Meet the team


Robert Ray

Robert is the founder and currently serves as the National Director of  The Original Motto Project.
A lifelong atheist and Humanist,  he  began his secular activism as the Vice President of The Humanists of North Puget Sound in 2011 and later became President. He worked as the social media director and webmaster for the Northwest Freethought Alliance from 2011 to 2013. He became a Humanist Celebrant in October of 2013 and still performs weddings and invocations. Most recently he gave the first ever Humanist invocation at the Washington State House of Representatives in March of 2015.
He is the former co-Host of the Secular Yakking podcast.

He focuses on separation of church and state issues, especially if they surround our motto.


Tom Essell

Thomas Essel is a writer, historian, and secular activist. Thomas serves as Assistant Director for The Original Motto Project. In addition, he writes for the blog Danthropology on the Patheos network and is a contributor to Ye Olde Journalist. From 2015 until 2016, Thomas served at the State Chair for the Secular Coalition for Missouri. Thomas lives in San Diego, California.


Sally Hunt

Sally Hunt is a strong atheist, progressive, and humanist who advocates for the separation of church & state, comprehensive sex education, sex-positivity, feminism, social, racial, & economic justice, and equal human rights for all. Sally lives in St. Louis, Missouri with her husband and three children.

Sally has a master’s degree in counseling and 6 years’ experience as a public school K-12 guidance counselor. Sally also serves as the Public Relations Director of E. Pluribus Unum, The Original Motto Project, which seeks to replace the divisive and discriminatory U.S. motto, “In God We Trust,” with the original – and rightful – U.S. motto, “E Pluribus Unum,” (meaning “From many, one”) or the first three words of the U.S. Constitution, “We The People.”

John Gleason

John is the Region 2 Director for the Original Motto Project. John Gleason started his secular activism when he founded the Godless Engineer brand, which he now runs with Kaitlyn Chloe. He has been a secular activist since 2012. He has always been concerned with equal rights and treatment of others. He seeks to build a community dedicated to supporting other atheists, scientific literacy, and the separation of church and state. He currently lives in North Alabama with Kaitlyn Chloe and his son Xander.

Joseph Richardson

Joseph Richardson is the Eastern Regional Director for the Original Motto Project. Joseph is a software engineer and secular activist whose initiation into activism was getting kicked out of his own city’s commission meeting for not standing for the pledge in August 2014. Since then he has spoken before dozens of city and county council meetings on secular issues, written letters, offered secular invocations for local government meetings, given numerous television and print interviews on church/state separation, and even appeared on his local Fox television affiliate to discuss the constitutionality of a cross in city chambers. He also helps direct his local freethought community. He lives in Winter Garden, FL with his wife Kathleen, three sons, and four cats. He has not yet been allowed to offer a secular invocation in his home town.