Sunshine Meeting on 10/7 CANCELLED

NB: The Chester County Commissioners’ Sunshine Meeting where FS planned to discuss the TREE OF KNOWLEDGE has been cancelled by the borough. We announced via this discussion group, Meet Up and the newsletter that we wanted readers to deliver testimony in support of The Tree of Knowledge that day at 10:00 AM.

Read more here: http://www.ftsociety.org/2014/08/27/chester-county-sunshine-meeting-re-tree-of-knowledge-1072014/

Chester County Sunshine Meeting re Tree of Knowledge 10/7/2014

NB: The Chester County Commissioners’ Sunshine Meeting has been cancelled by the borough. We announced via this discussion group, Meet Up and the newsletter that we wanted readers to deliver testimony in support of The Tree of Knowledge that day at 10:00 AM.

Since the Sunshine Meeting has been cancelled, FS is trying to notify everyone who had planned to attend — not to arrive in West Chester on Tuesday, October 7, 2014. Please spread the word.

We instead encourage supporters of The Tree of Knowledge to send an email, make a telephone call, or write a letter to the Commissioners. You can use the information in the announcement article below to help prepare your letter or call.  All contact information is listed below:

Commissioner Ryan Costello
rcostello@chesco.org

Commissioner Kathi Cozzone
kcozzone@chesco.org

Commissioner Terence Farrell
tfarrell@chesco.org

All letters and phone calls go to the same address and phone:

313 West Market Street
Suite 6202
West Chester, PA  19380
610.344.6100
610.344.5995 (fax)

We apologize for any inconvenience. We did not anticipate any changes in the schedule of the Commissioner’s Meeting.

Call or email the Freethought Society if you have any questions.

610 793-2737
Margaret@FtSociety.org

 


BY MARGARET DOWNEY:

• The Freethought Society (FS) has decided that FS must make another appeal to the Chester County Commissioners to allow the display and inclusion of the nontheist symbol – The Tree of Knowledge.

Please see the FS website (www.FtSociety.org/menu/tree-of-knowledge) for complete details and history of The Tree of Knowledge efforts. We must not give way to the bigotry and prejudices that the Commissioners have against the nontheist community.  FS board members will attempt to convince the Commissioner that nontheists are indeed an integral part of the community and that our symbol must be included in the 2014 Winter Holiday Display. We need your help. The more voices we get, the more convincing we can be.

tree2The Commissioner ignored a petition with over 350 signatures in 2010. A Chester County attorney figured out a free speech loop hole and rendered the ACLU efforts on our behalf useless in 2011. They dismissed us again in 2013. Get this folks, the Chester County Commissioner take ownership of the  Free speech zone for two full months in the winter — displaying things that theydeem  Important — nothing more!

The Commissioners did not listen when representatives from the Secular Jewish, Hispanic Freethinkers and Nontheist Indian community spoke on our behalf in 2012.

Now we want to try again, but this time, we want a crowd of speakers to overwhelm the Chester County Commissioners’ Sunshine Meeting.

Meeting details are printed below. If you plan to attend –PLEASE DO NOT REMAIN  SILENT. Every voice is precious in this fight. Speak for one minute or five. Just please show that you are there for a reason and the reason is to support The Tree of Knowledge.

Here is a brief outline of what you need to say, should you attend:

My name is…

I am a resident of… (county and state)

The Tree of Knowledge is important to me because …

I will visit West Chester to see it (bring family/friends, shop and eat in West
Chester, celebrate the season, etc.)

Make a personal appeal if possible.

Say thanks for listening/considering, etc.

Have at least six copies of what you say (one for each Commissioner, one for FS, one for reporters)

It’s easy and can be very quick. You do not need to be eloquent or forceful. Just add your voice to the subject matter. If you would like assistance in formulating your statement, contact me ASAP. Your attendance is vital.

Location, date and time is as follows:

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

10:00 AM 6th Floor

313 West Market Street

West Chester, PA. 19380

–  Margaret DowneyFounder and PresidentFreethought Society

P.O. Box 242Pocopson, PA 19366

Phones:610-793-2737

Office610-793-2569

Fax610-357-9432

Email: Margaret@FtSociety.org

Websites: http://www.FtSociety.org

http://www.Friggatriskaidekaphobia.com

http://www.Secular-Celebrations.com

Sikivu Hutchinson on Feminism, Freethought, and the 99%; 7/24/14

The Freethought Society (FS) is very pleased to present noted author, blogger, feminist, and secular and human rights activist Sikivu Hutchinson on Thursday, July 24, 2014 at 7:00 PM at the Ludington Library (5 South Bryn Mawr Avenue, Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania). Hutchinson is a dynamic speaker and the author of Moral Combat: Black Atheists, Gender Politics, and the Value Wars and Imagining Transit: Race, Gender, Sikivu Hutchinsonand Transportation Politics in Los Angeles. Her latest book, Godless Americana: Race and Religious Rebels has been a huge success. Hutchinson will speak on “Feminism, Freethought, and the 99%” at the event, which is free and open to the public.

Much of Hutchinson’s work focuses on the cultural and social history of African American secular humanist thought and its role in black liberation struggle.

“As part of the most religious ethnic group in the nation,” Hutchinson states, “African American nonbelievers are a tiny minority in a community which has borne the brunt of the economic downturn. While white atheist and humanist organizations go to battle over church/state separation and creationism in schools, black nonbelievers face a racial and gender divide precipitated by rollbacks on affirmative action, voting rights, affordable housing, reproductive rights, education, criminal justice, wages and job opportunities.

