AEU 104th Assembly in Tampa

20 Jun 2019 - 23 Jun 2019 | 07:00 pm - 03:00 pm

Reclaiming Democracy for All

Thursday, June 20, 7pm to Sunday, June 23, 3pm ET

REGISTER HERE
If government of the people is to be by and for the people, then we, the people, need to reclaim it before it slips away. Marginalized groups and women already are denied equitable influence in social polity. Voter suppression targets people of color, women are underrepresented, and money in politics threatens democracy by giving corporate interests such as the NRA disproportionate power. As Ethical Humanists, we commit ourselves to democratic process in our lives, our local societies, and our global community. Join us at the AEU’s 104th Assembly to consider the issues and the strategies to reclaim democracy—for all. And join us on social media with #ethicalassembly.

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.Donate to Voices at the Table Fund

  • Holiday Inn Westshore Airport
    700 N. Westshore Blvd, Tampa, FL 33609

    Free Shuttle (call 813-289-8200) and free parking
    (Hotel has outdoor pool, heated outdoor pool, outdoor whirlpool, fitness and business centers.)

    To make your hotel reservations please call 800-465-4329 and make sure to mention our group rate code: (AEU). Discount ends May 24.
    Enjoy Early Bird Registration until May 17, 2019

    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
    E-mail: bobette@courtyardtvl.com

    • Click to open up each day’s schedule. Schedule is subject to change.

    • Tuesday, June 18, 2019

      2:00pm-6:00pm: National Leaders Council Meeting
    • Wednesday, June 19, 2019

      9:00am-5:00pm: National Leaders Council Meeting
    • Thursday, June 20, 2019

      8:00am-12:00pm: National Leaders Council Meeting
      9:00am-5:00pm: AEU Board of Directors Meeting
      1:00pm-2:00pm: AEU Board and NLC Lunch
      2:00pm-6:00pm: Leadership Committee Meeting
      4:00pm-7:00pm: Registration opens
      7:00pm-9:00pm: AEU Assembly Kick-Off Reception (cash bar & finger foods)
    • Friday, June 21, 2019

      8:00am-6:00pm: Registration Open
      8:00am-6:00pm: Exhibits Open
      8:00am-6:00pm: Gathering Room

      Come take a break, hold a meeting, exchange ideas, or relax with friends.

      8:00am-9:00am: Colloquy
      9:15am-9:55am: Welcome & State of the Union
      10:00am-11:30am: AEU Business Meeting
      10:00am-11:30am: Morning Workshop

      A Critical Conversation with Generation Z about Truth, Realness, and Reason
      Shay Eaton, Elijah Whitson, Kynneath Moss, and Gabriel Stanley
      Learn from Generation Z (born 1994-2012) freethinkers about the future of freethinking and non-theism. Other generations (Baby Boomers, Generation X, Millennials) were the springboards for the reconstitution of “justice for all” and provided cultural shifts in politics and human ingenuity. So, what does the call look like for Religious Humanism with Generation Z? Felix Adler, the founder of Ethical Culture was a visionary in his 20s when he established the Ethical Culture Movement. In this session, we look to Generation Z to provide a new contextual language and concepts for reimagining the frontier of emerging humanism.

      11:45am-1:00pm: Anna Garlin Spencer Volunteer Awards Luncheon
      1:15pm-2:45pm Workshop Session I

      How is democracy practiced in Ethical Societies?
      Randy Best
      From Eight Commitments of Ethical Culture: #7. Democratic process is essential to our task. The democratic process is essential to a humane social order because it respects the worth of persons and elicits and allows a greater expression of human capacities. Democratic process also implies a commitment to shared responsibility and authority.
      This workshop will review democratic theory and how democracy is practiced in Ethical Societies and the AEU. The challenge of opening democracy to increased diversity and inclusion will be discussed. Participants will develop models for an ideal Ethical Society.

