Category: Humanist Community Gatherings

HumanistsMN sponsors monthly gatherings for our community at 3 p.m. on the third Saturday of the month. Everyone is welcome at these free get-togethers. We host engaging speakers on humanism, social issues, political affairs, science, and other topics of interest to world citizens. And we catch up with our friends and meet newcomers at a social hour with drinks and snacks. We take a break in June, July, and August, when we hold outdoor picnics with other secular groups.

May 2024: Annual Meeting Elects Board Members, Thanks Seth Engman

HumanistsMN members elected a president, vice president, and four at-large members to its Board at the May annual meeting. See their profiles here. We also said thank you to Seth Engman, who left the Board after seven years of service.

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HMN Members Offer Appreciation, Advice at Annual Meeting

Happy Summer, fellow humanists! I hope you’ve been able to enjoy the weather and perhaps have even found the silver lining in the excessive rain (less garden maintenance?). At May’s annual meeting, we dedicated time to group table discussions to gather feedback and suggestions. As we grow, we want to grow in the right direction.

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April 2024: Bringing About Broader Ecological Change

In an Earth Day presentation, Jason Lukasik, associate professor of education at Augsburg University, spoke about cultural changes and shifts needed to bring about broader ecological change.

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March 2024: Well-Being As Values Fulfillment

Valerie Tiberius, author and professor of philosophy at the University of Minnesota, told our March Community Gathering about her research into the factors that contribute to well-being. Author of the recent What Do You Want out of Life?: A Philosophical Guide to Figuring Out What Matters, she discussed the importance of achieving goals based on …

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February 2024: Schools and the Culture Wars

Three education experts at our February Community Gathering discussed challenges facing public schools as they grapple with the rise of groups waging culture wars in areas like critical race theory, transgender rights, and social-emotional learning.

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January 2024: The Threat of White Christian Nationalism

A record crowd of 130 people attended our January Community Gathering featuring Bradley Onishi, co-host of the podcast Straight White American Jesus and author of the book Preparing for War: the Extremist History of White Christian Nationalism — and What Comes Next. A “Humanists and Friends” reception and book signing followed.

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November 2023: Ending the Cycle of Police Violence

Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison, who led the prosecution of former police officer Derek Chauvin for the murder of George Floyd, spoke to our November Community Gathering about the trial and about what we can do to stop the pattern of police brutality against Black people. He urged us to model our behavior on the …

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October 2023: Why Atheists Need to Speak Up

Kate Cohen, Washington Post contributing columnist and author of We of Little Faith: Why I Stopped Pretending to Believe (and Maybe You Should Too) spoke to and signed books at our October Community Gathering. Her topic was: “Are You an Atheist? Then America Needs You to Say So.” 

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September 2023: How Humanism Saves the World

Drew Bekius, humanist author and coach, spoke to our September Community Gathering about how to identify our humanist values and put them into action.

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May 2023: Annual Meeting Elects New Board Members, Honors Volunteers

HumanistsMN members elected a secretary, treasurer, and four at-large members to its Board at the May annual meeting. See their profiles here. We also said thank you (with flowers) to Dave Guell, who stepped off the board after serving the mandatory limit of eight years (pictured at left). Dave was the Board’s secretary and technology guru. He heads the MediaTech team, helps to maintain our online membership system, and works on social media strategy. Rumor has it he will continue to perform those roles as a “mere” HMN member.

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April 2023: Getting to 100 Percent Clean Electricity

J. Drake Hamilton of the nonprofit Fresh Energy spoke about plans to achieve 100 percent carbon-free electricity in Minnesota by 2040. She spoke optimistically about efforts to expand the electric vehicles market, help building owners get expanded electric panels and electric heat pumps, and promote green hydrogen in agriculture.

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March 2023: The History of Freethought and Humanism

Speaking at our March Community Gathering, David Breeden, senior minister at First Unitarian Society, traced the written history of freethought back to the 700s BCE, when the Hindu Charvakas insisted upon a materialist examination of reality through philosophical skepticism and empiricism. He also discussed the development of humanism and the different interpretations over the …

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February 2023: Chat with Kazi Ahmed Habib, HMN Scholarship Winner (With Photos)

We were pleased to welcome Kazi Ahmed Habib, winner of HumanistsMN’s first Paul Heffron Scholarship for Secular Students, to our February Community Gathering. Kazi, a Muslim born in Bangladesh, told us about his journey to atheism and position as head of the Mavericks Alliance for Secular Students (MASS) at Minnesota State University, Mankato. He shook …

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January 2023: The Fight Against Christian Nationalism

Our January Community Gathering focused on the fight against Christian nationalism in Minnesota.  Sen. John Marty and Rep. Mike Freiberg discussed their work as co-chairs of the Legislature’s new Secular Government Caucus. Matt Lewellyn-Otten of OutFront Minnesota, an LGBTQ rights group, described the goals of the new Rights, Faith, and Democracy Coalition,  which aims to drive messaging against the codification of Christianity into law.

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November 2022: The Elections Are Over — Now What?

Two political experts spoke at our November Community Gathering about the results of the midterm elections.

Christopher Chapp, associate professor of political science at St. Olaf College, dissected the Congressional elections, including an exit poll that he supervised of voters in the Minnesota race between Democrat Angie Craig and Republic Tyler Kirstner.Torey Van Oot, a …

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