Calendar

Jul
15
Sun
Sunday Meeting: Black Art and the Ethics of Disruption
Jul 15 @ 11:00 am – 12:30 pm

(c) Adobe. Used with permission.

In his talk, Black Art and the Ethics of Disruption, Joe Tolbert Jr. will explore the ways that Black expressive culture enacts an ethics of disruption and the impact that it can have in our current political climate.

Joe T. is a minister, scholar, writer and cultural organizer whose work is at the intersections of art, culture, spirituality and social justice. He received his B.S. in Communications from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and completed his M.Div. with a concentration in Social Ethics from Union Theological Seminary in the city of New York. His work has been supported by fellowships from National Art Strategies Creative Communities Fellowship, and he is currently an Arts and Culture Fellow with the Intercultural Leadership Institute. His goal with his work is to help others live, dream, achieve, and inspire. Agreeing with Hip-Hop mogul Russell Simmons statement, “Art allows people to dream their way out of struggle,” Joe believes that art and culture plays a vital role in any movement for social change. As a Cultural Organizer and Consultant, Joe is a sought-after facilitator and cultural strategist that works with communities to help them harness the power of art and culture through the building, implementation and evaluation of cultural strategies. As a writer he has contributed articles to Alternate Roots, Arts.Black, and Quiet Lunch, among others.

Jul
22
Sun
Experiences of Othering: An Improvisation-based Theatrical Experience
Jul 22 @ 11:00 am – 12:30 pm

Co-created by Village Playback Theater with Personal Stories from the Audience

We’ve probably all had moments when we felt we didn’t fit in – experiences in which we have felt excluded, bullied, diminished, objectified – “othered”. Or we have “othered” others in similar ways. This behavior may start at a very early age as part of our socialization and manifest across a variety of intersections including, class, race, physical appearance, gender, sexual preference, mental and physical disabilities, and faiths.

In today’s current climate, where the divisions among people seem to be increasing, Village Playback Theatre will invite audiences to share personal stories in an effort to uncover our commonalities rather than our differences, and to generate a sense of empathy and community among us.
Once an audience member shares their experience, a cast of actors, singers and musicians instantly plays back the story creating a theatrical piece which is experienced by all.
Village Playback Theatre is an improvisation -based company utilizing drama, music, movement, and the invitation for personal storytelling to build community throughout metro New York.

Jul
29
Sun
Sunday Meeting: Queer Safe(r) Space:  Black Church Concerts
Jul 29 @ 11:00 am – 12:30 pm

From our Intern Clergy Leader, Jé Exodus Hooper:  Homosexuality in the Black church could be considered by many an intersectionality of the sacred and profane. Secularist and the religious community agree on the antithetical positionality of the persistently egregious tensions between their respective communities.  For those who find themselves at the crossroads of identifying as black, Christian and same-gender loving, compartmentalizing these aspects of oneself provides an illusion of safety.  This means rarely existing in a truly authentic manner, fully disclosing oneself, but frequently showing-up in a partially present demeanor.

The word "MUSIC" written in rusty metal letterpress type sitting on a wooden ledge background.

(c) Adobe, used with permission.

Paradoxically, it seems that the black church, in its dogmatic heterosexism, would provide a limited safer space for those who do not conform to heterosexist ideas of sexuality and gender performance that is sermonized within the same walls.  Limited safer space indicates that the LGBT community is provided with more liberties in the music scene but not fully authorized to outwardly display genuine sexual expression.  Boundaries for appropriate behavior are relaxed but not fully removed; again, tensions between the sacred and profane appear.

Our guest speaker on this topic in our Summer Series on The Arts and Social Justice is Ryan Hill of Richmond, Virginia, who has been a creative, analytical lover of humankind.  Living a life of actively helping people, Ryan has assisted others via fitness and nutrition, served as mentor and counselor, been a financial advisor, and is currently embarking on additional education to offer spiritual guidance within the community.  Having a career in finance for more than 15 years, he now plans to integrate the physical, spiritual, emotional, and financial into a practice of offering holistic services to the disenfranchised.  A lover of music, art, and the human spirit, Ryan desires to implement the arts in every aspect of life creating an atmosphere leading where creativity aids in the healing process.

