We had already decided that the theme for this year’s Humanism at Work conference, being held in Boston on July 25, was going to be #blacklivesmatter: listen, learn, think, discuss, act. But in the wake of the horrifying murders in Charleston last week, that focus now seems more important than ever. If you can make it, I encourage you to do so to hear from some of the most thoughtful African-American humanist scholars.
The keynote address will be by FTB’s own Sikivu Hutchinson. Her talk is entitled Colorblind Lies & Meritocracy Myths: Moving Secular Social Justice. Also speaking will by the dynamic Monica Miller, Assistant Professor of Religion & Africana Studies and Director of Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Lehigh University (if you haven’t heard her speak, you’re really missing out); Shane Sloan, a fresh new voice on social justice issues and racial inequality; and Christian Hayden, an educator and mentor who will be part of the first class of volunteers for the Humanist Service Corps going to Ghana this year to work in the witch camps.
The focus of the conversation will be what we can do as humanists to overcome the terrible legacy of racism in America. As with all of the other issues that Foundation Beyond Belief deals with, it is no longer enough for us to sit around and talk about our humanism — we must put those ideals into practice in a real, tangible way. Humanism is not some lofty set of ideals to be place on a shelf, they must be used to improve the human condition and alleviate bigotry and intolerance or they are sterile and useless.
You’ll also hear from Foundation Beyond Belief staff, including Rebecca Vitsmun, who will unveil a lot of the details on the organization’s new Humanist Disaster Recovery programs, and Conor Robinson, who is leading the Humanist Service Corps to Ghana to help improve conditions for those who are forced to live there because of the appalling practice of witch hunts common in that part of Northern Africa.
You can register for the event here. The $125 cost includes dinner and the Heart of Humanism awards dinner.