Recordings of Sunday Platform addresses
Podcast icon

Gardening for Wellness & Self-Sustainability; Jessica K. Carter, farmer and author

May 16, 2023
Vegtable garden in early summer

Gardening is a great way to promote wellness and self-sustainability. It is a form of physical activity that can help reduce stress and increase energy levels. Additionally, gardening can be a source of healthy food access, a way to create a source of income, or simply a tool to reduce your reliance on others. Join Jessica K. Carter as she discusses how gardening to grow your own food can help you connect with nature and your best self, as well as exploration of why it’s good for you and the earth to reduce reliance on commercial food supply chains. The future of food can be in your own backyard!

Jessica K. Carter believes in being the change she wants to see…and helping others along the way. Ph.D. candidate, farmer, author, and entrepreneur Jessica K. Carter has mastered the art of wearing many hats. Driven by passion and a deep-rooted love for her community, Jessica partners with many non-profits in the St. Louis region to help educate others about the benefits of self-sustainability and living life unapologetically. She is also a mentor for local St. Louis County students and member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated. She enjoys adventures with her family, life on a farm, laughing, and running. By allowing her light to shine through her versatile, multifaceted brand and imparting fun, hope and encouragement to everyone she encounters, Jessica is reshaping the fluidity of Black women in education and entrepreneurship


Unedited Video

The Art of Protest: The Radical Hope of Activism Platform; Amy Hay, PhD

May 6, 2023

This talk will focus on the “art of protest” both in the sense of the visual media produced by grassroots activists and in the ways that they understood problems and mobilized communities. How they conceived, created, and constructed visual texts demonstrates not just their arguments and ideology, such work reflects states of mind, the ways activists dealt with the messy business of challenging corporations and institutions, and changing hearts and minds and policies and laws. Uncovering these internal states allows for two things: 1) As a way of understanding the humor, rage, and determination that motivated activists to persevere despite obstacles and 2) as an entry point into understanding agency that may not result in positive or negative outcomes. Most activism happens daily, often in small ways like phone calls and town hall meetings and letters to the editor. Change often happens incrementally, until it happens like a storm. But activists consistently exert agency that represents a kind of radical hope. They get up every day and fight for the better world they want. They win some important goals even as they lose some. They get up the next day and fight for the better world they want. They perform these daily acts as a form of radical hope. They speak truth to power and fight for a more just, cleaner, and better world

Amy Hay is a professor of history at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley in South Texas. Her research focuses on public health activism, specifically the mobilization of various groups of citizens protesting environmental pollution and its effects on human and environmental health. She has published on women’s activism at the Love Canal chemical disaster, and her book, The Defoliation of America (University of Alabama Press, 2022), examines the ways various groups – religious, grassroots, veterans – challenged the official narrative of using the phenoxy herbicides safely in South Vietnam and throughout the western United States. Her current project examines the connection between environment and health in the Rio Grande Valley over the long 20th century. It examines two groups of medical migrants – winter Texans and migrant workers – and considers the emergence of health disparities between the groups


Unedited Video

Earthly Landscapes; Scott Woodbury

April 23, 2023
Photo by Brad Christian

When you look at the tiny sliver of earth that wraps around your house, what part of it reminds and connects you to the natural world? Is it reminiscent of the green planet we live on, or a reflection of the house next door? Are there ancient remnant plants and animals hiding in plain sight? Do you have a large tree or woodland growing along a creek in your neighborhood? Is your lawn diverse with native sedges, spring beauty or even dandelions? How do these fragments of a former natural community survive? More importantly, as stewards of your piece of earth, do you have what it takes to sustain nature and bring it back to your neighborhood? These are the questions we will ponder as we gather at the Ethical Society to celebrate Earth Day 2023.

Scott has been tinkering with plants since the age of 12. Throughout his career, he has worked at a number of public gardens. He founded the St. Louis Wild Ones and developed the Whitmire Wildflower Garden before retiring and developing Cacalia Garden Design and Wilding, a consulting and design service dedicated to promoting the natural world through native plants and natural landscaping.


Unedited Video

Environmental Racism in St Louis; Tara Rocque, JD, Washington University’s Interdisciplinary Environmental Clinic

April 16, 2023
Photo by Justin Bautista

Environmental disparities exist and persist throughout St. Louis. The Interdisciplinary Environmental Clinic at Washington University School of Law conducted a statistical analysis of these disparities, focusing on air pollution, asthma, illegal dumping, vacancy, lead exposure, indoor mold exposure, energy burden, and food deserts. The results were published in the Environmental Racism in St. Louis report. The Clinic has since examined the aspects of our laws and policies that create and perpetuate these disparities, and prepared recommended changes to those laws and policies that–if implemented–would effect change for the better. This presentation will address both aspects of the Clinic’s work, namely, the disparities that persist and the changes necessary to help our city achieve environmental justice.