      DARE TO UNDERSTAND: How to Listen to Others Whose Opinions Differ from Yours
      Judy Rosemarin
      We can learn how to listen to understand instead of convert, convince or cajole the other. Today’s polarized world needs more listening for understanding, to broaden our minds and hearts so we can bridge the gaps that divide. Most important lesson is that every person wants to feel “safe and seen.”

      3:00pm-4:30pm Workshop Session II

      Take a Stand: Using Ethical Action to Promote Ethical Culture
      Carolyn Parker
      By taking stands on social and environmental justice issues on which our congregations agree and for which they care, we can increase our visibility in our communities. Being more visible, we can attract more potential members, become recognized as thought leaders on important issues, and help educate our communities on matters of common concern.

      The Humanist Case for a Caring Ethic: Using the Sanctuary Model as a Window into Conflict Resolution and Empathy
      Christian Hayden
      Using some works by writers and philosophers on the place of an ethic that is based on recognizing and abiding suffering we will look at a trauma informed model that non profits use as way to create healing spaces and communities for those that serve and are served by individuals who have experienced violence or mental health issues. What can these approaches teach about humanism and also crafting our own societies/congregations?

      Engaging Your Group—and You—in Electoral Politics
      Ron Millar, Sarah Levin, David Williamson
      This will be an interactive presentation and discussion on what individuals and non-profit organizations can do to be fully engaged in the electoral process. Leaders from the Secular Coalition for America, Center for Freethought Equality, and Central Florida Freethought Community will share their experiences and insights in this area, and discuss with the participants how they can create a plan of action to be full participants in our political process.

      5:00pm-6:00pm: Meetings
      6:30pm-7:45pm Dinner
      8:00pm-10:00pm Movie and Music

    • Saturday, June 22, 2019

      8:00am-6:00pm: Registration Open
      8:00am-6:00pm: Exhibits Open
      8:00am-6:00pm: Gathering Room

      Come take a break, hold a meeting, exchange ideas, or relax with friends.

      8:00am-9:00am: Colloquy
      8:00am-9:00am: President’s Council Meeting
      9:15am-11:30am: Keynote Program w. Carlos Guillermo Smith, House District 49 in Florida House of Representatives & Howard Simon, former Executive Director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Florida (bios is Speaker tab)
      11:45am-1:00pm: National Ethical Service Luncheon & Felix Adler Lifetime Achievement Award

      Edward L. Ericson led the Washington Ethical Society from 1959–1971 and the New York Society for Ethical Culture from 1971–1984. In 1981 he started the Center for Moral Democracy, which shortly became Americans for Religious Liberty. Ed is the author of several books including American Freedom and the Radical Right (1982) and The Humanist Way (1988). Felix Adler Lifetime Achievement Award officially recognizes our members who have stimulated the growth of the Ethical Culture Movement during their many years of active participation.

      1:15pm-2:45pm Ethical Culture Play: “Outing with Family” by Kimberly Eaton
      The time is the present, the place is anywhere. A family is thrown into turmoil by the unexpected, and frankly troubling declaration made by one of their own. This one-act play explores the immediate fears and emotions of a traditional family whose foundations have just been shaken to the core. We will get a glimpse of how, or IF, their long-held beliefs hold up under a new challenge to love one another inclusively.
      “I wrote this One-act play from a position of personal empathy, from the perspective of the main character, Paxton. My hope is that this vignette of everyday life speaks to the ubiquitous experience of holding intimate, defining personal beliefs which flow against the tide of assumed consensus. It is with encouragement and love for anyone who has been, or may find themselves in ANY place at this family’s table that I offer this dramatic creation. In it, I hope that you will find compassion and peace.”

      3:00pm-4:30pm Workshop Session

      Dealing with Elephants, Jackasses, and Dodo Birds in the Room: Contesting the Tension of Political Ideology for the Sake of Diplomacy
      Jé Hooper
      The Ethical Culture Movement prides itself on progressive thinking and welcoming communities. But when extremist political views split our nation, how do we heal together? What do you do when you are off the political grid, an exotic or extinct political concept no longer recognized. How can we cultivate a meeting of the minds and enter into the wisdom and compassion of both sides? This workshop will help us push for collaboration and avoid compromise. We need diplomacy for our nation.

