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REGISTER HEREDonate to Voices at the Table Fund
Ethical Culture holds sacred, and strives to protect and nurture, the web of interrelations between each other and our environment. Climate change adversely affects everyone, but especially marginalized populations in this country and around the world who bear the brunt of polluted air, water, and soil. We must help stop the environmental degradation of inner cities, poor rural areas, and places where many indigenous people live. Come learn more about environmental justice so we can plant seeds that grow into effective activism for the benefit of everyone now and in the future. There will also be workshops on best practices for growing our movement. Join us in person and follow us on Facebook and Twitter with #ethicalseeds2018.
In an effort to nurture greater diversity at our annual AEU Assemblies, we established a Voices at the Table Fund. These funds are intended to help those for whom the financial cost of traveling to, and registering for, the Assembly are prohibitive, particularly younger members, people of color, and other marginalized groups. Click here to donate, check “I would like to designate this donation to a specific fund,” and select Voices at the Table in Designated Fund dropdown menu. Or make a check out to the American Ethical Union and write “Voices at the Table Fund” in the memo.
Bobette Spence, Meeting and Planning Travel Consultant, is available to help you book your transportation. Remember to book flights early to get best possible rates.
Office: (516) 773-3700 or (800) 437-9685 Ext. 301
Mobile: (347) 495-8742
Uranium and the Nuclear Fuel Chain: Impacts to Human Health and the Environment in New Mexico
Susan Gordon & guests
Our presentation will cover the history of uranium extraction and the legacy of contamination left behind in the Grants Mining District. This area extends from Laguna Pueblo west to the Arizona border. It includes the communities of Laguna Pueblo, Acoma Pueblo, Grants, Milan, Churchrock, Gallup, and into the Navajo Nation. During the uranium boom from the 1940s -1980s, this area produced more uranium that any other district in the world and produced more than half of all the uranium used by the United States for its nuclear weapons program. This extensive mining left a devastating legacy of contaminated air, land, and water, and thousands of sick workers and community members. We will look at the impacts to water, ongoing environmental cleanup work at Superfund sites, and how we collaboratively work to address systemic problems caused by the uranium industry. Indigenous speakers will share their personal stories working in uranium mines and living in contaminated communities. Participants will be invited to join with us in sending messages to decision-makers urging compensation and health care for uranium workers and downwind communities harmed by nuclear test explosions.
11:45am-1:00pm: Anna Garlin Spencer Volunteer Awards Luncheon
1:15pm-2:45pm Workshop Session I
Get Ready for the Next Generation
Emily Newman & Kevin Bolling
Millennials and Gen Zers are more secular and social justice oriented than previous generations. So why aren’t they filling our ethical communities? Come learn how to attract them to visit and encourage them to engage. We will discuss stereotypes, learn from research, hear stories from Millennials and Gen Zers connected to the Ethical Movement, and review presenter recommendations.
Ethical Culture, Earth, and our Vision for the Future
Hugh Taft-Morales, James Croft, & Randy Best
Leaders Hugh Taft-Morales and Randy Best offer some Ethical Humanist frameworks for understanding environmental activism, followed by an hour-long visioning group exercise led by Leader James Croft. James will ask participants to imagine what the world would look like if we achieved environmental justice. Through pictures and evocative descriptions, participants will examine the concept of environmental justice by imagining the end goal—what sort of world do we actually want? A guided discussion will follow.
Ethics, Spirituality, and Climate Justice: Engagement with Faith Communities in Climate Justice and the New Mexico Reality as a Sacrificial Zone
Sr. Joan Brown
NMIPL will offer a powerpoint that incorporates how faith communities are addressing climate justice in New Mexico. We will also touch upon energy issues such as oil and gas and nuclear (on the spent fuel rod end) and how these are justice, intergenerational justice, and environmental justice concerns. We will share what we are doing to address these and how we talk about the concerns through an ethical, moral, and spiritual lens. We would hope to engage the attendees in something they can directly or in solidarity.
3:00pm-4:30pm Workshop Session II
OutReach – How is YOUR Society Perceived and Identified by Your Local Public?
Liz Singer, Jill Aul, Bill Aul, & Richard Koral
What is the difference between public relations and advertising? Knowing the difference will enhance the effectiveness of your Society’s outreach. Good outreach will energize existing members and newcomers as well as new seekers. This workshop will explore these questions as well as offer insights and methods that your Society can use to gain market share. We will develop plans, examples and templates to take back and apply in your home Society. The topics will include: Public Relations (PR), Marketing, Advertising, Elevator Speech, and Logos & Taglines.
