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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!

Grand Traverse Humanists Main Meeting

Second Monday of each month, 7 p.m.

Traverse Area District Library main branch, 610 Woodmere Ave., TC

Upcoming Events

  • Meeting at the History Center: “Devil in the Woods: The Demonization of Fire in Our Culture and Its Profound Effects”

    Monday, November 10 2014

    Meeting at the History Center: “Devil in the Woods: The Demonization of Fire in Our Culture and Its Profound Effects”

    7 p.m….322 Sixth St., Traverse City

    Fire is a force of creation, an element of the natural world with an important role to play in the planet’s ecosystems.  Fire, once revered, is now generally feared. For the past century our cultural perspective on fire has been heavily influenced by religious and capitalist propaganda; our National Fire Policy resultantly became one of near complete fire exclusion. When the novel “Bambi was imported from Austria to the United States, it had no “forest fire” in the narrative. The fire scene in the cinematic version of the book, seared into the memory of three generations, was inserted by design.  That same year, 1942, Smokey Bear was rescued from a forest fire and became the national spokesperson for fire “prevention.” The effects of the demonization of fire are profound on contemporary society, and we are just now fully understanding the price people and the planet will have to pay for a flawed perspective on the complexities of fire, people, and our environment.

    Jed Jaworski has been a federal, state, and local wildland/urban interface fire fighter for 25 years and presently works with Michigan State University Extension’s “Firewise” program. His presentations offer a fascinating window into a topic most people have no awareness or understanding of, but leave the program fascinated by, proclaiming “I had no idea.” Produced especially for the Grand Traverse Humanists, one of the things his program sheds light on is the complexities of our relationship with our environment and how easily religion can be manipulated to influence public opinion and policy.

  • Michigan Atheists Convention


    Saturday, December 6 2014, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m…. Wyndham Garden in Ann Arbor


    Robert Boston, Director of Communication, Americans United for Separation of Church & State & Author

    Ellen Johnson, Executive Director, Enlighten The Vote, former President of American Atheists, Inc.

    John Geisheker, Executive Director, General Counsel – Doctors Opposing Circumcision

    Dan Barker, Co-President, Freedom From Religion Foundation and Muscian

    Arlene-Marie, Director, Michigan Atheists

    Jonny Brotherton, Chris Hanna, Christopher Tanner, Atheist Analysis

    For more information, click here or contact Arlene-Marie – 313-938-5960 – godfree1st@aol.com

  • Meeting at the History Center: Isiah Smith on Economic and Racial Discrimination in the Criminal Justice System

    Monday, December 8 2014

    Meeting at the History Center: Isiah Smith on Economic and Racial Discrimination in the Criminal Justice System

    7 p.m….322 Sixth St., Traverse City


    MacArthur Foundation “Genius Award” recipient Bryan Stevenson writes in his compelling new book, Just Mercy that each of us is more than the worst thing we’ve ever done.  Too often it seems, however, that our criminal justice system has adopted the opposite view: Each one of us is worse than the best thing we’ve ever done.  Thus, to be caught up in the American Justice system is to be treated as lacking in basic humanity.  Therefore, whatever is done to any of us in the name of keeping the peace is OK, so long as it promises to keep us safe.

    When we allow ourselves to not be deceived by what we read in the newspaper, or what politicians with an ideological mission tell us, we find that we have been misled by what passes for justice.  From three-strike laws, to draconian drug laws, to corrupt judges, law enforcers, and Supreme Court Justices, we have allowed the thirst for revenge and retribution to supplant justice, mercy and fundamental fairness.  How else to explain Justices Scalia and Thomas’ dissent in In re Davis stating that the Constitution does not forbid the execution of an innocent man?  There is, however, room for hope, and optimism, and that hope and optimism can be found reflected in an activist Humanistic Manifesto that values action over words.

    Isiah Smith, Jr.THE PRESENTER

    Isiah Smith, Jr. received undergraduate and graduate degrees in Psychology from the University of Miami. He has worked as a newspaper columnist, social worker and a psychotherapist.  In his thirties he enrolled in the University of Miami’s Law School where he served as the Editor of the Law School Newspaper and a member of the International Law Journal. In 2013, he retired from a cabinet level Federal Agency where he served as a Deputy Assistant General Counsel for 20+ years.  Since moving to Traverse City from the Washington, DC area he has devoted himself to writing and furthering his interest in the study an eclectic blend of legal history, Civil Rights and economic theory. Informed by his personal and professional experiences, his presentation provides a fascinating glimpse into the impact of history, economics and law on social justice.

  • Hungry Humanists: Sleders Tavern

    Eat graphicMonday, October 27

    Hungry Humanists dinner

    7 p.m….Sleders Tavern

    Join us for dinner and conversation…

  • Meeting at the History Center: Shattering Common Perceptions

    Perception Reality graphic

    Monday, October 13 2014

    Meeting at the History Center of Traverse City: Shattering Common Perceptions

    7 p.m….322 Sixth St., Traverse City

  • Hungry Humanists: Pangea’s Pizza

    Eat graphicMonday, September 22 2014

    Hungry Humanists: Pangea’s Pizza

    7 p.m….Pangea’s Pizza…135 E Front St, Traverse City

    Join us for dinner and conversation at Pangea’s in downtown Traverse City. Pangea’s offers a wide variety of specialty pizzas, salads, sandwiches, soups and appetizers all made with the freshest ingredients and with flavors of the seven continents in mind. RSVP to karen.gredlein@gthumanists.org.