Dale McGowan - Featured Guest


In 2006, DALE MCGOWAN left a 15-year career as a college professor  to pursue writing full-time. He edited and co-authoredParenting Beyond Belief and Raising Freethinkers, the first comprehensive resources for nonreligious parents, as well as Voices of Unbelief (2012) and the new Atheism For Dummies (2013).

Dale writes the secular parenting blog The Meming of Life, teaches nonreligious parenting seminars across the United States, and serves as executive director of Foundation Beyond Belief, a humanist charitable foundation based in Atlanta.

In 2008, Dale was named Harvard Humanist of the Year for his work in nonreligious parenting.

Dale holds degrees in physical anthropology and music theory from UC Berkele,y as well as a Ph.D. in music composition and theory from the University of Minnesota. He and his wife Becca, a second grade teacher, live near Atlanta with their three kids.

Lenore Skenazy - Keynote Speaker


Ms. Skenazy is an American columnist, author, and reality show host. A mother who lives in Queens with her husband and two sons, her controversial decision to let her then-9-year-old son take the New York City Subway home alone became a national story and prompted multiple media spots as well as a book promoting slow parenting, specifically a less fearful attitude towards child safety practices.

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Syd LeRoy - Speaker

Syd  is the Executive Director of CFI-New York City. Syd became involved with CFI in 2009 as a teacher/counselor for Camp Inquiry and intern for CFI-NYC before becoming the E.D. in 2012. Syd holds a bachelor’s degree in Studio Art from CUNY-Hunter College. During their undergraduate years, they founded several student groups in New York dedicated to free inquiry and secular humanism. In addition to these topics, Syd is also interested in issues of gender, sexuality, and human rights.


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Alison Pratt - Speaker

Dr. Alison Pratt is a clinical psychologist specializing in cognitive therapy and behavioral analysis. She is a member of the EHSLI  board and a committed secular parent.
Dr. Pratt is also the critically acclaimed author of A Murder Before Eden, a historical novel based on the real-life story of the brutal 1947 murder of her paternal uncle, Tom Pratt, in the rural town of Leaksville, NC.



Prof. Chris McDougal - Speaker

Chris McDougal has a great deal of experience with education, as well as being active in education and feminism. Chris is a Professor of Sociology at Suffolk County Community College. He is a member of the CFI-LI Executive Board and founder of the LI Atheist Meetup.

Sharon Oisher Stanley - Panel Moderator

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Sharon Stanley is a recently retired New York City special education teacher who advocates for public schools, special education students and humanistic beliefs. She has master's degrees in Education and Information Sciences.  Her family has attended the Ethical Humanist Society for 18 years and she is a parent of a child raised in Ethical Humanism since birth.  As a member of EHSLI, she has been the education director and teacher in the secular Sunday children's program, participated as a board trustee, platform speaker, and event coordinator.  Sharon and her family are also members of the American Humanist Association, Center For Inquiry, Foundation Beyond Belief, and the Freedom From Religion Foundation.