Ethical Society of Philadelphia
Ethical Humanist Society of Philadelphia
1906 South Rittenhouse Square, (215) 735-3456,
Sunday Platforms

Weekly Ethical Society meetings are at 11 AM Sundays. Our Platforms are free and open to the public. A coffee hour follows for discussion and conversation.

The Sunday Ethical Education for Kids (SEEK) is a program for elementary-school-age children and early adolescents. In April, SEEK will be meeting during platforms on the 2nd and 23th. If you have questions, please contact Nick Sanders.

Free street parking is available if a permit is displayed on your dashboard. You can get a permit from the Society's office.

April 2, 2017, 11:00 AM
The Diversity of Islam
Hugh Taft-Morales, Leader, Philadelphia Ethical Society

As intolerant political ideologues whip up anti-Islam hysteria, one lesson we can all teach the world is that Islam is incredibly diverse. Targeting nearly a quarter of the human race (1.6 billion people) for harassment violates ethical standards and makes the world less safe. Let's stand up to ignorance and fear. Hugh Taft- Morales, who admits that he has a lot to learn, urges all of us to join him in exploring the rich world of Islam at this time of rising bigotry.

To complement Hugh's talk, Jordanian virtuoso and peace activist Farah Siraj will deliver an encore performance of Middle Eastern music. An international musician she has given voice around the world to women and children living in war and poverty as well as performances at the Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center, the United Nations, Nobel Prize Hall, and the Philadelphia Ethical Society.

April 9, 2017, 11:00 AM
And Justice For All: LGBTQ individuals in Criminal Legal Systems
Nellie Fitzpatrick, Former Director, LBGT Affairs for City of Philadelphia

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) people face discrimination in housing, employment, and public accommodation. LGBTQ individuals face rejection, harassment and violence in their relationships, homes, schools, places of worship and even when walking down the street. The inequality and disparity of treatment does not end when LGBTQ individuals find themselves within the criminal legal systems. Learn about the barriers to safety and equality LGBTQ people face as victims, witnesses, and defendants as they merely seek "justice for all."

Nellie Fitzpatrick served as the Director of the Mayor's Office of LGBT Affairs for the City of Philadelphia under Mayors Michael Nutter and Jim Kenney. In this role she worked to further develop deep and meaningful relationships with a diverse representation of LGBTQ communities and allies throughout our city. She led the effort to amend the City of Philadelphia's Home Rule Charter through a ballot question to make permanent the Office of LGBT Affairs.

In October 2015, Nellie Fitzpatrick was instrumental in creating and championing legislation requiring all single-stall bathrooms in Philadelphia to be gender-neutral. Prior to her appointment in the Mayor's Office, she served for six and a half years as an Assistant District Attorney for the City of Philadelphia.

April 16, 2017, 11:00 AM
Hugh Taft-Morales, Leader, Philadelphia Ethical Society

One of the most profound characteristics of the human race is our ability to question. This talent is fundamental to the scientific method and the construction of knowledge. It is fundamental to liberating skepticism and free thought. Persistent questioning can confuse and vex us and can liberate us. Questions can provoke oppression by authorities devoted to defending the status quo. Just ask Socrates? Hugh Taft-Morales will explore this topic by asking more questions than you may want to hear!

April 23, 2017, 11:00 AM
In re Gault at 50: A look at Access to Counsel for Children's Defense
Sandra Simkins, Director, Children's Justice Clinic and Distinguished Clinical Professor of Law, Rutgers University, Camden

In re Gault, 387 U.S. 1 (1967), was a landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision that ensured the right to a lawyer for children accused of crimes in juvenile court. Prof. Sandra Simkins will discuss the current national landscape of access to counsel for youth.

Sandra Simkins is the Director and co-founder of the Children's Justice Clinic and a nationally-recognized expert in juvenile defense. A published author, she was selected by the McArthur Foundation to participate in a juvenile justice reform initiative and is the Due Process Monitor in the settlement agreement between the Department of Justice and the Juvenile Court of Shelby County, Tennessee. Her book, When Kids Get Arrested: What Every Adult Should Know, was released in 2009. Areas of expertise include post disposition representation, conditions of confinement and solitary. Prior to becoming a professor, Sandra Simkins was a juvenile defender at the Defender Association of Philadelphia. Simkins received her B.A. degree summa cum laude from the University of Delaware and her J.D. degree is from Rutgers University School of Law.

April 30, 2017, 11:00 AM
Becoming White
Hugh Taft-Morales, Leader, Philadelphia Ethical Society

Race is a social construction. But it is also a profoundly powerful, frightening, and omnipresent part of our current public conversation about the future as a nation. Hugh Taft-Morales shares the development of his racial identity as a white person and his evolution towards more consistent dedication to anti-racism activism intended to help deconstruct white supremacy.

Affiliated with the American Ethical Union

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