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METRO MONTHLY–Advancing Secular Values Worldwide w/ Potluck, Drinks & Child Care


Presentation followed by a community party with potluck and drinks. Child care provided during the presentation.

This Month: Advancing Secular Values Around The World – with Michael DeDora

Michael De Dora is director of the Center for Inquiry's Office of Public Policy and the organization's representative to the United Nations.

The Office of Public Policy is the Washington, D.C.-based political arm of the Center for Inquiry.  Led by Michael De Dora, its mandate is to advocate for reason, science, and secular values in the policy-making process.  This includes lobbying at all levels of government (statehouses, Congress, the Administration, and the United Nations) to promote and defend separation of church and state, scientific evidence, and basic civil and human rights. 

In this talk, Michael De Dora will discuss questions such as:  On which particular issues does the Office focus?  Which methods does the Office use to carry out its advocacy?  And how can average citizens get involved—and be effective—at the local level? 

Michael received a master’s degree in political theory from Brooklyn College, and a bachelor’s degree in rhetoric and communication from SUNY-Albany.  He maintains the blog The Moral Perspective and contributes essays to Massimo Pigliucci's blog, Rationally Speaking

Michael De Dora Jr., second from right, on the Fox News show “The Strategy Room”

This is our regular monthly meeting at a central location to bring together our members from all over the Portland metro area, and anyone who wants to join us.  We’ll have a speaker presentation, discussion or entertainment, followed by a shared potluck lunch. 

The Oslo Lounge has a bar, so you can have beer, wine and cocktails with lunch.  This is also an opportunity to connect with others in the community, get updated on our activism and what’s going on in the community, talk to Advisory Board members and give input.

Child care will be provided in the Norse Hall’s children’s room. 

Please bring a dish suitable for a proper meal to share.  We'll likely have more food than necessary, so plan on joining us even if you are unable to bring food.  If possible, label your utensils and serving dishes so the owner can be identified if things are left behind.  If you don’t cook, consider a bagged salad with dressing, or a roast chicken from a grocery store.

Friday Schedule 

7:00 pm:  Welcome and announcements 
7:15 pm:  Presentation and Q&A 
8:00 pm:  Children join the adults for a potluck lunch, discussion and socializing


There is a parking lot on the west side, right next to the Norse Hall, where we have limited parking.  Street parking is also available.

Note:  This meeting also replaces our monthly Sunday brunches and our Nuts+Bolts+Beer meetings, because everything that happens at those meetings will take place at the monthly meeting.

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  • Dave D.

    Good talk, people, food, venue. I agree with others about timing (for eating).

    November 9, 2013

  • Cathy W.

    Excellent speaker, well worth the drive from Salem at the end of a workweek. I second the comments about eating first. We eat and socialize first on SHEP movie nights, and that seems to work. This was my first visit to Norse Hall. Very comfortable, as long as it doesn't get too crowded.

    November 9, 2013

  • Andy N.

    I liked it a lot!

    November 9, 2013

  • Fred S.

    Great evening, great to see everyone. I agree with Gayle, I think the evening meetings should start with the eating as 9 or so is a tad late for many to begin dinner (or even snacking). Audience can eat while speaker talks
    Couple of suggestions:
    1) Label foods as to being Vegetarian or not (if not obvious).
    2) Have a better system of Q and A after speaker finishes. HGP has developed a great, fair system for or two people keep track of which hands go up and in what order then a microphone is handed to questioner when it's their turn. That way everyone can hear what's being said.
    I lost a lot of what people were asking/saying as I couldn't hear them (especially Kurt) and Mike didn't repeat the questions/comments for audience.
    Norse Hall is great, it's a very warm, cozy setting. Thank you Sylvia, Kurt, Dani, Jesse for all you do.

    2 · November 9, 2013

    • SylviaB

      Good suggestions, Fred, thanks for the feedback. FYI: For various reasons, the schedule got a bit out of hand yesterday, so there was never an intention to start eating at 9.00. The intended dinner time is 8. So, yes, we are taking note and we are going to manage the schedule better next time. We are also working on getting stuff to enable us to reheat food, or to keep it warm during the lecture.

      I agree we need Q&A moderation. We'll make that happen in the future. We'll see what we can do about the sound system issues. Maybe we need a second mic set up for the questions. At the moment, we own only one. That's the kind of stuff memberships and donations pay for :-)

      We are still figuring out how to best manage these events, so your feedback is valuable. We'll do our best to incorporate it.

      1 · November 9, 2013

  • Sheila M.

    The speaker was excellent. I agree that the food should come earlier.

    1 · November 9, 2013

  • Paul Andor N.

    I agree with many others: food first - talk later. The sound system was not loud enough from my seat at the bar. As Fred mentioned, we couldn't hear the questions from the audience. Otherwise, The Norse Hall is a great spot! Tricia, the bar-tender is friendly, it's a central location, close to downtown but with easy parking, a beautiful building and a comfortable lounge. We should have more meetings there, more often!

    1 · November 9, 2013

  • Karetha D.

    What a great meetup. Excellent speaker and a warm welcome from the other members. Thank you!

    1 · November 9, 2013

  • Jon P.

    I loved renewing old friendships and meeting new friends last night. The talk was very good and always timely - either we help inform and vote in our representatives or potentially someone else will do it for us. FYI - often in medical conferences, people eat during the lecture which gives plenty of time for Q&A after and visiting. Of course, then you need to be sure the speaker can eat.

    3 · November 9, 2013

  • Gayle M.

    Very informative speaker. Perhaps the potluck should come prior to the presentation in the future.

    1 · November 9, 2013

  • Sheila M.

    I'll need a ride.

    October 29, 2013

  • Andy N.

    This sounds exciting. I love your guest speakers.

    1 · October 14, 2013

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