2018 Summer Forum Series

29 May 2018

2018 Summer Forum Series

Sundays at 10:00 AM


June 24: Kristin Knippenberg - The National Sanctuary Movement: Our Church in Context 

Kristin Knippenberg is one of the founders of the Salt Lake City Sanctuary Network and is the liaison between the Network and the First Unitarian Church.  Kristin will describe the national and regional happenings in immigration and the Modern Sanctuary Movement and provide a context for the sanctuary efforts at First Church.  


July 1: Eric S. Peterson - Empowering Citizens as Investigative Journalists: Ethics and Techniques 

Eric S. Peterson is an award-winning “watch-dog” journalist and executive director for The Utah Investigative Journalism Project. This nonprofit organization provides training to local journalists (and lay persons) in investigative techniques such as how to utilize public databases and successfully request and fight for opening public records. He will describe his craft and discuss his involvement in several local award-winning journalistic pieces.  

Featuring Jim Thornburg singing Tom Lehrer songs


July 8: Wasatch Theater Company - #MeToo Monologs:  The Times Up Utah Project  

WTC has gathered real stories from local women about their experiences with gender discrimination, sexual harassment and sexual assault in Utah.  WTC actors will “workshop” these monologs which are eventually intended to become a full-length play. 

Featuring vocal solos by Rebecca Heal and Erin O’Connell  


July 15: Rollin Cook - Prison Re-location, County Jail Contracts, and Other Ways I Spent my Career

Rollin Cook served as executive director of the Utah Department of Corrections for the past five years until April of 2018. He will share perceptions of the State’s criminal justice system and discuss issues he faced while in his position: e.g., implementing 2016 criminal justice reforms, moving the State prison, and the contract system of incarcerating state prisoners in county jails.

Featuring classical pianist, Dylan Anderson


July 22: Dennis McCarty - Servetus: Dramatic Choices.  Reading and music from an original play about Unitarian Universalist’s Early Thought Leader

Former First Church member, now retired UU minister Dennis McCarty, will sing selected songs from his play on Unitarian Universalist history, “Servetus: the Radical Reformed Musical.” He will explain some of the conscious choices he made as a dramatist, that he would not have made had he been writing formal history.


July 29: Catherine Kanter - Opposing Gerrymandering:  The Better Boundaries Initiative

Catherine Kanter spearheaded the Better Boundaries Citizen Initiative for the Alliance for Better Utah. Under her dogged and skillful leadership, enough signatures were obtained to place the Initiative on Utah’s November statewide election ballot.  She will discuss Alliance for Better Utah’s strategy and what it will mean for the future of democracy and good governance in Utah.  

Featuring classical pianist, Dylan Anderson


August 5: Gavin Noyes - Behind the Bears Ears Coalition  

Gavin Noyes, executive director of Utah Dine’h Bike’yah, will share a behind-the-scenes perspective on how the coalition of Native American Tribes was able to impact the Obama administration’s executive order creating the Bears Ears National Monument, and how they are fighting to save and protect the land and antiquities.

Featuring songs by Art Lee


August 12 –  Pamela Atkinson – Homelessness in Utah

Well-known community treasure and tireless advocate for people who experience homelessness, Pamela Atkinson will grace the pulpit to relate personal stories about her work and journey.

Featuring songs by Carl Johansen