When you joined Northern Indiana Atheists, you became more than just an individual who values keeping church and state separate, you became part of the largest community of atheists and atheist allies in Northern Indiana, helping NIA speak with a more powerful voice.
We are a new group, but we hit the ground running.
Here are some things we've accomplished and are currently working on:
state/church violation at liberty elementary school
After receiving a complaint through our "report a state/church violation" form on our website from a parent at Liberty Elementary School in Mishawaka, we made a formal complaint about a first grade teacher assigning an art project focused on the biblical nativity story. Their response was, “the administration has been assured that content of the nature described in [our letter] will not be used in class work in the future," marking our first state/church violation win.
tabling and supporting OUR community
NIA has tabled and sponsored three LGBTQ events where we handed out free swag and celebrated PRIDE with the community. We've tabled three "Families Belong Together" rallies across Northern Indiana where we supplied hundreds of free protest signs. Most recently, we tabled the IUSB Welcome Back Fair and talked to dozens of college students (and professors) who were overjoyed to learn there is a community of like-minded people supporting them and fighting for their rights. Every single time we go out into public, we are enthusiastically welcomed by fellow atheists and our rational religious allies and always sign up new members. We will be looking for more tabling opportunities in the future. Let us know if you have any suggestions!
NIA HOLIDAY DISPLAY AT THE COUNTY-CITY BUILDING IN SOUTH BEND
After requesting multiple times over several months and finally having the FFRF lawyers send them a letter, it looks like the county-city building has no choice but to allow us to install our NIA holiday display in their lobby alongside the nativity scene and FFRF's Bill of Rights Nativity. Happy Holidays!
DEMANDING EQUAL ACCESS TO PUBLIC SPACES
For the last three years, Courtside Ministries has set up a "Need Prayer?" table on the Elkhart County Courthouse lawn every Friday morning to interact with (sometimes even pestering) the foot traffic going in and out of the courthouse. Hey, we have a table! So we contacted the county commissioners and requested equal access to that public space. After shutting down their excuses why we couldn't have equal access, and catching them in a few lies, they have no choice but to allow us equal access or allow no one equal access. We plan to set up a table soon. How that will work is currently being discussed.
helping the homeless
NIA is working with Michiana Five for the Homeless to supply new and gently used winter clothing to the homeless and needy in our community. You can bring a donation to any of our events for donation. This is an ongoing clothing drive as the need in the community is constant. Michiana Five for the Homeless is a religious organization ,but they do not discriminate when it comes to the homeless they serve or to any member of the community who wishes to support their efforts. “We do not care who you are or what your personal beliefs are, if you care about the homeless in any way whether it’s for religious beliefs or simply humanitarian beliefs, we need you, and we’re glad to have your support!” NIA is more than willing to workwith any religious organization when our end goals match and they don't discriminate along the way. The non-christian community is not well served when it comes to social services. If you now of any secular or non-discriminating religious organization we can work with, let us know!
links to educational resources
We have a lot of atheist and secular resource links on our website: https://northernindianaatheists.com/education/ - If there are other educational resources you would like to see us promote, please let us know.
speakers and lectures
NIA is an affiliate of American Atheists with access to their speakers bureau. We are looking forward to booking educational presentations and lectures.
join us for our first social event
Join us Wednesday, September 5 from 7-9pm at The Indiana Whiskey Company (under 21 welcome!), 1115 W Sample St, South Bend for an informal discussion about everything above and more! "More" being $5 drinks and free Bruno's pizza. Don't forget to bring a winter clothing item, socks or underwear to be donated to people who are homeless in Michiana.
We'd love to hear from you. Please feel free to email any questions, comments, suggestions, state/church violations, anything you'd like to discuss to Troy Moss at firstname.lastname@example.org