Welcome to AU's clearinghouse of recent speaking events with AU staff and partners. We may be working remotely, but our team is active across the country advocating for church-state separation to protect real religious freedom for all. 

 

  • Saint Louis AU Chapter Event

    November 18, 2020

    In this event with Americans United's Saint Louis Chapter, CEO Rachel Laser and AU Legal Director Richard Katskee discuss how the 2020 presidential election results affect religious freedom and church-state separation.

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  • Separation of Church and State and Racial Justice: A Critical Nexus

    November 5, 2020

    AU CEO Rachel Laser discusses our country’s longstanding relationship between religious freedom and racism, religious freedom’s misuse to advance a white Christian nationalist agenda, and what we can do to stop the abuse of an ideal that should make us all more, and not less, free.

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  • A Time to Heal, A Time to Build: A Conversation with Melissa Rogers and E.J. Dionne, Jr.

    October 21, 2020

    In a report published by the Brookings Institution, “A Time to Heal, A Time to Build,” Melissa Rogers and E.J. Dionne discuss the findings of their report. They argue that from its first day in office, the next administration must have a considered and detailed plan of action. It must also organize itself to deal with church-state questions that inevitably arise and can be more divisive and disruptive than necessary if not dealt with carefully. Finally, they addressed how, on issues related to religion, our country can achieve a new start. 

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  • No Politicking: Protecting the Johnson Amendment

    September 29, 2020

    Houses of worship should be free from the scrutiny and influence of politics. The November election is a critical time for all Americans. It is usually when religious leaders remind their congregations and communities to exercise their civic duty by voting. This program highlights the history and importance of protecting the Johnson Amendment.

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  • The Morality of Freedom: Re-Imagining the Promises of the Constitution

    September 17, 2020

    On Constitution Day, Senior Faith Adviser Sabrina Dent spoke at the Robert C. Byrd Center for Congressional History & Education.

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  • National Day of Action Kickoff

    September 15, 2020

    To get us inspired, fired up, and ready to go make our voices heard from coast to coast, CEO Rachel Laser kicked off our National Day of Action with Congressmen Joe Kennedy and Bobby Scott.

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  • National Advocacy Summit Workshop: Evening Plenary

    September 14, 2020

    Award-winning literary journalist Jeff Sharlet, author of the New York Times bestsellers The Family and C Street and executive producer of the Netflix documentary series based on the books, joined us as our keynote speaker for the 2020 National Advocacy Summit. Mr. Sharlet and CEO Rachel Laser spoke about a covert, secretive Christian Nationalist movement that operates on Capitol Hill. The plenary also featured our client Aimee Maddonna and a special musical performance by Scarlett Rabe.

     

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  • National Advocacy Summit Workshop: Advocating for Church State Separation in Your School

    September 14, 2020

    In this workshop, AU staff members Alicia Johnson and Mandy Caceres and student leader Katie Fleischer shared information about separation of religion and government in schools, as well as resources to advocate for the this separation in your community. 

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  • National Advocacy Summit Workshop: Dismantling White Privilege

    September 14, 2020

    Corey D.B. Walker, Ph.D moderated a panel which discussed how working for religious freedom puts us on the front lines of addressing racism and Christian Nationalism in America. 

     

     

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  • National Advocacy Summit Workshop: Remaking of the Courts

    September 14, 2020

    AU Senior Litigation Counsel Kenneth Upton moderated a panel which analyzed how changing courts could result in a government that permits religion to dictate public policy and authorizes discrimination against minorities. 

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  • National Advocacy Summit Workshop: Protecting Religious Freedom in the States

    September 14, 2020

    State Policy Counsel Nik Nartowicz spoke with in-state lobbying experts about some of the bills we are fighting and what others can do to most effectively protect religious freedom in their states.

     

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  • National Advocacy Summit Workshop: Do No Harm Act

    September 14, 2020

    Vice President for Public Policy Maggie Garrett spoke with policy experts who have been leading the effort to pass the Do No Harm Act, which would ensure religion is never misused to harm others, as well as how to lobby Members of Congress.

     

     

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  • National Advocacy Summit: Opening Plenary

    September 14, 2020

    CEO Rachel Laser kicked off our National Advocacy Summit by exploring what’s at stake for us all and how we move forward together to uphold the separation between religion and government.

     

     

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  • AU National Advocacy Summit 2020 - A Welcome Address from Rachel Laser

    September 14, 2020

    AU President and CEO Rachel Laser virtually welcomed participants to AU's first National Advocacy Summit.

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  • HUD Anti-Trans Shelter Special Briefing

    September 3, 2020

    Senior Faith Adviser Sabrina Dent moderated a panel discussion for the Center for American Progress about the HUD Anti-Trans Shelter Proposed Rule with Rev. Cedric Harmon, Rev. Cherisse Scott, Rev. Alex Patchin McNeill, Sarah Hassmer, and Debbie Ojeda-Leitner.

