MHA PRESIDENT ENDS TERM, SAYS FAREWELL
Since I am not running for re-election to the MHA Board of Directors this year, my service on the MHA board comes to a close on February 16.
I am privileged to have been able to serve the MHA membership for the last four years, and I believe we have put together a strong foundation for continued success as we grow our membership and do good without any god here in Mississippi. We continue to show Mississippi that we believe in good!
I would like to thank all of the board members I have served with over the years, I am honored to have worked beside you to build this organization. And to the membership, thank you for your continuing support of the MHA and humanism in Mississippi. It matters…what we do here matters.
I will continue to be an involved member of the MHA, and I encourage each of you to be as active a member as you can. And I will be volunteering over at Jackson Women’s Health Organization aka “the Pinkhouse”, the last abortion clinic in Mississippi, pushing back against those that would have us all live under their religion, and continuing the fight against theocracy there.
Again, many thanks to you all for your support. It has been a pleasure to serve this great organization.
My best to you all,
THANK YOU TO THE OUTGOING BOARD MEMBERS
With the MHA 2019 Annual Membership Meeting coming up, many of us are looking to the future. We can’t help but think about what the next year will bring, and we are excited.
I would like to take a moment to reflect on the past. The new board means a changing of the guard will take place, and I want to spend a moment to thank those who have dedicated so much of their time to help us get to the place we are.
When I joined the board as the Communications Officer last year, I had only been an MHA member for a couple of weeks. The board didn’t just embrace me. Each member guided me and helped me learn the ropes and I will be forever grateful.
It’s not just about me, though. It’s about what the board has done for all of us. Many people don’t realize how much work goes into keeping the MHA running, and it’s all done on a volunteer basis.
Over the course of her term, outgoing President Kim Gibson worked to secure speakers such as Seth Andrews and Jim Helton, all while helping us expand into new areas in Mississippi.
Vice President Amy Craig has put time into making the humanist community more welcoming for families. She has worked to create a network for humanists across the state.
Outgoing Secretary Tom Dennis has shown up at every meeting, taking notes to make sure our minutes are in order, and that’s not all. He is at almost every event, ensuring that we always have an MHA board presence.
Thank you to everyone, and you will be missed.
MEET THE CANDIDATES
The Annual Membership Meeting is on February 16. Members will vote for the President, Vice President, and Secretary. If you are not currently a member, join online.
Take a minute to meet the candidates so you’ll be ready to cast your vote.
Eric Reisman – President
A northern exile, Eric Reisman has been a fixture of Mississippi’s secular community since he first moved to Jackson in 2011. In 2015 he joined forces with a small medley of cohorts to help found the Mississippi Humanist Association. He soon discovered that creating a functional 501(c)(3) out of thin air was no mean feat. This was an endeavor that would take prodigious reserves of time, effort, and love. Undaunted, Eric worked closely with founding members Patrick Jerome and Kim Gibson to draft a functioning set of bylaws. From 2015-2017 Eric served on the MHA Board of Directors as Secretary. When not taking notes, he helped coordinate and host the popular Second Sunday Brunch, along with many other things, big and small. MHA and the values it champions are dear to Eric’s heart. He is ecstatic to have the opportunity to run for President of MHA.
If elected President, Eric will continue building on the good work of his predecessors. As an organization, he wants MHA to stand as a beacon for enlightened tolerance in accordance with the precepts of secular humanism. He hopes to see MHA achieve greater prominence through building alliances with allied organizations committed to the principles of kindness and beneficence. By promoting consensus building and greater collaboration, Eric intends to keep MHA rooted on a path of sustainable growth.
When he’s not advocating on behalf of humanism, Eric may be found running, sometimes competitively, just a smidge slower than his high-school glory days. He once harbored ambitions of restoring classic cars, but quickly deduced that his budget and mechanical aptitude were both insufficient. When the weather’s nice he enjoys sitting outside on the porch of his c.1929 Craftsman, reading dangerous books once banned. When it gets too cold, he retreats inside to watch reruns of Rocko’s Modern Life.
