Felix Adler gave his Founding Address for Ethical Culture on May 15, 1876 in New York. He founded the Ethical Culture Movement with the vision to unite humanity over ethical values and moral action. Adler spoke of “a new religion of morality, whose God was the good, whose church was the Universe, whose heaven was on earth and not in the clouds.”
The Ethical Culture movement has exerted a great influence on American social justice. We began the first free kindergarten in the United States (now the Ethical Culture and Fieldston Schools in New York City) and established the earliest American Settlement House. Ethical Culture members founded the Visiting Nurses Association and the Child Study Association and helped found and develop the Legal Aid Society, the NAACP, and many other organizations.
Ethical Humanist Society of Asheville
The Ethical Society of Asheville was founded in 2001 by the then retired leader of the New York Society for Ethical Culture, Don Johnson, and Jackie Simms. Jackie was active in the Ethical Society of St. Louis before moving to Asheville in 1990.
Joy McConnell, was a leader in the Ethical Society of St. Louis and, with the assistance of the American Ethical Union, assisted Jackie identify and meet with Asheville area residents who had Ethical Culture backgrounds. Shortly after Joy moved to Asheville in 2010, she expanded the ESA activities to include colloquy.
In 2014, the name Ethical Society of Asheville was changed to Ethical Humanist Society of Asheville.