Please join us for “STAY WOKE @ BSEC” – the opening Platform of the 2019-2020 season at the Brooklyn Society for Ethical Culture on Sunday, September 8 at 11 AM. The Ethics for Children sign-in begins at 10:30 AM and registrations are open. We invite neighbors and friends with children from 3 to 16 for a trial class with us.
Opening Platform Speaker: NYC Public Advocate Jumaane Williams
We are delighted that NYC Public Advocate Jumaane Williams will be our guest speaker at our opening Platform at 11 AM. The Public Advocate is that government official who champions the many issues facing all New Yorkers. The Advocate monitors the operation of all public information and service complaint programs of city agencies and makes proposals for improvement.
This Public Advocate, Jumaane Williams is the activist advocate. Recently he was arrested at the state capitol during a protest demanding reforms to the state’s rent regulations. He joined HousingJustice4All to fight for universal rent control which he has long organized for. In 2018, Jumaane was arrested for protesting the detention by ICE of immigrant-rights activist Ravi Ragbir. He was also arrested for protesting President Trump’s US Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh. “When I was running for public advocate,” says Jumaane, “a lot of people asked if I would continue doing disobedience and I said, ‘Certainly, if it makes sense’.”
Jacque DuPree and Barry Kornhauser bring back their inspirational music to our Platforms and we will share some of the ambitious and critical programming that we are planning for this season.
Public Advocate, Jumaane Williams wants to hear our questions and concerns. Please share our enthusiasm with your friends, neighbors and network for a commanding commencement of another year of ethical engagement.
Many of us have heard an airline steward ask that in case of emergency we are to put on our masks first before tending to children or helping others. However, most parents and caregivers are not taught to take care of themselves first. Therefore when a crisis strikes, we are met with roadblocks to self-care, which in turn impact our youth and loved ones. Gena Jefferson, Founder and Executive Director of JAIA: Just As I Am YOUth Empowerment, shares how we can lay the foundation for promoting self-awareness and self-care even in the midst of life’s challenges.
Gena C. Jefferson, LCSW, Interfaith Minister, Spiritual Life Coach, Performer.
After serving 22 years in the NYC Public School system as a Teacher and Social Worker, Gena founded her private practice Psychotherapy and Consulting Company GJefferson Counseling Svcs. Also, within that same year, 2010, she founded “JAIA: Just As I Am Youth Empowerment”.
JAIA is a personal and spiritual development leadership program for teens and young adults ages 13-24. JAIA’s mission is to empower youth/young adults towards self-mastery, service &leadership through the use ofUniversal Life Principles and Mindfulnesstechniques, for the purpose of encouraging mental health & promoting positive youth development.
Gena has Master Degrees, in Special Education, Educational Administration and Social Work from varied institutions. She was ordained by the Interfaith Council of New York, and holds a Certification in Spiritual Life Coaching from the Inner Visions Institute for Spiritual Development.
Gena has served as an Adjunct Professor/Part-Time Lecturer at Columbia University, Fordham University and teaches currently at Rutgers University.
Gena is passionate about creating environments where people feel safe, empowered and free to express their individuality and to live their very best life!
How do you live ethically on a planet that is under attack? While it is Climate Week at the United Nations and people are coming from all over the world to discuss ways we deal with the impact of climate change, we will pause with Nancy Romer, a longtime local activist, to take stock of all the many ways we can engage in the fight against climate change. Looking at the depth of the challenges before us, Nancy will illustrate how we can take action that matters wherever we are.
Nancy Romer is a life-long social justice activist starting in the tenants’ rights movement, then the feminist, anti-war, anti-racist, anti-imperialist, union, food justice and, now, climate justice movements. Nancy is Professor Emerita of Psychology at Brooklyn College, serves on the Administrative Team of the Peoples Climate Movement-NY, Divest NY, and the PSC-CUNY (AFT #2334) Environmental Justice Working Group.
CALL TO ACTION
Right now you can sign up to get on the mailing list of 350Brooklyn and see what campaigns and activities they are engaged in that you might want to join. Your participation will be appreciated by others and will help us grow as a community. When you get home today, please go to the Peoples Climate Movement-NY’s website, https://www.pcmny.org/
When we feel burdened by guilt and/or regret over our past behavior, can we find a sense of freedom and release through making amends and changing our behavior?
Inspired by the Jewish tradition each autumn of The Days of Atonement, let us reflect together on the process of taking stock of our actions, making amends where necessary, and, in the process, finding freedom and renewal.