Introduction to PLAYBACK THEATRE with Susan Metz facilitator of PLAYBACK THEATRE in Cuba.
Jul 29 @ 3:00 pm – 6:00 pm
Introduction to PLAYBACK THEATRE with Susan Metz facilitator of PLAYBACK THEATRE in Cuba. @ Brooklyn Society for Ethical Culture - Library
PLAYBACK THEATRE is an audience participatory experience used in community centers, schools, nonprofits, colleges, conferences and other personal gatherings, to elicit stories which are reflected and enacted by the Theatre members.
PLAYBACK THEATRE has been used in many settings to deal with social justice issues; human rights and racial conflicts; climate change; aftermaths of great tragedies like Super Storm Sandy.
Wonderful opportunity to learn about PLAYBACK THEATRE and explore this concept of storytelling.

All are welcome.

Jul
30
Mon
Social Justice Book Club
Jul 30 @ 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Social Justice Book Club @ Brooklyn Society for Ethical Culture - Library
This group is a place where we read and discuss books by black authors.  The result is a discussion which helps us express both personal and systemic acts of racism, privilege, and economic self-interest in the United States.  It is a place to learn and contribute in an emotionally safe environment.
The next Racial Justice Book Group meeting is Monday, July 30th, from 6 – 8 pm on the second floor at BSEC.  The group decided to discuss the introduction and the first chapter, Cotton Mather, from the book, “Stamped From the Beginning” for July.  All are welcome.

Aug
5
Sun
Decolonized Eyes: Embodied Engagement with Experience
Aug 5 @ 11:00 am – 12:30 pm
Decolonized Eyes: Embodied Engagement with Experience @ Brooklyn Society for Ethical Culture

This platform explores an ethical approach to engaging art for the purposes of justice. In it, we explore strategies for disrupting the colonial gaze when engaging the experiences of people of color as expressed through art.
Elyse Ambrose is a black queer woman.
She is a healing activist, sexual ethicist, and word artist. Her justice work, research, and art lie at the intersections of race, sexuality, gender, class, and spirituality. Currently, a Ph.D. Candidate at Drew University (Religion and Society, concentrating in Women’s & Gender Studies and African American Studies), Elyse’s desire for her scholarship to impact and be informed by real lives leads to a synergy of theory and practice. She is the Founder and Creative Organizer of phoeniXspark, which offers workshops and retreats that center the experiences of queer and trans people of color (QTPoC) as it creates space for healing of sexual and gender selves. Currently, Elyse serves as a Research Fellow at The Center on African American Religion, Sexual Politics, and Social Justice at Columbia University. This summer, she will also engage research on 1920s black queer Harlem as a Coolidge Fellow through Auburn Seminary and CrossCurrents.

Aug
12
Sun
Humanitas: The making of a film and fellowship
Aug 12 @ 11:00 am – 12:30 pm
Humanitas: The making of a film and fellowship @ Brooklyn Society for Ethical Culture

Jé Hooper, our summer intern, and upcoming Ethical Culture Leader, offers a panel discussion with the staff and cast of Humanitas. Join Storäe Michele, the Society’s own black female director, and screenwriter, as she moderates the panel discussion. Get a chance to witness first hand, a perspective on film and simultaneously, a new lens to congregational life within Ethical Culture. How do film and art intersect with congregational life? How does film create and validate fellowship? How does this era of media and arts inform our community and revitalizes the importance of congregation? This is a platform you don’t want to miss.

Aug
19
Sun
A Writing Workshop for Everyone
Aug 19 @ 11:00 am – 12:30 pm
hand holding pen, writing in book: my values: kindness, compassion, love, respect

(c) Adobe, used with permission

Brooklyn Ethical member Kim Brandon will lead us in a reflection on ethical living, and guide us into writing a short piece that we can then choose to share or not.  This is not just for accomplished writers, but is for anyone who is willing to take an opportunity to explore ethics and relationships in a caring,  supportive community. Please join us!

