Women’s Power to Stop War: WILPF is more than just Raging Grannies

Cherrill Spencer

August 26, 2018

The Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF), founded in 1915, envisions a world free from violence and armed conflict in which human rights are protected and women and men are equally empowered and involved in positions of leadership at the local, national and international levels. WILPF’s mission is to end and prevent war, ensure that women are represented at all levels in the peace-building process, defend the human rights of women and men, and promote social, economic and political justice. Spencer will describe the history of WILPF, which is currently active in 33 countries, and will focus on the history and recent programs of the Peninsula and Palo Alto branch, which was founded in 1922. This branch, which is open to new members, women or men, is concentrating on getting more low-income housing in the mid-Peninsula, on nuclear disarmament, and on the new Poor People’s Campaign. Pertinent websites: www.WILPF.org, www.WILPFUS.org, www.poorpeoplescampaign.org

Cherrill Spencer is a member of the Peninsula/Palo Alto Branch of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF). She is also a member of the Humanist Community and a retired experimental physicist.

After the Forum, please join us for a lunch at 12:30pm. The lunch is complimentary for first-time visitors and students.

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Evolutionary Progress

Manuel Manga

August 19, 2018

This talk will be based on reflections on the book “Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism and Progress” by Steven Pinker. Mr. Manga will expand on the key claims made by Pinker, but also on some of his limitations and assumptions about progress, sustainability, capitalism, and the role of evolutionary agents/leaders.

Manuel Manga is co-founder of the Institute for Evolutionary Leadership (www.evoleadinstitute.com) based in Oakland, California, whose purpose is to contribute toward a just, sustainable, and flourishing world. He is a consultant, and executive coach, and has worked in the United States, Africa, Asia, Canada, Latin America, Europe and India.

After the Forum, please join us for a lunch at 12:30pm. The lunch is complimentary for first-time visitors and students.

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Science through the Power of Arts and Storytelling

Dr. Masuma Ahmed

August 12, 2018

Wait, science is not a monster that we have to be afraid of, or have to avoid at all cost! Science is everywhere and even in our everyday lives. It’s in the water we drink. It’s in the air we breathe in. Science is about why, what, and how. Why do we need to drink water? What is water made of? How do we breathe in the air?

Science tells mystery stories. It unfolds the mysteries of where did we come from or how lives began or even why the empty space is not really empty. Science is also an art. With its unique brush strokes, science reveals the mysteries of our surroundings and the Universe we live in. Don’t we all love mystery stories and beautiful arts? So why not capture the beauty of science through our powerful paintbrush and verses?

Dr. Masuma Ahmed is an internationally recognized award-winning Bay Area artist who is originally from New York City. She is a physicist and high-tech entrepreneur turned artist and storyteller. By fusing science with art and poetry, Masuma not only brings unique perspectives to her works, but also demonstrates the power of arts and creative writings in capturing the intrinsic artistry and storytelling aspects of science. Her artworks, a blend of the digital media, mixed media, and traditional media have a very distinctive versatile flair. Masuma received her Ph.D. in Physics from Yale University and art training from Bangladesh Arts Institute and Yale University. Comments from her blog reviewers, ‘I am just amazed. How beautifully you fuse the science with poetry.’ ‘You easily blend science and emotion into an art form.’

Her blog: www.facebook.com/nycrainbowfaces; Email: masumaa@yahoo.com

After the Forum, please join us for a lunch at 12:30pm. The lunch is complimentary for first-time visitors and students.

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Military Religious Freedom Foundation – A Different Fight

Greg Petrequin

August 5, 2018

The United States military can put religious pressure on active duty military personnel. Superior officers may push subordinates to attend and participate in faith-oriented events, often of the Fundamentalist Evangelical variety. It is illegal and unconstitutional of course, but this hasn’t stopped the abuse. In 2005, advocate Mikey Weinstein founded the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF, www.militaryreligiousfreedom.org) to fight such objectionable religious compulsion.

Today, the MRFF supports over 56,000 military personnel who have requested its legal help to combat the Fundamentalist Christian indoctrination they are pressured to attend. Most of these individuals are Christians, forced to participate in a shade of Christianity they don’t accept; others are Muslims, Jews, Buddhists, Hindus, atheists, agnostics, Humanists, and other believers and nonbelievers.

Gregory J. Petrequin is a retired Air Force Colonel and Master Navigator who served on active duty for 27 years. He was involved in combat operations, in the air and on the ground, in Iraq and the Horn of Africa. He has a BA degree, with honors, from San Francisco State University and three master’s degrees from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and Air University. After retiring from the military, he was a production manager for Cintas Corporation, supervising a production plant and a team of 50 partners. He is now an ardent supporter and volunteer contributor for the MRFF.

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The Eleven Ways of Wisdom – A Light at the End of the Tunnel

Arthur Jackson

July 29, 2018

Arthur Jackson, author of “How to Live the Good Live: A User’s Guide for Modern Humans” (2011), and an activist in the American Humanist Association since 1962 and the Humanist Community in Silicon Valley since the late 70s, will share his empirically derived guidelines for ethical behavior to achieve and maintain an Enlightened Community.

After the Forum, please join us for a lunch at 12:30pm. The lunch is complimentary for first-time visitors and students.

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