Amy Craig – Vice President (Incumbent)
Amy Craig is the current Vice President of the Mississippi Humanist Association. She works at two non-profits, the Family Health Care Clinic and Mississippi Immigrants Rights Alliance. Amy believes that the MHA is important because it brings people together to do good work for the sake of humanity. We are all in this together! Her vision for the future of the MHA includes more family friendly events, an increased presence in the community, and more speakers across the state.
Isn’t it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too? –Douglas Adams
Amanda Boudreaux – Vice President
Amanda was an Air Force brat, born in Biloxi and has lived in Mississippi for the past 12 years. She was raised in an evangelical Christian family, but became an atheist in her mid-twenties. Currently she works at a non-profit senior center in Picayune as the administrative assistant.
Romy Aguilar – Secretary
Romy Aguilar has lived 44 of her 48 years in Mississippi. Born in Baton Rouge she, her parents, 2 older sisters, 1 Great Dane, 1 Poodle, 2 very unhappy cats, and beloved parakeet moved to Star, Mississippi. After graduation from high school she was undecided on a career or college but in all her infinite wisdom, she decided getting married to her then boyfriend, an illegal immigrant from Mexico, was the best idea she had ever had. They married April 1989, applied for legal status after they married. They traveled to Mexico in January of 1990, where he was processed and crossed the border legally. Their first daughter born in June 1990, our second daughter born in October 1998, and they divorced in May 2000.
Growing up, and in younger adult life, Romy attended Wesleyanna United Methodist Church because it was what she was supposed to do. Romy never felt a part of the church or the community and now, she is happy to say “I didn’t belong and I know why.” 2009 Romy met John Benal. This is significant for many reasons one being John introduced Romy to the Atheist Group. This group was, and still is, comprised of some really great, talented, intelligent people, which were some of the founding members of the MHA. Eyes were opened that there were really people who actually shared some common beliefs with Romy and she didn’t have to go to Church to find them.
Romy is running for the MHA Secretary position. If elected Romy will help the board continue to build on the work that’s already been done. Romy is interested in helping the organization grow in membership and expand our presence in the community. Romy is very interested in involvement with community-based service projects and collaborating with other organizations who also promote kindness and the desire to do good for our fellow human beings. Romy’s goal is to have MHA continuously strive to personify our mission statement, “Good without God,” through charitable works and contributions throughout all of Mississippi.
MEMBERSHIP MEETING - FEBRUARY 16
The Annual Membership Meeting will be from 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM at Surin of Thailand, 3000 Old Canton Road, Ste. 105, Jackson MS.
HATTIESBURG BRUNCH - FEBRUARY 17
Hattiesburg Brunch will be at Cotton Blues, 6116 US Highway 98, from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM. RSVP and we will save you a seat. Look for the silver colander once you arrive.
HUMANIST HAPPY HOUR - FEBRUARY 20
MHA Humanist Happy Hour will be from 6:00 PM to 8 PM at Majestic Kitchen, 1067 Highland Colony Parkway, Ridgeland, MS. Look for the silver colander and pull up a chair.
BOD MEETING - FEBRUARY 28
MHA’s monthly Board of Directors Meeting will be held on February 24 at 6:00 PM. The location is to be determined. Stay tuned for the location and be sure to stop by, meet the new board, and share your ideas to help make the MHA the best it can be.
JOIN THE MHA!
It is more important than ever to join the MHA. There is strength in numbers, and with your help, we can create a stronger community and a stronger voice in the state of Mississippi. Yearly membership is only $25 for individuals and $40 for families. As a member, you will help in shaping the MHA mission and meet some new friends at the same time. Also, your membership dues will help us make an impact in the state. Every dollar of donations and fees work to support humanism in Mississippi.
For more information about joining the MHA, renewing your membership, or donating to support humanism here in Mississippi, please check out our website at www.mshumanists.org.
For information on all MHA events, you can find more info on the website, on Twitter (@MSHumanists), Meetup.com, and Facebook (@MississippiHumanist).
Mississippi Humanist Association – We Believe in Good!