Mar. 3: LGBTQ Humanism

March 3, 2013, 1:30pm
12 Eliot Street

We’re delighted to host Mykal Slack, a trans-identified minister who works to create safe spaces for LGBTQ folks in and outside the church. He works for economic justice, equal treatment in the workplace and ending spiritual violence. He is developing a ministry called 4LYFE Ministries, which is a collective of theologians, vocalists, preachers, teachers and other activists who are working to end spiritual violence inflicted upon LGBTQ folks of all faith backgrounds.

Join us for a discussion about how to make Humanist communities most inclusive for our LGBTQ friends. This event is free and open to the public.

About Sarah Jane Chandonnet

Sarah Jane Chandonnet is the Program Director at the Humanist Community at Harvard and the Humanist Hub.

2 comments on “Mar. 3: LGBTQ Humanism

  1. how funny and more of the norm (than you may know) is THIS- “….humanist communities…inclusive..LGBTQI friends…..economic justice…” WOW! it sure looks purty in print and REAL ugly in reality-it seems that in your quest for “safe spaces, equal treatment”, and those wonderful PCish terms-especially “inflicted upon” you forgot one teenie tiny piece, and some of us people : you EXCLUDE me, others differently abled like me. Last time i checked-my wheelchair hasnt the ability to climb up or down stairs.

    • Hi Shane, thank you for your response. This issue has been one of the most difficult we’ve dealt with during my time at the HCH. All of us at the Humanist Community at Harvard are deeply committed to the celebrating the equality and dignity of differently-abled persons as part of welcoming and embracing a diverse community. I can absolutely understand if you’re angry with us, and if you feel excluded by our decision to house our organization in a third-floor walkup office.

      What I can tell you for now is:

      1) Hardly a day of work at our organization goes by where we don’t talk about, make a presentation involving, or otherwise work towards the need for a wheelchair-accessible space.

      2) Without getting into great detail here, we have to pay nearly $25,000 in rent to lease space in Harvard Square, and we were unable at the time when we needed space to find something appropriate and accessible at that budget.

      3) Because we were upset about not being accessible, we *did* negotiate the ability to leave our current space on three months notice if something comparable but accessible should open up. It has not, to this point.

      4) We are currently delighted to be looking for expanded space after 2 years at 12 Eliot St.– in this economy, and given that Harvard University provides us with no funding whatsoever, we’re very proud of our fundraising efforts and especially of the hundreds of community members who have chosen to support our work.

      5) Thus far we have been unable to identify an appropriate space in Harvard Square even at our current $50,000 per year budget. We really would love to move because there are key programs we’re not able to put into effect without additional square-footage. But, when an otherwise ideal property opened up last month, we declined to even view it because it was not wheelchair-accessible. We are making every possible effort.

      6) In addition to all of the above, we have since summer 2012 made a commitment to feature at least 1 community program per month in an accessible space, such as Harvard Science Center, Phillips Brooks House, or Memorial Church. We do this even though it is an additional expense, and will continue to do so until we have a permanent accessible space.

      7) Given the above realities, I’d be very open to hearing how we might further educate ourselves as to how to serve you and others better. None of us on staff are experts around this particular issue and we want to learn.

      Thank you very much and if you have any more questions, please contact us. I’ll send you a private email as well.

      Best wishes,

      Greg M. Epstein
      Humanist Chaplain at Harvard University

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