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!
- Hungry Humanists: Pangea’s Pizza
Monday, June 27, 6 p.m.
135 E. Front St., Traverse City
Grand Traverse Humanists will gather to dine on the rooftop patio at Pangea’s Pizza. Contact Mark to RSVP: 231-392-1215.
- G.T. Humanists Meeting: Eric Hemenway
Monday, June 13, 6 p.m.
Traverse Area District Library
610 Woodmere Ave., Traverse City
We’ll welcome Eric Hemenway with a presentation called “A Look At Indian Country in the 21st Century. A discussion on current issues within tribal communities, ranging from cultural appropriation to Indian law.” Eric Hemenway is an Anishnaabe/Odaw
a from Cross Village, Michigan. The program is free and open to the public.
Eric is the Director of Repatriation, Archives and Records for the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians. Eric oversees the management, collecting and preservation of historic documents and materials for the tribe. These materials are used to support LTBB government functions, its citizens and educational initiatives, such as; museum exhibits, media, curriculum, publications, historical interpretation, signage, web content and presentations. Collaborations on exhibits have included the National Park Service, state of Michigan, Mackinac State Historic Parks, Emmet County, Welt Museum Wien Vienna, Austria and the Harbor Springs History Museum, as well as other museums. Educational partnerships include: Harbor Springs Public Schools, University of Michigan, Michigan State University, Harvard, Yale and Aquinas College.
Eric has also extensive work experience under the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act. He currently sits on boards for the Michigan Historical Commission and Little Traverse Conservancy. Eric is a former board member of the Michigan Humanities Council, Michigan Historical Society, Emmet County Historical Commission, National NAGRPA Review Committee, Harbor Springs Historical Museum and the Michigan Commission on the Commemoration of the Bicentennial of the War of 1812.
- G.T. Humanists Bike Ride
Sunday, June 5, 11 a.m.
1025 Bay St., Traverse City
Join the Grand Traverse Humanists for a bike ride on the Leelanau Trail. We’ll meet at Darrow Park in Traverse City and ride about six miles up the trail to Farm Club, have lunch, then bike back.
- G.T. Humanists Meeting: Ukraine
Wednesday, May 11, 6 p.m.
Traverse Area District Library
610 Woodmere Ave., Traverse City
We’re back to meeting in person at the library! We’ll welcome Jack Segal with a presentation called “Ukraine: Putin’s Challenge to NATO.” Jack Segal is a retired senior State Department, White House, and NATO official with extensive experience in the former Soviet Union, including Ukraine, Moldova and Belarus. Join us for a discussion on where the war goes from here.
- G.T. Humanists Book Club: How to Be Perfect
Sunday, May 15, 4 p.m.
Mark and Heather’s House
7670 E. Shore Rd., Traverse City
Grand Traverse Humanists will gather at the home of Heather Kingham and Mark Elliott to discuss the book “How to Be Perfect: The Correct Answer to Every Moral Question” by Michael Schur. This will be a potluck, so bring a dish to pass if you wish! RSVP to Heather at 503-422-6515 or firstname.lastname@example.org. If you plan on attending, we ask that you please be vaccinated and boosted.
From the creator of The Good Place and the cocreator of Parks and Recreation, a hilarious, thought-provoking guide to living an ethical life, drawing on 2,500 years of deep thinking from around the world.
Most people think of themselves as “good,” but it’s not always easy to determine what’s “good” or “bad,” especially in a world filled with complicated choices and pitfalls and booby traps and bad advice. Fortunately, many smart philosophers have been pondering this conundrum for millennia, and they have guidance for us. With bright wit and deep insight, How to Be Perfect explains concepts like deontology, utilitarianism, existentialism, ubuntu, and more, so we can sound cool at parties and become better people.
Schur starts off with easy ethical questions like “Should I punch my friend in the face for no reason?” (No.) and works his way up to the most complex moral issues we all face. Such as: Can I still enjoy great art if it was created by terrible people? How much money should I give to charity? Why bother being good at all when there are no consequences for being bad? And much more. By the time the book is done, we’ll know exactly how to act in every conceivable situation, so as to produce a verifiably maximal amount of moral good. We will be perfect, and all our friends will be jealous. Okay, not quite. Instead, we’ll gain fresh, funny, inspiring wisdom on the toughest issues we face every day.
- G.T. Humanists Book Club: The Women of the Copper Country
Sunday, March 27, 6 p.m.
Discussion location: Zoom
We’ll discuss Mary Doria Russell’s novel “The Women of the Copper Country,” a work of historical fiction based on the true story of a woman who led a copper miners’ strike in Calumet, Michigan in 1913. It’s an authentic look into the lives of people involved in the early labor movement in the U.S.
The book is available at Horizon Books for a 10% discount if you inform the staff you are a member of the G.T. Humanist Book Club (20% if you are also a Horizon bookstore member).
The Peninsula Community Library will also host its own discussion of the book on February 28 at 6:30, in person at the library at 2893 Island View Road in Traverse City. After the discussion, they will show the PBS film, “Red Metal; The Copper Country Strike of 1913.” For more information call 231-223-7700.
If you want to learn more, the Traverse City National Writers Series hosted a discussion with Mary Doria Russell in 2021, and the radio broadcast can be streamed here.
Call or text Heather with any questions/issues with Zoom: 503-422-6515.