On 10 May 2017, non-religious people from around Northern Ireland will come together to celebrate the official launch of Northern Ireland Humanists at an event at Belfast Castle. Confirmed speakers include Northern Ireland Humanists patrons comedian Tim McGarry and astronomer Professor Stephen Smartt, as well as British Humanist Association (BHA) Chief Executive Andrew Copson and Director of Community Services Teddy Prout, Emma Campbell of Alliance for Choice, and other as-yet-unannounced special guests.
Since starting up in 2016, Northern Ireland Humanists has begun to make real progress to lessen the stranglehold of religious privilege and inequality in Northern Ireland. It has trained volunteers who can speak about Humanism and promote critical thinking in schools, as well as others who can visit hospitals to ensure non-religious people have someone to speak to. Since its foundation, it has campaigned tirelessly on issues like women’s reproductive health, reforming Religious Education, integrated education, and the right for pupils to choose if they take part in daily collective acts of worship.
The work of Northern Ireland Humanists will continue in 2017, with the aim of making Northern Ireland a more welcoming place for those with no religious beliefs. Places at the event will be available on a first-come, first-served basis for those who register at humanism.org.uk/nihumanistslaunch.
Northern Ireland Humanists is part of the British Humanist Association, working with the Humanist Association of Ireland. The BHA is the national charity working on behalf of non-religious people who seek to live ethical and fulfilling lives on the basis of reason and humanity. It promotes a secular state and equal treatment in law and policy of everyone, regardless of religion or belief.