Humanism, Skepticism, Atheism, Non-Theism and other Heresies
Randy Wall, Babs Mondschein, Cory Corwin, & Don Lacey
Come for a discussion of the similarities and differences between these “isms,” and how organizations serving non-believers can work in collaboration while remaining true to their respective philosophies. Representatives from a spectrum of Albuquerque organizations will share their mission as we seek to clarify common concerns. What tips are there to help us work together to create different shades of freethought communities while trying to create a more rational, compassionate world? What might national groups offer to support these groups?
Why We Must Resist Factory Farming
Amy Halpern-Laff & Judith D. Wallach, PhD
Factory farming, or Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs), where 99% of animal-based products are sourced, is a primary driver of climate change, rainforest destruction, air and water pollution, and vast oceanic dead zones. CAFOs disproportionately devastate poor communities and communities of color. As citizens, consumers, and especially as humanists, we must resist the Agriculture Industrial Complex. I’ll explain factory farming—what it is and why it’s so devastating to social justice, the planet, and public health. Then we’ll divide into groups and discuss how we can most effectively resist Big Ag.
5:00pm-6:00pm: AEU Business Issues Discussion
5:00pm-6:00pm: Meet AEU Team Leaders
8:00pm-10:00pm Concert with Son of Hwéeldi
Son of Hwéeldi music is a rich blend of rock, soul, blues, and a touch of world beat. The lyrics recount the political unrest of the times and work towards resistance messaging through song. In the late 1800’s, US termination and assimilation policies dealing with “Indians” and were carried out in heartless fashion by the US military. Hwéeldi is the name of the 1864 forced march of Navajo and Apache by Kit Carson under the orders of the U.S. government. JJ Otero, lead singer and guitarist, is Navajo and Hopi. The band name honors his ancestors and fuels continued resistance by Navajo and Apache people today. Resistance always includes culture, music, song, dances, ceremony, and art and with that understanding, Son of Hwéeldi continues to create. Otero is joined by Joe Pacheco (bass guitar), Doug Bellen (keyboards), and Pax Garcia (percussion).
From Grassroots to Globe: Environmental and Economic Justice from Local, Regional, National, and International Perspectives
Richard Moore will share lessons from his 53 years as an activist that show how we must work at all levels for environmental justice and to save the planet. He is Program Director for Los Jardines Institute in Albuquerque and national Co-Coordinator of the Environmental Justice & Health Alliance for Chemical Policy Reform. (See full bio in Speakers tab.)
1:15pm-2:45pm Workshop Session III
Social Media on a Shoestring
Effective social media accounts can help almost any community grow. Even though social media is more about building relationships and making connections than it is about technology, approaches to social media marketing can be confusing and overwhelming. By demystifying best practices and free online tools, I will help empower Ethical Societies to better tell their stories and reach more people. Regardless of experience, attendees will learn social media basics, best practices, and free (or inexpensive) techniques to help spread brand awareness and recruit new members. The presentation will also include information on how to report back to Ethical Society boards on social media marketing efforts and how to turn current members into social media super fans. Come learn, brainstorm, and collaborate.
Crafting Experience(s): Building Community Through Reflection and Dialogue
What makes a community? What should it explore together, and how? Christian Hayden, community educator and 2016 Mossler Fellow will lead a workshop on his process of crafting experiences that are tailored to creating spaces for communities to explore and deepen their relationships. Expect a tactical experience, littered with anecdotes and hands on exercises, which can serve as an introduction in engaging life’s bigger question and building a community to address them. Bring questions that challenge or intrigue your Society.
Lessons from Environmental Activism in New Mexico
Esther Abeyta, Steven Abeyta, & Kitty Richards
From petroleum tanks threatening rare urban natural habitats to the effects of large sewage and solid waste facilities, the Albuquerque area confronts a lot of environmental issues. How can local communities, particularly underserved and underrepresented areas, coordinate successful environmental justice campaigns? How do ecological concerns support broad-based multi-ethnic activism?
3:00pm-4:30pm Workshop Session IV
Ethical Action Through Community Outreach
Dr. Carolyn A. Parker
Centering on an educational program (“The Lazy Person’s Guide to Saving the World”) for individual action in support of Sustainable Development Goals, the workshop will emphasize climate change but provide materials to approach other social and environmental issues. The workshop will first look at how to use the program in the local society for education and ethical action and then turn to strategies for using the program in the local community to raise awareness of SDGs and encourage others to act sustainably. The goals are to provide small societies with an additional resource for programming and all societies with a toolkit for expanding community understanding of the critical issues facing the planet and its inhabitants.
Healing the Disconnections: Home and Family in Our Natural and Constructed Environments
Storäe Michele & Elyse Ambrose
Oftentimes, “ecological amnesia” causes the ethical activist to forget our interconnectedness with the earth as well as one another. This workshop will excavate intentions of environmental justice work through the construction of an ethics that integrates intentionally, relationality, and collective actions. Making center the voices of black, indigenous, and Latinx communities (in New Mexico and across the US), we invite participants to discuss the disconnects that occur as a result of gentrification, resources disparity, and within our human-to-human relationships. Breaking down the dichotomy of an environment that is “out there” as opposed to “in here,” inclusive of all, we will create new language around home and family for a more healing ecological and environmental practice.