In a colloquy, we gather in a circle and, practice listening to each other without judgment. Colloquies incorporate small group discussion, music, and readings around a particular theme. All are welcome to attend!!
Speaker: Rebecca Lurie | Music: DuPree & Barry Kornhauser
How can Ethical Culture contribute to the cooperative economy to be the change we seek in the world? The cooperative economy is a critical lever to all the change we seek in the world. It is both ancient and renewed. Sometimes referred to as the Solidarity Economy or Economic Democracy, and referenced in the Green New Deal, it presents a way to interact in our economic sphere that is grounded in our values and our ethics.
REBECCA LURIE, is a longtime member of the Brooklyn Society. She is an activist for social justice and has made job quality an anchor of her work. She works with cooperatives locally at CUNY School of Labor and Urban Studies, nationally and is a worker-owner at New Deal Home Improvement Company.
Lunch With The Bunch to follow in the Sunroom. Sunday Platforms are a long-standing tradition whithin Ethical Culture to bring light and heat to matters of ethical concerns in a sacred setting.
An Indigenous Land or Territorial Acknowledgement is a statement that recognizes the Indigenous peoples who have been dispossessed from the homelands and territories upon which an institution was built and currently occupies and operates in. For some, an Indigenous Land or Territorial Acknowledgement might be an unfamiliar practice, but it is a common protocol within Indigenous communities in the United States and is a standard practice in both Australia and Canada. In this colloquy we will explore the practice and the ethical calling to practice repair and reconciliation with the generations of injustices we stand upon.
Ethical Culture is centered around faith as a belief system devoted to human welfare– Humanism. As Humanists, the study of the self, motivation, and goals are essential to developing the whole person.
Social activism requires a great deal of time and effort for the highest good of others. Helping to foster the vital process of critical thinking about ethical actions, you must take care of your own spirituality. This is the spirituality that Felix Adler promoted in order to move comfortably between self-culture and the ethical culture of “do no harm”. Adler believed spirituality is not associated with any one type of religion or philosophy; it is a quality of soul manifesting itself in a variety of activities and beliefs. Adler was concerned about taking responsibility for our actions, and acknowledging that our 2 actions can make it easier or harder for ourselves and others to be their best, to experience and act on our goodness, to enjoy life.
Nettie Paisley, an Interfaith Minister and Reiki Master will discuss how utilizing the ancient spiritual philosophy from the 5 principles of Reiki can lead to peace during the process of working for the highest good.
Nettie Paisley began her career as an adult education teacher in the area of work force development at the State University of New York Educational Opportunity Center in Brooklyn, NY for 30 years. After retirement, she opened a holistic boutique and wellness center called Southern Comforts on Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn for four years. Inspired by the beauty and peace of the holistic practice called Reiki, she became a master and teacher. The loving and nonjudgmental life principles of Reiki lead her into the ministry and a graduate of One Spirit Seminary as an Interfaith Minister, which included an internship with Gethsemane Church in Brooklyn, NY.
Nettie operated a mentoring program for foster care youth at Lutheran Social Services and work force development at the Brooklyn Public Library among other agencies. Along with her interfaith ministry, Nettie works as a wellness consultant and practitioner in the areas of Reiki, Qigong and Meditation at SAGE USA, Emblem Health and other sites. She joined the Brooklyn Society for Ethical Culture and was chairperson of the Life and Ethics Committee, which provided fundraising and social outreach for Brooklyn, in particular, Bedford Stuyvesant that led to the adoption of public school PS 44 for six years through the encouragement of then BSEC president, Charley Horwitz. Nettie was also a BSEC board member and is currently a friend of the BSEC.
Guest Speaker: Kendall Christiansen
Hear from an expert in the waste industry about the current intricacies of handling materials, products and end-of-life discards.
Kendall Christiansen Bio:
Having collected (and delivered) newspapers as a kid, and worked as a school and church janitor in his teens, Kendall Christiansen became addicted to garbage when he served as founding Assistant Director of NYC’s recycling system in 1989. He developed a public affairs consulting practice in the field – chairing NYC’s Citywide Recycling Advisory Board, working locally with several companies, and nationally and in Canada for a major client – attending hundreds of national, state/provincial and regional conferences. In 2016 he refocused on helping NYC’s commercial waste and recycling industry to survive and transform into a 21st century industry. Kendall has Midwestern roots, and lived @ Prospect Park since 1980 – and with his wife and family in Lefferts Manor for 31 years. Active on the board of the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce and other nonprofits, he’s chaired New York Congregational Community Services/Nursing Center for more than 25 years.
