The monthly electronic Newsletter provides news of the Wilmette
Institute, a schedule of online Web Talks, and upcoming courses

Wilmette Institute February 2020 News

Student News


Mike Kelley, a participant in the Wilmette Institute's fourth course on racism, shares his learning outcomes and how he is keeping the conversations going in Lubbock, texas.




Tip for Sustainable Living

smartphone case decorated with a bow

We spend 700 billion US dollars on consumer electronics in the world every year-that's 120 dollars per citizen on Earth. Learn more about the social and environmental costs before you purchase a new device.

The talks are live web video and are free. Just click to register or watch live via our Facebook page or YouTube channel.

Sunday, February 2, 2020, 2 pm Eastern time
Joan Hernandez, Vahid Masrour, and Jessica Kerr - with facilitator Nicola Daniels, Wilmette Institute Registrar
"Transformative Leadership: Panel Discussion"

Sunday, February 9, 2020, 2 pm Eastern time
Steven Phelps
"Overview of the Writings of Baha'u'llah"

Sunday, February 23, 2020, 2 pm Eastern Time
Brian Lepard

Now on YouTube and Sound Cloud:

30% discount for first-timers in 2020

Screenshot of Feb 2020 Courses video
February 6-April 8, 2020

This course will examine anti-black racism and racial prejudice in North American society in some of its most serious manifestations, explore the content and significance of relevant Baha'i authoritative texts, and consider how Baha'is can initiate meaningful conversations and public discourse in a variety of contexts. It will explore definitions of race, racism, and prejudice, and examine such subjects as colonialism and slavery; the prison industrial complex; Black Lives Matter and policing issues; white privilege and bias/stereotyping; segregation, gentrification, and reparations; black women and social justice; and the Civil Rights Movement. Ultimately, participants will acquire tools to apply this knowledge to Baha'i community life and to use it in social-action projects.
February 13-April 2, 2020

Screenshot from Panel Discussion and Course invitation video
Video: Panel Discussion Invite
What does "leadership" mean, once it's been stripped of the mindset of domination? How do we go about transforming ourselves and the social environment we find ourselves in? Since its initial formulation 25 years ago, transformative leadership has been applied in education, health, youth programs, community development and in both nonprofit and for-profit organizations in five continents. The course questions existing mental models of human nature, society, and leadership that impede progress toward a just, united world community, proposing an explicit, principle-based framework that can bolster cooperative action in teams, organizations and communities. The course is open to all and is especially useful to those who are involved in social action or participating in the discourse of society.

Required Text: Transformative Leadership: Developing the Hidden Dimension, by Eloy Anello, Joan Hernandez, May Khadem (2014). Google Books link
February 13-April 15, 2020

Discovering the Bab's Persian Bayan is the first concise yet comprehensive online study of the Bab's "pivotal" and "doctrinal" work. Participants will explore and examine the various themes and dimensions of this very lengthy book which Shoghi Effendi describes as "that monumental repository of the laws and precepts of the new Dispensation...." Learn about the "central message" of the Bayan and discover how the Bab as "the Promised Messenger of God" broke away from traditional Shí'a and Sunni doctrine by introducing new laws and ordinances for the next phase of the human spiritual development.
February 20-April 2, 2020

The Bahá'í Faith has a unique calendar of 19 months of 19 days each, plus 4 or 5 days of Ayyam-i-Ha to bring the length of the year up to a full solar cycle. Through this calendar, "sacred moments are distinguished, humanity's place in time and space are reimagined, and the rhythm of life recast." The Universal House of Justice, in a letter dated July 10, 2014, has called "upon the Baha'is of the East and West to adopt . . . the provisions that will unite them in the common implementation of the Badi' calendar." The House of Justice has also fixed the start of the year on the first day of spring as it occurs in Tehran. In The Badi' (Baha'i) Calendar we will consider the purpose and nature of calendars in general, the organization of the Baha'i calendar (created by the Bab and called the Badi' calendar), the spiritual significance of the names of "the periods and cycles, months and days" in the calendar, and the purpose and timing of Baha'i holy days. We will also compare the Baha'i calendar to the Jewish, Christian, and Islamic calendars.
One Common Faith video screenshot
Video: Course Highlights
February 27-April 16, 2020

People of different faiths (including those with non-religious worldviews) increasingly dialogue with each other. Even so, interreligious conflict is still all too prevalent in the 21st century. Study of One Common Faith - centred as it is on the bold assertion that "the time has come when religious leadership must face honestly and without further evasion the implications of the truth that God is one and that . . . religion is likewise one" - will give us concepts, understandings and tools for effective contributions to interfaith dialogue and to public discourse on the role of religion in society.
March 9, 2020-April 19, 2020

Sometimes couples can lose some of their connection with each other in the course of busy marriage and family life, work, and service. Participants will learn practical ways to build greater closeness, intimacy, and unity, while strengthening their love and friendship. They will also assess and improve their practice of equality, justice, and respect in their marriage. Couples who learn new skills and approaches can stay together for the long-term.
March 12, 2020-June 3, 2020

