Recordings of Sunday Platform addresses
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Ethical Culture Versus Ethical Humanism; Kate Lovelady, Leader

August 26, 2018

For this year’s “compare and contrast” Platform address, instead of looking at similarities and differences between the Ethical Society and another tradition, we’ll explore how the views and practices of Ethical Societies have changed over time. What would Ethical Society members of 100, 50, or even 20 years ago recognize in the Ethical Society of today? What would they find has changed? And what does our history suggest about how the Ethical Society might continue to develop in the future?

One Book, Two Sisters, Many Stories; Samantha and Krystal White

August 19, 2018

In Becoming Ms. Burton: From Prison to Recovery to Leading the Fight for Incarcerated Women, Susan Burton details her life experiences growing up impoverished in California, navigating abuse, addiction, poverty, and the cyclical nature of imprisonment in the US, and how she broke free and became an inspiring leader. Her story is both tragic and hopeful, and is the focus of the “One Book, One Ethical Society” initiative. In this year of exploring emotions, Samantha and Krystal will share their own reflections of growing up and their memories prompted by Susan’s life.

Samantha N. White is a Kentucky native but, after 11 years, considers St. Louis to be her home. She is an avid reader and loves food, hiking, volunteering, and playing board games with friends and family. Samantha is also a social justice advocate, is heavily involved in the Ethical Society End Racism Team efforts, and recently joined the Society’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee. Her sister, Krystal Sno White, is an educator and volunteer who currently serves on the Board of Trustees for the Ethical Society of Saint Louis and NARAL Pro-Choice Missouri.

Spillover: Feeling All Six Emotions; Mitch Harden

August 12, 2018

Sweaty palms, a racing heartbeat and a gasp as you catch your breath. Did you just get attacked by a wild animal? Or did you just run into the love of your life? No matter what you think, your body responds the same! Find out more about the biological underpinnings of emotions in this Platform.

Slides accompanying the presentation (pdf).

Developing Our Emotions; Sean O’Hara

August 5, 2018

How as human beings do we look inside ourselves in order to develop ourselves emotionally? If we don’t believe there is a higher power to provide us with answers to life’s conundrums, how do we look inside ourselves to find wisdom that helps us overcome our insecurities as a person? This Platform offers a humanist’s insight into how to grow and mature as a person as we move through life’s trials, tribulations and wonders.

Our Dark Desires; James Croft, EdD, Outreach Director

July 29, 2018

Not everything we want is something we should want. Sometimes, we have less control over our desires than we would like. And sometimes, we’ve been told our desires are wrong, when in fact they are not. How can we deal with our dark desires, those things we want but think we shouldn’t? Why do we want things which hurt us? Where can we find help?

Emergent desire: Braving the darkness and the light of beloved community; Elizabeth Vega of Artivists StL

July 22, 2018

Theme for the July: Desire

Veteran activist, artist and artivist Elizabeth Vega will explore how what we desire can and should change as we become radicalized by love.

When You Wish Upon a Star: What We All Truly Desire; Kendra Holliday

July 8, 2018

Theme for the July: Desire

What makes desire healthy or not? How does society shame us about our healthy desires? How can we ethically pursue our desires? Kendra Holliday explores the various facets of what we yearn for, and how we can find balance in pursuing our passions.

Kendra Holliday is a sex-positive activist and co-founder of Sex Positive St Louis, a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to provide safe spaces for adults to connect with like-minded people, obtain accurate sex ed, and explore their sexuality. Her blog is The Beautiful Kind, and her professional consulting site is www.beopenandhonest.com.

(NOTE: This presentation contains sexually explicit content.)

Learning to Live & Love in the Farthest Spaces of Our Hearts; Victoria Price

July 1, 2018

Theme for the July: Desire

“Let my heart put aside every desire, so that my heart grows used to its farthest spaces. Better that it live fully aware, in the terror of its stars, than as if protected, soothed by what is near”—Rainer Maria Rilke.

Scientists say we live in an infinitely expanding universe—an idea that they also say our human minds are incapable of comprehending. Essentially, infinity scares the heck out of us. Which is how desire—the yearning for something or someone—became the gasoline in the motor of humanity, filling the empty tanks of our fears and fueling everything from global economies to our most intimate moments.

Taking inspiration from poetry as well as experiences from her own life, Rev. Victoria Price asks us to consider whether this limited view of desire has blinded us to the possibility of a life-changing dialogue with Infinite Love in the farthest spaces of our hearts.

Victoria Price brings her unique story to the national and international stage as an author, inspirational speaker, blogger, designer, artist and art consultant, and interspiritual and interfaith minister.

Victoria’s popular blog, Daily Practice of Joy, chronicles her journey back to joy that began in 2011, the year in which the world celebrated the 100th birthday of her father, Vincent Price, with Vincentennial celebrations around the globe.

In 2016, after living in Santa Fe, New Mexico, for a quarter century, Victoria embarked on an ongoing journey of intentional homelessness, chronicled in her new inspirational memoir, The Way of Being Lost: A Road Trip to My Truest Self. Her critically-acclaimed biography of her father, Vincent Price: A Daughter’s Biography, was published in 1999 by St Martin’s Press and 2014 by Open Road Media.

The Illusion of Shame; Shane Reister, PsyD

June 17, 2018

Theme for the June: Pride and Shame

Shame shackles helpfulness, despite the illusion that it promotes right living. Can we learn from “shameful” behaviors used to adapt to suffering-filled environments? All stressful work risks anger and mistrust being brought home from the office. Healthier coping allows helpfulness to rise as we grow from misdeeds, address addiction, and end aggression.

Shane Reister, PsyD, received his Doctorate in Clinical Psychology from Illinois School of Professional Psychology at Argosy University. He has 15 years of experience in forensic psychology and currently serves as the Southern Regional Psychologist Administrator at the Illinois Department of Corrections, overseeing the mental health programming of 11 state prisons. He also has served on the planning committee for the Southern Illinois Drug Awareness Conference. He specializes in LGBTQ and multicultural-diversity, which includes development of trainings on transgender correctional psychology. He utilizes approaches to empower clients to find a path to wellness and freedom from mental illness, criminal behavior, and addiction.

The Politics of Pride and Shame; James Croft, EdD, Outreach Director

June 10, 2018

Theme for the June: Pride and Shame

Recent years have seen a resurgence of political extremism, as well as the increased relevance of what is often called “identity politics.” The truth is, much politics revolves around a search for group identity and is driven by a desire of people to feel pride in themselves, their group, or their nation. Likewise, feelings of shame and self-disgust can be manipulated to fuel political movements. This Platform explores the role of both pride and shame in politics.

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