California Freethought Day

Reviewed by the Sacramento Region Community Foundation

$10,530 raised by 43 donors

100% complete

$5,000 Goal

Massachusetts Governor William PhipsFreethought Day dates back to 1692, during the time of the Salem Witch Trials. Massachusetts Governor William Phips wrote, on October 12, about the quagmire that the trials had degenerated into, in part by a reliance on "evidence" of a non-objective nature and especially "spectral evidence" in which the accusers claimed to see devils and other phantasms consorting with the accused.

Our annual event, California Freethought Day, started as Sacramento Freethought Day in 2001 on the steps of the Sacramento County Courthouse Plaza and now takes over the north steps of the California State Capitol Building, usually on the second Sunday of October.

The event now boasts an entire day's worth of community engagement, live entertainment, motivational and educational speakers, volunteer recognition, and more. Our event reaches hundreds of local atheists, Humanists, and other freethinkers -- and attracts an audience from throughout California and the country.

Notable speakers at California Freethought Day include Senators Richard Pan, Athena Salman, and Juan Mendez; the "Friendly Atheist" blogger Hemant Mehta; executive director of NCSE Dr. Eugenie Scott; hip hop artist Greydon Square; Representatives Jared Huffman, Jerry McNerney, and Zoe Lofgren; secular activist leaders including Aron Ra, Sean Faircloth, Annie Laurie Gaylor, and Mandisa Thomas; authors including Greta Christina and Phil Zuckerman; and entertainers including Shelley Segal, Victor Harris, and Brian Dalton.

Giving Activity


Our mission is to host an annual festival that encourages freedom of speech and thought, civic engagement, enthusiasm for science, social justice, and the separation of church and state.


Our greatest needs are volunteer support (primarily in October, during Freethought Weekend) and financial support (to provide for our main event, scholarship contests, Leadership Day, and Advocacy Week.

More information about these Programs are available below.

Equity Statement

The Board and Planning Committee of California value diversity and equity, as we have seen first-hand how intolerance and exclusion can negatively affect our communities and legislation.

We are committed to broadening our organization's leadership and its impact with respect to diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Organization Data


Organization name

California Freethought Day

other names


Year Established


Tax id (EIN)


Mission Category

Civil Rights, Social Action & Advocacy

Operating Budget


Organization Need

Funding: Unrestricted, Funding: Program, Volunteers

Demographics Served

General population

Local Counties Served


Equity Statement

Equity Statement


PO Box 15464
Sacramento, CA 95851

Service areas


Sacramento, CA, US



Social Media