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At the Tufts Humanist Chaplaincy, we hope to foster a comfortable environment for people to engage in honest discussions around the challenges in their lives, and to explore how people outside traditional religion approach questions that many faith traditions engage regularly. Our day to day lives, on campus and off, can be challenging just as they are exciting, but we don’t always have a structured hour in the week to sit down and reflect on the way we’ve grown, and the lessons we can learn from the experiences of others.

At small group reflections, the Humanist in Residence facilitates an open, respectful, and confidential conversation around a chosen theme that concerns and informs many of our choices and experiences in our life journey. The conversation is rooted in a text (or other piece of culture) written from a Humanist perspective that engages the theme, and from there will be open to the perspectives and experiences of everyone present in the group. Those present are encouraged to bring pieces of culture that inspire their own values on the theme, including and especially those from other faith traditions.

The upcoming small group reflection will be led through a set of lyrics from songwriter Ani DiFranco. It will be on Monday, March 28th, at 9pm in the Interfaith Center downstairs meeting room. Small group reflections are open to all members of the Tufts community, irrespective of anyone’s belief background. Light refreshments will be served!


 Ani DiFranco is a hugely prolific American musician and songwriter. Performing in circles of folk rock and alt rock, she has devoted herself and her record label Righteous Babe Records to civil rights causes around feminism and gay visibility. She was criticized in 2014 for scheduling a retreat on a historic slave plantation, and subsequently cancelled the retreat, though it took her months to formally articulate an apology and reflect on the event. At the same time, much of her music has come to reflect a strongly progressive political stance and attempted to articulate the experiences of those suffering under an oppressive America.

 DiFranco openly identifies as an atheist. She recognizes a role that religion and spiritual language plays in the lives of many people (especially activists), but she finds her own fulfillment and community through her activist commitments and political devotion.

This Monday, we’ll listen to the title track from DiFranco’s album Up Up Up Up Up Up and read the lyrics, particularly this selection:

she crawls out on a limb
and begins to build her home
amd it’s enough just to look around
to know she’s not alone

up up up up up up points
the spire of the steeple
but god’s work isn’t done by god
it’s done by people