I recently attended the Women in Secularism event sponsored by The Center for Inquiry. This was the third event of its kind that focused on issues that directly affect women within the secular community and movement atheism. I am proud to say that I have attended all three conventions and it was truly an honor to speak at the last two. It was an experience I will forever be grateful for.
This year’s event, while slightly less controversial than those in the past, was extremely inspiring and empowering. I was on a panel about empowerment and I even left feeling empowered! And I’m glad the controversy was dialed down this year, that says to me that women speaking up and demanding equal treatment and respect online and in the secular communities, is starting to seem normal and expected. That’s a good thing. A few years back we were met with resistance for merely wanting to create a space where women’s voices could be heard and where women dominated the stage. This year our requests to be heard were much more normalized.
I did something at this year’s event that I really wish I had done in the years prior.
I brought my camera.
I took a series of black and white portraits of just a handful of the extraordinary women I encountered at the event. There were so, so many wonderful people I missed, but I did my best to grab who I could in between running my Surly-Ramics table and participating in panel discussions.
The high contrast black and white images serve as documentation of just a few of the great minds that we have in the secular movement, that converged over a single weekend in Alexandria, VA, just outside of DC in 2014. These images speak to me about the reasons we need to continue to fight for equality, agitate for change and to maintain what rights women do have.
Feminism is often described as the radical notion that women are people too.
And these are just a few of the people who I encountered, who matter.
All photos © Amy Davis Roth 2014