Humanists are quick to defend threats to the separation of church and state, but they have not always been consistently unified in engaging with pressing issues of race, class, gender, and sexuality—namely, those linked to economic, environmental, and social justice. Drawing on his tenure as executive director of the American Humanist Association, Roy Speckhardt calls for humanists everywhere to center justice in their humanism by promoting public policy based on ethical humanist principles. Acknowledging the challenges inherent to this type of advocacy and activism—such as balancing short-term needs with long-term goals and espousing a common humanity without erasing differences—he makes a compelling case for championing justice-centered humanism. He also provides guidance for doing so, whether on the local, state, or federal level. Precisely because there is no such thing as cosmic justice in an afterlife, he reminds, it’s especially important that humanists everywhere combat injustice in this life.
About the Author
Roy Speckhardt is Executive Director of the American Humanist Association, where he actively promotes the humanist perspective on progressive political issues. He is a frequent media commentator, having appeared on Good Morning America, CNN, Fox News, and NPR, among others. He also gives speeches at colleges, conferences, and local humanist groups across the country. He is the author of Creating Change Through Humanism and lives in Washington, DC.
"Justice-Centered Humanism is a spectacular look at how humanism and social justice can work in concert to achieve a more inclusive and fair public policy. Speckhardt’s use of humanism as a lens for viewing public policy provides useful insight not only for engaged humanist thinkers, but also for anyone who seeks to understand what "Good Without God" can truly mean." —Jared Huffman, member, U.S. House of Representatives
"Through the American Humanist Association, and driven by his nontheistic values, Roy Speckhardt has planted the seeds of a reason-based, secular revolution in politics. Now, in Justice-Centered Humanism, he teaches all of us how to do the same." —Hemant Mehta, Friendly Atheist
"Speckhardt delivers a much-needed dose of reality in Justice-Centered Humanism and effectively conveys the importance of moving beyond the 'ivory tower' approach that many are accustomed to. Wanting to make changes in the world requires us changing along with it if we are to truly uphold our values." —Mandisa L. Thomas, Founder and President, Black Nonbelievers