Racism and Anti-Racism: Two American Traditions
Feb 3 @ 11:00 am – 1:00 pm

One of the many subtle myths of American history is to ignore not only the persistence of racism in America, but also the continuity of racial justice activism, instead highlighting a few periods (abolition, the civil rights era of the 60s, for example) and failing to see the connections between them.

In between, activism continues, though either out of the public eye or, like the anti-lynching crusade and the Niagara Movement, largely forgotten except in families who have kept the commitment alive.  Mothers and fathers have passed on their activism through both literal and institutional families.  Another continuity: both trust and tensions between generations, and between Black and white activists.  Ethical Culture has, as one example, been a home for anti-racist work in many periods of our history.

Montage of public domain photos of 19th and early 20th century anti-racist activists

Each time there are major advances in racial justice, there is a major backlash reinforcing racism.  But even in those tough periods, the tradition is passed on.

Many of our Ethical Culture figures from Felix Adler on have been involved in anti-racism work.  A few, such as David Muzzey with his participation in the white-washing of the Reconstruction era, have helped enable backlashes.  We have been a mixture of reliable and unreliable.

Our Clergy Leader, Jone Johnson Lewis, will reflect on the reliability and unreliability of racial justice in America, and what it means for those of us today committed to anti-racist work.

Music by DuPree, accompanied by Barry Kornhauser.

Our Sundays begin at 11 am and end about 12:30, with time for socializing afterwards.  Feel free to bring some snacks to share.

Our Ethics Matters theme for February is Trust: the practice of being reliable and relying on ourselves and others.


Ethics for Children Class
Feb 3 @ 11:01 am – 12:30 pm
Ethics for Children Class @ Brooklyn Society for Ethical Culture | New York | United States

Our Ethics for Children program provides a fun, focused learning environment for kids 1 to 12 years old to explore topics that foster empathy, respect and a deeper understanding of self and others. These include: our relationship to the natural world, the diversity of world religions and philosophies, social justice and action, and peaceful problem-solving.

The goal of Ethics for Children is to provide children with skills and knowledge to help them make ethical choices and learn to respect the inherent worth of every human being. We do not impose a fixed set of values or beliefs. Rather, we encourage children to respect and learn about themselves and their environment and to examine how their own ideas and actions impact the greater world.

The program also includes yoga and mindfulness, permaculture and environmental practices, arts, service and volunteering and community building activities.

We focus on 5 major principles:
Care for the Self
Care for the Family
Care for the Community
Care for the Earth
Care for the World

Ethics for Children can also be a full family activity, with classes for all ages and free adult programs at the same time for those who want to attend.

Visit our Ethical Education section to learn more

Winter BSEC Membership Meeting
Feb 3 @ 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Winter BSEC Membership Meeting @ Brooklyn Society for Ethical Culture
Sunday, February 3 from 1 to 3 PM
light refreshments will be served
Envisioning the next few years at BSEC
Every year we meet as members and friends to determine future courses and actions at BSEC. We are at a crossroads and need to challenge ourselves to revisit, review, renew or reform our plans and programming. Please join us for this conversation on Sunday, February 3 at 1 PM.   
Traditionally the Winter Membership Meeting is a time for us to come together to review creatively the various strategies, plans, initiatives and tactics for improving and developing the leadership, programming and membership at BSEC.
As some of you might remember, and others may be curious, a few years ago we facilitated an intense series of community meetings and decision making towards agreeing on an Accessibility Campaign. Stewarding property renovation in New York City comes with a slew of issues and complexities. This and other important plans and programs are on BSEC’s drawing board.
Please bring your best ‘thinking caps’ to our meeting on Sunday, February 3 at 1 PM.
PS.  If you would like to be part of the planning for the Winter Meeting, please come to the Board meeting on Thursday, January 31 at 6:30 PM at BSEC Library.

The Board of Trustees

Brooklyn Society for Ethical Culture
Mindfulness Meditation with Paulette Graf
Feb 10 @ 10:00 am – 10:50 am
Mindfulness Meditation with Paulette Graf @ Brooklyn Society for Ethical Culture
(10:00-10:20 Meditation with brief instruction, 10:20-10:30 Walking Meditation, 10:30-10:50 Meditation)
Participants can choose to do one 20 min meditation, or do both.
Located in the Library
Free of charge