WES Blog — Humanism and Race

Community Group Read at WES as an Extension of an Upcoming Platform

At WES we get many impressive guest speakers and sometimes we get truly amazing guest speakers. On April 29, 2018, we are very excited and honored to have renowned author Dr. Anthony Pinn as our guest platform service speaker. Calling Dr. Pinn an author only begins to describe who he is. From the website, https://www.anthonypinn.com/biography:


Known internationally as a leading expert in the field of African American religion, Pinn is a professor, prolific author and much sought after lecturer committed to academic rigor and the continued growth of African American Religious Studies as a discipline within the academy.  Pinn’s continued teaching and research interests span liberation theologies, black religious aesthetics, religion and popular culture, and African American humanism.


To prepare for Dr. Pinn’s platform service and to add something new at WES that is both educational and community building, we decided to offer a community-wide group reading of his most recent book, “When Colorblindness Isn’t the Answer: Humanism and the Challenge of Race (Humanism in Practice)”.  From the back cover of the book, “Pinn makes a clear case for why humanism should embrace racial justice as part of its commitment to the well-being of life in general and human flourishing in particular.”


Along with reading this short book, we are also offering book discussion sessions. Amanda Poppei and Sincere Kirabo, Social Justice Coordinator with the American Humanist Association, created a study guide for the book, which we will use as help in addressing the topics in the book.


There are two ways to engage in these discussions. The first is to take a look at the book before Dr. Pinn’s platform service. Facilitators will then lead these discussion groups using the study guide Amanda and Sincere created. These discussion groups will take it two chapters at a time for a total of four discussion dates at 1 pm at WES. The dates are:


March 4 – chapters 1-2

March 18 – chapters 3-4

April 8 – chapters 5-6

April 22 – chapters 7-8


The second way to engage with the book and Dr. Pinn’s platform, is to attend a facilitated book discussion session after Dr. Pinn’s platform address. This discussion will be  May 6, 1 pm, at WES.


We are offering the books at cost for a suggested price of $10 a book. You can get a copy of the book in the WES lobby before and after platform services. You can also purchase the Kindle version through Dr. Pinn’s site, linked above.


Dr. Pinn will be speaking to us on April 29th at both the 9:30 and 11:30 platform services. Be sure to come early too as I’m sure he will draw a crowd.



Melissa Sinclair, Director of Lifelong Learning