Ethical Blog

The Settlement House movement began in London with the founding of Toynbee Hall in 1883, and flourished in the United States in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. It served the poor in urban areas with an approach to social reform that brought together, as neighbors, volunteers and the needy, finding more effective solutions to poverty and pioneering the profession of social work. Perhaps the most famous among these settlement houses was Hull House opened in Chicago by Jane Addams in 1889. She and John Lovejoy Elliott, who founded Hudson Guild in Chelsea on the lower west side of Manhattan in 1895, were Ethical Culture leaders who acted to elicit the best in everyone around them.

March Banner - Women's Rights are Human Rights

We herald Women’s History Month with our banner and also call upon our nation to right the wrong of gender inequality by taking steps to pass the Equal Rights Amendment.

Does the loss of faith in a supernatural God or the divine origin of the Qur’an invariably lead to a radical break with the diverse cultural traditions of the Muslim world? How can one adopt a humanist stance without internalizing negative stereotypes about a community that has historically been demonized and largely viewed through an orientalist lens? What are the diverse cultural resources available to humanists emerging from Muslim communities as they attempt to create alternatives to faith-based communities and to diversify the larger humanist movement in North America?

Jeff Behler, New York Regional Director for the U.S. Census Bureau, joined us to discuss challenges and opportunities for the upcoming 2020 Census, including partnership opportunities to help ensure a complete count of our communities. He also explored the census' importance to our democracy, and explained the changes and improvements from the previous census in 2010.

March Ethical Outlook Newsletter Now Available

Our March 2019 Ethical Outlook newsletter is now available. Check out the great events we have coming up throughout the month!

Some say the food system is broken and needs to be fixed. Karen Washington begs to differ; she believes it is doing exactly what it’s supposed to do, exploiting cheap labor and dumping cheap food in impoverished neighborhoods. How else can you explain poverty and hunger in the richest nation in the world? Karen joined us to peel back the true meaning of food justice as people fight for a food system that is equitable and just.

Green New Deal for New York Accountability Forum March 20th

Join a coalition of environmental and community groupsf or a town hall style forum to question Governor Cuomo, Attorney General James and Comptroller DiNapoli, and City-wide elected leaders such as Mayor de Blasio, Comptroller Stringer and Speaker Johnson about the accelerating climate crisis. Our state and local elected officials must act now.

Hear what our electeds plan to do to confront the climate crisis as we put the peoples' questions to them. Together, let’s show them our movement will hold them accountable to achieve the bold, transformational action our communities need! RSVP here.

Ours is but one species on this planet we call Earth. Ours is also the last remaining humanoid species, among over a dozen others, Homo Sapiens having successfully outlived (and no doubt contributed to the demise of) Neanderthals, with whom we at one time co-existed. A timeline comparing these species illustrates what a short time we have been at home on this planet, and yet we have had an impact on it far beyond all other species combined. We are facing the reality of our having despoiled our home, perhaps beyond all hope of repair.

February Banner - Black Lives Matter

With this banner we reaffirm our support for the Black Lives Matter movement and proclaim our long history of fighting for social justice. Alas, recent events have shown us that racism is alive and kicking and tolerated by far too many Americans. We take a stand against this hatred, calling for the resignations of any and all elected officials who violate the human rights of others.

Felix Adler had it right—worth and dignity is the key to happiness and the key to spiritual experience. Calvin Chatlos (Associate Professor of Psychiatry, Rutgers University) explains how his Human Faith Project has developed a process for you to open to spiritual experience. Learn how we are all “hard-wired” for spiritual experience and how evolution made it happen.


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