Director of African Americans for Humanism, campus organizer at the Center for Inquiry
Debbie Goddard is the director of African Americans for Humanism and the campus outreach coordinator at the Center for Inquiry–Transnational in Amherst, NY. Before working for CFI, she participated in local freethought groups in the greater Philadelphia region and helped organize and support campus groups internationally as a student volunteer. She has also been involved with progressive issues and LGBT activism.
Debbie’s first experience with organized freethought was in 2000, when she traveled to Amherst, New York, for a Center for Inquiry Student Leadership Conference. Inspired by the experience, she began attending freethought, humanist, atheist, and skeptic group meetings in the greater Philadelphia region, including in New York City, New Jersey, and central Pennsylvania. She also started a CFI-affiliated campus group at her college.
Over time, her involvement increased: she joined the CFI Metro New York Advisory Board in 2002 and volunteered with CFI’s campus outreach program as publications director from 2001 to 2002 and as student president from 2002 to 2003. She also held a work-study position at the CFI New York City office in Rockefeller Center while a full-time student at Temple University.
In 2002, she was profiled in a Beliefnet article, "Godless Who’s Who," as a student activist. She was also interviewed by the Washington Blade, formerly one of the nation’s largest circulation LGBT newspapers, as an “out” nonbeliever. In early 2006, Jamila Bey interviewed Debbie for an article about African American female atheists for the Skepchick blog.
In June 2006, CFI hired Debbie as a field organizer, allowing her to utilize her grassroots organizing experience working with campus and community groups. As CFI’s campus outreach coordinator, she helps connect CFI resources to campus affiliates around the world and provides volunteer and leadership training opportunities to the next generation of student activists. In June 2010, she also assumed the directorship of African Americans for Humanism.