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Anya Overmann’s biographical sketch states: “My work as a author is pushed by human rights activism and progressive values. I work with individuals and companies who care about ethics. To study extra concerning the work I do for purchasers, head over right here. My skilled and private life are integrally woven collectively by this drive to assist individuals. I used to be raised attending the Moral Society of St. Louis, the place I fashioned a deep secular perception within the inherent dignity and price of all human beings. I’m a former President of Younger Humanists Worldwide, a present Board member of the American Moral Union, and a member of the American Humanist Affiliation. I work with Atheists United in Los Angeles to supply The Nomadic Humanist.”

Right here we discuss her election to the Board of the American Moral Union with a number of others in a historic elections.

Scott Douglas Jacobsen: The American Moral Union is one other pillar within the secular organizational panorama. There are a bunch, together with inside superminorities just like the non-theist Satanist group. You’ve been part of a cohort who made some current historical past. So, congratulations – to begin with! How do you are feeling because the Secretary and a part of this historic youth election into management?

Anya Overmann: I really feel hopeful that this shift in management has the potential to shift the tradition of the group to be extra collaborative and aware of the wants of our communities fairly than to the agendas of these with extra money and affect in our motion. 

Jacobsen: The concentrate on the information objects has been the range of the election, whether or not by age, race, or gender. Why did this grow to be an vital level to spotlight for the Moral Tradition motion?

Overmann: The American Moral Union and the Moral Tradition motion at massive have a historical past of prioritizing older, whiter, cisgender males. This historical past has additionally didn’t create an inclusive house for youthful individuals, BIPOC, transgender, and non-binary of us. Consequently, quite a lot of of us that Moral Tradition values declare to help have felt excluded, not heard, and never represented within the Moral Tradition motion. It was not till the election this yr that modified after 134 years. That type of shift in illustration in a corporation with traditionally non-inclusive follow is a monumental second to be celebrated. 

Jacobsen: Why run for Secretary fairly than different roles?

Overmann: I had already been serving as Performing Secretary for some months earlier than, and I noticed my continuation in that position in an official, democratically-elected capability as vital for serving to facilitate the approaching transition within the group. 

Jacobsen: What have among the onboarding trainings and first duties within the first few months for you?

Overmann: As a result of the Meeting additionally handed a bylaw modification that turned our Board from elected to consultant and doubled the dimensions of our Board, now we have centered on coaching and orienting our many new Administrators. We’ve got paused all committees however the Finance Committee and created momentary Groups to reevaluate previous committee efforts and create new methods for transferring ahead. We’ve got additionally centered on constructing management abilities, doing visioning work, and having outdoors consultants help us in doing that work.

Jacobsen: How is the AEU group taking this historic second for itself?

Overmann: It has been fraught. There was some dangerous commentary from inside our personal ranks about this historic second, and now we have been navigating quite a lot of stress. Nonetheless, we’re hoping that we will work collectively by means of all of this to deliver of us right into a shared house and customary floor.

Jacobsen: How have the present Board and the brand new board members – together with you – tailored to the brand new Board shuffle? In my expertise, and I assume yours too, there has all the time a little bit of an adjustment interval getting used to everybody’s means of working, speaking, and orienting to the contingencies of the prior Board and its work. 

Overmann: The swap from an elected Board to a consultant Board has been essentially the most difficult change in our new management. Our Board went from 11 Administrators to 22 nearly in a single day, and the 11-director Board was already struggling to get something executed because of a extreme breakdown in relationships. For my part, doubling the variety of cooks within the already dysfunctional kitchen was a really poor choice. Nonetheless, it was the choice the Meeting selected and our responsibility to hold it out. So now we have executed that, nevertheless it has made bringing everybody onto the identical web page a monumental activity that we’re tackling little by little.

Jacobsen: What are your hopes for this new second for AEU?

Overmann: I hope that we will construct belief in our management. It’s clear that we’re working in a really anxious system and that individuals are apprehensive about the way forward for this motion. The priority that we’re trying on the finish of the American Moral Union is professional. My hope is that members help us and the collaborative work we are trying to do to save lots of this group, fairly than create any extra obstructions or resistance to this very troublesome work. However I acknowledge that it’s a two-way avenue and that now we have to have the ability to domesticate belief and security to make this work. 

Jacobsen: What are the focused goals of AEU’s Board on this set of phrases?

Overmann: We need to (1) rebuild decision-making constructions, (2) re-launch committees, and (3) construct a brand new tradition that resists previous dysfunction and promotes future flourishing. 

Jacobsen: How can individuals get entangled with AEU or your work, studying or studying about actions?

Overmann: Go to to study extra about us, or e mail me at [email protected] in case you have any questions.

Jacobsen: Anya, thanks for the chance and your time, at this time.

Overmann: Thanks, Scott, all the time a pleasure!


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Picture credit score: Picture by Alexander Gray on Unsplash.



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