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Jé Exodus Hooper, D.Min., Ph.D.

(They/Them)

Vice-President

Jé’s Motivation as Vice President

“As vice president, I hope to establish a strategic plan that interconnects our mission to the community and cultivates a budget that reflects our efforts. My primary focus is to re-ignite partnerships, center Society voices, and ensure the mission is embodied in all we do. This Board year is one for recommitment and capacity building as a board and pushing us to live out those values of anti-racism training, reimagining current programming, and holding each board member accountable.” 

Jé’s Background

Jé Exodus Hooper is an arts and cultural community curator, clergy, and scholar, who has served the Ethical Culture and Congregational Humanist Movements for over eight years while an instructor of performance theory at Ohio University School of Theater. With a passion as an activist aesthete, ethicist, and community-based performator, Hooper identifies themselves within the Ethical Humanist spectrum as a neo-mannerist, an ethic and aesthetic integration. This term is inspired by the artistic work of Ernie Barnes, a Black American artist whose work was displayed on the 1970s sitcom Good Times. Specifically, centering voices on the margins beyond conventional Humanist cliché, such as reason, logic, science, and rationale without a God, Dr. Hooper calls us to be in wonder with ourselves and the world around us, honoring that there is more to know and understand about ourselves and each other.

Dr. Hooper repurposes the Ethical Culture message with alive spiritual intensity, cultural complexity, and persistent intellectual urgency that is embodied and sensorial, a human interconnectedness with all beings. Dr. Hooper invites communities and congregations alike to go beyond ‘leaning in,’ curating ‘safe space’ and/or ‘to sit in discomfort,’ but rather, reach out and touch as a mode of meaningful relationship practice for the benefit of change. Utilizing the visual offering found in the figurative motifs of neomannerism, Dr. Hooper emphasizes the need to queerly extend ourselves to actualize our existential possibilities of survival – a vocational act of embodied and sensorial relational practice that reaches through lived experience into a new stride for collective aliveness. 

Jé & Ethical Culture

Jé joined Ethical Culture in 2016 at the Riverdale-Yonkers Society. After one year of serving as the Director of Family, they decided to go through Leadership training. Their involvement expanded throughout the AEU. Mentorship from L’ Miller kept them encouraged and involved in every assembly planning, fellowship, and serving multiple societies to build a better and stronger Union.

Jé’s Board & Officer Experience

Since their election as Vice President to the National Leaders Council in October 2021, they were appointed to the American Ethical Union Board while under the leadership of Sonja Kueppers. During that time, the American Ethical Union heavily focused on policy and accountability processes. Their appointment this year as National Leaders Council President has required their particular focus on the values and preserving the integrity of the American Ethical Union community.