Feminism and Humanism: Women of Color Beyond Faith

In my book Moral Combat: Black Atheists, Gender Politics, and the Values Wars, I argue that the literature on secularism and gender does not capture the experiences of women of color negotiating racism, sexism, and poverty in historically religious communities. The relative dearth of secular humanist and freethought traditions amongst women of color cannot be separated from the broader context of white supremacy, gender politics, and racial segregation.

This course discusses how black feminism emerged from the struggle against white supremacy and white racism. In that racial slavery depended on the sexual exploitation of black women and the commodification of black women’s reproductive labor, it established an economic and gender hierarchy of women that advantaged white women and continues to shape feminist politics to this day.

Follow end of course: special feature article originally published Huffington Post “10 Fierce Atheists: Unapologetically Black Women Beyond Belief”

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by Sikivu Hutchinson

skepticon-croppedSikivu Hutchinson, Ph.D. is an educator and writer. Her books include Imagining Transit: Race, Gender, and Transportation Politics in Los Angeles, Moral Combat: Black Atheists, Gender Politics, and the Values Wars, and the novel White Nights, Black Paradise, on Peoples Temple and the Jonestown massacre. She is a contributing editor for the Feminist Wire and her artcles have been published in the Washington Post, the Huffington Post, the L.A. Times, Religions Dispatches and The Humanist Magazine. She was a 2014-2015 Visiting Scholar at USC’s Center for Feminist Research and was named Secular Woman’s “Secular Woman of the Year” in 2013. She has taught Education, Critical Studies and Sociology at UCLA, the California Institute of Arts and Seattle University.

June 2018 Humanist Celebrant Teleconference

Quarterly Humanist Celebrant Teleconferences are hosted by The Humanist Society

Experienced celebrants Kenna Covington, Victoria Gipson and Sarah Rivers Deal share their experiences with Baby Naming, Adoption, and Transgender Naming ceremonies. Naming and adoption ceremonies provide the opportunity to welcome a child to a family, an extended family and to the broader community, while transgender naming ceremonies offer support and validation for an individual as they embrace their new identity. Learn more about these special ceremonies in video below (only audio).

Are the “Nones” Done with Civic Engagement?

We co-sponsored an Augsburg University Martin Olav Sabo Symposium on Wednesday, February 28, 2018 in Minneapolis, MN. Are the “Nones” Done with Civic Engagement? brought together several notable speakers to discuss organizing the religiously unaffiliated in today’s climate of polarization. In this FREE course, the conference is presented in four parts and includes:

Next (parts 1 & 2)

 

The event was co-sponsored by:

 

 

Enroll in The Humanist Lifestance

Be challenged. Be inspired. Be encouraged.

Course 101 – The Humanist Lifestance
with Faculty James Croft & Anne Klaeysen
Friday, August 24 – Sunday, August 26, 2018
(9am to 5pm each day)
American Humanist Association Office
1821 Jefferson Pl, NW, Washington, DC 20036
Cost includes daily breakfast and lunch

This pre-requisite course introduces students to in-depth critical thinking, analytic discussion and other methods of instruction that make the Humanist Studies Program distinct. This course provides the fundamentals necessary to prepare students for further exploration of humanism in proceeding courses throughout the program. We will address questions of personal meaning, worth, and significance in a naturalistic way through readings, films, and personal storytelling. Field trips will include local museums and exhibits where we can engage one another in exploring these questions.

What characteristics distinguish humankind in contrast to other living things? Are these characteristics fixed or can they be changed by experience? What causes someone to think, feel or act the way they do? Is humankind naturally good or evil? Are we inherently selfish? Where do we come from? Why are we here? How should we treat each other? How do we know what is true? Read full course description.

Minimum of 5 enrolled students is required to offer any course.
Register by July 13. Syllabus will be provided upon registration.