      Corporate Rule Vs Democracy
      Joni Albrecht
      Long before the 2010 Citizens United Supreme Court Decision, corporations have successfully claimed rights under the US Constitution. Learn and discuss how corporate constitutional rights have blocked democratic process and why we must move to amend our Constitution to firmly establish that money is not speech, and that human beings, not corporations, are persons entitled to constitutional rights.

      Effective Advocacy for Reproductive Rights
      Amy Weintraub
      An interactive workshop to help guide people throughout the country on how to advocate effectively for reproductive rights. Amy will clarify the facts and send attendees home equipped to engage in multiple actions in their home geographic area. Preparing for a “Post-Roe” America will also be discussed, along with recent activities within the Florida State Legislature, Congress, the Courts, and the Democratic Party related to reproductive rights.

      5:00pm-6:00pm: Meetings
      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

    • Sunday, June 23, 2019

      8:00am-9:00am: Colloquy
      9:15am-10:30am: Platform
      10:45am-12:15pm AEU Business Meeting
      12:30pm-1:30pm: Sunday Farewell Lunch
      2:00pm-5:00pm: AEU Board Meeting (open to all)
  • Click on a speaker for headshot and bio.

    • Amy Weintraub

      Amy Weintraub is the Reproductive Rights Program Director for Progress Florida and is a leader on the statewide Floridians for Reproductive Freedom coalition. She was one of the leaders of Women’s March St. Pete 2017 and is an active volunteer with the South St. Petersburg Democratic Club, League of Women Voters, and National Organization for Women. A seasoned organizer, Amy has worked most of her adult life identifying, educating, and activating citizens toward social justice. Prior to moving to Florida in 2015, Amy lived in her home state of West Virginia where she led efforts within organizations such as WV FREE (West Virginia Focus: Reproductive Education and Equality), Covenant House of WV, and Planned Parenthood. Amy lives in St. Petersburg with her spouse, Marc, and two teenagers, Jeremiah and Caroline.
    • Carlos Guillermo Smith

      Carlos Guillermo Smith is a proven fighter for Florida’s working families and students. He was elected in 2016 and subsequently re-elected in 2018 to serve House District 49 (including East Orlando and parts of Orange County) in the Florida House of Representatives. Carlos has passed his own bills and secured his own budget appropriations for his constituents, even as an outspoken member of the minority party. Representative Smith co-founded and was elected Chairman of the Legislative Progressive Caucus; he has delivered millions of dollars in state funding to PTSD programs for veterans, first responders, and mass shooting survivors in his district; and has used his voice to champion civil rights, cannabis reform, gun safety, debt-free college, mental health, and animal welfare. Representative Smith also made history with his election becoming Florida’s first openly-LGBTQ Latinx state lawmaker.

      Representative Smith currently serves on the House Appropriations Committee, Health Quality Subcommittee, Higher Education & Career Readiness Subcommittee and the Higher Education Appropriations Subcommittee.

    • Carolyn Parker

      Dr. Carolyn A. Parker is an ethical humanist, come late to the community but long holding the beliefs and values that led her, finally, to the Ethical Society of Austin. She is an activist, with experience in advocacy at local, state, and national levels. Her education gave her a background in the liberal arts and social science, supporting her work in teaching, writing, and organizational management with an international perspective.



    • Christian Hayden

      The most important thing to know about Christian, is that he is an Ethical Culture Leader-in-training, which means you are stuck with hearing from him for a while. The second most important thing is that he fell in love with photography recently so you might hear about that too. Christian is a full-time facilitator, very part-time poet, and striving to be a 24/7 humanist. He also spent a year in Ghana with the Humanist Service Corps and was awarded the Mossler Fellowship in 2016.
    • David Williamson

