Ethical Humanist Society of The Triangle

Our calendar below is shown in reverse chronological order by month; each month will show dates in customary ascending date order.  This will provide one place for everyone to go to view current and prior calendar entries.  It also provides easier administration by the webmaster. 😀

All programs are at our customary meeting place, Extraordinary Ventures, unless otherwise noted.  We meet from 1:30-3:30 every Sunday unless otherwise noted.  All of our meetings are free, and open to the public. The months for 2015 below are shown as the most recent first.  Our programs for prior years can be viewed here.  Some of our programs are videotaped, and are available on our Youtube channel.


June 5 –

Al Gore’s documentary “An Inconvenient Truth” helped increase awareness of “global warming” now referred to as “climate change.”   This year is the 10th anniversary of that documentary!  He has recently spoken at a Ted Talks forum, expressing optimism about fighting climate change.  We will show his Ted Talk, and then have a discussion about it.

June 12

The recent talk by Ameer Shakil Ahmed of the Islamic Association of Cary will be the focus of discussion led by EHST Leader, Randy Best.   Mr. Ahmed’s view of a moderate form of Islam as practiced by the Islamic Association stands in contrast to the more radical and violent forms which get more media attention.   We will explore those differences in our discussion.

June 19

EHST will celebrate World Humanist Day with a talk by Randy Best, EHST Leader.  Mr. Best recently attended the International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU) conference in Malta as a delegate from the American Ethical Union.  He will give us a review of the conference.

June 26

We will show  40 minute documentary, call to action film titled “Disobedience” and discuss it.  Here’s a brief synopsis from the film’s website: “Disobedience tells the David vs Goliath tales of front line leaders around the world risking life and limb in the fight for a liveable climate.  Interwoven with this riveting verité footage are the most renowned voices in the global conversation around social movements and climate justice for a series that is personal, passionate and powerful.”


May 1

Molly Barker of the Red Boot Coalition will speak to us about the coalition she founded.  The Red Boot Coalition exists to provide safe places where people can engage in honest sharing and compassionate listening.  According to the coalition’s website, “as we practice these skills, biases are challenged, assumptions are questioned and the barriers that once separated us come down. We learn things we never knew – about others and about ourselves – and this changes how we lead at home, at work and within our communities.”  We have her talk available on our Youtube Channel.

May 8 – Note change of speaker as of 5/4.

EHST Leader Randy Best will speak on “Alder’s Sources of Existential Angst.”  Mr. Best will address three questions that Felix Adler, founder of Ethical Humanism,  and many others have asked: 1) Feeling insignificant in the vast world/cosmos: how can I matter?  2) Seeing so much violence and suffering; how can I make a difference?  3) Sometimes acting in ways inconsistent with my values: how can I live with my own hypocrisy?

The originally scheduled speaker Shakil Ahmed will be rescheduled for a later time.

May 15

EHST celebrates its 30th anniversary of our first meeting in 1986!   EHST members will share what motivates them to be member of our humanist community focused on ethics.  Local musician, Tim Smith, will regale us with songs to celebrate our common humanity and shared vision of a better world.

May 22 (note this is a recent program change)

Ameer Shakil Ahmed of the Islamic Association of Cary will speak about the work of the center with particular emphasis in promoting a better understanding of Islam among Muslims and non-Muslims.  (This talk was originally scheduled for May 8th.)

Our book group will meet at the Chapel Hill Library (meeting room C from 3:30-5:00) to discuss The Rabbi Of Worms  (pronounced “Vorms”) by local author Marie Hammond.  Ms. Hammond will join us to discuss her book.  We welcome visitors!

May 29

Conservation Farming and Regenerative Organic Agriculture:  Opportunities to Mitigate Climate Change. Judith Lesser of Harland Creek Farm will speak to us about her work in Chatham County at Hill Creek Farm and beyond to foster sustainable farming practices.   Ms. Lessler was interviewed by the Abundance Foundation last year about her work.  


