As with PBB, I knew that a collaboration would produce a far better result than anything I could achieve on my own. After much consideration and consultation, I invited three co-authors with deep knowledge and experience in practical freethought education. All three are wonderful writers and thinkers, and each has brought unique strengths and perspective to the project. In bringing this book about, the three best decisions I made are named Molleen, Amanda, and Jan:
Molleen Matsumura has been a humanist activist and writer for over twenty years. She has worked to defend reproductive freedom, separation of religion and government, evolution education, and marriage equality. Her writing has appeared in Free Inquiry, New Humanist (UK), Humanistic Judaism, and Reports of the National Center for Science Education, among other publications. Molleen has been a project director for the National Center for Science Education and currently serves on the advisory boards of the Secular Student Alliance and Americans United for Separation of Church and State. She writes the humanist advice column, Sweet Reason; some past columns can be found at www.sweetreason.org or in the Parenting section of the website of the Institute for Humanist Studies (www.humanist studies.org).
Amanda Metskas is the Executive Director of Camp Quest, Inc. (www .camp-quest.org). She has been involved with Camp Quest since 2003 and served on the board of directors since 2004. Amanda has been a counselor at Camp Quest Ohio, Camp Quest Michigan, Camp Quest West, Camp Quest Smoky Mountains, and Camp Quest Minnesota. While at camp, Amanda leads educational activities on critical thinking, debate, and international relations. During the rest of the year, she works on coordinating and promoting Camp Quest programs from her office at the Camp Quest headquarters in the Institute for Humanist Studies. Amanda holds a BA from Brown University in international relations and psychology and an MA in political science from Ohio State University. Her co-authored essay about Camp Quest appears in Parenting Beyond Belief.
Jan Devor holds a BA and MA in education from the University of Michigan. She taught middle school for thirteen years and then embarked on a seventeen year career as Director of Religious Education with Unitarian Universalist congregations in Concord, MA, and Minneapolis, MN, where she is currently serving the First Unitarian Society. Jan has been credentialed at the Master's Level in religious education by the Unitarian Universalist Association and has co-taught a graduate-level class at United Theological Seminary in religious education theory, philosophy, and practice. She and her husband have raised two Unitarian Universalist freethinkers.
Dale McGowan left a fifteen-year career as a college professor in 2006 to pursue writing full-time. In addition to editing and co-authoring Parenting Beyond Belief, he writes the secular parenting blog The Meming of Life and teaches nonreligious parenting seminars around the United States. He holds degrees in physical anthropology and music theory from UC Berkeley as well as a PhD in composition from the University of Minnesota. Dale lives with his wife Becca and their three children near Atlanta, Georgia.
Although each of us offered input and material for the entire book, each had primary responsibility for two chapters, as indicated in the Contents. Any first-person references within a given chapter can generally be attributed to the author of that chapter. As editor of the book overall, all errors can be safely attributed to me.
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