Environmental Wisdom and Strategies from Indigenous Leaders
Anne Klaeysen, Rick Chavolla, Valerie Siow, & Angelo Baca
Bears Ears, an Indigenous sacred site and currently a National Monument in the Four Corners region (New Mexico/Colorado/Utah/Arizona) is under full attack by the Trump administration for the sole purpose of opening this sacred and environmentally fragile area to mining and other extractive industries. This workshop will include a panel of Indigenous leaders involved with this struggle who will share their experiences and strategies to protect this land. Co-facilitators Anne Klaeysen and Rick Chavolla will share how the New York Society for Ethical Culture and American Indian Community House have formed a partnership. Valerie Siow, the Director of the POV Laguna language project, and Angelo Baca of Bears Ears, Utah, longtime advocate for protection of Bears Ears land and environment, will add discussion on the relation between Indigenous language and protection of the land/environment. Valerie will specifically discuss this from the Laguna perspective.
5:00pm-6:00pm: AEU Business Issues Discussion
5:00pm-6:00pm: Meet AEU Team Leaders
6:00pm-7:00pm: Reception to meet AEU Board Members, Board Candidates, and Staff (cash bar)
7:00pm-8:00pm Elliott-Black Award Dinner (cash bar)
8:00pm-9:00pm Elliott-Black Award Ceremony for Faith Spotted Eagle
Faith Spotted Eagle is an activist, PSTD counselor, and educator who belongs to the Brave Heart Society. She is a trained mediator/peacemaker and incorporates traditional peacemaking with western approaches of peacemaking to preserve the good medicine of the Dakota Culture for the future. As the Chair of the Ihanktonwan Treaty Committee and Brave Heart Society Grandmother, she helped bring forth the International Treaty to Protect the Sacred against the KXL Pipeline and the Tar Sands. Read her full bio here.
A Guide for Weaving Justice
Curt Collier, Leader Emeritus and Director of Groundwork USA’s National Youth Programs
The First People who settled the area now called New Mexico tell a story of Spider Woman who taught humans how to weave cloth, a practice still carried on by the Dine (Navajo) and Hopi to this day. The traditional loom required warping strings to hold the fibers tight and wefting material to provide the bulk of the cloth. In a similar way, environmental justice not only requires firm commitments to equity and fairness, but a similar commitment to interlacing the ecosystem with the beings who live there. When done correctly, patterns can emerge, and in fact, beauty can be a guide in determining whether we’re heading in the right direction.
10:45am-12:15pm AEU Business Meeting
12:30pm-1:30pm: Sunday Farewell Lunch
2:00pm-5:00pm: AEU Board Meeting (open to all)
Ed Wallhagen coordinates volunteers from the First Unitarian Church of Albuquerque who help with “Bosque Restoration.” The UU group adopted a forest site near the Rio Grande in Albuquerque that had been destroyed by a fire a few years ago. Volunteers work with the city to help cut back invasive trees, like the Siberian Elm, Russian Olive, and Salt Cedar that grow near the Rio Grande flats, and plant the native Cottonwood Trees. Should time permit, those interested can take a nature walk during our outing.
Please contact Hugh Taft-Morales at HughTM@gmail.com to sign up so we can be sure to have enough cars for all who wish to go, up to 20 people. Meet in the Sheraton Albuquerque Uptown lobby at 1:15pm and we will travel to the site together, less than 30 minutes away. Ed will arrange with the city to get cutting tools, saws, and shears. Wear work clothes, a hat, sunscreen, and bring a water bottle! We’ll plan to be back at the hotel no later than 5pm.
If you want to meet as at the site, there will be parking inside the park at the end of Campbell Road (a couple of blocks from the Rio Grande Boulevard) at the intersection of Alejandro Lane. The nearest street address is 2878 Campbell Rd. NW, 87104. Find the location on Google Map at https://goo.gl/maps/i4TaemTAXaK2 .
Media members interested in reporting on Assembly can contact Law’nence Miller at firstname.lastname@example.org or call the AEU office at 212-873-6500.
Nature Parks and Gardens
Albuquerque Biological Park & ABQ BioPark Botanic Garden
Petroglyph National Monument
Sandia Peak Tramway
Refund Policy: A 25% administrative fee will be charged for cancellation before May 4, 2018. After that date, the cancellation fee will be 50% on all full and partial packages. (Except for documented medical emergencies).
You are welcome to use your devices to post photos throughout Assembly; however, please be respectful and do your best to not be disruptive to the speaker(s) or those around you. We also request that all devices be silenced/on vibrate during any event.