2022-05-11 - 2022-06-08
7-9pm ET select weekdays


  • Start: 2022-05-11
  • End: 2022-06-08
  • Cost: $25 per session
  • Event Category Further Reflection

Hosted by American Ethical Union & American Humanist Association

Note: Discussions will be led by white facilitators with strong anti-racism backgrounds. This program is intended for white folks new in their anti-racism journey, but all are welcome.

As we strive to affirm every human’s worth and dignity, we must first understand the oppressive systems we take part in and seek to change. Let’s together learn about and discuss inequality and bias so that we can strengthen our anti-racism advocacy and take steps towards more inclusive and equitable humanist communities. The American Ethical Union and American Humanist Association welcome you to join our Anti-Racism Discussion series, where we’ll reflect on shared materials that help us dive into uncomfortable histories and prepare for hopeful futures.

Students are responsible for reading or listening to materials (this may require purchasing a book) before the session so they’re ready to participate and respectfully engage with others. Sessions will not be recorded.

Each session is $25 and you can donate to support other students. This fee enables us to compensate our facilitators, staff, and organizers for their work developing and promoting the series (AEU & AHA are sharing proceeds). Students in need may request a scholarship by emailing education@americanhumanist.org for coupon code.

Register for these sessions here

Session Details

Wed. May 11, 7-9pm ET & Tue. May 24, 7-9pm ET

How the Word Is Passed: A Reckoning with the History of Slavery Across America by Clint Smith

Jone Johnson Lewis, Ethical Culture Leader

The Germans have put a lot of thought into what they call “Vergangenheitsbewältigung,” or “coming to terms with the past,” that is, with the Nazi past. This book has to do with America’s record of dealing with its own past of enslaving human beings, while preaching “all are created equal.” How has that been remembered, and how does that affect our thinking today about racial issues?

Jone Johnson Lewis has been an Ethical Culture Leader since 1991, and is a 3rd generation humanist. She currently serves the Riverdale-Yonkers Society for Ethical Culture as Leader and is a Consulting Leader for the Ethical Society of Austin.



Thu. May 19, 7-9pm ET & Wed. June 8, 7-9pm ET

“How to Be an Antiracist” podcast episode with Ibram X. Kendi and Brené Brown (also book and workbook)

Louise Jett, Ethical Culture Leader-in-Training

What does it mean to be anti-racist? How can we recognize racist ideas and behaviors in society and ourselves? Racism intersects with class and culture and geography and even changes the way we see and value ourselves. Kendi weaves a combination of ethics, history, law, and science with his own personal story of awakening to antiracism. Students are welcome to also read the book and explore the workbook, though the podcast episode will be the main foundation of discussion.

Louise Jett is a Leader-in-Training with the American Ethical Union. She serves in communication roles at the Ethical Society of St. Louis, Westchester Community for Ethical Culture, and Secular Student Alliance.



Thu. May 26, 7-9pm ET

The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration by Isabel Wilkerson

Hugh Taft-Morales, Ethical Culture Leader

Isabel Wilkerson’s The Warmth of Other Suns tells the stories of Ida Mae Brandon Gladney, George Starling, and Robert Pershing Foster. It weaves the personal and social together to explain the great migration of African Americans out of the southern United States from 1915 to 1970. This winner of the National Book Award for Nonfiction uses biography, statistics and historical analysis to shed light on race, community, and the struggle of a multicultural society to flourish.

Hugh Taft-Morales serves as Leader of the Baltimore Ethical Society and the Philadelphia Ethical Society. Before transitioning into Ethical Culture Leadership, he taught philosophy and history for twenty-five years in Washington, D.C.


Mon. June 6, 7-9pm ET

Raising White Kids: Bringing Up Children in a Racially Unjust America by Jennifer Harvey

Anne Klaeysen, Ethical Culture Leader Emerita

Dr. Jennifer Harvey is a writer, speaker, and professor of religion and ethics at Drake University whose work focuses on racial justice and white anti-racism. This book is for families and communities who want to equip their children to be active and able participants in a society that is becoming more racially diverse while remaining full of racial tensions. Its format is easy to use, with each chapter ending in “Takeaways.” You can also listen to an interview with the author on NPR and watch a “Talks at Google” interview.

Anne Klaeysen retired as clergy leader of the New York Society for Ethical Culture but continues to serve the campuses of Columbia University and New York University as a humanist chaplain. She is co-chair of The Encampment for Citizenship and serves on the board of Ethical Culture Fieldston Schools.


Register for these sessions here