Recordings of Sunday Platform addresses
Christian admits he was a bad student. If you talked to some of his teachers, he was probably the worst kind of student- one who was capable, but unwilling. But as an adult, the learning bug bit him and the last ten years of his life has been a sort of testament to learning within and through community. Listen to Christian retrace his learning journey and hear some first-hand accounts of his (unofficial) teachers and co-learners. In addition, he will share some of the work he has been creating with others.
The happy attentiveness of artists at work has been described as a state of total absorption and effortless concentration. It might seem that Emerson contradicts this notion of happiness when he notes, “The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful…” It may be argued that functional uselessness is the basic property of any work of art. How do artists in their happiness live up to the purposes for living that Emerson offered, usefulness first, but also “to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well?”
Art Reyes III leads a working class community organizing organization in Michigan that works to build multi-racial solidarity in one of the most segregated states in the country. This requires building a spirit of linked fate, that one’s liberation is intimately connected to others. Art will discuss what this has looked like in a time of rising white nationalism and threats of violence in Michigan, and how multi-racial, working-class communities have been building the capacity not only to respond but to vision and build a world where we all have dignity.
Throughout human history we have struggled to liberate ourselves. Human beings have fought for freedom against oppressive governments, cultures, and situations for millennia. What does it mean to be liberated? What can we learn from the struggles of the past? What are the great struggles for liberation in our own time? And how can Humanists heed our calling to create a world in which the dignity of all is recognized – in which all people live free.
Darrion Cockrell, who was recently named Missouri’s 2021 Teacher of the Year, will explore how his background and upbringing affected his view on life. He will explore how his own struggles lead him into teaching, and how he works to change the fixed mindsets of his students to something more expansive.
For our annual Pledge Platform, Leader James Croft will examine how we have had to expand our own concept of our community in response to the coronavirus pandemic, and how we have worked to examine different ways to remain in community despite our building being closed. Be Inspired. Be Invested.
Ecologically speaking, the edge effect results in greater diversity of life in a region where the edges of two adjacent ecosystems overlap, but social scientists also propose that the edge effect can help cultivate creativity in people who are exposed to different cultures. The edge effect may have been at play when some of our most revolutionary thinkers had creative breakthroughs, possibly even when Felix Adler founded Ethical Culture.
Myriam Springuel is the Director of the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibitions Services (SITES) and Smithsonian Affiliations. For over 65 years, SITES, the largest traveling exhibition program in the world, has brought art and historical artifacts from the Smithsonian collection to communities across the US. SITES not only presents exhibitions in museums, science centers, and botanical gardens but also in nearly 2,000 rural communities since 1994 through the Museum on Main Street program. Myriam will explore how expanding the museum experience beyond the museum can help expand people’s minds.
For the past seven years the Ethical Society of St. Louis has supported the Ugandan Humanist Schools Trust. In that time, we have collectively donated almost $200,000 to schools and students in Uganda, helping fund student scholarships, provide needed supplies, and even build a new building. As we renew our commitment to the Ugandan Humanist Schools in a year of unprecedented challenges.
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