WAIT! Don’t go away yet. This is worth it. This is a local group taking a controversial issue and addressing it directly.
The Fellowship of Freethought Dallas had their monthly meeting last Sunday (August 21st). According to Meetup, 83 people were signed up (but the actual number could vary quite a bit). They provided childcare for attendees (so bring the kids!) and had a potluck lunch after the meeting to keep the conversation going. The backdrop was set for the main event.
The topic of the gathering: “Elevator Etiquette.” Rebecca Watson‘s story. Richard Dawkins‘ response. Privilege (real and perceived). The treatment of gender/racial/ethnic minorities in our community and why they might stay away from us. All the conversations we should be having in response to what happened.
Reader Zachary attended the meeting and writes in an email:
I’d like to share this with a wider audience because I think it’s particularly events like Elevatorgate, which burn up so many electrons within the blogs and steal so much spotlight at conferences, that are best confronted by the extraordinary freethinkers, atheists, and skeptics who make up our grassroots organizations. If every conflict or scandal were handled throughout the community in the way that the FoFDallas handled Elevatorgate, then we’ve got nothing to worry about.
Here’s a helpful guide through the 83-minute video:
00:00 Alix Jules talks about the lack of diversity in the secular community
14:00 Dr. Justin Fisher gives background for Elevatorgate
20:00 Faithless Companions sing “Taylor the Latte Boy” by Kristin Chenoweth
27:00 Melanie Clemmer gives a brief tutorial on “Elevator Etiquette”
44:30 Dr. Justin Fisher leads the group in an activity to demonstrate the influences of privilege
56:00 Faithless Companions sing “The Prodigal Daughter” by Michelle Shocked
60:00 Dr. Jean Kazez reflects on the context preceding and surrounding Elevatorgate
Throughout the video, the speakers handled the topic with respect and civility (and even humor!) — I watched large bits of it last night and thought all the parts I heard were excellent. Hopefully, you’ll feel the same.