Environmental Racism in St Louis; Tara Rocque, JD, Associate Professor of Practice at Washington University School of Law and the Assistant Director of Washington University’s Interdisciplinary Environmental Clinic. Prior to joining the Clinic, Tara practiced law for 15 years.


Unedited Video

Feeling “Stuck” – Wants vs. Shoulds; Becky Vollmer and Amy Miller, MSW, Interim Director

April 9, 2023

Amy Miller will be in conversation with local author and yoga teacher Becky Vollmer to discuss the phenomenon of feeling “stuck” and how it shows up in our jobs, relationships, and personal habits. They’ll explore the tension between “wants” vs. “shoulds,” the stifling effect of other people’s expectations, and the way fear too often holds us back. But all is not lost! Becky holds that the opposite of fear isn’t just courage, it’s choice–specifically, soul-guided choice–and has specific strategies for making them work for you. We all have choices, she says; we just have to be brave enough to make them.

Becky Vollmer is a speaker, yoga teacher, and creator of You Are Not Stuck, a movement that empowers people to pursue the lives they most deeply desire. She also is the author of the book You Are Not Stuck: How Soul-Guided Choices Transform Fear into Freedom (published by St. Martin’s Press, 2023). Becky teaches the principles of empowerment and choice, guides a global community on social media that is several hundred thousand strong, and leads self-exploration programs at some of the nation’s leading yoga and wellness centers. A former newspaper journalist, Becky writes on topics including personal growth, relationships, mental health and wellness, mindfulness, meditation, and spirituality. She also is a leading voice in the sobriety and recovery community. Becky lives in St. Louis with her husband and four children.


Unedited Video

Take Nothing Personally; Amy L. Miller, MSW, Interim Director

April 2, 2023
Blurry photo of man looking through glasses.
Photo by Nonsap Visuals

It’s easy to think that someone is acting towards us in a certain way because of something that we did, or to get a reaction out of us, or for some other specific reason. Learning that whatever others say or do is always more about that person than it is about you can create a lot of freedom. Often, what frustrates us in relationships are the ways in which we miss each other in communication. Building on the understanding that people are different and that most annoyances can be neutralized with understanding, we can create more peace in our relationships.


Unedited Video

Fat Folks Deserve Medical Care That Isn’t Aimed At Weight Loss; Alison Reiheld, PhD, Professor of Philosophy at SIU–Edwardsville

March 26, 2023
Women reading books on dieting and eating.

Medicine, and science in general, have an unfortunate tendency to conceive of health as an ideal state. Patients are then judged as having failed when they do not achieve it. Doctors and nurses are judged as having failed if they do not continue to push their patients to achieve an ideal state. But patients exist in the world with the bodies they actually have. And those actual, non-ideal bodies deserve actual medical care, right now, as they are. Sadly, fat folks too often are told to “lose weight” by medical professionals before they are fully evaluated for their health needs. How would seeking health care be different for fat folks–and other folks with stigmatized health statuses–if medicine sought to achieve a less idealized version of health that actually meets people where they are.


Get hip to humanism’s history; Kyle Nienhaus

March 19, 2023

How did we get here? Join member Kyle Nienhaus as he tells the tale of the Ethical Society of St. Louis, the Ethical Culture Movement, and Humanism’s history along with Humanist movers and shakers over the years, plus a little bit of the present and the future!

Kyle is a St. Louis native and has been an Ethical Society member for a decade. He is a graduate of Berklee College of Music and has a book, “Humanist, All Too Humanist: A Nietzsche Interpretation” coming out this year.


We’re All Mad Here; Facilitated by Amy L. Miller, MSW, Interim Director

March 12, 2023

The thing is: If Alice were exploring Earth, she would reasonably observe that nearly everyone needs therapy at some point in their life, for some thing…although not everyone gets the help they need. For the “Future of Health,” we welcome a panel of Mental Health professionals from our region who represent a wide range of specializations and perspectives. Join us for a lively and informative discussion of Mental Health, generally, as well as the trends and developments in practice. The goal is to normalize seeking mental health services. And, practically speaking, this will also be an opportunity for our community members to get a feel for what services are available.


A Typical Treatment: Abortion and Medical Sexism; Jill B. Delston, PhD, Associate Teaching Professor at the University of Missouri-St. Louis

March 5, 2023

The fetus supposedly justifies overriding patient autonomy in at least some reproductive health cases. However, since the case of contraception includes the same attitudes, behaviors, and practices, but no fetus exists, we can see that sexism is the true underlying reason for the widespread abuse of patient autonomy in reproductive health.

Dr. Jill B. Delston is associate teaching professor at the University of Missouri-St. Louis. Her monograph is entitled Medical Sexism: Contraception Access, Reproductive Medicine, and Health Care (Lexington Books, 2019). Delston is the co-editor of a textbook entitled Applied Ethics: A Multicultural Approach, Eds. 5 and 6.


New to the Ethical Society?
  These podcasts will help:

Discuss our Platforms on Facebook.


If you like what you hear, please make a tax-deductible donation to support the Society.




Listen on Google Play Music

Single page listing of all podcasts.