After 4 1/2 years and over 110 meetings, the Moral Inquiries ~ A Heights Gathering, a community-based spin-off of the Ethics Table at Case Western Reserve University is closing. The reason is that the lead organizer has to devote time to child care. During its time, the group had over 200 members, saw hundreds of people attend events that it either directly organized or co-organized, and led discussions on a wide range of moral and political issues.
The philosophy of the group was inspired by the evolving “emergent curriculum” of the Reggio Emilia school system in northern Italy, especially a version of it adapted by the Chicago Commons Family Centers. Some of that emerging curriculum included months of discussion about the meaning of being a democratic citizen leading up and and following the 2016 General Election, participation in the socially engaged art project “A Color Removed,” and recurring concerns about global warming, responsibility for our planetary environment, and the obligations owed future generations.
Organized initially by the Beamer-Schneider Professorship in Ethics at Case Western Reserve University, the group was co-organized over its time by a local engineer, Tony Tenaglier; Dawn Ellis of the Mandel School who recently served as a Think Big “Thinker,” Patrice Yarham of Cleveland Heights, and Emily Dragowsky, also of CWRU and a former Ethics Table Fellow. The oldest member of the group was 95 years old and the youngest attendee ever was less than half a year old. The group was graciously housed in the basement of Mac’s Back’s Books in Coventry, meeting twice or once a month during the four and a half years.
The Beamer-Schneider Professorship in Ethics will be creating new community programs when the Beamer-Schneider Professor, Jeremy Bendik-Keymer, returns from leave. Stay tuned for new incarnations of the Ethics Table and related community programs.