Bittersweet

Michael KhaliliI have unfortunate news to share. After serving a term as Atheist United’s president for two amazing years, I am unable to run again. Sadly, I am moving to New York City in January for work-related reasons. For many years, I’ve been working with my sister and her business partner on their comedy podcast Keith and The Girl. Over the last few years the work level has been increasing and, in order to continue the growth of the site, I need to be closer to them and live in NYC.

Being part of Atheists United has been one of the most fulfilling experiences of my life. Together, we’ve accomplished so much over the last few years. We’ve challenged overreaching government support of religion by ending the nearly 60-year-old Nativity Scene Winter Display in Santa Monica and our affiliate in San Luis Obispo is working hard to keep religious influence from shaping government policy and procedures.

We’ve also more than doubled our average attendance at the meetings and used the new growth to expand our offerings of community services. In addition to the great Highway Cleanup and AIDS Walk participation, we are also serving the community with the new Toy Loan Center and a quarterly Blood Drive. We’ve also expanded the annual Thank-A-Farmer program during Thanksgiving to help even more families in need.

Moving forward, the organization is going to continue to strengthen these programs and to offer great lectures, fun parties and more ways to get to know one another. The upcoming board member nominations will be a wonderful mix of existing and new members who will expand on the momentum we’ve built over the years and help grow Atheists United even more.

I titled this article bittersweet because, being from NYC originally, I’m excited to be moving back, to be closer to my sister and to be helping her company grow, but it’s also going to be extremely sad to be leaving this wonderful community that I’ve been a part of for so many years. From my start at Atheists United in the affiliate group Generation Atheist to taking a leadership role in the organization, I’ve met so many fun, creative, inspirational, warm and kind people. Letting me be a part of your life has made me a better person and I’m thankful to you all for that. While it won’t be the same, I’ll still be helping the organization from NYC. I’ll miss seeing everyone at the meetings and sharing stories with you all.

Thank you Atheists United for all the wonderful years!

Sincerely,
Michael Khalili
Atheists United President 2012 & 2013