2020-02-01 - 2020-02-29

Details

  • Start: 2020-02-01
  • End: 2020-02-29
  • Event Category Humanist Action Kit

Theme

February focuses on science and critical thinking as we celebrate academic and social justice achievements that have shaped history immensely. As the Ten Commitments says, thinking critically allows us to make sense of information and reason our way to good judgments and effective solutions to the problems we face while rigorously avoiding pitfalls like rationalization, conformity, and stereotyping. This process forms the basis of the scientific method, which opens the door for new discoveries through hypothesizing and experimenting. Critical thinking is a skill that requires continued attention, practice, and reflection. Exercising our minds to build these skills enables us to challenge biases in ourselves and in others, paving the way for a fair, open-minded, and autonomous perspective that fosters a multicultural worldview.

Useful Dates for February

Black History Month
Black History Month, sometimes referred to as African American History Month, is an annual celebration of achievements by African Americans and a time for recognizing the central role of black people in U.S. history. The event grew out of “Negro History Week,” the brainchild of noted historian Carter G. Woodson and other prominent African Americans. Since 1976, every U.S. president has officially designated the month of February as Black History Month. The Black History Month 2020 theme, “African Americans and the Vote,” is in honor of the centennial anniversary of the Nineteenth Amendment (1920) granting women’s suffrage and the sesquicentennial of the Fifteenth Amendment (1870) giving black men the right to vote.
February 3-7 - Black Lives Matter at School Week of Action
Black Lives Matter At School is a national coalition organizing for racial justice in education. It encourages all educators, students, parents, unions, and community organizations to join the annual week of action during the first week of February each year (February 3-7, 2020).
February 4 - Rosa Parks Birthday
Rosa Louise McCauley Parks, February 4, 1913, was an American activist in the civil rights movement best known for her pivotal role in the Montgomery bus boycott, the first major direct action campaign of the post-war civil rights movement. The United States Congress has called her “the first lady of civil rights” and “the mother of the freedom movement”. Parks became an international icon of resistance to racial segregation. She organized and collaborated with civil rights leaders, including Edgar Nixon, president of the local chapter of the NAACP; and Martin Luther King Jr.
February 7 - National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day
The first National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (NBHAAD) was marked in 1999 as a grassroots-education effort to raise awareness about HIV and AIDS prevention, care, and treatment in communities of color.The 2020 theme is “We’re in This, Together” and focuses on the need to increase HIV education, testing, community involvement, and treatment among black communities. See HIV.gov for resources on event planning.
February 11 - International Day of Women and Girls in Science
Science and gender equality are both vital for the achievement of the internationally agreed development goals, including the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The global community has made a lot of effort in inspiring and engaging women and girls in science but women and girls continue to be excluded from participating fully in science. For more information, visit the UNESCO site.
February 12 - Darwin Day
Darwin Day is a global celebration of science and reason held on or around February 12, the birthday of evolutionary biologist Charles Darwin. Charles Darwin contributed to our understanding at the deepest level and forever changed the way we see ourselves in this vast, impersonal universe. The International Darwin Day Foundation, a nonprofit 501(c)3 educational corporation and project of the American Humanist Association and founded by Dr. Robert Stephens, works to promote the public education about science, especially ensuring that evolutionary science is taught in schools, and to encourage the celebration of science and humanity.
February 14 - Valentine's Day
Valentine’s Day is recognized as a significant cultural, religious, and commercial celebration of romance and romantic love in many regions around the world.
February 14 - Frederick Douglass Day
Frederick Douglass was an American social reformer, abolitionist, orator, writer, and statesman. After escaping from slavery in Maryland, he became a national leader of the abolitionist movement in Massachusetts and New York. Douglass actively supported women’s suffrage and was a firm believer in the equality of all peoples, whether white, black, female, Native American, or Chinese immigrants.
February 15 - Susan B. Anthony Day
Susan B. Anthony is known for her leadership in the women’s suffrage movement in the United States and abroad. She indicated her interest as early as 1852, when she attended the National Women’s Rights Convention in Syracuse, New York, although she died in 1906 before the 19th Amendment passed in 1920, securing women’s right to vote. She was also a vigorous opponent of slavery and was a friend of Frederick Douglass (though they disagreed on who should get the vote first, women or black people).
February 20 - World Day of Social Justice
The United Nations declared February 20th as World Day of Social Justice in 2007 and the 2020 theme is “Closing the Inequalities Gap to Achieve Social Justice”. Social justice is an underlying principle for peaceful and prosperous coexistence within and among nations. We uphold the principles of social justice when we promote gender equality, or the rights of indigenous peoples and migrants. We advance social justice when we remove barriers that people face because of gender, age, race, ethnicity, religion, culture or disability.

Activities

Invite a Local Scientist/Researcher to Present
Learn about new scientific developments by having a scientist come talk to your group. Graduate students are often eager to share their current research too. They will probably have great recommendations on other speakers to invite and books or articles to discuss.

Recognize Darwin Day with a Proclamation/Resolution/Invocation
Encourage your local government to issue a Darwin Day Proclamation or Resolution. Or request to give a Darwin Day Invocation at a meeting. Sample text is available on the Darwin Day website. Let us know about if your group is successfull and we’ll share it with others!

Letters to the Editor
A Letter to the Editor (or LTE) is a great way for your group to raise awareness on important issues locally, nationally, and globally, as well as get media attention for your group. Consider discussing your ideas during a letter-writing party. Here are step-by-step instructions, some additional tips, and below are some prompts you can use for February:
– Why is it important to know/learn about evolution? Why should access to evolution teachings matter?
– Why should evolution and science not be a controversy to teach in public schools?
– What social justice issues should we as a community tackle?
– Why is social justice an imperative of humanists?

Recommended Books & Movies

Black Freethinkers: A History of African American Secularism by Christopher Cameron

Darwin’s Apostles: The Men Who Fought to Have Evolution Accepted and How the Battle Continues By David Orenstein and Abby Hafer

Pepper’s Special Wings by Mary Anne Farah

A Short History of Evolution by Carl S. Coon

More books, articles, videos, etc on DarwinDay.org. And here are three recent books on evolution for kids.

Second Nature: Brain Science and Human Knowledge by Gerald Edelman

Critical Thinking: A Beginner’s Guide to Critical Thinking, Better Decision Making, and Problem Solving! by Jennifer Wilson

Nonsense on Stilts: How to Tell Science from Bunk by Massimo Pigliucci

More will be added

Social Media Toolkit

#DarwinDay #science #EvolutionMatters

The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing. ― Albert Einstein

My father used to say ‘Don’t raise your voice, improve your argument.’ ― Desmond Tutu

Empower yourselves with a good education, then get out there and use that education to build a country worthy of noundless promise. ― Michelle Obama