African Americans for Humanism (AAH DC) Monthly Meeting

"The need for critical thinking skills and a humanistic outlook in our world is great. This is no less true in the Black community than in others." African Americans for Humanism

The next monthly meeting of African Americans for Humanism DC will be held on September 28, 2013 from 1:00 - 3:00 PM in the Latrobe Room at the Hill Center 921 Pennsylvania Ave SE (entrance on 9th St-elevator access available).  The Hill Center is located about 1.5 blocks from the Eastern Market Metro Station.  The venue is wheelchair accessible.  People with disabilities who anticipate needing accommodations or who have questions about physical access may email [masked] in advance of the event.  All AAH meetings are free and open to the public. 

This month’s meeting will continue the open discussion on the subject of race and racism we began last month.  During August we commemorated the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington. That march that was dedicated to “Justice and Jobs”  but 50 years later high Black poverty and unemployment are persistent problems in America. What role (positively or negatively) does and should race play in public policy and the justice system to address inequality? How much progress has really been made by African Americans in the past 50 years? Is there injustice, is there just a “race card” or a mutual lack of understanding and awareness?  What role can rationalism and humanism play in combating racism?  I look forward to continuing our lively discussion.

In keeping with the theme of “Justice” I recently got this note from Sikivu Hutchinson that I would like to share with you. (Do you agree with her statement?)

“Dear colleagues:

What happens when an African American female intimate partner violence victim attempts to defend herself after years of domestic terror? She gets slapped with a mandatory minimum 20 years in prison for aggravated assault. Such was the case for Marissa Alexander, a 32 year-old Florida mother of three with no prior criminal record who fired a warning shot in her home after a dispute with her chronically abusive spouse in 2010. Alexander’s case highlights how expectations of innocence are rarely if ever accorded black female abuse victims in the dominant culture. When it comes to cultural judgments about justifiable defense, stereotypes of violent breeder black women (In 2010, Alexander gave birth to a premature baby after being beaten by her spouse) eclipse any presumption of innocence or reasonableness on the part of the victim. Even in the face of extreme violence, national narratives of proper female victim hood are never extended to black women and the Lifetime cable channel—reigning Middle American pop culture fount of white woman pathos—never comes knocking.

Because mass incarceration and criminalization do not directly affect their largely white constituencies, humanist/secular/atheist organizations have been silent on this human rights atrocity in their own backyard. The Black Skeptics Group calls on progressive atheist organizations to support the Free Marissa Alexander campaign.”

Information on the campaign, volunteer opportunities and upcoming protest actions on September 14th can be found @ http://freethoughtblogs.com/blackskeptics/2013/08/30/solidarityisforwhitewomen-calling-on-atheist-orgs-to-support-marissa-alexander/

You may also be interested in the following story.  Former NBA player John Amaechi who came out as a gay man at the end of his career recently announced that he was also an atheist. Check out. http://rationalist.org.uk/articles/2829/still-reaching-new-humanist-interviews-john-amaechi .

See you on the 28th.

African Americans for Humanism-DC is sponsored by the Center for Inquiry-DC.  The mission of the Center for Inquiry is to foster a secular society based on science, reason, freedom of inquiry, and humanist values.  For more information about the Center for Inquiry please go to http://www.centerforinquiry.net/about .  For more information about African Americans for Humanism please go to http://www.aahumanism.net/

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