A Role Model at 10

In about 45 days I will be heading to Atlanta for my second Dragon*Con. Three years ago Derek and Swoopy of Skepticality started what has become one of the major events for Skeptics with a “fan track” at “the largest multi-media, popular culture convention focusing on science fiction and fantasy, gaming, comics, literature, art, music, and film in the universe!” I will be joining a list of amazing people too numerous to mention for panels and talks on Skeptrack and the Science Track. I am very excited about this year’s plans and will provide you with more details about the events once the schedule is finalized.

Just to give you some hints, though, the topics I will be discussing include education, parenting, women, sex, math/statistics, psychology, shopping, and reality (NOT). Sounds like fun, no?

This year will be extra special because I will have the opportunity to meet Will Phillips and shake his hand. If that name does not ring a bell, I will let Heidi Anderson tell you who he is.

In 2009, Will Phillips, showed more courage at age 10 than many adults do their whole lives. After being raised to believe in the inherent worth of each person by his parents, Laura and Jay Phillips, in the small town of West Fork, Arkansas, Will put his values into practice when he refused to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance until gays could marry; or in his words, until “there truly is liberty and justice for all!”

In my opinion, Will is the kind of child who deserves to be recognized for his creativity and compassion, and he has been. What’s more, he’s fun and geeky, which is apparent in this speech he gave at the GLAAD Media Awards:

You can recognize Will, too, and give him an 11th birthday party he will never forget.

Heidi has set up a fund to raise the money to send Will to Dragon*Con and plans are in process to make sure he has a great time while he is there. The goal is still $700 away, but every dollar gets her closer. If you can spare a few, please consider chipping in by clicking the link on this page or this one, [EDIT: or click on the picture of Will above]. If you cannot, please share the link(s) on Facebook or Twitter so that others have the opportunity to help.

I strongly believe that rewarding these kinds of efforts is the key to our future.

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