Kwabena “Michael” Osei-Assibey is the President of the Humanist Association of Ghana. We will be conducting this educational series to learn more about humanism and secularism within Ghana. Here we talk about events.
Scott Douglas Jacobsen: What are the upcoming events for the rest of 2019 and into 2020? How do you go about organizing an event? What other organizations have been pivotal in the organization of the larger secular Ghanaian events?
Kwabena “Michael” Osei-Assibey: 2019 is exciting for a couple of reasons. Plans for the first Freethought Festival is currently underway. From ministers of state to professors, artists and activists, it is slated to be very interesting.
A video series on the LGBTQIA community in Ghana is to follow afterwards and that would be the major events for 2019. 2020 will present its own challenges but our need to interact more with policymakers will sure feature in what plans we come up with in 2020 and beyond.
As I have said earlier, the organization is 100% volunteer, so we have to discuss as a collective and ask for volunteers for specific tasks.
In the case of the free-thought festival, we break down aspects of the program into specific work packages and then ask for a volunteer to project manage that particular work package.
Thanks to the diversity in the group, from medical doctors to researchers and artists, we always seem to have someone with the right qualifications, or adjacent, to project manage any aspect of our programs. Personally, my project management skills from my engineering background come to play and pick up any slack.
On occasion, we get outside help from partner organizations which brings me to what other organizations have been of great assistance. I will talk about these organizations and what role they play in moving secular conversations as well as the relationship we have with them. Let’s start with the environment.
When it comes to our environmental initiatives, we have always partnered with or followed the lead of Environment 360. Their environment initiatives and advocacy tie directly into what members are comfortable with.
I don’t know if I have said this before, but, HAG adopts a similar strategy to what our next partner organization does, zero footprint activism.
The Humanism Services Corps, now run by the Freedom Beyond Belief Foundation, runs volunteer programs targeting organizations already on the forefront of fighting marginalization in society.
The understanding is that these organizations already have the expertise and on the ground knowledge about the various challenges in their area of work.
The corpse’s partnership is to offer assistance in whatever way is analyzed to be necessary to increase the efficiency of service delivery. In a similar way, when HAG partners with any organization, we have to make sure our partnership in no way overshadows the already established trust of our partner organizations but boosts it.
A great partner to have in matters of science is the Ghana Science Association. On several occasions and at several events, they have provided us with experts in various fields to facilitate talks and provide us with a broader understanding of where the science is on various issues.
Currently, the University of Ghana is our home and in that respect we are grateful. Our previous home, The Afia Beach Hotel, run by Helen List, had served the secular community greatly since it was opened for business, providing free hosting for humanist events as well as environmental, science and arts events such as Earth day, Science day, Garden Clubs for kids, Arts exhibitions, etc.
This was a truly progressive and secular space and we are sad to see it go. There are also individuals and smaller groups who in one way or the other help organize events. The few that comes to mind are the Realist Foundation and the Common Sense Foundation.
Jacobsen: Thank you for the opportunity and your time, Kwabena.
Scott Douglas Jacobsen is the Founder of In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal and In-Sight Publishing. He authored/co-authored some e-books, free or low-cost. If you want to contact Scott: Scott.D.Jacobsen@Gmail.com.
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Other Resources: Recovering From Religion.