Enroll in The Humanist Lifestance

Faculty

Dr. James Croft is Outreach Leader at the Ethical Society of St. Louis. He studied education at the Universities of Cambridge and Harvard, and completed his Doctorate at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. He is a graduate and former board member of The Humanist Institute. His writing can be found in The Humanist magazine and on Huffington Post. James was raised on Shakespeare, Sagan, and Star Trek, and is a proud, gay Humanist.

Dr. Anne Klaeysen is a Leader at New York Society for Ethical Culture, the Ethical Humanist Religious Life Adviser at Columbia University, and the Humanist Chaplain at New York University. She was co-dean of The Humanist Institute (now the AHA Center for Education). She holds a Doctor of Ministry degree in pastoral counseling from Hebrew Union College, as well as master’s degrees in German from the State University New York Albany and business administration from NYU.

Enroll in Physical and Life Sciences

Be Challenged. Be Inspired. Be Encouraged.

Course 202 – Physical and Life Sciences: Foundation Blocks of Humanism
with Faculty Dale Bryant
Friday, April 20 – Sunday, 22, 2018
(9am to 5pm each day)
American Humanist Association Office
1821 Jefferson Pl, NW, Washington, DC 20036
Cost includes daily breakfast and lunch

Understand the various attacks on, problems for, and factors influencing the pursuit of science, which is a foundation block of humanism. Scientific work is done in a cultural setting, which is influenced by the politics and economic factors of the day. In the past we have had to worry about the “creationists.” While the creationists are still present and doing damage, there are new challenges in the postmodern world. Truth claims come from various ethnic groups with alternative stories. All are looking for validation. Challenges come from feminism, multiculturalism and religious conservatives. This course explores these issues to better understand what science is, what it does, and what it tells us.

Only students who have completed prerequisite Course 101 (The Humanist Lifestance) may enroll in Course 202. Minimum of 5 enrolled students is required to offer any course. Please email us if interested in Course 101.

Enroll in Physical and Life Sciences

Faculty

Dale Bryant is the Technology Director at Wunderman, a global digital advertising agency. He holds a MLIS from the University of Wisconsin, Madison and a MS in American history from Minnesota State University, Mankato. Despite growing up in a very rural and religious part of South Dakota and spending four years at an Evangelical boarding school, Dale managed to leave his superstitions behind. Today he has a passion for history, skepticism, and science education.

On-Site Training for Celebrants: Las Vegas

Join on-site training for individuals who are currently Humanist Celebrants or desiring to become Humanist Celebrants.

Sunday, May 20, 2018, 10am-4pm

Flamingo Las Vegas Hotel and Casino
3555 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89109
(after American Humanist Association Conference)

  • Learn how to prepare unique & inspiring humanist wedding ceremonies
  • Find out how to care for individuals nearing the end of life & support their families
  • Gain understanding of how humanists celebrate life events & milestones
  • Understand how to give proper local meeting invocations

Note: The AHA Center for Education trains celebrants and The Humanist Society endorses celebrants, enabling them to perform ceremonies. This training will inform you how to get endorsed but will not endorse you.

REGISTRATION IS CLOSED

A full refund will be provided if cancellation notice is given 15 days in advance of the training. No refunds will be made thereafter.

10:00-10:30amWelcome & Introductions
10:30-12:00pmWeddings
12:00-1:00pmLunch (Provided)
1:00-2:30pmEnd of Life Preparation & Memorials
2:30-3:00pmInvocations
3:00-3:30pmBaby Welcomings
3:30-4:00pmComing of Age Celebrations

*Participants will receive supporting materials to begin (or add to) their personal library of resources i.e. sample ceremonies, suggested readings, creative ideas. Endorsed celebrants will be added to a local database.

