Platform Talk: Mindful Activism and Peace with Hugh Taft-Morales

Sunday, September 17, 11am
Philadelphia Ethical Society, 1906 S. Rittenhouse Square

Free and open to the public

Building peace is not only an act of compassion. To be sustainable, peace building must also be guided by equanimity and thoughtfulness. When advocating for peace, however, we are often confronted by hostile proponents of violent methods and brutal militarism. How can Ethical Humanists, and others, strongly resist these proponents while practicing “ahimsa,” or non-violence toward all living things?

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Hugh Taft-Morales is the Leader of the Philadelphia Ethical Society and the Baltimore Ethical Society. His vision for Ethical Culture is that it flourish as a clearly defined and reenergized movement inspired by Ethical Humanism and effective in collective ethical action and social justice campaigns.

Recognizing and Interrupting Racism

Monday, September 18, 5:30-7:30pm
Friends Center, 1501 Cherry Street, Philadelphia

Presented by: The Peace Center with support from American Friends Service Committee

Free and open to the public

Interrupting expressions of bigotry can be intimidating, but with some practice, we can learn how to move past our shock and concern and move into Upstander mode. Join us as we explore some of the stereotypes and assumptions people have and how we can best respond while keeping everyone safe.
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Please REGISTER for this free workshop!

Download the FLIER

Barbara Simmons has been with The Peace Center since 1987. She is founding director of PeaceTalks radio, producing radio documentaries from Europe, Asia, the Middle East, Rwanda, South Africa, Northern Ireland, Canada and the United States. Ms. Simmons is also an adjunct professor for the International Peace and Conflict Resolution Masters Program at Arcadia University where she teaches Facilitation for Conflict Transformation and Advanced Mediation.

Camille Turner will receive her doctorate in Conflict Transformation from New York Theological Seminary. Her work focuses on trauma impacted experiences of women and girls and the power of their stories to dismantle oppressive narratives and empower their sexual agency. In addition she is working with survivors of military sexual trauma and community gun violence victims and the socio-political intersections that are instrumental in creating effective community and individual and care.

“Before the Flood” Film Screening

Tuesday, September 19, 5:30pm – 7:30pm
Friends Center, 1501 Cherry Street

Free and open to the public.

If you could know the truth about the threat of climate change — would you want to know? “Before the Flood” features Leonardo DiCaprio on a journey as a United Nations Messenger of Peace, traveling to five continents and the Arctic to witness climate change firsthand. He goes on expeditions with scientists uncovering the reality of climate change and meets with political leaders fighting against inaction. He also discovers a calculated disinformation campaign orchestrated by powerful special interests working to confuse the public about the urgency of the growing climate crisis. With unprecedented access to thought leaders around the world, DiCaprio searches for hope in a rising tide of catastrophic news.

“Before the Flood” presents a riveting account of the dramatic changes now occurring around the world due to climate change, as well as the actions we as individuals and as a society can take to prevent the disruption of life on our planet.

Screening will be followed by facilitated discussion by Sam Rubin and Ashley Hagerty of Food and Water Watch.

This program is made possible through a partnership with the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC).


CLICK HERE to view UN Messenger of Peace Leonardo DiCaprio speaking at the United Nations General Assembly for the 2016 Student Observance of the International Day of Peace.

Interfaith Ally Workshop

Tuesday, September 19, 7:00pm-8:00pm
Interfaith Center of Greater Philadelphia, 100 W. Oxford Street, Philadelphia

Free and open to the public, light refreshments offered.

Speak up and speak out! This workshop will provide opportunities to learn about and exercise the skills needed to intervene with family, friends, and colleagues to combat discrimination and prejudice. Rooted in bystander intervention techniques, this workshop will specifically focus on how to address religiously focused hate speech and discrimination.
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Anneke Kat –  Anneke is the Youth & Community Programs Manager at the Interfaith Center of Greater Philadelphia. She has 5 years of experience working with refugees, youth, and women in the United States, West and Southern Africa on issues of education, economic empowerment, employment, and community building. Anneke holds an M.A. in Community Development and Planning from Clark University.

Rev. Josh Blakesley – Rev. Blakesley has over 18 years of experience in working with diverse groups of religious and non-religious organizations, promoting education and service for the common good. See his BLOG.


“Undoing Racism Day: Embracing Difference” – The CommUNITY Breakfast of the Main Line

Wednesday, September 20, 7:30am – 9:00 a.m.

