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. We take a break in June, July, and August, when we hold outdoor picnics with other secular groups.

December 2018: How to Support People With Mental Illness

A panel at our December 2018 chapter meeting discussed the challenges that people with mental illness face and offered tips for supporting them. Larry Ellis and Humanists of Minnesota member Mick Anderson discussed their experiences with Guild Incorporated, a nonprofit that offers community services to people with mental illness—Larry as a client and Mick as an employee. HofMN member Mary McLeod, whose son has schizophrenia and who volunteers for the National Alliance on Mental Illness Minnesota, gave suggestions on how to interact with people with mental illness.

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November 2018: Planning Livable and Resilient Communities

A panel at our November chapter meeting discussed the challenges of long-term urban and regional planning in our area as the population grows and issues like racial disparities and climate change loom. Moderated by HofMN president Audrey Kingstrom, the panel included LisaBeth Barajas, community development director, Metropolitan Council; Heather Worthington, director of long-range planning, Minneapolis Office of Community Planning and Economic Development; and Lucy Thompson, principal planner, St. Paul Department of Planning and Economic Development.

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October 2018: Atheism, Humanism, and Naturalism

Atheism, humanism, and naturalism are related but different ways of expressing nonbelief in gods and the supernatural, Bill Hart, professor of religious studies at Macalester College, told our October chapter meeting. But Hart has a clear preference for one of them: naturalism. Hart, who described his own evolution from devout Christian to nontheist, is impatient with atheists, saying he wants to know what people are for, not just what they oppose.

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SEPTEMBER 2018: MONEY IN POLITICS

A panel of experts discussed ways to curtail the influence of big money in politics at our September chapter meeting, kicking off a new program year. They included Vicki Barnes, Minnesota state coordinator for both American Promise and Take Back our Republic; State Senator John Marty; and Kathryn Pearson, associate professor of political science at the University of MInnesota.

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APRIL 2018: CREATING A SUSTAINABLE FUTURE

The speaker at our April chapter meeting and Earth Day program was Leslie Mackenzie, a community organizer with Transition Twin Cities and a founding member of Transition Longfellow. Transition is a grassroots movement of people around the world who are shifting their lifestyles away from dependence on fossil fuels toward a lower-carbon, more sustainable and resilient future.

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MARCH 2018: CLIMATE CHANGE VS. TRADE PACTS

Ben Lilliston, Director of Rural Strategies and Climate Change at the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy, discussed the way globalization has contributed to climate change by increasing trade, thus the use of greenhouse gases.

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FEBRUARY 2018: Humanism and the Arts Both Allow Us to Find a Political Voice 

By Susan Schaefer

Humanists of Minnesota member Susan Schaefer planned our February chapter meeting on The Impact of the Arts on Social Justice and Politics. Speakers included Susana di Palma, founder and artistic director of Zorongo Flamenco Dance Theater, and arts critic Will Harris. Di Palma discussed and showed video excerpts from the company’s upcoming production of “Garden of Names,”  which explores the impact of terror and torture as experienced in Argentina during the political upheaval of the 1970s. Susan made the following introductory remarks:

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JANUARY 2018: THE BASIC INCOME MOVEMENT

Liane Gale, founding member of Basic Income Guarantee Minnesota, spoke to the January chapter meeting about the move to give everyone a periodic cash payment without any strings attached.

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December 2017: Solstice Celebration

Humanists of Minnesota celebrated the Winter Solstice with food, drink, secular carols, and the airing of political grievances at a Festivus for the Rest of Us. Members also presented a Mummers’ Play written by President Audrey Kingstrom, “The Emperor’s New Clothes.” In it, our Great Leader (who bears a resemblance to someone we know) is …

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NOVEMBER 2017: Immigrants Face New Restrictions, Myths, and Cultural Fears

By Suzanne Perry

The gap between the number of people across the world who are trying to migrate and the number of spots available to them is staggering. And the United States under the Trump Administration has become increasingly unwelcoming. Michele Garnett McKenzie, who spoke at the November chapter meeting, has seen the devastating consequences through her work at The Advocates for Human Rights.

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OCTOBER 2017: Speakers Press for Changes to Make Elections More Democratic

By Suzanne Perry

As we gear up for critical 2018 state and national elections, it’s a good time to think about how to  improve our electoral system. Three speakers at our October chapter meeting suggested ways to make our votes count more and diminish the harm special interests inflict on our democracy.

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September 2017: Chris Stedman on Why We Need Humanism Now

By Nathan Curland

More than 60 humanists and friends attended our first chapter meeting of the new season on September 16 to hear Chris Stedman give an impassioned speech on “Why We Need Humanism Now.” He has been a humanist chaplain at Harvard University, is the founding executive director of the Yale Humanist Community, and has moved to the Midwest to build a new Humanist Center of Minnesota. Stedman started by reminding us that a world without religion is not necessarily “good.”

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May 2017: Annual Meeting

Annual Meeting
Reports by Board Members
Saturday, May 20th, 2017 at 10:00 a.m.

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