Long-time Brooklyn Society For Ethical Culture members share their legacies in ethical practices and what it means to live an ethical life. They will discuss the roads they have traveled and the challenges they overcame. They will also, share stories of finding BSEC, what keeps them coming back and their vision for the society for the next generation.
Socialism, as a word, use to be a general turn-off in American conversations. However, 2019 has brought certain realities into clear focus: rapacious greed and increased ecological danger cannot be ignored. Moreover, social ineptitude and moral disregard for the general welfare of the people is plainly unacceptable by those in public office, in high or low status, in local or national leadership. Working Americans, particularly, are caught in a vortex of economic pressures carrying the weight of various levels of taxation, medical and other costs with little, if any, relief. Poverty is growing and deepening. The needs of the aged are often completely disregarded. These concerns are not just a urban issues. These problems affect every tier of American society, rural and urban. The only exceptions are to be found in the upper 20% which as a class controls about 90% of America’s wealth.
America is actually in competition with the so-called “Third-World.” America is no longer First World material and we did this to ourselves — or rather our legislative leaders did session after session, generation after generation. Instead of going forward, economically we have climbed our way back to the 1920s, the Guilded Age. Our laws, apparently, were not strong enough to prevent the avariciousness of capitalism which, in addition, to growing and segregating the wealth derived has ruthlessly destroyed and continues to destroy nature’s ecology here and in other parts of the world.
Maybe it is time for all of us to stop following blindly the capitalist model. It’s not going to change! “Today blind relentless economic growth structured into capitalism is destroying the ecological foundations of human society.” In earlier centuries, “socialist thought emphasized building up the productive forces in order to eliminate poverty.” What was wrong with that? Lifting poverty would, in fact, lift the entire social structure of our society and eliminate many of our persistent problems. In our current century, ecosocialism must balance issues and determine not how to produce more, but how to produce enough and distribute those yields to meet the basic needs of all of us within ecological limits.
Howie Hawkins is a retired Teamster from Syracuse, New York. He has been active in movements for civil rights, peace, unions, and the environment since the late 1960s when became committed to independent working-class politics for a democratic, socialist, and ecological society. He was a co-founder of the US Green Party in 1984. In 2010, he was the first US candidate to campaign for a Green New Deal when he ran his first of three campaigns for New York governor.
With guest speakers:
Julia Bryant, member of the legal team for MTOPP and FLAC; also committee member for Parks and Recreations for Committee Board 9
LaShaun Ellis, member of the legal team for MTOPP and FLAC
Janine Nichols, member of the legal team/occasional petitioner; also the proud Secretary of the Sullivan-Ludlam-Stoddard Neighborhood Assn.
Movement to Protect the People and Flower Lovers against Corruption are two grassroots organizations that commenced a lawsuit against The City of New York, Councilwoman Laurie Cumbo and Cornell Realty Management. The lawsuits challenge the fact that 18 lots of land near the Brooklyn Botanic Garden were rezoned without an Environmental Impact Statement. The lawsuit is ongoing.
This inter-generational festival of appreciation is led by Remi Gay, a former board officer and long-time member of Brooklyn Ethical who has been granted permission by Native American elders to perform rituals honoring our earth and its bounty. Through song, dance and story, Remi will lead us in this seasonal favorite for children and adults alike. Please bring a dish to share. Open to the public as always.
Platform meeting is followed by Munch With the Bunch, an opportunity to share coffee, snacks, and conversation with others.
Led by Sarah Zahntecher
Our identity has many facets and this exercise will show us one of them. How do we think of ourselves? What are some of the characteristics that define us?
[In a colloquy, we gather in a circle and practice listening to each other without judgment. Colloquies incorporate small group discussions, music, and listening around a particular theme.]
Although racism, capitalism and climate change (or the fate of the planet) are tightly intertwined, most of us work in separate spheres to address issues or develop solutions. However, problems that ail our society, be it racism, economic inequity, environmental degradation, or changing climate, all stem from “the system” that is rooted in racism to serve the white patriarchy (a.k.a., western European hegemony or the 1%).
Shino Takinawa will share her journey as a school integration advocate on the Community Education Council District 2 and how school integration relates to the larger societal issues of economic inequities and climate change. She will talk about what an integrated school is and the connection between integrated schools and dismantling racism.
Shino Takinawa’s day job is as Executive Director of the NYC Soil & Water Conservation District (a very small government agency in NYC). In her “spare time” she is a public school advocate serving on Community Education Council District 2 (a.k.a., local school board), and a school integration and anti-racism activist. She has a loving husband (married 35 years), two daughters and 4 cats and lives in Manhattan.