      David Williamson is co-founder of the Central Florida Freethought Community (CFFC), a local non-profit organization of atheists, Humanists, and religious skeptics of many labels who seek to preserve the separation of state and church through activism in the Greater Orlando area and across Florida. The CFFC is one of many organizations in the Orlando Coalition of Reason who are building a strong social community and network of family, friends, and colleagues for Central Floridians who do not believe in a god. David is a member of the Central Florida Commission on Religious Freedom, Secretary of the Florida Humanist Association (FHA), co-coordinator of FHA’s conference FREEFLO, an Advisory Board member of the Freethought Equality Fund, and a Florida State Representative for the Freedom From Religion Foundation. In 2013 he was presented with the Florida Humanist Association’s “Humanist of the Year” award and in 2016 received the Freedom From Religion Foundation “Nothing Fails Like Prayer” award
      for a secular invocation he conducted for a Florida city council.
    • Howard Simon

      Howard Simon retired at the end of November 2018 as the Executive Director of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Florida. He served as a state director for the ACLU for more than four decades: 23 years as the ACLU Executive Director in Michigan, and 21 years as the Florida Director—the longest serving ACLU state affiliate director in the organization’s nearly 100-year history.

      He is a graduate of the City College of New York; he received a Ph.D. in legal and political philosophy from the University of Minnesota. Prior to his work at the ACLU he taught at the University of Minnesota and DePauw University.

      During Howard’s tenure, the ACLU played a central role in issues addressing school vouchers, religious practices in the public schools, abortion rights, the Terri Schiavo case and “end of life care issues, and numerous other controversies involving separation of church and state and freedom of speech. The ACLU of Florida has also been in the forefront of efforts to resist many of the anti-civil liberties initiatives of the Legislature and the Administration of former Gov. Rick Scott. Legal action by the ACLU overturned Gov. Scott’s Executive Order mandating drug/urine tests for state employees. ACLU litigation in the federal courts in Florida led to the overturning of the ban on marriage for same sex couples that, in January 2015, preceded the ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court. The organization also successfully sued to end Florida’s ban on adoptions by lesbians and gay men.

      The ACLU filed numerous lawsuits challenging efforts by Florida officials to restrict the right to vote—legislation that makes it more difficult to register new voters, to reduce the number of early voting hours and days and restrict early voting on Sunday, and more difficult to have your voted counted by requiring more people to vote by provisional, rather than regular ballot. Howard and the ACLU were also active in securing passage of the Fair Districts Amendments in 2010 to curb partisan Gerrymandering.

      Howard has been an advocate for the right to vote for more than 50 years, since his work as a college student in Selma for the passage of the Voting Rights Act in 1965. He led the ACLU’s efforts to end Florida’s Civil War-era system of lifetime felon disfranchisement, and secure passage of Amendment 4 that restored the right to vote for those with a felony conviction but who have completed the terms of their sentence.

    • Jé Hooper

      Jé Hooper is an emerging clergy leader within the Leader-in-Training program at the American Ethical Union. Jé has served in Ethical Culture as Director of Family, a congregational speaker-at-large, and a creative producer of a film entitled, Humanitas: A Conscious Coloring of Kindness. Through the intersection of art, African-based theosophy, and homiletic performance, Jé seeks multidirectional acts of community engagement. His intentional syncretization of humanism and black American culture provides Jé with epistemic principles to designate humanist congregations as radically safe, restorative, and courageously brave spaces for people of color. As a PhD scholar at the Ohio University, Jé’s research explores the systemic ritual practices as understood in critical race theory within literary and performance material. It is with these transdisciplinary thoughts and practices that Jé supports and agitates communities in re-imagining and re-claiming a narrative that holds all persons regardless of their uniqueness.
    • Joni Albrecht

      Joni Albrecht is a pediatrician whose work, over the past 30 years, has been primarily in community health, most recently with a tribal health department. Joni joined Move to Amend a decade ago as the coordinator of the Delray Beach, Florida affiliate. Her activism has ranged from in the late 80s as a union rep in the Bronx for the Committee of Interns and Residents (CIR) to, more recently, as a volunteer with Friends of Broward Detainees and local DSA activities. She is also a member of both Health Over Profit for Everyone (HOPE) and Physicians for Social Responsibility. She hopes to bring her experience with the devastating effects of healthcare for profit, rather than a universal right, to MTAs movement towards a true democracy.
    • Judy Rosemarin

      Judy Rosemarin, MS, MSW, founder and Executive Coach of Sense-Able Strategies, has been a member of the Ethical Humanist Society of Long Island for 18 years, having served on the Board and have been a workshop leader and presenter through the years. Co-Author of “Becoming An Exceptional Executive Coach,” Judy offers coaching to help bring out the best in others. Since 1983, she has been offering exceptional Executive Coaching as well as Interview Coaching Interviewing to leaders globally.