Trainers

Kathy Diedrich holds credentials as a Humanist Celebrant and a Certified Life Cycle Celebrant. She earned certificates from the Celebrant Foundation and Institute in Foundations of Celebrancy, Weddings, Funerals, and Ceremonies for Children and Families. Since 2010, she has performed over 250 ceremonies, writing each one to meet the needs and wishes of her clients. Kathy has offered weddings, memorials, naming ceremonies, and coming of age ceremonies. While the demand for secular services came as somewhat of a surprise, Kathy is happy to provide custom, meaningful ceremonies throughout southeastern Minnesota, and to often be the first face of Humanism for her clients. Before becoming a full-time celebrant, Kathy was a programmer and project manager at IBM for 28 years.

kristinKristin Wintermuteis the Director of Education for the American Humanist Association. She has BA degrees in Psychology and Art Studio from the University of Montana and a Master’s degree in Social Work from the University of Maine, Orono. Wintermute has done post-graduate course work in Business Administration at the University of Minnesota, Carlson School of Management; Web Design at Minneapolis College of Art and Design; and Accounting Certification at North Hennepin Community College. She worked for over seven years as a family therapist in a variety of settings, including private practice, a non-profit clinic for women and a for-profit health maintenance organization.

She is a life-long humanist who attended the First Unitarian Society of Minneapolis (FUS) throughout her childhood and teen years. At first she was enrolled in FUS’s “Humanist Education Program” and in high school became a classroom teacher. As an undergraduate at the University of Montana, she used FUS’s “Humanist Education Program” curriculum at the Unitarian Fellowship of Missoula, Montana to form their first Humanist-oriented Sunday School. In 1998, she was hired by the North American Committee for Humanism (NACH) as Membership Director. In 1999, NACH and its subsidiary, The Humanist Institute, became one organization and she became its business manager and later the executive director. In 2018 The Humanist Institute became the AHA Center for Education.

On-Site Training for Celebrants: Colorado

Join on-site training for individuals who are currently Humanist Celebrants or desiring to become Humanist Celebrants.

Saturday, April 21, 2018, 10am-4pm

La Baguette
2417 W Colorado Ave, Colorado Springs, CO 80904
$75 per person

  • Learn how to prepare unique & inspiring humanist wedding ceremonies
  • Find out how to care for individuals nearing the end of life & support their families
  • Gain understanding of how humanists celebrate life events & milestones
  • Understand how to give proper local meeting invocations

Note: The AHA Center for Education trains celebrants and The Humanist Society endorses celebrants, enabling them to perform ceremonies. This training will inform you how to get endorsed but will not endorse you.

REGISTRATION IS CLOSED

A full refund will be provided if cancellation notice is given 15 days in advance of the training. No refunds will be made thereafter.

10:00-10:30amWelcome & Introductions
10:30-12:00pmWeddings
12:00-1:00pmLunch (Provided)
1:00-2:30pmEnd of Life Preparation & Memorials
2:30-3:00pmInvocations
3:00-3:30pmBaby Welcomings
3:30-4:00pmComing of Age Celebrations

*Participants will receive supporting materials to begin (or add to) their personal library of resources i.e. sample ceremonies, suggested readings, creative ideas. Endorsed celebrants will be added to a local database.

Trainers

Kathy Diedrich holds credentials as a Humanist Celebrant and a Certified Life Cycle Celebrant. She earned certificates from the Celebrant Foundation and Institute in Foundations of Celebrancy, Weddings, Funerals, and Ceremonies for Children and Families. Since 2010, she has performed over 250 ceremonies, writing each one to meet the needs and wishes of her clients. Kathy has offered weddings, memorials, naming ceremonies, and coming of age ceremonies. While the demand for secular services came as somewhat of a surprise, Kathy is happy to provide custom, meaningful ceremonies throughout southeastern Minnesota, and to often be the first face of Humanism for her clients. Before becoming a full-time celebrant, Kathy was a programmer and project manager at IBM for 28 years.

kristinKristin Wintermute is the Director of Education for the American Humanist Association. She has BA degrees in Psychology and Art Studio from the University of Montana and a Master’s degree in Social Work from the University of Maine, Orono. Wintermute has done post-graduate course work in Business Administration at the University of Minnesota, Carlson School of Management; Web Design at Minneapolis College of Art and Design; and Accounting Certification at North Hennepin Community College. She worked for over seven years as a family therapist in a variety of settings, including private practice, a non-profit clinic for women and a for-profit health maintenance organization.