Kim also leads the Brooklyn Society Writers Group that meets on 2nd and 4th Sundays at 1 pm.

We start the formal program at 11:00 and usually end about 12:30.  After that, we have a time of informal conversation with some beverages and snacks.  Please feel free to bring some snacks to share!

Aug
26
Sun
Music Speaks Louder Than Words
Aug 26 @ 11:00 am – 12:30 pm

Consider how music often motivates us to move — and has often been used in social justice work to communicate and motivate in ways that simple words and speeches do not. Join us for a celebration of music and social justice, then and now. Most songs will be an opportunity for you to sing along, if you are willing and able, with a few powerful performance pieces as well.

Interim Clergy Leader Jone Johnson Lewis will be joined by musician Lindsey Wilson, an accomplished performer who is also the musician-in-residence at the Riverdale-Yonkers Society for Ethical Culture and the coordinator for their coffeehouse.

We start the formal program at 11:00 and usually end about 12:30.  After that, we have a time of informal conversation with some beverages and snacks.  Please feel free to bring some snacks to share!

Sep
2
Sun
Turning Dreams and Visions Into Reality
Sep 2 @ 11:00 am – 12:30 pm

This colloquy, facilitated by Dora Gray, Ph.D., was inspired by the document, A Humanist Manifesto,  originally written in 1933 with revisions occurring in 1973 and 2003. A manifesto is a statement published by a person or group of people, in which they say what their aims and policies are. Humanism is a progressive philosophy of life that, without the element of supernaturalism, affirms our ability and responsibility to lead ethical lives of personal fulfillment that aspire to the greater good of humanity.

How many dreams and visions remain dormant within us all both individually and collectively regarding the greater good of all?  Isn’t it time to free those ideas and watch them manifest in a tangible manner?  We embark today on a journey of high-level, lively discussions with a goal of creating viable take-aways to lead you closer to the fulfillment of your desires.

© 2018 Adobe Systems Incorporated. Used with permission.

Dora Gray is a Life Coach and Reiki Master-Teacher practicing in New York City.  She is an author, poet, and musician.  The focus of her work is to assist others in healing mind, body and soul, leading to successful outcomes in all areas of life.  She holds a Master of Education, is a former NYC educator in both public and private sectors, and, and is currently a staff writer for a major NYC agency.  Dora holds a Doctor of Philosophical Theology, and is an ordained Interfaith Minister and Wedding Officiant in NYC.  She fuels her work with her passion for writing and music, and empowers others to live their lives in a state of authenticity.  As a member of the BSEC family, she serves as Chairperson of the Ethical Living Committee, and is a member of the BSEC Writers.

A colloquy is an opportunity for sharing ideas and listening to others.  Come join us and feel free to participate!

Sep
9
Sun
Our Part in This World
Sep 9 @ 11:00 am – 12:30 pm
Our Part in This World @ Brooklyn Society for Ethical Culture

Watch Lily Rivkin’s compelling documentary “Heather Booth: Changing the World ”  about this Chicagoan’s lifelong social activism.   Reflect on the personal, cultural and community-changing  paths we each have taken in this world. Consider reading our founding EC Leader’s powerful short book, Our Part in the World. 

After the film, we will have a short time for reflection and conversation.

Sep
16
Sun
Vision: Repair, Repentance, Renewal
Sep 16 @ 11:00 am – 1:00 pm

This month, we’ll be focusing our ethical thoughts on vision.  Repair, repentance, and renewal are part of the practice of intentional imagination and commitment to an envisioned future.   This week opens our new program season for our Ethical Community, and this platform is an excellent time to bring a friend who might be interested in who and what we are.

Any vision for the future also needs to include a vision for how we will express our repentance for the errors we’ve made in the past, for the hurt we’ve caused, for the damage we’ve done.  And then for how we will repair the hurt and damage, and move on to renewal.  We can apply that principle in our personal relationships, and we can apply it to the larger picture.  If we share a vision of every person’s human worth being honored, then seeing what that has not happened and repairing is part of getting to that future we envision.

Jone Johnson Lewis looks at some practical ways we can embody repair, repentance, and renewal in our ethical practice of vision.

