Jé Exodus Hooper
Congratulations to Jé Hooper on his certification as an Ethical Culture Leader! We hope you will join Jé and his Leader colleagues for an AEU-wide Platform on Sunday, August 2 at 3pm EST titled “I’ve Come This Far By Faith”. The Platform will include special guests, artistic elements, and a Platform address from Jé on his vision for his Ethical Culture Leadership.
Jé brings artistry, passion, and fierce dedication to his Leadership and community building. His five years in the Ethical Culture Movement have included numerous Platforms and Assembly workshops and a conference on “Decolonizing Ethical Humanism.” Jé’s film Humanitas: A Conscious Coloring of Kindness, based on the relationship of W.E.B. DuBois and Felix Adler, was funded in part by the AEU Mossler Fellowship grant. The film has had numerous screenings around the Ethical movement, including the highly-attended world premiere at the New York Society for Ethical Culture in February 2019. His most recent Facebook Live and IGTV production, Keep Liv’n, emphasizes the importance of cultural care and self-care. Jé is a current PhD candidate whose other degrees include an MA in Theology from Union Theological Seminary.
Jé calls himself the “Ethical Evangelist.” His work as creative-clergy and a performance-scholar is focused in decolonizing humanism, homiletics, and Black Intellectual Thought. His word-working emphasizes human freedom and interconnectedness through embodiment, intuition, creativity, and improvisation. His folx-talk emerges into a love language that aids congregational practice of culture care for empowering community-life. Jé looks forward to giving more Platforms, starting new Ethical Humanist groups, and Leading his own Society. For Jé’s contact information and full biography, you can visit his website (https://www.jehooper.com).
Amanda Poppei, Senior Leader at the Washington Ethical Society, will be leaving her position at WES after this Sunday, June 28, 10:30am platform. She will soon begin her new position as Senior Minister at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Arlington. Amanda has been Senior Leader at WES since 2008. She was trained as a Unitarian Universalist minister and received her Ethical Culture Leader certification soon after starting at WES. Her recent Platform, attended by several Ethical Societies, was entitled “Everything I Know About Life I Learned From Ethical Culture.”
The AEU would like to thank Amanda for her enormous contribution to our Ethical Movement over the last 12 years. Her inspiration and humor in Platforms, her modeling of justice work and ethical parenting, and her friendship and mentorship to so many will be missed. Through Amanda’s Leadership, WES has engaged in a substantial amount of anti-racist and anti-oppression work. WES has become quite invested in activist work, for Black Lives Matter, LGBTQ+ rights, immigrants and asylum seekers, and much more. Amanda introduced WES to the Washington Interfaith Network, with which WES members have attended meetings and participated in actions to press for DC affordable housing, immigrant support, and gun control. During Amanda’s tenure as Leader, WES membership and the Sunday children’s program has grown as well.
Amanda organized Humanist Collaboratory conferences in 2017 and 2019, bringing together humanist clergy and leaders from the wider humanist landscape. The cross-collaborative conversations and introductions to new faces were fruitful and helpful to the humanist movement as a whole. Amanda’s supportive and collaborative work with newly certified Leader Jé Hooper and other Leaders-in-Training was deeply encouraging of their fresh perspectives and approaches to Ethical Culture leadership. The AEU wishes Amanda much success in her next chapter and hopes to collaborate on ethical and justice work in the future.
Kate Lovelady, Leader of the Ethical Society of St. Louis since 2005, retired from her position there on May 31. Kate’s last Platform, given on Sunday, May 31, was entitled “Enough.” Ethical Culture Leader James Croft has been promoted from Outreach Director to Leader at the St. Louis Society.
Kate Lovelady joined the Ethical Society of St. Louis as a young leader just months after her Leadership Certification. For the next fifteen years, she amazed and entertained the membership with her clever and ethically inspiring platform talks. She herself was a model for ethical living as a vegan, bicycle commuter, and native plant gardener. You never knew where she would turn up on Sunday: she sang and played the doumbek or bass in the weeks she was not the featured speaker. Sometimes there were puppets!
Under her leadership the St. Louis Society has grown and prospered with a new governance structure, a stable financial base, and a greater diversity of members. She has also been an inspiring leader of the Ugandan Humanist Schools initiative, which typically raises well over $20,000 per year for young female Ugandan secondary students.
The AEU would like to congratulate Kate on her accomplishments and contributions to the Ethical Society of St. Louis. Kate was also a valuable staff member of the AEU Lay Leadership Summer School, from 2004-2012. Although Kate has retired as Leader at St. Louis, she will remain an active member of the National Leaders Council. She will also continue her role as Chair of the Training Committee of the AEU Leadership Committee. There, Kate’s wisdom and guidance with training new Ethical Leaders is invaluable to our movement. The AEU wishes Kate Lovelady much happiness in whatever she decides to do next.