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.
- 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
JUSTICE: THE ENDLESS PURSUIT
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. 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
Monday, October 27
Hungry Humanists dinner
7 p.m….Sleders Tavern
Join us for dinner and conversation…
- Meeting at the History Center: Shattering Common Perceptions
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
Monday, 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Book Discussion: Deer Hunting with Jesus
Sunday, September 28 2014
Book Discussion…Deer Hunting with Jesus
4 p.m….home of Gregg and Sue McDonald…8836 Wheeler Oaks, Williamsburg
Join us for a discussion of Joe Bageant’s book Deer Hunting with Jesus: Dispatches from America’s Class Wars. Sure to be a lively discussion!
- Bike Ride: Darrow Park to Suttons Bay
Sunday, October 5 2014
Bike Ride (weather permitting)
10 a.m….Darrow Park in Traverse City to Suttons Bay via TART
Meet at Darrow Park in Traverse City and ride up the TART trail to Suttons Bay for brunch. Ride back or take BATA. Each way is 17 miles.