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Equal Time for Freethought

Special Event!

To date there has been little discussion and less research as to how non-believers experience the dying process and death. What are some of the problems and discrimination Secular Humanists face during one of life’s most difficult journeys? How widespread are these problems and what can be done to alleviate them? And, how does one access support when it is needed?
Join the ‘Institute for Science and Human Values‘ and their cadre of experienced speakers as they lay out the issues and suggest solutions on April 10 and 11th at Columbia University. You can register online at or call 727-391-8459.
Listen to an interview with ISHV here!

The Unitarian Universalist Humanist Associations Website

Perspectives on Death and Dying Symposium: Dying Without Deity

Date and time:
Friday, April 10, 2015 - 6:00pm to Saturday, April 11, 2015 - 6:00pm
Columbia University New York , New York
United States
Institute for Science and Human Values
Perspectives on Dying and Death Symposium
“Dying Without Deity”
Hospitals and Hospices ignore the needs of more than 20% of their patients.

Tampa, FL - Oct. 24, 2014 - Even though the Pew Research Center has found that one-fifth (20%) of the USA public and a third (33 1/3%) of adults under 30 are religiously unaffiliated, most hospitals and hospices insist on having religious Chaplains available while ignoring the needs of non-theistic, secular humanist, atheist and agnostic patients.

While a September 2014 Pew Research report indicated that 72% of the American public has concluded that religion is losing influence in American life, the CEO’s of America’s hospitals and hospices continue to ignore this reality.

According to Joe Beck, Florida’s first Humanist Chaplain and Founder of Florida’s Humanists of the Treasure Coast, "hospital and hospice literature mention the existence of non-denominational theistic chaplains but fail to mention the existence of supportive services from an openly secular humanist perspective.” Mr. Beck believes that medical facilities providing a clearly identified secular support person helps to validate the secular patient's life stance and brings comfort to those patients.

The Institute for Science and Human Values (ISHV) has been approached by nursing home directors explaining that their secular patients are not being provided for, by either the facility or the patients’ families. They wonder how they can help. “I have comforted those who are frightened to identify as non-theist for fear that proper medical care will be denied them when they find themselves requiring hospital and hospice stays,” states Toni Van Pelt, ISHV President. “We know many secular humanists’ wishes are denied by their families concerning burial and funeral services.” she continues.

To date there has been little discussion and less research as to how widespread these problems are and what can be done to provide support for non-theists in this, their greatest time of need. To this end ISHV is sponsoring“Dying Without Deity” Perspectives on Dying and Death Symposium, at Columbia University, April 10 and 11th, 2015. Visit (link is external) for further details and to register.

For more information:
ISHV Symposium Page

Black Women Equal Pay Day

Posted on May 22, 2014 by TWC in Featured, Headlines, In The Community

ST. PETERSBURG – The Inaugural Black Women Equal Pay Day event took place last Mon., May 12 at Sylvia’s Queen of Soul Restaurant some two months early in order to discuss the need for all women, especially minority women, to speak up about the age old practice of unequal pay between the genders.

Toni Van Pelt and Cynthia Jenkins helped organized the event in record time after sitting around one day and chatting. Both women are active in the local community, their list of committees and accomplishments reading like a resume, with Jenkins touting the title of the Black Business Council president while Van Pelt is the president and public policy director currently lobbying Congress for the Institute for Science and Human Values.

Their mission: To inform the community of the gap in pay not only among male and females, but races related pay gaps while advocating for greater respect toward women workers.

“Families depend on women’s wages more than ever, but women working fulltime are typically paid less than male workers in every state,” said Van Pelt who emphasized African-American and Hispanic women had a larger disparity in wages than women of other races. “For black women, gender based pay discrimination often is a driver of a lifetime of crippling poverty.”
(Read More)



Minimum Wage Boost Could Help Central Florida Women

Thursday, March 27, 2014
By: Amy Kiley

March 26, 2014 | WMFE, Orlando--An advocacy group expert says Central Florida women
could benefit from President Barack Obama's plan to increase the federal minimum wage.
A White House report out Wednesday shows 55 percent of people earning minimum wage in
the U.S. are female. It says boosting it $10.10 an hour could decrease the gender wage gap by
about five percent.

Toni Van Pelt is Public Policy Director for the Institute for Science and Human Values in
Tampa and Southeast Regional Director for the National Organization for Women.
She says increasing the minimum wage would especially help Florida residents in the service
industry. “They’re bartenders; they’re the valet servers – the maids,” she says. “So many people
are living in poverty and on food stamps, so that, yes, an increase in minimum wage would be a
significant thing for all of us.”

Some business leaders argue an increase in the minimum wage would force layoffs.
Florida’s minimum wage is already 68 cents higher than the federal rate. The minimum wage
for tipped workers is about the same as the president’s proposed increase.


My Impressions:  

IX International

Humanistic School

Just finished another presentation at the summer school, conducted by the Moscow State University and the Russian Humanist Society. The lecture was attended by ten men and four women. I discussed with them the dangers that porn brings to society, and the topic has caused quite a mixed reaction. I decided to start recording his impressions while they are still fresh in my memory. Students, four women, Russian women, white, aged between twenty and thirty years. Men: one person - from Iran, one - from Turkmenistan, other Russians between the ages of twenty to fifty years. Some of the students - undergraduate and graduate students, there are teachers and professors.


Some of those present is not the first time participate in an international summer school, initiated mainly humanists. Someone even went to the United States and was a member of the International Summer School, organized by Paul Kurtz at the Center for Studies (Amherst, USA). Our team of lecturers consists of our leader, Valery Kuvakin, MSU professor of philosophy, Jupe Shreyfёrsa (white gay man, a scientist and a writer from Amsterdam), Norman Allen (African American, man, historian, editor of "Perspectives of man" (publication of the Institute of Science and . reason, Buffalo, USA), and I, the Director of public Relations of the Institute of science and reason (white woman, feminist, St. Petersburg, Florida) it turned out that all of us, foreigners are public men, and this is our life choice: me, feminists, Norma - defender of the rights of the black US people of color, and Jupe -. a talented storyteller, optimistic and cheerful person Our fates and we ourselves seem to most listeners pretty exotic I doubt that many of them met the people of this unusual way of life..


For ten days we live in a small village Subotiv located from Moscow about two hours away by car, and twenty kilometers from the town of Kolomna. Here in the House gumanizmamy we remain overnight, eat and spend our classes. This house was created mainly through the efforts Valery Kuvakin, this Russian Paul Kurtz. He is very energetic and cheerful in his 73 years. On the porch waving two flags - the Russian Federation and UNESCO, the United Nations Scientific and Cultural Organization. In the house - large political map of the world. The rooms are numerous shelves filled with books. The house is very suitable for such events. In it three bathrooms, two shower, separate for men and women. Each of the four bedrooms three comfortable beds. This large bedroom with bookcases. Downstairs in the hall for meetings plush toy - a pink elephant, who holds Russian flag and girded ribbon with the inscription "Russia - the birthplace of the Russian Geographical Society" (I did not understand what the words mean). On one of the walls - a gallery of photos within, among them Nobel Prize winner Vitaly Ginzburg, the dean of the Philosophy Faculty of Moscow State University, a member of the Russian Academy of Sciences Vladimir Mironov, Paul Kurtz, as well as the well-known Russian philosopher and the organizers of the Society. The house has a lot of good photos and black and white prints with the image of the surrounding area.


I make my notes and simultaneously listen to a fascinating lecture by Dutchman Joop Shreyfёrsa, talking about a new concept of the supervising (suveillance) and samonadzirayuschego (selfveillance) digital society. She just opens her eyes for most of us that is happening around. It would seem that we are aware of the extent of that what he says, but he shows us a modern society with such angles of view, which we have not thought of before.He has traveled the world to watch the changing society. He showed us that we are moving from the world of hope and optimism in a world full of fear and negativity. He drew attention to the fact that society is a sign of the decline of the transformation of cities in the trampled earth (I think Detroit - one of those cities). Tagged comparison


(Read More)


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