She is a life-long humanist who attended the First Unitarian Society of Minneapolis (FUS) throughout her childhood and teen years. At first she was enrolled in FUS’s “Humanist Education Program” and in high school became a classroom teacher. As an undergraduate at the University of Montana, she used FUS’s “Humanist Education Program” curriculum at the Unitarian Fellowship of Missoula, Montana to form their first Humanist-oriented Sunday School. In 1998, she was hired by the North American Committee for Humanism (NACH) as Membership Director. In 1999, NACH and its subsidiary, The Humanist Institute, became one organization and she became its business manager and later the executive director. In 2018 The Humanist Institute became the AHA Center for Education.

Lodging Nearby

Garden of the Gods
Clarion Hotel & Conference Center
The Old Town
Airbnb

Identifying the Need to Care for Others

Discuss: Have children look at the chart on page 4

  • What animals are wild?  What makes them wild? (Wild animals take care of themselves)
  • What animals are domestic and not wild?  What makes them domestic? (Domestic animals have lived with people for so long they have changed.  They need people to take care of them. Provide the example of wolves living close to people and over thousands of years becoming domesticated dogs)
  • Look back at the bottom of page 3.  Which sentence gives important information that the video tells us too? (Wild animals take care of themselves)

Note: Some children may ask about feral animals.  Explain that a fear animal is a domesticated animal that survives in a wild state but is still considered domesticated.  Feral animals still depend on humans for food and shelter so they usually live near people.

Have children use the chart on page 5 to compare how wild and domestic animals meet their needs.

  • Look at the chart on page 5.  Let’s compare the needs of wild animals and domestic animals and how these needs are met.
  • How do wild animals get shelter?  How do domestic animals get shelter?
  • How do wild animals get food?  How do domestic animals get food?
  • How do wild animals get water?  How do domestic animals get water?
  • How do wild animals get space?  How do domestic animals get space?

Direct children’s attention to the chart they made in Lesson 1.  Discuss the placement of each animal on the chart.

  • Let’s look at the chart we made in a previous lesson.  Did we say an elephant is wild or not wild?  Let’s think about how elephants get their needs met.  Where do elephants get shelter?  Where do elephants get food?  How do they get water?  Space?
  • Is an elephant wild or domesticated?  After you have watched the video and read this article, do we need to move the sticky note to another column?

Explore the diagram of a tiger’s special features on page 7.

  • Wild animals’ bodies help them survive in the wild.  What do the picture and labels on page 7 tell us? (how the parts of a tiger’s body help the tiger survive)
  • How does a tiger’s tail help the tiger survive?
  • How do a tiger’s padded paws help the tiger survive?

Revisit the target question:  Why do wild animals belong in the wild?

  • Think about our target question.  How would you answer this question?

Lesson Extension:  “What a Lion Needs” Drawing

Have children apply what they learned about wild animals’ needs by drawing a picture showing what a lion needs in order to survive.  Ask children to draw a lion in the center of their paper.  If necessary, reread the chart on page 5 with children.  Using leading questions to help them think about and then draw and label what lion needs in order to live.

  • What thing do lions need to survive? (food, water, shelter, space)
  • Where do lions get their food?  Draw a picture that shows what a lion eats. (Guide children to draw other animals that a lion would hunt–for example, buffalo, antelope, etc.  Have children label the food source or dictate to you as you write it for them.
  • Lions need water to drink.  Where do lions get their water? (Guide children to draw a watering hole.  Have children level the water source or dictate to you as you write it for them)
  • Lions need a place to rest or get out of the hot sun.  Where do you think they get shelter?  Draw a picture of it. (Guide children to draw tall grass or a tree.  Have children lavel the shelter or dictate to you as you write it for them)
  • What else do animals need?  Show the space where lions live and can roam
  • Where does the lion find all of the things you have just drawn?

