On Labor Day, I attended the Bread and Roses Heritage Festival. This year was the 100th anniversary of the great textile strike which set so much in motion - which made it possible for workers to organize, for citizens to organize, for women to organize. One of the groups performing was Besere Velt (Better World) who gave a show about the history of the strike. What struck me the most was their presentation of the beginning of the strike - especially how they were able to mobilize people without having a common language, and not having twitter. Sadly, the video does not capture the people planted in the audience shouting out strike in a multiple of languages, almost reflecting the 20 or so languages spoken by mill workers in Lawrence, MA.
I also appreciated the understanding that all workers and their families were in this cause together, especially that women were also interested in the welfare of men. My favorite line from the Bread and Roses song is "The rising of the women means the rising of the race." The lyrics to this song were originally written as a poem by James Oppenheim, who worked at Hudson Guild, started by Ethical Culture Leader John Lovejoy Elliott. Read more »
Opening Words Occupy lives on all across America and all across the world. Occupy lives in every American city and in every national capitol on the planet. Occupy continues to fight against the greed and violence of the powerful. Occupy continues to fight against those who are murdering our world with pollution and the profit motive. Occupy continues to fight unfair foreclosures and evictions, to stand with Labor and the rights of workers, to push back against the perpetual wars that suck the life out of everything and everyone.
William Rivers Pitt, Truth-Out
September 17 was the one year anniversary of Occupy Wall Street. People in New York and around the country marked the anniversary with celebrations and demonstartions. I was in NY for the weekend, and visited the S16 festivities, a celebration, gearing up for S17, on September 17, with direct actions on Wall Street and demonstrating in Zuccotti Park. Read more »
To the members and friends of ESWoW:
Some seven years ago, ESWoW was begun with the hope of building an on-line community of Ethical Culture participants which would have an organization and a structure patterned after those of the traditional Ethical Culture Societies that exist around the country. It was hoped that this new Society would serve members who reside outside the range of an existing, physical, Ethical Society, but would nevertheless offer comparable services - - over long distances to be sure, but the traditional format was our guide.
Obviously, we all had a lot to learn about how an on-line venue has strengths and weaknesses that are unique to its own medium. In judging it by the same standards of the traditional Societies, those with street addresses and pot luck dinners, some people were too critical of its uneven growth; while at the same time, some people were unappreciative of the many unique possibilities that the new format allowed.
A lot was learned over the last seven years and now we are undertaking a major overhaul of the ESWoW structure in order to capture these new capabilities. Presently we are in the design phase and I would like to share with you some of the plans we would like to pursue. I would also like to hear from those of you who have followed ESWoW to gather your suggestions as to how its functionality can be improved. Read more »
A Year of Living Ethically continues. On July 15, 2012 I spoke at the New York Society for Ethical Culture. People there seemed very interested in exploring what a year of living ethically would be for the NY Society and I'm interested to see how their year goes.
As requested, I'm posting the text of the Platform. If you register and login, you can access the document as a pdf attachment, and the full text is below.
As always, I look forward to hearing your comments and questions.
A Year of Living Ethically
Susan Rose, NY Society for Ethical Culture July 15, 2012
Opening Words Read more »
Memorial Day is day which celebrates militarism and justifications are made for all the deaths wars cause. Or there arelots of holiday sales. Neither of those work too well for me, they are not consistent with my values. Read more »
- From the Leader - Motherhood and Why Evolution is True
- ESWoW Community Call - MONDAY, May 7, 2012 - Motherhood
- AEU Assembly Registration
From the Leader
Susan Rose writes about motherhood, and attending a lecture by evolutionary biologist, Dr. Jerry Coyne.
ESWoW Community Call
MONDAY May 7, 2012
Prior to Mother's Day, let's share our experiences of mothers and motherhood, either as mothers ourselves, as the child of a mother, or in society in general.
The call is at 5pm PT, 6pm MT, 7pm CT, and 8pm ET.
The number to join the call is 866-740-1260, access code 5766842#.
