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Sunday Platform – Joe Chuman: A Glimmer of Light in a Dark Sky (Hybrid)

April 17, 2022 @ 11:00 am - 12:15 pm

In-person and online!

We are all aghast at the unprovoked war in Ukraine —an example of raw aggression perpetrated by an autocrat and driven by an egotistic vision of reclaiming the putative glory of Russia’s past.

In recent decades we have had a lot to fear in the rise of authoritarian leaders and regimes, Russia prominent among them, and the retreat of liberal democracy. Nowhere is this more fretful than right here in America.

One should never argue that suffering should be required for the sake of building a more beneficent world. But the horrors of the war in Ukraine (as I write this we cannot know how it will end) have enabled people to witness naked authoritarianism in action. As a result, the West—indeed, much of the world community—has united to condemn the war and isolate Putin. This reaction may bring lasting dividends and may augur well for a rebirth of democracy.

I will explore these issues and our personal and political responses to the war.

Dr. Joe Chuman started on his road to Ethical Leadership as a leader-in-Training here at the New York Society in 1969 and continued his training at the Bergen Society, after which he became Leader of the Essex County Society before returning to the Bergen Society, where he served as leader for 46 years, retiring in January 2021. Joe has been a leader at the New York Society Since 2008.

During his long career, Joe has worked as an academic, a social justice activist, a speaker, and a writer. He has been teaching human rights in the Graduate School at Columbia University for more than 20 years, teaches human rights at Hunter College, and has taught at the U. N. University for Peace in Costa Rica and at other colleges.

As an activist, Joe has advocated for civil liberties, human rights, and other progressive causes and has frequently testified before the New Jersey legislature on such issues as religious freedom, gun violence prevention, death penalty opposition, and immigrant rights. He founded the Northern New Jersey Coalition for Asylum Seekers 20 years ago and still serves as its president. Joe has written numerous book chapters, encyclopedia entrees, scores of Op-eds, and is the author of “Speaking of Ethics,” a compilation of essays on Ethical Culture.
Currently, he writes articles on political and socio-political issues on Substack and other social media outlets.

Notice: Only fully-vaccinated individuals are invited to attend in-person at this time.

Watch Online! – Click to join at start | ID 863 0430 0961 | Passcode 609424

Presider: Monica Weiss

Monthly Collection: Sunrise NYC

Sunday Platform is our most important and long-standing community event. These gatherings educate, stimulate personal growth, inspire reflection and action, and strengthen our community. Sunday meetings usually begin with music, followed by greetings and a talk given by a Society Leader, member, or guest.  Platforms cover a variety of topics that reflect current events, pressing social issues, and Ethical Culture philosophy. A collection basket is passed and money is shared between the Society and a charity selected for that day.  While contributions are always appreciated, Sunday meetings are free and open to the public.  Each Sunday meeting is followed by a luncheon and social hour.

To view previous Sunday Platform addresses and interviews, visit our Videos page and YouTube channel.


April 17, 2022
11:00 am - 12:15 pm
Event Category:


Ceremonial Hall (4th Floor)
2 W 64th St
New York, NY 10023 United States
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