April 3

Do you have something you’d like to do to help someone, but don’t know who to help?  Do you have a need or wish for something, but don’t know who or how to ask for it?  Chris Kaman, EHST President, will lead an exercise in gift giving.  Based on the Gift Circle principles used in the Brooklyn Gift Circle this exercise will help both members, and visitors who wish to participate a chance to help and/or be helped.

First Sunday Food Collection for IFC.  Each first Sunday of the month EHST asks members and visitors so inclined to bring food items to our meeting to donate to the Interfaith Council’s food pantry.   You may bring one or more items from that list to donate to those in need in our community.

April 8

The Orange Durham Americans United for Separation of Church and State will host a concert and fundraiser  for Americans United at the Eno River UU Fellowship (Durham).  Singer-songwriter-political satirist Roy Zimmerman will perform.  See here for more details.

April 10

Russ Shafer-Landau, the new Director of UNC’s Parr Center for Ethics, will speak to us on “Atheism and Morality.”   The common view of atheism is that it has no morality by virtue of its rejection of theism.   Prof. Shafer-Landau will explore the links between atheism and morality from a philosophical reference point.

April 13

Humanist Happy Hour, Mellow Mushroom (310 W. Franklin St), Chapel Hill, 6-8 pm.  Each 2nd Wednesday of the month we gather here for drink, food, and camaraderie.  Any fellow humanist, including the curious, is welcome to join us!

April 17

Local author, Marie Hammond, will speak to us about her book “The Rabbi of Worms.”  Based on the life of Rabbi Scholomo of Troyes in the 11th century, two young boys, a Christian and a Jew, become friends during the first Crusade when violence against Jews was on the rise.   This is a book about living with those who have different beliefs, a good lesson for today’s troubled world!

April 24

EHST joins with the Triangle Vegetarian Society for a joint potluck and panel discussion.  EHST and TVS members will come together for a late lunch, and a panel discussion led by TVS’s President Dilip Barman.  The panel (3 members from each organization) will explore each person’s ideas about the most pressing ethical problems of today, and how to solve them.  Members are asked to bring a vegan or vegetarian dish and please label the ingredients so that people know what they are eating.  Visitors are welcome to join us even if you can’t bring a dish to share!

April 27

Humanist Happy Hour at City Tap (89 Hillsboro St), Pittsboro, 6-8 pm.  Each 4th Wednesday of the month we gather here for drink, food, and camaraderie.  Any fellow humanist, including the curious, is welcome to join us!

April 28

Cooking at the IFC Community Kitchen.  Come help cook or serve the food to the homeless who greatly appreciate the food and support they receive.   Cooking runs from 4-6 pm, and serving runs from 6-7 pm.  If you wish to help, and are not a member of EHST, please use our online form to let us know.


March 6

EHST Leader, Randy Best, will speak on “Ethical Humanism and Human Worth.”  In this talk he will explore Ethical Humanism’s concept of universal human worth and dignity.  This is one of the foundational principles of Ethical Humanism.  He will address why this is necessary and how it applies to our everyday lives.

March 13

Jim Hilgendorf will speak to us about the core ideas of his book Life & Death: A Buddhist Perspective.  He will speak to us via Skype from California where he lives.    Also we will have Tim Smith, a local musician, play a few songs for us to inspire us to reach for a more ethical life.

March 20

UNC Professor of Political Science, Frank Baumgartner, will speak to us about his research on traffic stop data compiled here in NC.  North Carolina was one of the first states to mandate the collection of more data about traffic stops.  His talk will focus on what his research revealed about who is getting stopped by police, and for what reasons.  Former State Sen. Ellie Kinnaird (Orange County), and Sen. Frank Balance were the authors of the bill in North Carolina requiring that every law enforcement stop record the race of the person being stopped.

March 27

We will show a video about Billions in Change.  It is a movement to fix worldwide problems of our water, energy, and health through action, rather than merely talking and raising consciousness.   Entrepeneur Manoj Bhargava, founder of 5 Hour Energy, is an example of people in the movement who are making a difference through action.   If you want some inspiration to change our world, you won’t want to miss this!