Our Assembly is an important point in our lives as Ethical Culturists. It is an opportunity to immerse ourselves in what it really means to belong to Ethical Culture. The annual Assembly gives us an opportunity to experience the Ethical Movement in a larger context.
This year, there is especially exciting programming. I am most excited about the social justice programming happening on Saturday, June 16, 2012. The social justice theme is Criminal Justice, and there is a stellar line-up of speakers both from within the Ethical Movement and people working in the criminal justice field.
There will be a special meeting time for ESWoW members to get to meet with each other in person and we are able to renew and make new acquaintances with members of societies from across the country. It is an exciting opportunity to learn from each other, not only through the many workshops but by strengthening communication Rose know if you are planning to attend the Assembly and interested in being an ESWoW delegate.
Most of us have a mother or had a mother. Some of us are mothers, want to be mothers, can't be mothers or choose not to be mothers.
It's not all as simple as Hallmark would have you believe. Sometimes there is a warm and loving relationship, but from the ones I know about, I wouldn't say they are simple. This perhaps most profound relationship of our lives is usually rich, complex, and sometimes even mucky. And sadly, sometimes there is no real relationship there.
We have such high expectations for mothers; for who our mothers should be, for what they should be able to do for us, for how they should prepare us for the world. And if we are mothers, we have such high expectations for ourselves. We think, or at least I think, "I'll only do the good things my mother did, not the bad. I'll do all the things I wished my mom had done, but didn't."
What a mixed bag. I wish my mother had lived long enough to be a grandmother to both of my children instead of dying when my son was 2 1/2. She loved those years as a grandmother, she had great joy and would have had total delight with her granddaughter who has so many of the same interests as my mother did.
I wish I could have asked my mom for advice, asked her what I was like when I was young, but mostly, I wish I could tell her that while it was easy to think that I'd only do good things for my kids, and none of the bad, that I now know how much it easier it is to think that as a teenager than to actually do it once you have kids. Read more »
I love lilacs. A lot. One of the best things about living in New England is that there are lots and lots of lilac trees here. Way more than any other place I have ever lived. I like to stop and smell them, and every few years, I go to the Arnold Arboretum and glory in the hundreds of lilac trees they have there.
So why am I sad about lilacs now? Because I am writing this on April 19, 2012, and I've been seeing lilac trees in bud for several days now. Lilacs aren't supposed to be in bud here until May - the middle of May. They are a full month early the way I see it.
We have had a wacky winter in New England. Following the great amounts of snow wehad last year, this winter has been exceptionally mild, and at times, even tropical with there being days in a row of weather in the eighties.
Yes, there is climate change, and yes,people are part of what is exacerbating climate change. What signs of climate change have you noticed where you live? What are you doing to help the rate of climate change slow down?
I never thought I'd be sad to see lilacs, and yes, I will still stop and smell them, but what will I do in the middle of May when they might even be gone? I'll be sad again, but roses will probably be blooming early too.
Sunday, April 22, 2012 5pm PT, 6pm MT, 7pm CT, and 8pm ET. The number for the call is 866-740-1260, access code 5766842#. The call will last one hour.
Bart Worden, Leader of the Ethical Culture Society of Westchester, in White Plains, NY, will be joining the ESWoW Community Call to discuss the issue of racial bias in law enforcement, our part in such bias, and thoughts about what we can do to make positive changes.
Bart has been taking action on this issue in Westchester and wrote "Police Officers Reflect Our Racial Bias," for the local Westchester newspaper the Journal News. I found this paragraph to be most thought-provoking:
But let’s face it: our law enforcement is a reflection of us. Our own attitudes, opinions, misperceptions and apprehensions are what drive the behavior of law enforcement. Our obsession with personal safety, our fear of people who don’t look like us, our inattention to the lives of anyone who is not perceived as “our kind” lay the groundwork for racial bias and provide a sustaining environment for that bias.
Please invite anyone you know who is interested in this issue and/or Ethical Culture to participate in the call.