BCC Leadership Information
A Brights Community Cluster (BCC) is a local, regional, national, or international group of Brights dedicated to the aims and principles of the Brights movement. Members stay in communication with one another via e-mail, listserv, and/or in person.
Note from Mynga and Paul
Thanks for volunteering to think about setting up a BCC. You are part of an experiment in local or regional organization of what is an international Internet Constituency. We present here this brief guide to help you get the feel for how a BCC might work, and should you start one in your area, to help you to get going and better maintain its focus on the essence of the Brights’ endeavor. If you forge ahead, we wish you well. It's pretty much up to you how things go, but we are hoping that you will stay closely aligned with the international effort.
Stay to the (B)right Track!
A BCC Team Leader Resource
The concept of the BCC is to establish and sustain a local or regional organization that is supportive of and working to achieve the aims of the Brights movement. Of course, the BCC can include social as well as organizational goals. The idea is to have fun and work with others in your locale toward common purpose, to further the Brights movement.
The UK Brights BCC has made good use of and recommends a free group e-mail service that allows everyone in the BCC to mail to the entire group. It has no advertisements and information can be found at http://groups.google.com
We can possibly make arrangements for other avenues of communication, such as putting BCC leaders in touch with one another via the Brights’ Net, if there is sufficient interest. You can contact "Brights Central" (firstname.lastname@example.org) with specific questions or suggestions along those lines.
Planning: Talk vs. Action
Although the Brights’ concept is new and fresh (and takes some re-thinking on the part of many!), a couple of Brights’ BCCs (and a few MeetUp groups) have already come and gone. No organized study of the reasons for this has been made.
Socializing is fine, but probably not sufficient to hold a group together for long. General discussion—about philosophy, religion bashing, gripes, current events, politics, and so forth of the type that for years (and years, and years, and years) has accompanied various gatherings of atheists/humanists/freethinkers—is likely to make for a short-lived BCC.
A group needs a firm reason for continuing to meet or stay in communication. Brights Central (BC) suspect that planning and conducting Brights actions is likely to be the "glue" of a successful BCC.
Staying in Touch
However you set up and manage your Brights cluster, please stay in touch with the Brights' Net hub. Whatever actions you pursue, report back now and then to Brights Central. Let us in on what has worked, why, what did not, why not, and so on. This way we can integrate what you learn through experience into the main endeavor.
Whether online or in person, the first BCC action is "housekeeping" –the general getting together, introductions, finding out about each other, and deciding how to continue the process. This will probably entail mutual discussion of basic understandings of what the Brights’ Net is all about and some reconciling of differing interpretations. For BCCs that are meeting in person, it may also take a number of such meetings to settle such simple matters as where and when to meet. For online folks, it may take quite a bit of keyboarding to work through to a common understanding of and commitment to some mutual endeavor.
A BCC can establish a local name (if you like), decide if you want an electronic newsletter or e-mail group, and so forth, although some BCCs may wish to keep things simple. You will be well on your way if you can get the general housekeeping out of the way and, at the same time, gain better understanding from one another about the reasons for, and the aims and principles of, the Brights’ endeavor, and give consideration to how you in your locale might best fit productively into the picture.
Suggestions for Action
After basic organization, the next challenge we propose to all the Brights clusters is to choose a local action and get to work accomplishing it (we list below some possible actions to consider). The Brights’ Net is a US 501(c)(3) educational organization, and so any educational activity consistent with the overall aims and principles is appropriate. Incidentally, US politics (e.g. supporting a candidate) is quite seriously not okay.
Off the top of our heads we have listed below some activities that could be considered by your BCC. Please note that they are all positive and constructive actions to carry out. (Check out the Brights’ Principle 8 on the Web: There really are no anti-religious Brights actions that are appropriate). Rather than carry on the tradition of being on the sidelines of religion shouting negatives, Brights clusters exist to strengthen the naturalistic worldview and work to garner civic acknowledgement of brights as part of the fabric of society.
Possible BCC Actions
- Review your public library catalog for books presenting a naturalistic worldview and/or critical thinking skills and skepticism, with priority to those especially for children. Provide additional books if needed. (Make sure you let your library know this is a Brights’ project).
- Letters to the local editors campaign (using the word Bright and/or signing your letter with "participant(s) in The Brights' Net.
- Getting the Brights movement onto local media (call in radio, TV), perhaps through talk shows, interviews, public access TV
- Put Brights fliers up in bookstores, coffee shops, and so forth.
- Contact local atheists and humanist groups and attend their meetings, sponsor joint events
- Bring in a speaker on a topic related to naturalism or science
Additional Actions (Feedback Requested)
Perhaps early in the development of your BCC, you should brainstorm and add other activities for this list that might be feasible in your locale. Send your list to Brights Central and we will compile a comprehensive list for accessing by all BCCs. We are particularly interested in activities that can be carried through online.
A More Formal Approach to Taking Action
For those BCC leaders who are more systematically inclined, please refer to the printable table (PDF) with eight steps to the accomplishment of a single BCC action. (Each planned action would have its own separate set of eight steps.)