018, the 2017 BN Convention at Sea, and the 2018 Secular Women Work conference. She is also one of the key organizers for the Women of Color Beyond Belief conference that debuted in 2019.

Bria has a mouth as big as her heart, hates respectability politics, and will boldly tell you to kiss her where the sun doesn’t shine.

Candace R. M. Gorham MA, LPCS is a licensed professional mental health counselor. She is a former ordained minister turned atheist-humanist activist, researcher, and writer on issues related to race and religion. She is a member of the Black Humanist Alliance advisory board, The Secular Therapy Project, and The Clergy Project.

Candace is also the author of “The Ebony Exodus Project: Why Some Black Women Are Walking Out on Religion—and Others Should Too.”

Harrison Mumia is the Founder and President of the Atheists In Kenya Society. An atheist/humanist blogger, he also graduated with a Bachelor’s in Computer Science, and is a Digital Communications Expert. Harrison completed his Master’s Degree in Corporate Communications at Daystar University.

The Atheists In Kenya Society was officially registered in February 17th, 2016. After being initially rejected in 2015, and subsequent legal battles that followed, the Attorney General of Kenya conceded to the organization’s demand to be a recognized entity in their country.

Their mission is to promote the growth and interaction of atheists in Kenya. They also promote promote science, humanism, free thought, skepticism and a rationalistic worldview.

Kalen Lang is a recently retired Newark, New Jersey native who now resides in Knoxville, TN. Most of his professional career was spent in IT, however much of his advocacy revolved around education and being creative.

In the mid 90’s, Kalen developed a passion for Latin music and dance. Since then, he spent over ten years teaching NY style salsa at his local YMCA, and as a rec teacher in the Newark, NJ public school system. His passion for partner dancing also extends to various styles of R&B music.

In his own words, “If music is playing and I can’t take my partners hand and dance, then why bother?’

Khryshondrai (Drai) Salmon is a first-generation American born to Afro-Caribbean immigrants who is the first in her family to attend college. A proud Spelman sister, she majors in English and minors in Political science, with a goal of being a civil rights attorney. After completing her law degree, she wants to focus her knowledge on fighting social injustice for all people. LGBTQ+ equality, women’s rights, prison reform, and the rights of minority and immigrant populations are all very important in her journey. “I will not rest until I have made a real difference in the lives of others,” she says.

Drai describes herself as a freethinker that does not subscribe to any religious doctrine. She believes that religion is and has always been a tool to keep human beings from being able to realize our true potential.

Drai has previously held leadership positions in her school’s Human Rights commission, the LGBTQ+ rights society, and several groups representing minorities on campus. She volunteered for the “Right to Vote” campaign, canvasing door-to-door to encourage college students to register to vote. She also led a community lobby group that held a sit-in near the local government office to protest for the right for citizens to vote without being intimidated at poll booths and fight against gerrymandering. Drai is a recipient of the 2019 Secular Student Alliance’s Student Activist Scholarship, and plans to start an SSA chapter at Spelman College this year.

Mandisa Thomas, a native of New York City, is the founder and President of Black Nonbelievers, Inc. Although never formally indoctrinated into belief, Mandisa was heavily exposed to Christianity, Black Nationalism, and Islam. As a child she loved reading, and enjoyed various tales of Gods from different cultures, including Greek and Ghanaian. “Through reading these stories and being taught about other cultures at an early age, I quickly noticed that there were similarities and differences between those deities and the God of the Christian Bible. I couldn’t help but wonder what made this God so special that he warrants such prevalence in today’s society,” she recalls.
Mandisa has a number of media appearances to her credit, including CBS Sunday Morning, CNN.com,  and Playboy, The Humanist, and JET magazines. She has been a guest on podcasts such as The Humanist Hour and Ask an Atheist, as well as the documentaries Contradiction and My Week in Atheism. Mandisa currently serves on the Board for American Atheists and previously for Foundation Beyond Belief and the Secular Coalition for America. She also is an active speaker, and has presented at conferences/conventions for Freedom from Religion Foundation, Secular Student Alliance, and many others.

Mandisa is the recipient of the following awards:

2020 – Harvard Humanist of the Year (along with Sikivu Hutchinson and Ijeoma Oluo)
2019 – Freedom From Religion Foundation’s Freethought Heroine, the and Secular Student Alliance’s Backbone Award
2018 – Unitarian Universalist Humanist Association’s Person of the Year.

As the president of Black Nonbelievers, Inc., Mandisa encourages more Blacks to come out and stand strong with their nonbelief in the face of such strong religious overtones. “The more we make our presence known, the better our chances of working together to turn around some of the disparities we face. We are NOT alone.”