This Week June 6, 2021

Greetings, everyone! Time to mark your calendars for a whole host of events between this Wednesday, June 9th and Sunday August 8th. That’s right – the 106th Assembly of the American Ethical Union is getting underway and will be coming to you via Zoom! Starting this week we’ll have a Keynote Address by Egberto Willies, 11 educational presentations/workshops, 8 pre-Business Meeting sessions, 2 award ceremonies, the August 7th Assembly Business Meeting, and an All-Society Platform on August 8th – all spread out over 2 months so you can go to as many as you like (they are all open to the public) without suffering Zoom fatigue!

To aid you in marking your calendars, Anna has put together a very helpful calendar that you can access on the website. Here’s a link: 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.

Watch this space for weekly updates This week I’m highlighting the Keynote Address and the three sessions offered next week.

Keynote Wednesday, June 9, 8pm ET 
Egberto Willies: “Empowering Us All Makes Our Demands Undeniable & Attainable

Egberto Willies left the software company he founded to pursue political activism. He started a new company, Willies Media LLC, and began airing the radio/media program “Politics Done Right.” The goal of the program is to discuss political flashpoints from a Progressive point of view and give people from every ideology the opportunity for civil dialogue. The program features interviews with local, national, and international political activists, politicians, and everyday citizens.

In 2020 Egberto published a book, It’s Worth It: How to Talk To Your Right-Wing Relatives, Friends, and Neighbors – a guide for civil conversation with people who may not share your political views.

Our evening will also feature music by A Different Thread a collaboration between Alicia Best from Durham, North Carolina, USA and Robert Jackson from Lichfield, England. Both traveling songwriters in their own right, they first met while busking in Galway, Ireland, back in 2016 and have been on the road together ever since.

And next week is just around the corner so it’s a good time to put Tuesday evening’s “Lay Leadership Overview,” Wednesday’s pre-Business Meeting discussion of 2021 Resolutions, and Thursday’s “The Wastefulness of Racism programs on your list of things to do.

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.”

Hope to see Wednesday and next week!


This post originally appeared at