As we go into the new year there are a few changes afoot for Secular Woman. Mary Ellen Sikes, our Vice President of Operations, is stepping down so that she can concentrate more on developing and growing her project, American Secular Census. Her commitment to Secular Woman is just as strong and we are thrilled that she will be transitioning to our Advisory Council so that her experience and presence will still be a part of Secular Woman.
Mary Ellen has been with us since the inception, where her many years of expertise within the secular movement, not to mention her IT skills, were, and will remain, invaluable. Secular Woman will be forming a partnership with Secular Census to work on projects with them that are of mutual interest. This collaboration will allow us to conduct original research related to the secular community and women. Board member Corinne Zimmerman, whose background is in psychology research, will be a vital part of this endeavor.
We also welcome Soraya Chemaly to the Advisory Council. Chemaly is a well known writer on the intersection of gender in society, uncovering how gender roles and norms function in a patriarchal culture. She writes for a variety of publications, including Alternet, the Feminist Wire, and Huffington Post. Her thoughtful expertise on feminism, gender, and secularism are a valued addition to our advisory council.
Elsa Roberts, who has been volunteering for Secular Woman almost since it began, and who came on to our Board in October, will be stepping into the role of Vice President. She is excited about taking on a more active role in the organization and says she is “eager to advance the cause of Secular Woman and to continue to expand our online presence.”
As Mary Ellen notes “If we really mean it when we say we want more influence and respect as atheists and humanists, then the secular community has to start drawing in its missing voices. Secular Woman may just have the most relevant mission of any organization in the movement today.” We hope to live up to that mission, and we look forward to enacting it this year by giving voice to secular women everywhere!