Third Thursdays

Our Monthly Third Thursday Lunches (co-sponsored by FOR and Sowers of Justice Network) bring in speakers to give new insights and perspectives on current events and social issues. Grab your lunch and join us online each month for these informative and insightful conversations. Click here to contact the Planning Committee with feedback or suggestions.

Upcoming Third Thursday Lunches.

April 20, 2023, 12-1pm—Ukraine & the Anti-War Movement
with Ariel Gold, FOR-USA Executive Director

Held online via Zoom video conference: REGISTRATION HERE

On April 20th, we are privileged to have a national speaker for our Third Thursday Lunch, Ariel Gold, the new executive director of the Fellowship of Reconciliation-USA (FOR-USA).

Founded in 1915, FOR-USA is the nation’s oldest interfaith peace and justice organization, and part of the global International Fellowship of Reconciliation (IFOR) with affiliates in more than 50 countries.  Its mission is to organize, train, and grow a diverse movement that welcomes all people of conscience to end structures of violence and war, and create peace through the transformative power of nonviolence.  FOR-USA and IFOR have counted among their active members several Nobel Peace laureates, including the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Taking office in August 2022, Gold is a veteran peace and justice advocate and FOR-USA’s first Jewish executive director.  In her prior work, she served seven years as national co-director and Middle East policy analyst for CODEPINK Women for Peace.  Gold cites the Catholic Worker movement and Jewish Voice for Peace as two important influences on her organizing experience.

“We are thrilled at the selection of Ariel Gold as our next executive director,” said Chrissy Stonebraker-Martinez, chair of FOR-USA’s National Council.  “Ms. Gold’s depth of experience, prophetic analysis, and courageous witness promise to re-energize our grassroots movement.”

Following decades of work in international affairs, including advocacy for a just peace in Israel/Palestine, Gold was drawn to FOR-USA’s focus on the connections between violence and injustice within the United States and violence, war, and military occupation globally.  “FOR’s current work is enormously important.  Given the rise of white supremacy, the ongoing epidemics of racial inequality and gun violence, and the current attacks on trans rights and bodily integrity, it is vitally necessary to address our issues at home in order to pursue peace worldwide.”

When Gold accepted the position with FOR-USA, she stated “It is with great humility that I follow in the footsteps of a long list of incredible people involved with FOR, including early racial and gender equality activist Jane Addams – who joined FOR-USA in 1919 and withstood harsh criticism for her embrace of pacifism during WWI – and radical labor activist and lesbian Grace Hutchins, who joined FOR-USA in 1920.”  Gold says she is “immensely honored” to take a position once held by A.J. Muste (“There is no way to peace – peace is the way”), the renowned clergyman, political thinker, and peacemaker who served as FOR’s executive director from 1940 to 1953.

Gold first felt a connection to FOR as a young person during her involvement in the anti-nuclear movement of the 1980 and 90’s.  At the age of 17 she was inspired to engage in her first act of civil disobedience while protesting underground nuclear testing in Nevada on Western Shoshone Nation land.

Gold’s commitment to faith-based activism intensified while raising her children in the U.S. Jewish community.  In between her children’s bar and bat mitzvahs, she took them to spend three weeks in the West Bank living with Palestinian families to “experience firsthand the humanity of those living under occupation and understand the obligation that Jews of conscience have to work for peace and justice in Israel/Palestine.”

More about Ariel Gold:

Louisville Forward Radio at WFMP-LP, 106.5 FM will carry this program on its Solutions to Violence series on Monday, at 5:00 pm; Tuesday, at 8:00 am; and Wednesday, at 6:00 am. You can also listen to these programs via the website Click on “Listen Live now”.

The event will also be live streamed on the Sowers of Justice Facebook page,

Third Thursday lunch is sponsored by Fellowship of Reconciliation and Sowers of Justice, two faith based advocacy groups that work for justice through education and action.

FOR-USA Statements on the War in Ukraine:

Previous Lunches

March 16, 2023 – “Who Are the Women and Men Behind Bars in Kentucky, Going Beyond the Statistics” with Gail Chandler (watch VIDEO)

February 16, 2023 – “On a Kentucky Riverbank, a Path to Remembrance” with Hannah Drake (watch VIDEO)

January 19, 2023 – “Gun Violence: Prevention and Protection” with Cathy Mekus and Kemal Wells (watch VIDEO)

November 17, 2022 – “Rescue and refuge in the desert: Voices from the Borderlands” with Bob Kee and Dora Rodriguez (watch VIDEO)

October 20, 2022 – “Voting Rights under Attack: The Current Situation, Locally and Nationally” with Dee Pregliasco (watch VIDEO)

September 15, 2022 – “Kentucky Resources Council, The Good Trouble Proposal” with Tom “Fitz” Fitzgerald (watch VIDEO)

April 21, 2022 – “Answering questions on Ukraine and Russia” with Andrew Bacevich (watch VIDEO)

March 17, 2022 – “Hurt to Hope and Ultimately, to Healing: How Gun Violence Changed My Life” with Rose Smith and Barbara Boyd (watch VIDEO)

February 17, 2022 – “Issues Before the 2022 Kentucky General Assembly” with Representative Pamela Stevenson (watch VIDEO)

January 20, 2022 – “The State of Homelessness in Louisville” with Natalie Harris (watch VIDEO)

November 18, 2021 – “The Teaching of African and Native American History” with Dr. Ricky Jones (watch VIDEO)

October 21, 2021 – “Palestine and Israel – Update and Analysis” with Dr. Ibrahim Imam (watch VIDEO)

September 16, 2021 – “Philanthropic Redlining” with Rev. Kelly Kirby (watch VIDEO)

April 15, 2021 – “Hood to the Holler” with Charles Booker (watch VIDEO)

March 18, 2021 – “Reparations” with Rev. Kevin Cosby (watch VIDEO)

February 18, 2021 – “Collective Courage: Black Co-ops in Louisville’s West End” (watch VIDEO)

January 21, 2021 – “Police, Power, and Privilege” with Sadiqa Reynolds (watch VIDEO)

January 16, 2020 – “More Than Just a Bed: Addressing the Needs of Louisville’s Homeless” with Nina Moseley, CEO of Wayside Christian Mission (watch VIDEO)

November 2019 –  “Kentucky’s Renewable Energy Future” with David Brown Kinloch

September 19, 2019 – “Fork University” with Doug Lowry (watch VIDEO)

August 2019 – “Stories from the Border” with Cory Lockhart

June/July 2019 – “Stories from the Border” with Tricia Lloyd-Sidle
(watch VIDEO)

February 21, 2019 – “ASALH: Migration from Our Ignorance to the Truth” with Barbara Spencer Dunn (watch VIDEO)

October 2018 – “The Bail Project” with Shameka Parrish-Wright (watch VIDEO)

January 2018 – “Racial and Socio-Economic Equity Issues in Jefferson County Public Schools” with Chris Harmer (view NOTES from presentation)