Our Sundays begin at 11 am and end about 12:30, with time for socializing afterwards.

On this Sunday, at 1 pm we’ll have a special celebration of one of our oldest members.  All are invited.

Ethics for Children Class
Sep 16 @ 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

AnneMarie’s Birthday Celebration
Sep 16 @ 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm
AnneMarie's Birthday Celebration @ Brooklyn Society for Ethical Culture

On this Sunday, at 1 pm we’ll have a special celebration of one of our oldest members.  All are invited to the 96th birthday celebration for longtime BSEC member/photographer AnneMarie Mogil, featuring an exhibition of photographs selected by the artist from thousands of her photos chronicling seasonal and universal nature in her beloved Brooklyn Botanical Garden, people in the communities she loved,  and NYC skies, buildings and landscapes. All are invited.

Sep
23
Sun
Is There Room at the Table for … Fascists?
Sep 23 @ 11:00 am – 1:00 pm

Group of Family and Friends Eating at a large Dining Table (Day Background)

We often sing a song: “There’s Room at the Table for Everyone.”  But do we need to include those whose values are not only contradictory, but whose values include destroying so much that we hold dear?  Political, personal bullies — what is our attitude towards their “place at the table”?  The short answer may be “no.”  A longer answer would have to consider, “which table?”

Our Clergy Leader, Jone Johnson Lewis, will explore the limits of tolerance and the value of boundaries in creating genuine inclusiveness, whether it’s in a community, a family, or an organization like ours.

And a special treat: music by DuPree, accompanied by Barry Kornhauser.

Our Sundays begin at 11 am and end about 12:30, with time for socializing afterwards.

On this Sunday, at 12:30 we’ll be taking a group photo — you’re invited to participate!

Image (c) Adobe, used with permission.

Ethics for Children Class
Sep 23 @ 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

Sep
26
Wed
Newcomer’s Supper
Sep 26 @ 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm
Newcomer's Supper @ Brooklyn Society for Ethical Culture - Library

If you’ve been wondering about this Society and community, this is an opportunity to learn more, share your own hopes for connection, and get to know some of the people at BSEC. If you’ve been wondering about this Society and community, this is an opportunity to learn more, share your own hopes for connection, and get to know some of the people at BSEC.
Join us for an evening of conversation, food and community as we share about our ethical tradition and vibrant society. This will be a great opportunity to hear more about the experiences of our members and find out how your passions connect with BSEC programs and committees.
Please join us at:
Brooklyn Society for Ethical Culture (at the library)
53 Prospect Park West, Brooklyn, NY 11215
(FREE CHILDCARE AVAILABLE)
Refreshments and food will be provided.
RSVP below.

 

Sep
30
Sun
A More Beautiful and Terrible History
Sep 30 @ 11:00 am – 1:00 pm

Award-winning historian Jeanne Theoharis debunks contemporary imaginings of the civil rights movement in her new book, A More Beautiful and Terrible History: The Uses and Misuses of Civil Rights History. By showing how the movement was unpopular, disruptive, coast-to-coast, leader-full, and courageously persevering in its time, Theoharis challenges exceptionalist narratives of American democracy that place the civil rights movement firmly in the past and calls attention to the crucial work that remains to be done.

Music by DuPree and Barry Kornhauser.

Jeanne Theoharis portrait

Jeanne Theoharis

JEANNE THEOHARIS is Distinguished Professor of Political Science at Brooklyn College, CUNY, and author or co-author of books and articles on the civil rights and Black Power movements, the politics of race and education, and social welfare and civil rights in post-9/11 America. Her biography, “The Rebellious Life of Mrs. Rosa Parks,” was named one of the 25 Best Academic Titles of 2013 by Choice. Theoharis’s work has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, MSNBC, The Nation, Slate, The Atlantic, Boston Review, Salon, The Intercept, and The Chronicle of Higher Education. Her new book, “A More Beautiful and Terrible History: The Uses and Misuses of Civil Rights History,” came out in January.

Our Sundays begin at 11 am and end about 12:30, with time for socializing afterwards.

Ethics for Children Class
Sep 30 @ 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