NEW MEMBER SPOTLIGHT: MEET ROSS MEISNER

Joined Humanists of Minnesota: August 2018.

Profession/Residence: Managing Director inside Navigant’s Minneapolis office (which we established two years ago). My team serves the med-tech industry, using proprietary analytics we developed to better inform market opportunities and growth strategies. I’ve lived in Fridley for 18 years. Before that: Silicon Valley, Boston, and Tokyo.

MARCY WOODRUFF JOINS BOARD OF DIRECTORS

The Humanists of Minnesota board has appointed Marcy Woodruff to fill a seat vacated by Sharon Tornes. Many thanks to Sharon for her service. Marcy describes her background and goals below:

What an honor and tremendous privilege to join the Humanists of MN Board of Directors. I am a 15-year Minnesota resident, having spent the bulk of my life in the southwestern US. After retiring from 28 years federal public service (in the air-traffic profession) in mid-2016, I was looking forward to travel, reading, and spontaneous adventures.

DECEMBER 2018: HOW TO SUPPORT PEOPLE WITH MENTAL ILLNESS

A panel at our December 2018 chapter meeting discussed the challenges that people with mental illness face and offered tips for supporting them. Larry Ellis and Humanists of MInnesota member Mick Anderson discussed their experiences with Guild Incorporated, a nonprofit that offers community services to people with mental illness—Larry as a client and Mick as an employee.HofMN Mary McLeod, whose son has schizophrenia and who volunteers for the National Alliance on Mental Illness Minnesota, gave suggestions on how to interact with people with mental illness.

THINK HUMANITY IS MAKING PROGRESS?THIS BOOK COULD DISILLUSION YOU

By Nathan Curland

“Contemporary atheism is a flight from a godless world.” ”The progress of humanity has replaced belief in divine providence.” “The idea that the human species realizes common goals throughout history is a secular avatar of a religious idea of redemption.” These provocative statements open John Gray’s newest book, Seven Types of Atheism.

FIRST-PERSON HUMANISM: BECOMING CAPTAIN OF MY OWN RATIONAL SHIP

By Ellie Haylund

My “descent” into humanism began, like many of us, before I even had a name for it. At the ripe old age of 14, I had a stark realization: the concept of a god seemed silly. Magic was the word I used when I nervously confessed to my then (and still) best friend, Jenna. I grew up going to church, but it was a progressive, open-minded Congregational community that encouraged exploration.

A Book to Soothe the Soul in These Turbulent Times

A Book to Soothe the Soul in These Turbulent Times

By Michael Anderson

I have always been fascinated by the American presidency. In college and adulthood I began to read about all the presidents and their leadership styles. One of my favorite historian/authors is Doris Kearns Goodwin.This review is about her latest book, Leadership in Turbulent Times,  which focuses on four of my favorite presidents: Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and Lyndon Baines Johnson.

A Primer for the Shy Humanist

A Primer for the Shy Humanist

By Harlan Garbell

The average Humanists of Minnesota member may not know that our board members have a job description. Although we are not explicitly required to proselytize, we are required to appropriately represent the organization and its values. Personally, however, I am always looking to proactively get our message out. Taking on this type of responsibility presents a dilemma for me as I am, unfortunately, a card-carrying introvert--with the test results to prove it.  

Post Election, We Must Preserve America’s Core Values

Post Election, We Must Preserve America’s Core Values

By Audrey Kingstrom

How are you feeling now that the midterm elections are almost over. As I write this at the end of October, I don’t know if I’ll be cheering or grieving the morning after. However, no clairvoyance is needed to predict that the country will be awash in emotional outbursts of one sort or another. For some, it will be a great day, for others not so much.

SEPTEMBER 2018: MONEY IN POLITICS

SEPTEMBER 2018: MONEY IN POLITICS

A panel of experts discussed ways to curtail the influence of big money in politics at our September chapter meeting, kicking off a new program year. They included Vicki Barnes, Minnesota state coordinator for both American Promise and Take Back our Republic; State Senator John Marty; and Kathryn Pearson, associate professor of political science at the University of MInnesota.

Why I Write — And Why You Should Too

Why I Write — And Why You Should Too

By Mary McLeod

My propensity to write letters to the editor is well known, but not well understood. When someone says to me, “I saw your last letter in the paper, and agreed with what you wrote,” I sometimes respond, “Well, I write a lot, because I consider the letters section our equivalent of the ‘public square.’ I’d love to see your letter published, too.”

First-Person Humanism: Engaging the Younger Generation

First-Person Humanism: Engaging the Younger Generation

By Michael Rauser

What do you believe in? It’s a question that everyone gets at some point in their life. For a lot of people, the answer depends on when and where you ask them. I know that answer has changed for me a lot. I grew up in a very religious family and realized at a young age that I was not very religious, or in fact religious at all. However, religion fascinated me.

Let's Build the Power of Secular Voters

Let's Build the Power of Secular Voters

By Suzanne Perry

Want to help counter the political influence of the Religious Right? Humanists of Minnesota has a deal for you! Several of us met in August with representatives of the Secular Coalition for America, which is working to build the power of secular voters across the country. We agreed to follow up by organizing a voter-registration drive and encouraging our members to sign up for the coalition’s Rapid Response Network.

Be a Secular Values Voter!

Be a Secular Values Voter!

By Audrey Kingstrom

The “nones.” You’d never know there were so many of us because, as a recently designated demographic cohort, we go by many different names and identities – humanist, atheist, agnostic, the “unaffiliated,” skeptic, freethinker, lapsed (insert former religious identity), “spiritual but not religious,” or nothing at all. Hence, our political leaders don’t pay attention to us. It’s time we change that!