Archive | Monthly Gathering

October Monthly Gathering – Edible Insects and Human Evolution Your Ancestors Ate Insects … So What’s Bugging You?

Grossed out by that maggot squirming in your apple?

Your ancestors weren’t. In fact, they probably would have popped the offending creature into their mouths and relished its savory flavor. At least, that’s what Wayne State’s assistant professor of anthropology Julie Lesnik thinks. Dr. Lesnik studies how people (and their prehistoric relatives) have gathered, farmed, and cooked insects for food.

Dr. Lesnik’s presentation will draw from her new book, “Edible Insects and Human Evolution”, where she argues that people have been eating bugs for millennia, and our current disgust is a relatively new phenomenon. She incorporates research in human ecology, primatology, and paleoanthropology in order to reconstruct what insect consumption looked like in our earliest ancestors, and advocates for insects as a sustainable protein source that should be used more today, to feed the world’s growing population.

Julie Lesnik received her B.S. in Anthropology from Northern Illinois University in 2003 and her M.S. in Kinesiology and PhD in Anthropology from the University of Michigan in 2011. She joined the faculty in the Department of Anthropology at Wayne State in 2014. Her work has been supported by the Leakey Foundation, the American Association of University Women, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Her book, “Edible Insects and Human Evolution”, was recently published by the University Press of Florida and has been featured by NPR and National Geographic.

Join us on Saturday, October 20 at Northwest Unitarian Universalist Church in Southfield, to hear Dr. Lesnik’s view on the past and future use of insects as a food source, and for a free sample of Crickets! Doors open at 7pm. The program begins at 8pm.

Adult members: $4, or a strip of 4 tickets – $12
Adult guests: $5
Children 12 and under: $2
Members receive free admission in the month of their birthday

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September Monthly Gathering – A Whirlwind History of How English Got from Beowulf to Blogging

Join us on Saturday, September 15, for a very different program. Our guest speaker will be author and Professor of English, Dr. Anne Curzan, Ph.D., who explores linguistics and the history of our ever-changing language at the University of Michigan. During this informative and entertaining presentation, Dr. Curzan will take us on a tour of more than 1500 years of the history of the Englishlanguage, and share her lively insight on how our language has evolved. You may recognize Dr. Curzan from “That’s What They Say”, the Sunday morning show she hosts on Michigan Radio stations around the state, including WUOM-FM, locally.

Professor Curzan’s research interests include the history of English, language and gender, corpus linguistics, historical sociolinguistics, pedagogy, and lexicography. She can be found talking about language on the blog Lingua Franca for the Chronicle of Higher Education, in short videos on the LSA Wire, in the column “Talking About Words” in Michigan Today, and on the aforesaid “That’s What They Say”on Michigan Radio. Her TEDx talk at UM called “What makes a word ‘real’?” has over 1.2 million views on the national TED site. Sheand her co-author Lisa Damour also run T.A. training workshops around the country.

Professor Curzan is the Arthur F. Thurnau Professor of English and Associate Dean for Humanities in the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts, at the University of Michigan. She holds faculty appointments in the Department of Linguistics and the School of Educationas well. She received the University’s Henry Russel Award for 2007, the Faculty Recognition Award in 2009, the 2012 John Dewey Award,and the Linguistic Society of America’s Linguistics, Language, and the Public Award in 2016.

Join us on Saturday, September 15 at Northwest Unitarian Universalist Church in Southfield, to hear this very different program. Doors open at 7pm. The program begins at 8pm.

Adult members: $4, or a strip of 4 tickets – $12
Adult guests: $5
Children 12 and under: $2
Members receive free admission in the month of their birthday

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August Monthly Gathering – A Cold War Tragedy: The United States in Vietnam

The involvement of the United States in Vietnam spanned five different presidencies and was a direct consequence of our diplomatic strategies and domestic politics of the Cold War. In those senses, our involvement was inevitable. However, different presidents dealt with the Vietnam Problem (anti-colonial action, organized around Communist ideology) in radically different ways. After the Korean War, many diplomats and soldiers were aware of the dangers of excessive commitment; our allies in Europe and Asia issued similar warnings. Truman, Eisenhower and Kennedy showed caution; Johnson bet heavily on fighting and winning a military struggle there; Nixon played a complex, equivocal game. The outcome of course was destructive to presidential reputations and deeply divisive. In some ways we still have not recovered from the divisions of the Vietnam Era.

Our guest speaker Bruce Zellers was born and raised in southeastern Michigan. He graduated from Oakland University and received an M.A. in history from Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts. He has taught at Greenhills School in Ann Arbor since 1983 and has been a Special Lecturer in the History Department of OU since 1990. He specializes in 20th Century American military history, particularly the Cold War conflicts in Korea and Vietnam. His book reviews have appeared in a number of journals over the years, but most recently in the Michigan War Studies Review and the Journal of Military History.

