Adult Forum – November 2020

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Date/Time
Date(s) - 11/22/20
10:00 am - 11:00 am

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The topic for Adult Forum during November is “Activists: People who Can’t NOT Lead.”

Adult Forum, which currently meets via Zoom, is planned and led each month by a different AF member, and November is Marion Hill’s turn.  “I’m an activist in a minor way,” she says, “and am fascinated by people who devote much of their lives to trying to bring important change in the world.  These individuals often have a strong religious faith that supports or guides (and occasionally pushes back against) their activism.  On the Sundays in November, we’ll look at five such activists.”

On November 1, AF will watch and discuss a video about the Rev. Dr. William Barber, a Christian minister in North Carolina who leads Moral Mondays, the Poor People’s Campaign, and Repairers of the Breach,  attempting to address what he terms “the interlocking evils of systemic racism, poverty, ecological devastation, militarism and the war economy, and the distorted moral narrative of religious nationalism.”  In this video, Rev. Barber relates his lifelong mission for social justice to the upcoming Presidential election.

On November 8, AF will watch and discuss a video about Sister Simone Campbell, who since 2012 has led the “Nuns on the Bus” crusade to call attention to social issues such as the need for economic justice and immigration reform.  A practicing attorney who has focused on family law and the rights of the working poor, Sister Simone often finds that her outspokenness on behalf of Medicaid expansion, the Affordable Care Act, LGBTQ rights, and a humane approach to the issue of abortion places her at odds with the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

On November 15, AF will watch and discuss a video about the late Pete Seeger, who used his platform as a popular folk singer to speak for unions and the protection of wetlands and against the arms race and the Vietnam War.  Although he was raised with no religion and didn’t join a UU church until late in life (joining then to get rehearsal space and because his mother had become a UU), he said that he had actually subscribed to UU values all his life and those values inform his music.

On November 22, AF will watch and discuss a video about Greta Thunberg, the 17-year-old Swedish climate activist who gained international attention when she scolded a gathering of world leaders at the 2019 United Nations Climate Action Summit over their slowness in addressing the global threat of climate change:  “How dare you!” Thunberg told the U.N. attendees.  In this video, Thunberg is interviewed about her laser-like focus on the climate issue, her parents’ response to it, and the way her activism relates to her Asberger-Syndrome diagnosis.

On November 29, AF will watch and discuss a video about Archbishop Desmond Tutu, who along with Nelson Mandela led the fight to abolish the racist policy of apartheid in South Africa.  For his work as chair of the Truth & Reconciliation Commission (charged with investigating past human rights abuses by both pro- and anti-apartheid groups) that Mandela appointed him to, Tutu won the 1984 Nobel Peace Prize.  Besides leading in race relations, he has also campaigned for gay rights and the rights of women.  Although a much-honored official of the Anglican Church of South Africa, Tutu blends Christian beliefs with black liberation theology into a belief system he calls ubuntu (translated by him as reconciliation or hospitality).

 

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