Winter solstice is the longest night of the year. Many cultures and faiths honor this time with lights. Come together. Light a candle, let us send light to a world that needs it so much these days.
We begin at 11 am and end at about 12:30 pm, with social time afterward. If you can, bring a snack to share.
Sunday Morning Meeting: 11:00 AM – 12:30 AM
Cooperative Economics featuring Word Up Cafe: 12:30 – 1:00 PM
Lighting of Kwanzaa Candles and Karamu Feast: 1:00 – 2:00 PM
Speaker: Nettie Paisley, Interfaith Minister,
Social Entrepreneur, Reiki Master
Presider: Rita Wilson
Music: DuPree & Barry Kornhauser
Come out and enjoy an African American Celebration paying homage to 7 Empowerment Principles (NGUZO SABA) and learn about the “unrecognized” sustainable cooperative economic milestones during the First Reconstruction era, Second Reconstruction era—Civil Rights Movement and the Third Reconstruction era—Post Racial among Black Millennials. After the Platform, appreciate the dynamics of African American cooperative economics and its effect on family, community and culture from a Brooklyn small business owner, Word Up Cafe. Participate in the candle lighting ceremony and enjoy the Karamu (Feast).
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.” The word is derived from the words: SAN (return), KO (go), FA (look, seek and take). —CARTER G. WOODSON CENTER
DuPree’s “soaring contralto voice, powerful vibrato and melodious yodeling grip the listener with hope for humanity; her songs evoke the haunting quality of a longing for truth and an inquiry into the different shades of justice.”
Barry Kornhauser was born in the Midwest of the Bronx and presently lives in Brooklyn. He is a composer, arranger, teacher and multi-instrumentalist (cello, guitar, bass guitar and mandola) in a wide variety of musical environments. He has collaborated with DuPree as an accompanist since the early 90’s.
The Karamu (Feast) will take place in the Sunroom.
Sunday Platforms are a long-standing tradition within Ethical Culture to bring light and heat to matters of ethical concerns in a formal setting.
In today’s climate of increasing conflict across the political divide, it’s become the norm to “call out” people who’ve made racist comments. While calling someone out by yelling at them, labeling them as racist, or shaming them may be appropriate in some situations, this Sunday Platform will introduce practical ways to use these situations to “call in” and educate others. Specifically, the talk will introduce the Many Hats Model for determining how to approach individuals who make racist comments and understand our own role in the discussion so that we can best “call out” or “call in” others.
Paul Chiariello has a Masters in Science in Sociology of Education from Oxford, where he conducted studies on identity-based conflict resolution, and a Masters in Clinical Social Work from Columbia. He has worked in social science research, interfaith dialogue, curriculum development, and related fields. Currently he works as an adolescent therapist and volunteers as a facilitator and curriculum developer for Standing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ). Growing up, Paul identified with a conservative, religious fundamentalist community, which he left in his early twenties.
DuPree a visual/performance artist has spent most of the past 40 years as an activist, singer and song writer. Perhaps best known in ‘80s and ‘90s as one of the lead vocalists of the duo band Casselberry DuPree, she has performed at numerous women’s and music festivals across the country and in Canada. DuPree’s music is filtered through her African American perspective, which runs the gamut of humanitarian concerns. She is currently expanding by incorporating sounds from the Gullah Islands, where she is researching her family and cultural herstory. DuPree completed her CUNY BA from Medgar Evers & Hunter College, and her Master of Fine Arts Degree in Studio Art from City College CUNY. She is an adjunct assistant professor at Medgar Evers College, teaching Introduction to World Art. She is currently an Artist in Residence at the Brooklyn Society for Ethical Culture. DuPree is regularly accompanied by the accomplished musician Barry Kornhauser. You can learn more at https://www.dupreelegacy.com/
With Tom Gogan from MovetheMoney-NYC
This Resolution 747A-2019 would put our city on official record in favor of making substantial cuts to the Pentagon war budget that robs the city and its residents of money needed for vital public services. And it would mandate in-depth public hearings to determine the dollar amounts taken from the City and its residents by Congress in funding the military budget.
Join us for a conversation colloquy about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. We will have a discussion on facts and trivia e.g. MLK Jr. could have been named Michael. Is it a fact that MLK was assassinated on April 4, 1968? Who is known as Daddy King? Is AD King related to MLK Jr.’s family? We will share information and reveal trivia.