Speakers

Brandi Alexander is the National Director of Constituency for Compassion & Choices, and she has been with the organization for more than 10 years. Her dedication to educating people about having autonomy over all aspects of life, including at the end of life, has been a driving force in her career. At Compassion & Choices, she is responsible for outreach to physician, African American, faith, and LGBTQ communities. Brandi previously served as the coalition director for the Yes! On Colorado End of Life Options voter initiative campaign in 2016, which passed with more than 65 percent of the vote. She has worked on campaigns all over the nation to advance the end-of-life choice movement, including in Colorado, Vermont, Montana, and Washington, D.C., where medical aid in dying is authorized.

Brandi graduated from Middlebury College with a bachelor’s degree in psychology, with a minor in French and women’s studies. She holds certificates in the Fundamentals in Gerontology and Health and Wellness in an Aging Society, through a joint program offered by the American Society on Aging and the USC Davis School of Gerontology. She has completed several Wellstone Advocacy Training units, including Direct Mail & Voter Guides, Endorsements & Outreach, and Direct Voter Contact. She also has completed the Management Center’s People of Color & Indigenous Cohorts training.

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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 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.

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Victor Harris has been a staple on the Bay Area poetry scene since 1999. He has performed at venues in Oakland and Berkeley, and was on the slam finals stage for team Oakland in 2003.
He is the recipient of the 2001 Frederic C. Fallon Award for poetry from Chabot College, and a 2006 graduate of Cal State University Hayward with a B.A. in Liberal Studies.
Victor has been writing and performing atheist/skeptical/rational/science themed poetry since 2007 and has performed at conferences and conventions around the country, including American Atheists, Black Nonbelievers, California Freethought Day, and the Freedom From Religion Foundation.  Victor was recently featured in the July/August 2018 issue of Playboy magazine.

When he’s not writing, or performing, or DJing, Victor is the talent behind Reuschelle’s Cheesecakes,  and won a Best of the Bay award from the East Bay Express in 2009.

Dr. Darrel W. Ray is the author of The God Virus: How Religion Infects Our Lives and Culture, and, Sex and God: How Religion Distorts Sexuality. He is also the founder and one of the hosts of the Secular Sexuality podcast with the Atheist Experience; founder and president of Recovering from Religion and of the Secular Therapy Project. A psychologist for over 35 years and student of religion, he holds an MA in religion, a BA in Sociology/Anthropology and a Doctorate in psychology. He is interested in the intersection of religious infection and sexuality. His articles and books challenge notions of sexual shame and guilt and suggests new ways of thinking about sexuality. He also challenges such myths as sex and porn addiction, showing how these play into religious notions of sexuality.

Darrel has presented at a number of conferences and conventions, including BN’s 5th Anniversary Celebration in 2016.

Phil Session was born and raised just outside of Dallas, TX, in two church homes, one Baptist and the other a Free Church of God in Christ.

After getting involved with the secular community in 2013, his efforts centered around volunteerism and community service projects. That passion led him to organize and attend hundreds of volunteer activities in groups centered around non-belief in Austin and San Antonio over the past few years.

Phil is the volunteer coordinator for the Freethinkers Association of Central Texas and serves on its board of directors. He is also the head organizer/coordinator for Austin Atheists Helping the Homeless. Phil previously served as vice-president and volunteer coordinator for the Atheist Community of Austin and was a co-host for The Atheist Experience. He is also a former producer for The Godless Bitches 2.0 podcast.

Phil has made several guest appearances on the Ra-Men podcast with Lilandra and Aron Ra, Atheist Interviews, and the Recovering from Religion podcast. He also served as a lay leader at the Atheist/Humanist Meeting on Lackland Air Force Base.

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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 was named the Unitarian Universalist Humanist Association’s 2018 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.”

Marquita Tucker, MBA is a Senior IT Business Analyst for a major auto finance company. She is co-organizer for Black Nonbelievers of Detroit and mother to four amazing children. When she isn’t glued to her work computer screen, she’s busy being the CEO of her own marketing business, traveling and working on her tree pose.

Additionally, Marquita has a passion for volunteering, head banging to grunge rock and practicing new vegetarian recipes. Currently, she’s in the beginning stages of writing her autobiography and living her best life.