Join us on Saturday, August 18th at Northwest Unitarian Universalist Church in Southfield, to hear this story of what was arguably America’s most tragic war. Doors open at 7pm. The program begins at 8pm.

Adult members: $4, or a strip of 4 tickets – $12
Adult guests: $5
Children 12 and under: $2
Members receive free admission in the month of their birthday

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June Monthly Gathering – My Journey of Survival, by Holocaust Survivor Irene Miller

Come and hear a different kind of Holocaust story, as Irene Miller, a Holocaust survivor, takes you on a journey little written of or known about. An amazing story of hope, the struggle to stay alive, and resilience of the human spirit. Listen to her narrative and will sleep in the winter under an open sky in no man’s land; you will freeze in a Siberian labor camp with the bears at your door. In Uzbekistan, you will live on boiled grass or broiled onions, and shiver with malaria. You will spend years in orphanages. In the end, you will wonder how a child with this background grows up to become a positive, creative, accomplished woman with a joy for living and love to share.

Irene Miller is a retired healthcare executive who has held positions as a hospital administrator, developer and administrator of the first federally qualified HMO in Michigan, and director of mental health for Livingston County. She also directed the psychiatric division at Detroit Osteopathic Hospital and treatment centers for drug addicted and dual diagnosed women and their children at the DMC. For a year she served in Washington DC on an advisory committee for issues related to drug addiction in women and children. Before immigrating to the U.S., she was a public school teacher in Israel.

In retirement Irene serves as a a docent and speaker for the Detroit Institute of Arts, a courts mediator, and on the Board of Directors of the American Jewish Committee. Since publishing her book, “Into No Man’s Land: A Historical Memoir”, in 2012, Irene has lectured extensively throughout the Midwest and in Canada. Her memoir serves her mission to promote tolerance and acceptance of diversity.

Ms. Miller has been interviewed extensively for articles in newspapers and on radio and TV stations across the country. Her story was the basis for the PBS documentary “Irene; Child of the Holocaust”, which premiered December 2016.

Irene Miller has lived in a number of countries, traveled extensively, and speaks 6 languages.

Join us on Saturday, June 16 at Northwest Unitarian Universalist Church in Southfield. Doors open at 7pm. The program begins at 8pm.

Adult members: $4, or a strip of 4 tickets – $12
Adult guests: $5
Children 12 and under: $2
Members receive free admission in the month of their birthday

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May Monthly Gathering – Ike McKinnon on Society & Education

Join Ike McKinnon, Professor at UD-Mercy, former Deputy Mayor and Chief of Police of the City of Detroit, as he discusses Society and Education. Dr. McKinnon draws upon his own personal history growing up in Detroit, as a platform for explaining what is happening in American society and in its schools, and a widely held belief that our schools are not measuring up to society’s expectations. He will also analyze why public education is attacked by the media, politicians and citizens, and proposes strategies for supporting schools in the future

Isaiah “Ike” McKinnon was born in Montgomery, Alabama in 1943, and moved to Detroit in 1953. At 22 Ike became a Detroit police officer. Working his way up through the ranks, he retired from the force in 1984 as an Inspector, to start his own security company. Clients included University Detroit Mercy, and the former Renaissance Center. From 1993-98, McKinnon rejoined the Detroit Police Department to serve as chief of police. When McKinnon left his position as police chief in 1998, he became a full-time professor at University of Detroit Mercy. In 2013, Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan sought out McKinnon to join his transition team as deputy mayor. He served in this position until 2016. In his most recent retirement, McKinnon returned to teaching at University of Detroit Mercy.

Dr. McKinnon won an Emmy as the NBC News/Safety Consultant. He has authored three books and co-authored two others, in addition to numerous articles on crime victims. He has met six U.S. Presidents and Nelson Mandela, and has appeared on the “Today Show”, “Good Morning America”, “Oprah”, and “The History Channel.” He is a national motivational/inspirational speaker to Fortune 500 companies and schools. He earned his B.A. from Mercy College, M.A. from the University of Detroit Mercy and doctorate from Michigan State University. He is also a graduate of the FBI national Academy and the United States Secret Service School.

Join us on Saturday, May 19 at Northwest Unitarian Universalist Church in Southfield, for Dr. Partin’s in-depth overview of living on Mars! Doors open at 7pm. The program begins at 8pm.

Adult members: $4, or a strip of 4 tickets – $12
Adult guests: $5
Children 12 and under: $2
Members receive free admission in the month of their birthday

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