    • Kim Eaton

      Kimberly Eaton is a freelance writer with three short plays to her credit, who also enjoys both directing and acting in local theatre productions. She is an engaged activist for Progressive causes and serves as the Ethical Actions Team Leader for her extended family, the Susquehanna Valley Ethical Society. Kimberly exasperates the local news editors with fairly regular Op-Ed essays, two of which have earned her Thomas Paine Citizen Journalism Awards from the ACLU in recent years.

      In her career life, Kimberly received a Master’s degree in Aquatic Ecology from Bucknell University and studied fluvial geomorphology at Colorado State University. She worked with various agencies to identify streams impaired or endangered by human activities, developed remediation plans and wrote grants to restore them to health. The wellness of the environment then led her to pursue her curiosity for a different path in the biological sciences, and she obtained a Master’s degree in Medical Science from Penn College and Nova Southeastern University. Assisting in Pediatric Surgery was the highlight of her foray into healthcare. With her daughter, Shay, now a freshman in Pre-law and Diversity Studies at Susquehanna University, Kimberly is currently deciding between returning to medical practice or pursuing her inclination for narrative writing. She hopes someday to publish an historical fiction trilogy based on her ancestry, beginning with their immigration to the Appalachian region in the early 18th century from Wales and Scotland.

    • Randy Best

      Randy Best is the Leader (Humanist Minister) of the Northern Virginia Ethical Society in Vienna, Virginia. Born in St. Louis, he grew up attending the Ethical Society of St. Louis where is mother is still a member. Randy is a graduate of Grinnell College, Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, and The Humanist Institute. He is a certified Ethical Culture Leader, Mediator, and pastoral counselor. He currently divides his time between Northern Virginia and Durham, North Carolina, where his wife Sarah Howe is a ceramic artist. Sarah and Randy have four grown children who they home-schooled and two grandsons.
    • Ron Millar

      Ron Millar is the political and PAC coordinator for the Center for Freethought Equality, the advocacy arm of the American Humanist Association. Affiliated with the Center for Freethought Equality is the political action committee, Freethought Equality Fund (FEF PAC). Ron identifies candidates and elected officials for possible endorsement by the FEF PAC. His efforts helped Rep. Jared Huffman announce he is a humanist and agnostic – only the second member Congress to ever publicly identify with the nontheist community. Ron also assisted Huffman in forming the Congressional Freethought Caucus, which was established to foster science and reason-based public policy and to defend the secular character of our government. Ron has spent more than thirty years in the Washington DC area working for nonprofit education and advocacy groups, including serving as the associate director of the Secular Coalition for America from 2005 to 2009. Earning a doctorate from Virginia Tech, his dissertation explored organizational learning among groups litigating church-state cases before the Supreme Court.
    • Sarah Levin

      Sarah Levin is the director of grassroots and community programs at the Secular Coalition for America. She graduated cum laude with a Bachelor’s degree in International Studies from American University, where she served as president of the university’s Secular Student Alliance affiliate. Since joining the Secular Coalition in 2013, she has managed and grown the Secular Coalition’s state advocacy program and implemented various grassroots campaigns on the national and state level, including: the 2014 “Knit a Brick” campaign to protest the Hobby Lobby v. Burwell decision; the 2015 (now annual) Bad Bill Madness; and a new political party organizing initiative, launched in 2016 when the first ever Secular Caucus was established at the Texas Democratic Convention and three secular policy resolutions were incorporated into the party platform. Prior to joining the Secular Coalition, Sarah completed her AmeriCorps service by serving low-income immigrant and refugee families as a community liaison at the Greenbrier Learning Center in Arlington, Virginia.
  • Check back in 2019 for Pre-Assembly Action Project details.
  • Exhibit Tables are $75 for a full table and $50 for a half ­table per day. This includes two chairs and a table cloth. Table reservation and payment must be received by June 1, 2019. Exhibitors are welcome to join free programs and can pay for workshops and/or meals before or during Assembly. Please email Law’nence Miller at lmiller@aeu.org to make a reservation.

