A2Ethics is an all-volunteer, nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting ethics and philosophy initiatives through events, education and civic partnerships in local communities. Ann Arbor, Michigan is our home community. It's also embedded in our name: A2 is local shorthand for Ann Arbor. Our home is a world-renowned educational hub with several ethics research centers and world-class philosophy scholars. Local businesses have a tradition of social responsibility and the Ann Arbor area has a legacy of support for social innovations. And in our role as social connectors---we are developing and expanding an "ethics network" of organizations and individuals supportive of our mission.
A2Ethics has been created to:
- Promote the value of an "philosophy lens" to expand awareness of the impact of ethical ideas on community practices and policies.
- Present original events and exhibits to introduce ethics and philosophy insights and research to the public.
- Strengthen existing and emerging ethics networks in local communities.
As part of the ubiquitous web, A2Ethics.org programs can be heard around the world. Which is why, in the near future, we can easily imagine an AustinEthics.org... a DublinEthics.org... or a RioEthics.org... each offering programs that reflect the distinct "ethics voices" of these widely-dispersed places.
A2Ethics was founded in 2008 by three community leaders who envisioned a new charter for civic commitment, based on community engagement with ethics and philosophy. Each of the three co-founders brought their own perspectives and priorities to the undertaking. Leading the way was ethics educator Jeanine DeLay, a former lecturer at the University of Michigan and faculty member at Ann Arbor Greenhills School. Her priority was to learn how the "gig" economy combined with a growing interest in socially-conscious enterprises was affecting the professional ethics of individuals and organizations in local communities. Martha Bloom, at the time vice president of programs at the Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation, had a keen interest in cultivating a new generation of philanthropists. And Jesse Bernstein, then the President of the Ann Arbor Chamber of Commerce, was concerned with improving the job prospects for young adults in the county and the state of Michigan. All were interested in developing an intergenerational initiative that combined ethics with civic involvement and social innovation.
Since 2008, A2Ethics has made good on its vision to develop a different kind of civic involvement and nonpolitical public space for people of all ages and educational levels to discuss and design new responses to difficult ethical issues facing local communities.