RRUUC’s Contemporary Issues Forum (Coffee, Controversy & Conversation – CC&C) has been informing our members and guests for the past 35 years with over 30 programs per season. The weekly programs often focus on social justice issues, but also include an eclectic range of topics including foreign relations, U.S. security, state and federal government policy, art, history, nature and more. The weekly CC&C programs are held mid-Sep. through May at 10:25 – 11:10 am (between worship services.)

December 8

Climate Change: The Emergency and What We Must Do About It
Robert Brenneman, Ph.D., and Bruce Davis, RRUUC Member

Robert and Bruce, as citizen activists have created this important science-based presentation to help explain to communities how the climate is changing, the role of human activity in causing the changes, and what we must do now to reduce further damage to our shared global environment.  They will explain how ordinary citizens can each help by taking individual actions and supporting and advocating for local, state and federal government to enact climate initiatives. Our speakers will also report on the training they received recently at the Climate Reality Project, founded by former VP Al Gore, and how RRUUC members can apply for the training.

December 15

American Carnage and the Wars of Donald Trump
Melvin A. Goodman, senior fellow at the Center for International Policy and an adjunct professor at Johns Hopkins University

Mr. Goodman will explore Trump’s assault on U.S. governance and U.S. national security policy. Special attention will be given to Trump’s decision-making on Syria and Iran to demonstrate the greater instability in the Middle East. Trump’s assault on U.S. regulatory agencies will be assessed as part of the war on governance. A former whistleblower, the speaker will examine the recent revelations of the White House whistleblower and the impact on the issue of impeachment.

December 22 (11:15 am in Rooms 30-32)

Effects of Social Media’s Political Advertising on our 2020 Elections
Carl Weichel – Lifelong Learner/Teacher, RRUUC member
With negative influences by foreign actors in the 2016 elections now known, truth in social media advertising is a significant issue for our 2020 election cycle. Facebook, Google and other big tech firms collectively hold that as ‘internet platforms’ they are not content providers – just carriers – promoting that paid political speech should be protected and not censored. Social media firms aren’t restricted to rules that TV, radio & print are and with high profitability, they’re not inclined to self-regulate. And with algorithms, bots, deep-fakes and micro-targeting out in the internet ecosphere, regulation would be ineffectual How we address 1st Amendment rights and freedoms on the internet is critical to our future. Carl will explore this topic from class discussions he led at Olli-AU (Click here to view readings).

December 29

No Forums. Happy holidays!

January 5, 2020

In Gandhi’s Footsteps: The Power of Civil Resistance
Steve Chase, Int’l Center on Nonviolent Conflict

Since Gandhi’s first experiments with civil resistance against racism in South Africa, ordinary people waging conflict and wielding power to win rights, freedom, and justice without the use or threat of violence has taken hold in almost every country in the world. What has been the impact? How has civil resistance fared compared to armed struggle and political violence? Steve Chase, a long-time activist, educator, and writer, will join us and share the surprising and inspiring story of what we know about  the nature, dynamics, and record of civil resistance.