Matt Schoenley and fellow atheist, John Lynn, who are both assistant organizers of the Phoenix Atheists Meetup Group, have been working in earnest since January, 2010, to create a secular/nontheist lobby/advocacy organization for Arizona. The duo has been fortunate enough to enlist "helpful volunteers from [their] sibling humanist and atheist organizations around the state," said Lynn, adding that "Matt truly was the work horse in pushing it through and I have been a happy sidekick. After nearly 10 months of long hours and hard work, we have finally created Secular Coalition for Arizona!"
If the name "Secular Coalition" rings any bells, there is good reason for it. The Secular Coalition for America (SCA) has been working diligently as a lobbying group in Washington to "amplify the diverse and growing voice of the nontheistic community in the United States" for some time now. And, although SCA has long had Member Organizations, the newly formed Secular Coalition for Arizona is a "'State Aligned Group' which is an independent entity who agrees to cooperate with Secular Coalition for America," according to Lynn.
Of this distinction, Lynn said, "We are very proud to be the first "State Aligned Group" for SCA and our template/efforts/processes will be the guide for future SC America State Aligned Groups. We have garnered the enthusiastic support from Sean Faircloth, Executive Director of SCA & SCA's Board."
Secular Coalition for Arizona will host a kick-off event on Tuesday, October 12, 2010, from 6:00 pm to 7:30 pm at Scottsdale Library Civic Center Auditorium, during which time attendees will hear from Matt Schoenley - Executive Director of Secular Coalition of Arizona, Sean Faircloth - Executive Director of Secular Coalition for America, and Arizona State Representative Kyrsten Sinema. Immediately preceding the event, from 5:30 to 6:00, there will be a mix and mingle. And, following the kick-off event, there will be a "Post-Event Social."