Organized by the United States National Baha'i Archives and taught by three Baha'i archivists, How to Collect, Arrange, Maintain and Promote a Baha'i Archives will introduce local and national Baha'i archivists to principles that will help them to organize and maintain their collections. Registration for the course is open to local and national Baha'i archivists (and to others only by permission of the National Archives). The course will include activities requiring access to archival materials in a Baha'i archives. Two units will cover basic archival principles; the acquisition, arranging, and processing of records and personal papers, including electronic records; nonpaper materials, including digital assets; reference services; exhibits; quarters for housing archival materials; and preservation. Another unit will involve your working on an archival project: either a survey of your archives or advanced work on a project of your choosing. A final unit will guide you through a final report and proposal to your Local or National Spiritual Assembly.
March 12, 2020-May 6, 2020

Economics and Community Building is designed to prepare learners to take action in community-building and economic development. We will analyze the world's economic conditions through an in-depth study of the Baha'i Writings and recent letters from Baha'i institutions, as well as secular sources, and plan strategies for implementing their guidance to develop economic activities with moral and spiritual foundations. Topics include the economic significance of justice, economic well-being and prosperity, the impact of oneness on economic life, village and community economics, and applying the learning from the course.
March 19, 2020-May 13, 2020

In Indigenous Perspectives on the Sacred, we will examine the common threads found in indigenous spiritual beliefs and practices and the universal message of Baha'u'llah. We will explore how Native American teachings and values reflect some of the more salient teachings and principles of the Baha'i revelation and in so doing will also inquire into how culture shapes our perceptions of reality and seek to gain insights into our inherent cultural biases. We will cover a range of topics: the historic culture clash between indigenous peoples and settlers; the use of language and symbolism in intercultural communication; the impacts of colonization and Christianity in the colonization process; and the effect both have had on native religion and spirituality and the implications for the spread of Baha'u'llah's message in indigenous communities. In our readings, discussions, and consultations, we will strive for expansive thinking and will also revisit 'Abdu'l-Baha's statement about the importance of the original inhabitants of North America and the Lakota prophecy about the rise of the Seventh Generation, reframing these statements in the context of the current Five Year Plan (2016-21).
The Fashioner
March 19, 2020-May 20, 2020

The Arts and Community Building is based on Jenina Lepard's book, The Fashioner: Reflections on the Role of Music and the Arts in Building a Global Community. We will take a theoretical look at the role of the arts in society and in the Baha'i Faith specifically as well as a practical look at how we can utilize various arts in core activities, feasts and holy days, and other aspects of Baha'i life. During the final two weeks of the course, learners will complete a final project based on their own ideas for incorporating the arts in at least one core activity.
World Order of Bahaullah
March 26, 2020-May 6, 2020

The World Order of Bahá'u'lláh: Selected Letters, a compilation of letters written by Shoghi Effendi, identify the essential character and distinguishing features of the Baha'i Faith in contrast to other political and religious systems. In studying the letters, we will examine what Shoghi Effendi identifies as the defects of the prevailing world order, the guiding principles of the Baha'i system that will bring about World Order, and the necessary steps world leaders must take to rectify these defects. We will also study what Shoghi Effendi says about the ordeals we must traverse in order to realize a new phase in human thought and the important role that North America is to play before we reach the peaceful settlement of world affairs. This course is designed to strengthen our understanding of the times in which we live and our certainty that humankind will pass through a daunting period of world history, knowing that world peace, the dream of the great thinkers of all ages, is not only possible but inevitable.
March 30, 2020-May 24, 2020

How can we help children place love for Baha'u'llah and the desire to be of service to others as the foundation of their lives? This course enables parents to explore how they can foster a child's connection to the Baha'i Faith through developing spiritually uplifting routines at home, engaging in service within the home as well as in their communities, and aligning family activities with the current goals of their communities. Participants will be given positive parenting tools inspired by the Baha'i Writings as well as hands-on strategies for implementing spiritual practices at home.
Register anytime and study them at your own pace!

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The Wilmette Institute eNewsletter 

The Wilmette Institute eNewsletter is published monthly by the Wilmette Institute, which offers quality online courses on the Baha'i Faith. The Wilmette Institute is committed to engaging a broad and diverse international community of learners in deep study of the Faith and to fostering love for study of the Faith. The Wilmette Institute was established in January 1995 by the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of the United States.

Information from the eNewsletter may be copied or reproduced, provided that the following credit is given: "Reprinted from the eNewsletter of the Wilmette Institute," followed by the issue's date. Recipients are encouraged to forward the eNewsletter to friends. If you have questions, please email us at learn@wilmetteinstitute.org.

Editor
Robert H. Stockman

Production
Robert H. Stockman
Niki Daniels

Contributors
Christine Muller
Mike Kelley

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