This Week June 14, 2021

A good number of you have already joined the Assembly program by attending the Keynote event last Wednesday. If you missed it, here’s a link to the video: Assembly 2021 Keynote Speaker Egberto Willies with Music by A Different Thread.

I also noticed many familiar faces at the Brooklyn Society for Ethical Culture’s Juneteenth Sunday Platform. BSEC had as their guest Deputy Mayor J. Phillip Thompson who gave a powerful address, “Where is the Joy in Freedom?” There was great music provided by DuPree, Barry Kornhauser, and Lindsey Wilson, libations were offered and poets Valerie Verdia and Kim Brandon shared poems.

It was a great start to the Assembly season and there is plenty more to follow! This week we have:

Tue, June 15, 8pm – 9:30pm ET: “Lay Leadership Overview” with Bart Worden and Jone Johnson Lewis

Jone Johnson Lewis and Bart Worden will describe the Lay Leadership Skills project, describe which modules are available and explain how the modules will be available. Will include demonstrations and practice.

Wed, June 16, 8pm – 9:30pm ET: Pre-Business Meeting: Resolutions  with Sonja Kueppers

AEU President, Sonja Kueppers will facilitate discussion of the proposed American Ethical Union

Resolution: Renewal of Commitment to a Culture of Peace.

Thu, June 17, 8pm – 9:30pm ET: “The Wastefulness of Racism” with Nick Sanders

In discussions of racism, there is often the need to broaden the understanding of “racism” as going beyond individuals’ and groups’ name-calling and violence to see also the “institutional” or “systemic” nature of racial discrimination. Both these characterizations of racism imply that the problem is one of the negative impact on persons of color based solely on their identity as persons of color, and specifically on the failure to judge the person based on their character or inherent worth. This presentation will go beyond those ethical arguments against racism to consider also the waste of human talent that comes from racism. While this is an underlying theme in popular literature on racism, this presentation will more formally introduce this pragmatic dimension to anti-racism, one that highlights economic benefits in addition to the usual ethical orientations to anti-racism of caring and justice. To reverse the direction of the socially-responsible-investing mantra of “doing good while doing well,” we should acknowledge the value in “doing well while doing good.”

It’s a good idea to look ahead, and to aid you in marking your calendars, Anna has put together a very helpful Assembly calendar that you can access on the website: 2021 Assembly Calendar. Anna has also put the events on the AEU Connections calendar so you can grab the Zoom link you’ll need when you need it.

Special mention this week goes to an event at the end of this month: The Anna Garlin Spencer Award program on Saturday, June 26th at 2:00 pm Eastern Time. The AEU Anna Garlin Spencer Volunteer Award recognizes the contributions of our lay members to the success of their Ethical Society and of the Ethical Movement.

This year nine Societies have nominated volunteers from their Societies:

Susquehanna Valley Ethical Society, Riverdale-Yonkers Ethical Society, Ethical Society of St. Louis, Ethical Culture Society of Bergen County, Ethical Society of Austin, Ethical Humanist Society of the Triangle, New York Society for Ethical Culture, Brooklyn Society for Ethical Culture, Brooklyn Society for Ethical Culture.

Find info on 2021 Awardees here:

As long as we are gathered to celebrate our volunteers, why not have a party, too? A few months ago after an All-Society Platform, a number of Ethical Societies hosted coffee hours via Zoom to provide opportunities for people to gather, chat, and learn more about the Societies. Some people took the opportunity to visit other Ethical Societies rather than stick with their own group and had a very good time. Jill Aul from the Mid-Rivers Ethical Society asked on the Presidents Council list if there was interest in doing a Movement-wide social time that mirrored the after-Platform virtual coffee hours and, if fact, there was!

 Jill and I spoke and came up with a plan: rather than have each Society set up their own Zoom meeting and invite people to it, we’ll use the Zoom Meeting for the Anna Garlin Spencer Award program as a base and make Breakout Rooms for every Ethical Society to host an AFTER PARTY! Each Society can assign hosts to their Breakout Room and entertain visitors in whatever way they decide. We will be contacting Society Presidents about that and you can look to this space next week for an update.

Hope to see you Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday this week!