Welcome to the Grand Traverse Humanists. If you value science, reason, and compassion and believe that humans are responsible for their own destiny, you have come to the right place. We are a community for the non-religious in the Grand Traverse area, offering a forum for discussing and advancing a secular worldview based on our common humanity. Our programs include monthly speakers and discussions, film and book groups, and various volunteer and social events. All are free and open to the public. Check out Upcoming Events below, or click on the calendar. Nontheists, agnostics, atheists, freethinkers, rationalists, humanists, and more…we welcome you to join us!
Please note: MEETINGS AT THE LIBRARY ARE TEMPORARILY ON HOLD. We are meeting outside in person when possible, and on Zoom as schedules allow. Check the Upcoming Events below for details.
In the last six months, four of our fellow Grand Traverse Humanists have died. We are saddened by the loss of Ed Rom, Walter Foote, Mark Gustafson, and Gordon Grimm. Let us remember them well.
- G.T. Humanists Meeting: Great Lakes, Protection vs. Profit
Monday, June 14, 7 p.m.
7670 East Shore Rd., Traverse City
Barb Stamiris will present a program on the Line 5 oil pipeline (which runs through the Straits of Mackinac) and discuss why many believe it should be shut down.
Governor Whitmer has recently filed a lawsuit ordering a shutdown of Line 5. Her recent opinion piece for the Washington Post can be read here:
Barb became an environmental activist in the 1980s when she realized that her home was within a 10 mile radius of the Midland nuclear plant under construction. In 1984 she testified before Congress about problems with the plant, which never opened and was instead converted into a gas-fired steam recovery power plant.
A retired teacher, Barb now focuses on Line 5 as member of the oilandwatererdontmix.org Steering Committee and works with FLOW (For Love of Water). She is a board member of NMI Environmental Action Council and Leelanau League of Women Voters.
This meeting will take place in person at Mark Elliott and Heather Kingham’s back patio. They ask that you please be vaccinated if you decide to attend. In case of rain, it will happen as a virtual Zoom meeting.
- G.T. Humanist Meeting: The Student Secular Movement
Monday, May 10, 7 p.m. via Zoom
Kevin Bolling, executive director of the Student Secular Alliance, will present a program via Zoom, called “The Next Generation of the Secular Movement: Are You Ready?”
The next generation in the United States is more secular and social justice-oriented than previous generations. Kevin will share about the mindset of millennials and Generation Z, and what the Secular Student Alliance is doing across the county about the current tactics of conservative religious campus ministries, and what local secular groups can do to encourage and engage the upcoming generation.
Register in advance for this free meeting by clicking here; once you register, you will receive your own unique Zoom link to join the meeting.
- Humanist Bike Ride
Sunday, May 16, 11 a.m., at Darrow Park in Traverse City
For those of us fortunate enough to already be fully vaccinated, me
et at Darrow Park for an inaugural GTH bike ride for the 2021 season. We’ll ride through town via the TART-through-to wn route, then pick up the trail to pedal east to Red Mesa Grill for lunch. They have outdoor dining. Contact person is Mark Elliott: text or call 231-392-1215.
- G.T. Humanists Book Club: Caste
Sunday, May 23, 6 p.m. via Zoom
Grand Traverse Humanists will meet virtually to discuss Isabel Wilkerson’s book “Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents.” Join us for a discussion of Isabel Wilkerson’s book Caste: The Origins of our Discontents. Register for this free event here on Zoom: https://us02web
.zoom.us/meetin g/register/tZAo d-iorT8iG9dQz5J tTfcDcWAKwIEduI Qz
Amazon summary: “In this brilliant book, Isabel Wilkerson gives us a masterful portrait of an unseen phenomenon in America as she explores, through an immersive, deeply researched narrative and stories about real people, how America today and throughout its history has been shaped by a hidden caste system, a rigid hierarchy of human rankings.
Beyond race, class, or other factors, there is a powerful caste system that influences people’s lives and behavior and the nation’s fate. Linking the caste systems of America, India, and Nazi Germany, Wilkerson explores eight pillars that underlie caste systems across civilizations, including divine will, bloodlines, stigma, and more. Using riveting stories about people—including Martin Luther King, Jr., baseball’s Satchel Paige, a single father and his toddler son, Wilkerson herself, and many others—she shows the ways that the insidious undertow of caste is experienced every day. She documents how the Nazis studied the racial systems in America to plan their out-cast of the Jews; she discusses why the cruel logic of caste requires that there be a bottom rung for those in the middle to measure themselves against; she writes about the surprising health costs of caste, in depression and life expectancy, and the effects of this hierarchy on our culture and politics. Finally, she points forward to ways America can move beyond the artificial and destructive separations of human divisions, toward hope in our common humanity.
Beautifully written, original, and revealing, “Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents” is an eye-opening story of people and history, and a reexamination of what lies under the surface of ordinary lives and of American life today.”
- G.T. Humanists Meeting: National Writers Series
Monday, April 12, 7 p.m. via Zoom
Grand Traverse Humanists present Doug and Anne Stanton with a talk about the National Writers Series. They’ll discuss founding and running this nonprofit and what it’s meant to them and the community. NWS is a year-round book festival which also works to build student reading and writing skills by offering poetry workshops at Traverse Heights and Blair Elementary and Battle of the Books, a reading competition for hundreds of area children. NWS also helped found Front Street Writers, a professional writing class held in partnership with the TBA-ISD.
Doug is a New York Times bestselling author of Horse Soldiers, which was made into a Jerry Bruckheimer film and renamed 12 Strong. He also wrote In Harm’s Way and The Odyssey of Echo Company. Prior to writing books, Doug wrote for national magazines, including Outside, Men’s Journal and Esquire.
Anne is a former reporter for the Sacramento Bee, Traverse City Record-Eagle, and Northern Express. She recently stepped down as the executive director of the National Writers Series after serving for five and a half years. She now freelance writes and serves as editorial director at Mission Point Press.
This meeting will be held virtually via Zoom. Click here to register for this free meeting, and receive your own unique link to join.
- G.T. Humanists Book Club: Stacey Abrams “Our Time is Now”
Sunday, March 28, 6 p.m. via Zoom
We will gather virtually to discuss “Our Time is Now: Power, Purpose, and the Fight for a Fair America” by Stacey Abrams. Amazon description: “A recognized expert on fair voting and civic engagement, Abrams chronicles a chilling account of how the right to vote and the principle of democracy have been and continue to be under attack. Abrams would have been the first African American woman governor, but experienced these effects firsthand, despite running the most innovative race in modern politics as the Democratic nominee in Georgia. Abrams didn’t win, but she has not conceded. The book compellingly argues for the importance of robust voter protections, an elevation of identity politics, engagement in the census, and a return to moral international leadership.
Our Time Is Now draws on extensive research from national organizations and renowned scholars, as well as anecdotes from her life and others’ who have fought throughout our country’s history for the power to be heard. The stakes could not be higher. Here are concrete solutions and inspiration to stand up for who we are now.
‘This is a narrative that describes the urgency that compels me and millions more to push for a different American story than the one being told today. It’s a story that is one part danger, one part action, and all true. It’s a story about how and why we fight for our democracy and win.’ –Stacey Abrams”
Click here to register for the Zoom meeting.