Summer is ending, school is starting, and I am sure we are all looking forward to cooler days!
However, with school starting, the Mississippi Humanist Association (MHA) has been working to make sure the First Amendment is respected in Mississippi schools. In July, the MHA fielded a complaint regarding the Rankin County School District (RCSD) and a book assigned as required reading over the summer. The assigned book was clearly a Christian book, by a well-known Christian author. The MHA forwarded this information to the American Humanist Association’s legal team, and they e-mailed the attorney for the RCSD and advised the RCSD the selection of the book was inappropriate, given the recent consent decree the RCSD is bound by. The student was given an alternative selection, and RCSD has been advised not to assign clearly Christian authors for required reading.
July also saw the MHA’s Second Sunday Brunch and Humanist Happy Hour draw possibly their largest attendance yet, each drawing more than 20 people! While this is great, it does pose some logistical issues for the venues that host our events. If you would, if you plan to attend an event, especially brunch, please RSVP on our Facebook page, as it will help us help our venues host us better!
After hearing from many of you through our recent survey and at our events, we’ve learned there is a definite appetite for humanist oriented speakers and events here in Mississippi. So, in response, we’ve scheduled our next special event to take place in September! The MHA is pleased to host Patrick D. Hopkins, Ph.D. of Millsaps College, and his discussion titled Gods and Spaceships: Religion and Technology in Science Fiction. This free presentation, with ample time for a Q&A session afterwards, will take place on September 16th, at 2:00 PM at the Willie Morris Library on Old Canton Road, in Jackson, MS.
Dr. Hopkins is a Professor of Philosophy at Millsaps College and Professor of Psychiatry and Affiliate Faculty in the Center for Bioethics and Medical Humanities at the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson, MS. He specializes in philosophy, neuroscience, moral psychology, and applied ethics issues in science, medicine, and technology.
We hope you will plan to attend, as it will be a great afternoon of interesting discussion and intellectual content!
We thank you for your continued support of the MHA, and if you haven’t joined the MHA membership, please consider joining as a member, or if you are a past member, renewing your membership, and maybe even bringing a friend aboard as a new member! Everything the MHA does – events, activities, website, EVERYTHING - is made possible by your interest and generous donations and membership fees.
If you’re already an MHA member, but want to give us a little more love and support, you can donate anytime online. The MHA website, supported by your donations, has all the info you need! We keep our MHA news AND our events updated on the website, alongside past newsletters, and handy links like this one, to our twitter page. Check back on the website from time to time, as we are currently working on making the website even better!
We’re also planning to host more speakers in the future, and we’re excited about what’s coming up this year and in 2018! We tentatively have an event scheduled for November 21st(save the date) and we will announce details as soon as everything is set up!
And as for our regular monthly events, this month, we’re having our famous MHA Second Sunday Brunch at a new location - the Half Shell Oyster House, in Flowood, Sunday, August 13th, at 11:15 AM. More details are here on our Facebook page; please RSVP if you plan to attend, either via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or at either the Facebook or Meetup event pages.
If Second Sunday Brunch is a little too early for you, come join us at the monthly MHA Humanist Happy Hour! We’re going to be milling around Ole Tavern at George Street on Wednesday, August 23rd, starting at6:00 PM. Come join your friends for some conversation and cocktails and take a mid-week break with us!
For those that like to meet new people and discuss all things atheist and Mississippi, the Central MS Atheist Meetup discussion group will meet at Whole Food Market Community Room (upstairs) on August 27that 11:00 AM.
The monthly meeting of the MHA Board of Directors for August will be held on the customary last Thursday of the month at Whole Foods Market, on August 31st , starting at 6:00 PM. According to the membership survey, there is a desire to participate in the organization of events and activities, here’s your chance to help make the MHA the best it can be! We’ll be glad to see you there!
And, while it’s not an official MHA event, we’d be remiss not to remind you that there will be a solar eclipse watch party at the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science on Monday, August 21st, starting at 12:30 PMand ending at 2:00 PM. You might see some fellow humanists there checking out this once in a lifetime solar eclipse! Find the event info here.
DATES TO REMEMBER
August 13: MHA Second Sunday Brunch
August 21: MS Museum of Natural History’s Solar Eclipse Watch Party
(Not an official MHA Event – information here)
August 23: MHA Humanist Happy Hour
August 27: Central Mississippi Atheist Meetup Group (sponsored by the MHA)
August 31: MHA Board of Directors Meeting
And don’t forget September 16! Join us for our free presentation of Gods and Spaceships: Religion and Technology in Science Fiction with Dr. Patrick D. Hopkins!
For details on ALL of our events, please visit our website Events page here or our Facebook page here. And we also publish events on our Meetup page – check it out here and please, if you are on Twitter, follow us - @MSHumanists.
Thanks for your support of the MHA! See you soon!
Mississippi Humanist Association