February 7

Dr. Nick Haddad will talk on The Value of Landscape Conservation for Nature and for People.  He will discuss issues that affect all of us. Information will have direct relevance to sources of emissions caused by reasons other than burning fossil fuels, for example leveling forests.  He will discuss some ways that folks at The Nature Conservancy NC (he is a board member) are managing this in our state, with inferences to what we can do at a local level to mitigate effects of global warming.  Dr. Nick Haddad is the William Neal Reynolds Distinguished Professor of Ecology and Conservation Biology at NC State University.  His research interests include the effects of habitat loss and fragmentation on populations, communities, and ecosystems, and the application of ecological theory to conservation and management.  You may view his talk at our Youtube channel.

February 14

Dr. Fred Breidt will speak about the contribution that Charles Darwin made to our understanding of the world and our place in it.   Although International Darwin Day if on February 12th, we will celebrate it today.   Come join us in celebrating Darwin’s contribution to modern science.

February 15 – ODAU Sponsored Event

NCAE President, Rodney Ellis, will speak on The History of School Vouchers at 7 pm at Binkley Baptist Church in Chapel Hill.   From racial discrimination to religious indoctrination school vouchers have been used as a vehicle to segregate students in the nations public schools.  This event is free and open to the public.  It is sponsored by the Orange Durham Americans United for Separation of Church and State.

February 21

Immunizing one’s children used to be a “no brainer.”  Today many people have challenged the need for immunizations on both medical, philosophical and religious grounds.  The Secular Coalition of America has launched a campaign titled “Put Kids First” to lobby for restricting exemptions from immunizing children to medical only reasons.  California recently passed such legislation.  EHST President Chris Kaman will speak about this campaign.  EHST is a supporting organization for the Secular Coalition of America.  You may view the slides of the presentation here.

February 28

Tarajee Ali, the wife of Kwame Teague, will speak on A More Perfect Union: A Collaboration Between Blacks and Whites via Skype.  Politics defines this country but race defines politics.  How do we bridge the gap and create a society that America’s Forefathers  envisioned for this Nation? Three possible solutions will be presented for discussion.


January 3

A democracy of the people, by the people, and for the people depends upon having an educated and informed citizenry.   Today’s mass media is 24 x 7 x 365 and is available in many formats from print to the various forms of electronic media.  The media shapes our knowledge and understanding of our country and the world.  Some have claimed that the media does not truly serve the public interest but rather the interests of the rich and powerful.  We will spend this Sunday and the next Sunday showing a documentary “Shadows of Liberty” and discussing it.  This Sunday we will watch the first half, and share comments and reactions to it.

January 10

We will show the second half of the film “Shadows of Liberty” and share comments and reactions to it.  (See January 3 program for more information.)  Please feel free to come to this 2nd half even if you missed coming last week.

January 17

Jay Niver will speak about his own experience in the news media.  His talk is titled “Ethics and Journalism”.  What sounds like an oxymoron will be facilitated by former reporter, editor and photographer Jay Niver, who worked for two NC daily papers, published weeklies in Ohio and the Carolinas, and won NC Press Association awards for feature writing and investigative journalism. Everyone can take a cathartic blast at what gripes them most about the news media: not-so-hidden agendas; untrustworthy and/or incompetent “professionals”; unscrupulous reporters; shrinking competition, etc.   It’s a great follow-up to the “Shadows of Liberty” documentary we have shown.

The EHST book group will meet at 3:30 at the Chapel Hill Public Library (meeting room D) to discuss the book: The Honest Truth About Dishonesty: How We Lie to Everyone–Especially Ourselves by Dan Ariely. The meeting is open to the public.

January 24

This meeting has been cancelled due to hazardous driving conditions.  It will be rescheduled at a later date.

January 31

EHST will have its annual business meeting.  We will elect new board officers and trustees, and pass a budget for 2016.  We will also review and vote on other business matters including a resolution on the minimum wage, and the recommendations from the task force on growth.   Members are highly encouraged to attend, and visitors are welcome too.

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    200 South Elliot Rd
    Chapel Hill, NC
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    a humanistic congregational community promoting the cultivation of ethical values founded on reason and science and inspired by the love of humanity.
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