On this day, Christians celebrate Christmas. In American society it is commercialized and all pervasive. We will turn together to share our own sense of the sacred, giving attention to our inner and deeper callings. (Colloquy provides opportunities for each of us to reflect on our own lives in relationship to the topic and listen and learn from one another, within the format of a sharing circle.)
Following colloquy we will have egg nog and light refreshments. Feel free to bring something for the table if you are attending Colloquy and would like to stay for some celebration.
Join Rita Wilson and Lisel Burns in looking back on the year of 2016. Then we’ll consider what’s needed to ground ourselves as the door opens into the new year. (Colloquy provides opportunities for each of us to reflect on our own lives in relationship to the topic and listen and learn from one another, within the format of a sharing circle.)
Both personal and social transformation require vision: we need the perception and insight to understand our current reality, we need imagination and wisdom to envision a different future, and we need strategic creativity to figure out how to get from the current reality to the different future. Beneath all that as a foundation: figuring out what values motivate our vision. And then, courageous action. With BSEC Clergy Leader Jone Johnson Lewis.
Last year was the centennial of the publication of John Dewey’s classic, “Democracy & Education: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Education.” Similar in many ways to Ethical Culture founder Felix Adler’s pedagogy, this pragmatic humanist’s work called for the complete renewal of public education and inspired teachers to create their own “learning-by-doing” curricula. Many of us remember taking field trips, performing in school plays, and being encouraged to pursue our own interests. However, since the 1980’s, traditional-values conservatives and the business community, funded by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Charles Koch conservative think tank the Heartland Institute, have steered national education policy toward Common Core standards and job training. Many students and their parent are taking up the cause for progressive education, and it is time to revisit Dewey’s groundbreaking work.
Honoring Black History Month: Black women were among the courageous many who opposed the institution of slavery in America and worked for its end. They fought not only slavery, but assumptions that the speaker’s lectern was an unfit place for a woman, especially if the audience was mixed men and women, and assumptions that African Americans and former slaves were not fit for mixed racial company. Hear about some of the lesser-known women abolitionists (including Frances E. W. Harper and Charlotte Forten Grimké), plus a few most have heard of and can learn more about (Harriet Tubman, Sojourner Truth), and their contributions to the anti-slavery movement of their day.
Sankofa is an African word from the Akan tribe in Ghana. The literal translation of the word and the symbol is “it is not taboo to fetch what is at risk of being left behind.”
Presented by the Brooklyn Society Writera group of writers of all levels and disciplines dedicated to promoting the art and craft of writing.
Honoring Black History Month: Frederick Douglass, one of the finest orators and inspirational writers of the 19th century, began his life enslaved. In the abolitionist movement, he was living testimony that the slaveholders’ excuse for slavery was a lie: that people of African descent lacked the capacity to long for and enjoy freedom. He went on to hold public office and work for a variety of reforms, and held firmly to the value of equality and freedom for all people — including Black people, Native Americans, women, immigrants. Learn more about his life (and even some connections to Ethical Culture) in this talk by our Clergy Leader, Jone Johnson Lewis, on why Douglass is one of her ethical heroes.
The long known principle of cooperation as a path to liberation was articulated by W. E. B. DeBois in a piece he wrote in 1907. Honoring his life and connecting his work to present day struggles, the Honorable Roger Green will tell the story and the vision of the Coalition to Transform Interfaith. The community and labor coalition formed to save the hospital looked deeper than a typical reorganization to create a plan for transformational impact that promises to bring health and wealth to the community.
Hon. Roger L. Green, Executive Director of Dubois-Bunche Center on Public Policy, Medgar Evers College, CUNY and the Coalition to Transform Interfaith, served as an elected member of the New York State Assembly from 1981-2005. During his tenure in the State Legislature Green was widely acknowledged as an expert on educational reform and children and family policies. Green served as the Chair of the Committee on Science and Technology, the Committee on Children and Families and the Joint Budget Conference Committee on Human Resources. A longstanding advocate of civil and human rights, Green worked within the legislative process to enact numerous laws that reflected his commitment to these principles.