    Media members interested in reporting on Assembly can contact Law’nence Miller at lmiller@aeu.org or call the AEU office at 212-873-6500.

  • Check out the many Tampa attractions below, or visit hotel’s Things to Do in Tampa page for some sample trip itineraries.
    Family Friendly Attractions
    Busch Gardens
    Florida Aquarium
    Museum of Science and Industry
    Adventure Island
    Lowry Park Zoo
    Glazer Children’s Museum

    Shopping
    Westshore Plaza
    International Plaza

    Sports and Concert Venues
    Straz Center – Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center
    Tampa Theatre
    Tampa Conventions Center
    Mid Florida Credit Union Amphitheatre
    Raymond James Stadium – Home of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers
    George Steinbrenner Field – Home of the New York Yankees Spring Training
    Tampa Bay Rowdies Soccer
    Amalie Arena – Home of the Tampa Bay Lightning
    Tropicana Field – Home of the Tampa Bay Rays

    Beaches and Recreation
    St. Petersburg Treasure Island Beach
    Clearwater Beach
    Old Hyde Park
    Ybor City
    AMC Westshore 14 Movie Theater

    Museums
    Henry B. Plant Museum
    Tampa Museum of Art
    Ybor City Museum
    Tampa History Center
    Florida Museum of Photographic Arts
    Tampa Baseball Museum
    Tampa Firefighter Museum
    Tampa Police Museum

    Golf Courses
    Rocky Point Golf Course
    TPC Tampa Golf Course
    Saddle Brook Golf Course

  • More questions will be added. If you still have questions unanswered or any special needs, please contact Law’nence “L” Miller, Director of Administration (lmiller@aeu.org) or Larissa Perez, Administrative Assistant (lperez@aeu.org). Tel: 212-873-6500. Fax: 212-624-0203.

    • What is the AEU Assembly about?

      The American Ethical Union organizes national Assemblies to learn, connect, and share about growing a more caring and humane world. Each Assembly includes a social justice theme, workshops, business meetings, a keynote program, Sunday Platform, receptions, and an ethical action service project. All are welcome.
    • When is the AEU Assembly?

      The 104th AEU Assembly will take place from June 20-23, 2019 in Tampa, Florida at the Holiday Inn Westshore Airport. See the Schedule tab for more details.
    • How do I register for the conference? What is return policy?

      REGISTER HERE. Refund Policy: A 25% administrative fee will be charged for cancellation before May 10, 2019. After that date, the cancellation fee will be 50% on all full and partial packages (except for documented medical emergencies).
    • Which airport should I fly into?

      Tampa International Airport is 6 minute drive (hotel shuttle 813-289-8200) or 11 minute bus ride (HART Route 30, $2) to hotel.
    • When I arrive at the hotel, how do I check-in for the conference?

      Once you enter the hotel, look for signs or ask for directions to find our registration table where you will get your name badge and more (we’ll also have merchandise for sale). AEU staff and volunteers will be available throughout the conference if you need assistance. Please wear your name badge at all times during the conference. It serves as your pass to access conference events.
    • What if I want to purchase a workshop or meal on site?

      We will try to accommodate late registrants as best we can.
    • How can I donate to help someone else attend?

      Thank you for your generosity. You can click here to donate online, check “I would like to designate this donation to a specific fund,” and select Voices at the Table in Designated Fund drop-down menu. Or make a check out to the American Ethical Union and write “Voices at the Table Fund” in the memo.
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