“Similar to the race/class schisms within feminism,” Hutchinson notes, “when progressive black atheists look to atheist and humanist organizations for solidarity on social justice there is a staggering disconnect.  In a nation where whites and people of color are still separate and decidedly unequal, culturally relevant humanism challenges colorblind myths of meritocracy.”

Hutchinson is a senior intergroup specialist for the Los Angeles County Human Relations Commission. She received a Ph.D. from New York University and has taught women’s studies, cultural studies, urban studies, and education at UCLA, the California Institute of the Arts, and Western Washington University. She is a contributing editor for The Feminist Wire and was named 2013’s “Secular Woman of the Year.” In 2010, she founded Black Skeptics Los Angeles, a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing outreach, advocacy and education for nonbelievers of color and their allies. She is also the founder and project director of the Women’s Leadership Project, a feminist, humanist high school mentoring program based in South L.A. In addition to her three nonfiction books, Hutchinson is currently working on a novel based on the 1978 Jonestown massacre, where the 918 dead were overwhelmingly people of color.

Hutchinson’s presentation is free and open to the public and begins at 7 PM on July 24 in the main level large meeting room of Ludington Library. The library is located at 5 South Bryn Mawr Avenue, Bryn Mawr.

For more information, contact:

Tom Melchiorre
Freethought Society Board Member and Event Host
Email: Publish@TomMelchiorre.com
Phone: (610) 960-2558

Maggie Ardiente on Nontheist Discrimination, May 8 2014

maggie ardienteThe Freethought Society (FS) is pleased to host Maggie Ardiente, who is the Director of Development and Communications for the American Humanist Association (AHA), as a speaker on Thursday, May 8, 2014 at 7:00 PM. This free and open-to-the-public event will take place at the Ludington Library in the large meeting room located on the main level. The library address is 5 South Bryn Mawr Avenue, Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania. A SEPTA stop is located across the street from the library.

Ardiente’s presentation, “Nontheist Discrimination: How Atheists and Humanists Are Mistreated in the United States and Around the World,” will highlight stories of individuals, both in the United States and globally, whose lives were affected by discrimination for identifying themselves living “without god.” She will provide an update about what AHA is doing at the national level to end negative stereotyping against nontheists.

Ardiente’s presentation has been getting rave reviews across the nation and includes a PowerPoint slide show. She will also be available to answer questions from the audience regarding the AHA annual conference that will be taking place in Philadelphia June 5-8, 2014.

Celebrate Thomas Paine Day in Philadelphia with FS and the AHA- June 8, 2014

On June 8, 1994, Philadelphia Mayor Edward Rendell signed the City Proclamation declaring that date as the first “Thomas Paine Day.” Read more about Thomas Paine on the Freethought Society’s Thomas Paine Memorial Committee page.

thomas-paineJoin us after the American Humanist Association conference for a special 20th Anniversary tour of Philadelphia honoring Thomas Paine. The conference ends at noon on Sunday, June 8, and the tour begins at 1:30 PM. Tour bus tickets are $35 per person and must be purchased by June 5th at: http://conference.americanhumanist.org/

Board a private double-decker tour bus to see twenty-one world-famous Philadelphia sites, including the Betsy Ross House, Love Park, the “Rocky Steps,” and much more, all narrated by an expert city guide. At one stop in Society Hill, Thomas Paine, portrayed by actor Stephen Gulick, will join the tour near the Common Sense historical marker.

There will be a 5:00 PM gathering near the statue of Robert Morris located at the site of the 4th and Walnut Streets amphitheater. Enjoy songs, speeches and entertainment commemorating the 20th Anniversary of Thomas Paine Day. Musician James Kloeh will perform followed by speakers Gary Berton (Thomas Paine Expert and FS presenter), Stephen Gulick (Actor), State Representative Mark Cohen, and more surprise guests.

Afterward, visit the City Tavern (6:30 PM) for a Dutch Treat Happy Hour and Dinner. The City Tavern is located at 138 South 2nd Street (at 2nd and Walnut Streets), Philadelphia, PA 19106. Contact event organizer Margaret Downey to make a dinner reservation by June 1, 2014. Email: Margaret@FtSociety.org   Phone: 610-793-2737.

FULL SCHEDULE:

  • Sheraton Philadelphia Downtown Hotel (1:00 PM); 201 North 17th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103

A double-decker tour bus departs from the front of the hotel at 1:30 PM.

  •  Bus stops at the Sheraton at Dock Street and 2nd (3:00 PM)

Walking tour begins, to Thomas Paine Historical Common Sense Marker and Thomas Paine Place Philadelphia with photo opportunities with a Thomas Paine actor (Stephen Gulick). At 3:30 bus departs Sheraton to take some people to the next stop or back to the hotel.

  • Franklin Print Shop and Square (3:45 PM)  320 Market Street Philadelphia, PA 19106

A behind the scenes tour of the print shop by Park Ranger and Thomas Paine expert, Joe Chauncy.

  •  At 4:45 PM the bus returns to the Franklin Print Shop and Square to pick up people needing transportation to the next stop.
  •  Amphitheater at 4th and Walnut (5:00 PM)

In front of Robert Morris statue Philadelphia attendees will be entertained by folk singer James Klueh after which speeches will be delivered by State Representative Mark Cohen and Thomas Paine Educator Gary Berton.

  • City Tavern (6:30 PM)  138 South 2nd Street at Walnut Street Philadelphia, PA 19106

Dutch Treat Dinner– Contact event organizer Margaret Downey to make a dinner reservation by June 1, 2014. Email: Margaret@FtSociety.org Phone: 610-793-2737.

A poster is available for your convenience and sharing:

ThomasPaineDay-poster-Final-2-web