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  • The Lie That Binds Book Review with Ilyse Hogue

    September 1, 2020

    The untold history in The Lie That Binds is resonant for all of us who care about separation of church and state. In the book, Ilyse and the research team at NARAL Pro-Choice America recount the history of how the formerly non-partisan issue of abortion rights was appropriated by the Religious Right to maintain white, patriarchal control in a changing world – and how, together, we can stop them. In this wide-ranging conversation, AU CEO Rachel Laser speaks with Ilyse about her book, as well as reproductive justice.

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  • A Conversation about Separation of Church and State | Rachel Laser and Monica Miller

    August 10, 2020

    AU CEO Rachel Laser spoke with Monica Miller about the separation between church and state as part of the American Humanist Association's 79th Annual Conference, Distant But Together: A Virtual Celebration of Humanism.

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  • Taking Back Religious Freedom in the Aftermath of the 2020 Crises

    July 22, 2020

    Speaking to the Secular Student Alliance, CEO Rachel Laser discussed how the COVID-19 and racial justice crises in our country have exposed a system that privileges some and disadvantages others. She also discussed how the Trump Administration and its religious extremist allies are turning religious freedom into religious privilege to advance the dangerous and harmful conservative political agenda of its religious extremist base. 

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  • AU Summer Series: Young People & Religious Freedom with Youth Activists for Religious Freedom

    June 30, 2020

    What do young people think about separation of church and state? What issues inspire and excite them? Find out during this panel discussion with youth leaders and AU summer interns.

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  • AU Summer Series: Supreme Court Briefing

    June 23, 2020

    Two AU legal fellows look at the Supreme Court and where it’s headed on church-state issues. They’ll look a the church-state decisions that have come down by then and discuss any that may still be pending.

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  • AU Summer Series: Religious Freedom as a Social Justice Issue

    June 16, 2020

    This enlightening discussion will look at how separation of religion and government intersects with concerns such as LGBTQ rights, racial justice, the rights of women and others.

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  • Church and State: Separating Fact From Myth

    Jun 10, 2020

    Senior Adviser Rob Boston discussed the history of church and state separation in the United States. 

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  • AU Summer Series: The Power Worshippers

    June 9, 2020

    Join author and researcher Katherine Stewart as she discusses her new book The Power Worshippers: Inside the Dangerous Rise of Religious Nationalism. It’s an insightful look at Christian nationalism and its ongoing effect on American politics.

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  • AU Summer Series: Religious Freedom 101

    June 2, 2020

    AU's Rob Boston gives a short, easy-to-understand history lesson on how our country got separation of church and state.

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  • Faith, Reason, & the Law During COVID-19

    May 31, 2020

     

    A webinar on May 31, 2020 hosted by the Samuel DeWitt Proctor School of Theology Virginia Union University Johnson A. Edsomwan Center for Faith Leadership and Public Life with guest panelists from Americans United for Separation of Church and State will discuss what you need to know before reopening houses of worship - legal, medical, and religious challenges during COVID-19.

     

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  • American Bar Association Section of Civil Rights & Social Justice Panel: Religious Freedom Implications of the COVID-19 Pandemic

    April 14, 2020

    During the COVID-19 pandemic, most religious congregations have suspended congregational services, often moving to digital communication, such as live streaming of services, as an alternative; many did so even in the absence of state or local government directives calling for suspension of large gatherings, while others have followed suit once those directives were forthcoming. What, then, are the religious liberty implications of the pandemic-related restrictions on assembling for religious purposes? And what other questions are presented by responses to the pandemic, both in terms of impact on religious organizations and as they relate to other church-state concerns? AU's Vice President for Public Policy Maggie Garrett is featured on this panel to answer these important questions. 

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  • You Mean I Can’t What? Religious Freedom in Difficult Times

    April 8, 2020

    In times of COVID-19, many people have questions about their religious freedom rights versus government intervention. Some communities are grappling with concerns about the separation of church and state. AU Senior Faith Adviser Sabrina Dent, DMin and Vice President for Public Policy Maggie Garrett participated in this webinar for people like you to understand the difficult decisions houses of worship face during stay-at-home mandates and what that means for religious freedom.

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  • Keeping Church and State Separate: Recent Developments

    February 23, 2020

    Associate Legal Director Alex Luchenitser spoke to the Philadelphia Ethical Society about our litigation against exclusion of non-theists from the Pennsylvania House of Representatives' legislative-invocation practice, and other recent development in church-state separation law.

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  • Rebuilding The Wall: Creating a Movement for Separating Religion and Government

    October 16, 2019

    CEO Rachel Laser spoke at the Freedom From Religion Foundation's national convention.

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  • Religious Freedom in Trump’s America: Why It’s Unrecognizable and How We’re Fighting Back

    May 18, 2019

    CEO Rachel Laser spoke at the National Secular Society in London, England.

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  • Courts and Culture: Landmark Cases and a Supreme Court Preview

    September 18, 2018

    Associate Legal Director Alex Luchenitser served as a panelist at an Alliance Defending Freedom event on the American Legion v. American Humanist Association cross case (panel starts around 1:20:00).

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