Villanova Room, Connelly Center, Villanova University
800 Lancaster Avenue, Villanova, PA
(Park in the St. Augustine Center for the Liberal Arts Parking Garage and walk over th the Connelly Center)

This year’s program will be co-presented by the NAACP Main Line Branch, “WE THE PEOPLE Standing on the U.S. Constitution.”

Enjoy a delicious buffet with people of all ages, races, ethnicities and religions, as well as participation of several township’s administrative professional staff and police officers and neighbors from civic, educational and business constituencies.
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Request a registration form here:
Deadline SEPTEMBER 10.

Mail registration form and $10 payment to:
The CommUNITY Breakfast of the Main Line – “Undoing Racism Day”
c/o St. Thomas of Villanova RC Parrish
1229 E. Lancaster Avenue, Bryn Mawr, PA  19010

Mindful Activism

Wednesday, September 20, 5:30pm – 7:30pm
The Church of the Holy Trinity
1904 Walnut Street Philadelphia, PA 19103

Come practice and share techniques for “mindful activism” with Annalisa Castaldo and Hugh Taft-Morales. Together we will explore how to nurture compassion for oneself and others through disciplined but simple mindfulness practice. These techniques can improve our ability to stay calm and caring in the middle of tense political talk or public protest.

Learn about the physical and psychological patterns that get in the way of mindful activism. Find a path to social engagement that is sustainable and joyful. We will discuss many questions, including:
– How can you be engaged with the world but retain a sense of inner peace?
– How can you deal with social and political conflict in a healthy and mindful way?
– How can you be an activist who remains compassionate and doesn’t burn out?
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Register HERE for this free program!

Annalisa Castaldo, a Zen Buddhist priest, and Associate Professor of English at Widener University, will lead participants in several mindfulness exercises and then facilitate an interactive conversation about the important role mindfulness can play in our daily lives.

Hugh Taft-Morales, Leader of the Philadelphia Ethical Society, will offer insights about applying mindfulness to activism during these politically turbulent times and then will guide small group discussions.

Light refreshments will be offered.

This program supported by the Philadelphia Rotary Club


Together for Peace – Peace Day Philly 2017

Thursday, September 21 (the International Day of Peace) 11:40am – 12:15pm
Center of Rittenhouse Square, 18th and Walnut Streets, Philadelphia

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Join us for our Peace Day 2017 program!

We will have a short program including Peace Day messages from other parts of the world, poetry and music.

At 11:55am, we’ll invite people to become still and begin focusing on their breathing (You are welcome to sit/stand in silence longer before and/or after the 12 noon minute.)

12 Noon:
We will ring the chime twice to signal that the global minute at 12 noon is beginning, and then again at the close of the minute. 

The gathering will close with a call to action and music

This year’s global Peace Day theme is “Together for Peace: Respect, Safety and Dignity for All.” This theme focuses in particular on the plight of refugees and migrants throughout the world. UN Secretary-General António Guterres: “Our obligation as an international community is to ensure that everyone forced to flee their homes receives the protection to which they are entitled under international law. Our duty as a human family is to replace fear with kindness.”

About the Global Minute of Silence at Noon:
Across the world on the UN International Day of Peace (Peace Day), people, organizations and groups pause at 12 noon for a minute of silence to connect across the planet in a spirit of peace (all time zones). This minute can be used to meditate, pray, envision or think about peace, or send compassion to those who live in war and conflict.

Join us in Philly or observe the moment wherever you are – in the Philly region or across the globe! 

For additional activity ideas for Peace Day 2017, go to:

Dialogue Across Difference: Creating Compassion to Bridge the Divide

Saturday, September 23, 9:30am – 2:30pm
Temple University main campus (Philadelphia)

Cost: $40 ($20 for students), includes lunch*
* sliding scale discount available – email if needed

In the wake of the Presidential election, courage is needed to address and reduce conflict and hostility. How do we create compassion when tensions have so divided people in the public square?

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This workshop, facilitated by DI Executive Director Rebecca Mays and Nazarene Christian Pastor Per Faaland, will help address that question, inviting you to develop your own dialogue skills and capacity for compassion in engaging others across deep difference. We will explore basic principles and techniques of dialogue and nonviolent communication, and practice tools for dealing with polarization and prejudice in our own unique contexts.

Register here: