Recent Events (2019)

Our current calendar of events is on our home page and in our newsletter.

When What
Monday, July 22nd
7:00 PM

Dinner & Discussion: The Evolution of Religion

Our discussion will be on two interviews with Dr. Azim Shariff, who studies the evolution of religion. The first is a Youtube video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=orF-R8eDhBU and the second is a Hidden Brain episode: https://www.npr.org/templates/transcript/transcript.php?storyId=629616978

Join us at the Wood ‘n’ Tap at 2100 Dixwell Avenue in Hamden. Link to map of the Hamden Wood 'N Tap restaurant location Please RSVP via meetup or programs@cthumanist.org.

Sunday, July 21st
3:30 to 5:30 PM

Board Meeting

This was held online due to the heat warning for this weekend

Saturday, July 20th
Postponed

Book Discussion Group: “Before You Know It”

Our discussion of "Before You Know It: The Unconscious Reasons We Do What We Do" by Yale professor of psychology John Bargh was postponed to August as there was a heat warning for the day of the discussion.

Copies are available in public libraries in Connecticut, and at local and online booksellers.

Monday, July 15th
7:00 PM to 9:00 PM

Monthly Meeting: Why You Should Boycott ALEC and its Funders

Rescheduled from our winter solstice party in December, this talk will cover the American Legislative Exchange Council, a powerful anti-progressive group that supplies conservative legislators with "model legislation." Supported by an ever-dwindling group of America's largest businesses, we will highlight some of the remaining funders and make a case that you should stop doing business with them.

Saturday, July 6th
Postponed

Humanist Explorations: Broadway Musicals, a Jewish Legacy

Our discussion of this award-winning documentary was postponed to August 3 due to renovation work at USNH that could have resulted in the building being closed on July 6.

Monday, July 1st
7:00 PM
New Haven area social dinner at Turkish Kebab House, 1157 Campbell Ave., West Haven Link to map of Turkish Kebab House restaurant location.
Monday, June 24th
7:00 PM

Dinner & Discussion: Zoned Out

Towns around the country are using zoning regulations to keep poor people from moving in. This is especially prevalent in Connecticut. https://www.propublica.org/article/how-some-of-americas-richest-towns-fight-affordable-housing Have you seen it in your town? Do you think this is a good idea? Should we be fighting it? Any idea how we could?

Join us at the Wood ‘n’ Tap at 2100 Dixwell Avenue in Hamden. Link to map of the Hamden Wood 'N Tap restaurant location Please RSVP via meetup or programs@cthumanist.org.

Sunday, June 23rd
3:30 to 5:30 PM

Board Meeting

All members are welcome to attend.

Saturday, June 22nd
4:00 PM to 8:00 PM

Annual Picnic at Gayle & Gordon's

Gayle Walter and Gordon Daniell have once again kindly volunteered to hold our annual picnic at their home in New Haven. Gayle & Gordon will provide hot dogs and veggie burgers. Please bring a dish or dessert to share.

In the event of rain, the picnic will be moved inside

Gayle asked us not to list her address on Meetup. However, it will be in the June HAC newsletter, which will be on the HAC web site. (It's the same address as last year, so the directions in last year's June HAC newsletter are still valid.)

Saturday, June 15th
2:30 PM to 4:30 PM

Book Discussion Group: “Origin”

(Please note time change to 2:30 pm for Book Discussions. We will meet at the new time through the October discussion.)

Our book for June is "Origin" the latest in the author Dan Brown's Robert Langdon series (e.g. "The Da Vinci Code").

Copies are available in public libraries in Connecticut, and at local and online booksellers.

Monday, June 3rd
7:00 PM
New Haven area social dinner at Turkish Kebab House, 1157 Campbell Ave., West Haven Link to map of Turkish Kebab House restaurant location.
Saturday, June 1st
2:30 PM to 4:30 PM

Humanist Explorations: Forgotten Ellis Island

This month we will watch and discuss a PBS documentary on the Ellis Island Hospital: "Opened in 1902, this was the first public health hospital in The United States, and functioned until 1930. As part of the immigration complex in New York Harbor, the challenges of dealing with contagious diseases in the days before antibiotics and modern medicines were available, were massive. In light of the present anti-vaccine crisis, while hard to grasp in the day of advanced medical science, this documentary provides an insight into our current challenges."

Monday, May 27th
7:00 PM

Dinner & Discussion: Man Up

It's commonplace to talk about how gender stereotypes restrict women, but how often do we talk about how gender stereotypes restrict men? NPR's "Hidden Brain" podcast casts some unsettling light on this issue: https://www.npr.org/templates/transcript/transcript.php?storyId=653339162. Here's a gem from a very talented knitter: https://the-panopticon.blogspot.com/2009/03/strangers-on-train.html. Can you think of any experiences you've had or witnessed?

Sunday, May 26th
3:30 to 5:30 PM

Board Meeting

Sunday, May 19th
2:00 PM to 4:00 PM

30th Anniversary Meeting

Join us as we celebrate the 30th anniversary of HAC's founding in 1989.

We will start with half an hour of coffee and conversation at 2:00 PM followed by the main presentation at 2:30 PM. Please feel free to bring a dessert or snack to share.

Saturday, May 18th
2:30 PM to 4:30 PM

Book Discussion Group: “How Democracies Die”

(Please note time change to 2:30 pm for Book Discussions. We will meet at the new time through the October discussion.)

Our book for May is “How Democracies Die” by Steven Levitsky & Daniel Ziblatt.

Copies are available in public libraries in Connecticut, and at local and online booksellers.

Thursday, May 25th
8:30 AM

Connecticut Food Bank Walk Against Hunger

The Walk Against Hunger is HAC's biggest charitable event of the year. We have participated since 2009. Last year HAC was the fifth largest fund raiser at the walk.

This year the walk has a new time and new location, Savin Rock Park in West Haven. Registration starts at 8:30 AM and the walk itself at 10 AM.

You can make a donation or register as a walker (or virtual walker) at https://cthumanist.org/walk

Monday, May 6th
7:00 PM
New Haven area social dinner at Turkish Kebab House, 1157 Campbell Ave., West Haven Link to map of Turkish Kebab House restaurant location.
Saturday, May 4th
2:30 PM to 4:30 PM

Humanist Explorations: Welcome to Leith

This month we will watch and discuss an American documentary film characterizes activities of white nationalist and supremacist groups in a small North Dakota town.

In 2012, white supremacist Craig Cobb attempted to turn Leith into a community for white nationalists and neo Nazis. The story is chilling and a cautionary tale for our increasingly troubled times.

Thursday, April 25th
6:00 PM

Dining Out for Life at Caffe Bravo

The Humanist Association of Connecticut will again be hosting a table (or two!) at Caffe Bravo, 794 Orange Street, New Haven, to benefit AIDS Project New Haven during their annual Dining Out For Life event. 25% of all food purchases will be donated to APNH by the restaurant. We will each get separate checks. We had a great time last year! Please RSVP so we have a count for the restaurant. https://www.caffebravo.com/ (If you can't join us here for dinner, there is a list of all the restaurants participating on April 25th for breakfast, lunch and/or dinner. Check them out at https://www.diningoutforlife.com/city/ct/)

Monday, April 22nd
7:00 PM

Dinner & Discussion: Domestic Terrorism

What is terrorism? Chapter 18 section 2331 (https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/2331) has the definitions as used in Chapter 113B of Title 18 of the U.S. Code (https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/part-I/chapter-113B). The Intercept charges that the United States charges similar crimes differently based on the target of the criminal. (https://theintercept.com/2019/03/23/domestic-terrorism-fbi-prosecutions/) and (https://theintercept.com/2019/03/23/domestic-terrorism-material-support-law/) Do you think the difference in how we prosecute these crimes has a material affect on the number of the types of crimes committed? (https://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/article/2017/aug/16/look-data-domestic-terrorism-and-whos-behind-it/)

Join us at the Wood ‘n’ Tap at 2100 Dixwell Avenue in Hamden. Link to map of the Hamden Wood 'N Tap restaurant location Please RSVP via meetup or programs@cthumanist.org.

Sunday, April 21st
3:30 to 5:30 PM

Board Meeting

Saturday, April 20th
2:00 PM to 4:00 PM

Book Discussion Group: “Barabbas”

Our book for April is the novel “Barabbas” by Pär Lagerkvist.

Copies are available in public libraries in Connecticut, and at local and online booksellers.

Monday, April 15th
7:00 PM to 9:00 PM

Monthly Meeting: Building Community within a Secular Life

Our April monthly meeting features Anita Peters with a presentation previously scheduled for January.

Humanist Celebrant Anita Peters invites us to consider what we do and do not celebrate and why. In a lively interactive presentation involving live audience polls, she will engage us in a discussion of our participation in various celebrations, religious holidays as secular events and universal life cycle events. Which occasions do secular humanists choose to celebrate throughout the year? In fact, she argues, we need our own humanist calendar of celebratory events. “When we celebrate together our values and philosophy of life, we create a community and affirm our community at the same time,” says Anita, “an important development in building an understanding of secular humanism and what it means to be good without God.” This year she is talking to as many humanists as she can in Connecticut and around the country. We are stop two on her journey to create a secular humanist calendar that encompasses humanism, voices our aspirations, recounts our history and expresses our values. She has submitted an application to be a presenter at the 2019 AHA Convention.

Anita Peters has been a Humanist Celebrant since 2014 and is a member of The Humanists and Freethinkers of Fairfield County (HFFC). She is on their Steering Committee, ran their non-fictional book club for five years and has chaired the Programming Committee since 2014. Under her leadership, HFFC introduced highly successful community celebrations for the Winter and Summer solstices. In 2018, the Winter Solstice welcomed a record 60 guests. Celebrations for the past three years have averaged 45 guests. Anita initiated and organized participation in the international Death Café movement with two other Connecticut Humanist Celebrants in 2016. Six Death Cafés in three different cities were held for the secular humanist community in Connecticut.

We will start with half an hour of coffee and conversation at 7:00 PM followed by the main presentation at 7:30 PM.

Saturday, April 6th
2:30 PM to 4:30 PM

Humanist Explorations: Dreamland

Before there was “Tom Sawyer” and “Huckleberry Finn” Mark Twain was a newspaperman. In 1867 he traveled to Europe and the Holy Land, writing of his experiences and thoughts on human nature, and the underlying foibles and hypocrisy of his fellow travelers. The book that he wrote documenting his experiences, “The Innocents Abroad” was a first, and remains one of the best selling travel books ever written. Join us to explore this wonderful story, laced with Twain’s humor and his deep insight into human nature.

Monday, April 1st
7:00 PM
New Haven area social dinner at Turkish Kebab House, 1157 Campbell Ave., West Haven Link to map of Turkish Kebab House restaurant location.
Monday, March 25th
7:00 PM

Dinner & Discussion: Victimization by Both Genders?

Many powerful men have recently been taken to task for sexual victimization. In October, Scientific American reported that sexual victimization by women is more common than previously known (https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/sexual-victimization-by-women-is-more-common-than-previously-known/). Is it possible for society to tackle sexual victimization by both genders? Would an attempt to do so distract from recent successes? What would be gained or lost by such a change in focus? Do you think it would be a good idea? Why or why not?

Sunday, March 24th
3:30 to 5:30 PM

Board Meeting

Monday, March 18th
7:00 PM to 9:00 PM

Monthly Meeting: The Road Less Traveled

At our March monthly meeting, Steve and Susan Boshi will present a guide to some less well-known travel destinations in Italy and France. Steve says “While European cities like Paris, London, and Rome are well known travel destinations, there are numerous more intimate locations with much to offer in terms of art, history, and natural beauty. Three of these places in Italy and one in France fit this description perfectly. Join us for an armchair travelogue to Ravenna, Bolzano, and Lago Maggiore in Northern Italy, and Nancy, in the Lorraine District of France, for a unique perspective of the continent.”

Saturday, March 16th
2:00 PM to 4:00 PM

Book Discussion Group: “When God Talks Back”

Our book for March is “When God Talks Back: Understanding the American Evangelical Relationship with God” by anthropologist T.M. Luhrmann.

Copies are available in public libraries in Connecticut, and at local and online booksellers.

Monday, March 4th
7:00 PM
New Haven area social dinner at Turkish Kebab House, 1157 Campbell Ave., West Haven Link to map of Turkish Kebab House restaurant location.
Saturday, March 2nd
2:30 PM to 4:30 PM

Humanist Explorations: Let There Be Light

In the days of high technology and the internet, it is easy to forget the concept of artistic creation by the human mind and hand. This video essay about the artist Rowan LeCompte, and his work designing many of the stained glass windows in The Washington National Cathedral, will pique your interest in the art and craft of a time long gone by.

Monday, February 25th
7:00 PM

Dinner & Discussion: Black History Month?

Now that we have two independent Darwin Day events in the state, should our local groups be putting more emphasis on Black History Month? Do you think it would help us attract a more diverse membership or encourage a chapter or two of the Black Freethinkers? Is there another commemorative month we should be giving attention to? See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_month-long_observances for a list.

Sunday, February 24th
3:30 to 5:30 PM

Board Meeting

All members are welcome to attend.

Sunday, February 17th
3:30 PM to 5:30 PM

Monthly Meeting: Darwin's Apostles

We have a very special speaker for Darwin Day. Dr. Abby Hafer will present “Darwin’s Apostles.”

When the discovery of evolution by natural selection was announced to the world, neither of the scientists who discovered it were present at the announcement! When evolution was debated and insults traded at the notorious 1860 meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of Science, the co-discoverers of evolution weren’t there, either! Who did the hatchet work on behalf of evolution? Why, Darwin’s apostles, of course! Charles Darwin was famously a recluse in later life. He wrote earth-shattering books but preferred to have others defend them. Fortunately, scientists like Thomas Huxley, Joseph Hooker, Asa Gray, John Draper, and evolution’s co-discoverer Alfred Russel Wallace were all willing to go to bat on evolution’s behalf. They were colorful, distinguished, and tenacious. Come find out more about them!

Dr. Abby Hafer is the author of “The Not-So-Intelligent Designer: Why Evolution Explains the Human Body and Intelligent Design Does Not.” She has a doctorate in zoology from Oxford University and teaches human anatomy and physiology at Curry College.

We will start with half an hour of coffee and conversation at 3:30 PM followed by the main presentation at 4:00 PM.

Saturday, February 16th
2:00 PM to 4:00 PM

Book Discussion Group: “The Denial of Death”

Our book for February is the Pulitzer Prize-winning “The Denial of Death” by Ernest Becker.

Copies are widely available in public libraries in Connecticut, and at local and online booksellers.

Monday, February 4th
7:00 PM
New Haven area social dinner at Turkish Kebab House, 1157 Campbell Ave., West Haven Link to map of Turkish Kebab House restaurant location.
Saturday, February 2nd
2:30 PM to 4:30 PM

Humanist Explorations: Left Behind America

This month's discussion is based on a recent edition of Frontline: In much of the country, outside of some major urban areas, local economies are in decline, populations are dwindling, and the opioid epidemic is spreading. While not a new story in post industrial America, the implications are becoming increasingly severe, with few satisfactory solutions. This is the story of Dayton, Ohio, a once thriving city, only some fifty years ago. What happened, and what does the future hold for this place and many others like it?

Monday, January 28th
7:00 PM

Dinner & Discussion: The Good Life

The March, 1994, proceedings of the fifteenth congress of the World Federation of Humanists was entitled, “Humanism and the Good Life.” “The Good Life” appears seven times in the eighth edition of Corliss Lamont’s classic text, “The Philosophy of Humanism,” Bertrand Russell is famous for his quote, “The good life is one inspired by love and guided by knowledge.” Of course, this is a classical concept. Aristotle talks about it in his Treatise on Government.

What are your thoughts on the good life?

Join us at the Wood ‘n’ Tap at 2100 Dixwell Avenue in Hamden. Link to map of the Hamden Wood 'N Tap restaurant location Please RSVP via meetup or programs@cthumanist.org.

Sunday, January 27th
3:30 to 5:30 PM

Board Meeting

All members are welcome to attend.

Monday, January 21st
7:00 PM to 9:00 PM

***POSTPONED***

Monthly Meeting: Postponed

We were due to enjoy a presentation by Humanist Celebrant Anita Peters, but since extremely cold weather was forecast for Monday, January 21, we decided to postpone Anita's presentation and cancel the monthly meeting.

Saturday, January 19th
2:00 PM to 4:00 PM

Book Discussion Group: “A More Beautiful and Terrible History”

Our book for January is “A More Beautiful and Terrible History: The Uses and Misuses of Civil Rights History” by Jeanne Theoharis.

Copies are widely available in public libraries in Connecticut, and at local and online booksellers.

Monday, January 7th
7:00 PM
New Haven area social dinner at Turkish Kebab House, 1157 Campbell Ave., West Haven Link to map of Turkish Kebab House restaurant location.
Saturday, January 5th
2:30 PM to 4:30 PM

Humanist Explorations: The Genius Behind the Bomb

This month's discussion is based on a documentary from 1992. Leo Szilard, the Jewish Hungarian scientist first conceived of the nuclear chain reaction in 1933 when such a concept was widely considered “moonshine” by mainstream science. While Szilard understood the initial preeminence of a nuclear weapon, he spent the rest of his life arguing against its use. This challenging story is the subject of this months meeting.

Click here to see some other events we've enjoyed over the years.