Identifying the Need to Care for Nature

Born to Be Wild

Overview:  Children will preview the Student Magazine and read, or follow along with, the article “Born to Be Wild.”  Children will discuss how wild animals meet their needs compared to how domestic animals meet their needs.  To extend the lesson, children may draw and label an illustration showing how a lion’s needs are met.

Materials:  Student Magazine, video, the chart from lesson 1, drawing paper, markers/crayons/paints.

Instructional Goal:  This lesson will help children understand that for wild animals to survive, they must meet their own needs from the wild.

Lesson Objectives:

  • Understand the conditions that animals, wild and domestic, need to survive
  • Understand that the difference between wild and domestic animals is how the animals meet these needs
  • Begin to describe the physical, social and behavioral requirements necessary for wild animals to thrive

Introduce Lesson Target Question:

Write the target question on board or large piece of paper and read it aloud to children

Why do wild animals belong in the wild?

Explain that as they work through this lesson, they will think about this question.  At the end of the lesson, they will discuss their thoughts about the question.

Preview the Magazine and Article

Give each child a copy of or access to the Student Magazine.  Have them preview the magazine by first looking at the table of contents.  Read aloud the names of the articles and stories and have children read along with you if they can.

  • What kinds of things do you think we will read about in this magazine?
  • Tell children that today they will read the article “Born to Be Wild.”  Ask them what page the article begins on and have them turn to that page.
  • Let’s look at the pictures in this article.  What do you see in the large pictures on page 3? (lion cub and pet kitten)  Which animal do you think is wild? (lion cub)
  • What does the chart on page 4 show us? (animals that are wild and animals that are not wild)
  • Look at the words in bold on page 3: domestic and wild animals.  These words are in the glossary at the back of the magazine.  Let’s turn to the glossary on page 18 and read the definition together

Show children 1:14-3:04 in the video that talks about what makes wild animals different from domestic animals and what wild animals need.  Before we read, let’s go back and look at what we learned from the video.

  • What does the video tell us about wild animals and domestic animals?
  • The heading on page 5 says, “What do wild animals need?”  What did you learn about what wild animals need from watching the video?
  • Let’s read this article and see what it says about being wild.  Let’s see whether the information is the same as we learned in the video.

Note:  If it is not possible to view the video, help children recall what they saw in this segment of the video.

Read:  Have children read the article.  Some children will be able to read the article independently.  Other children may benefit from reading the article with a partner.  You may want to read the article to beginning readers as they follow along.

Continued…

Identifying the Need to Care for Nature

Activity:  A Green Iguana’s Natural Home

Give children Worksheet 1: Meet a Green Iguana.  Remind children of the scene in the video about the green iguana and review minutes 5:40 – 6:55 of the video if necessary.  Ask the following questions and list children’s responses on the board.

  • What does the green iguana’s natural home look like?  What things does the iguana need where he lives? (trees, leaves, flower, fruit, water)
  • Where does the green iguana get his food?  Where does he sleep?  Where else does he go? (finds leaves, flowers, and fruit in the trees; sleeps in the treetops; sometimes jumps into the water and swims.)

Tell children to draw and color the iguana’s home on their worksheet, including all the things they know the iguana needs to live.  They may also color the iguana.

When finished, ask the children to share their drawings.  Then discuss the green iguana’s adaptations and habitat:

  • What body parts help the iguana live in his natural home? (claws to climb; long tail for balance; tail and spines for defense; sharp teeth to eat leaves, flowers and fruit)
  • What would happen to the green iguana if he lived somewhere without trees? (Children’s responses may vary, but remind children that iguanas use trees for shelter, food, sleeping and keeping warm)
  • What would happen if he lived somewhere without trees and water? (Green iguana would lose their source of food and shelter and place to escape [water])