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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

We have been holding virtual meetings over Zoom: check the upcoming events for details.

Upcoming Events

  • Meeting at the Library: “Cuba: Why Can’t We Just Move Forward?”

    Traverse Area District Library, 610 Woodmere Avenue
    Monday, October 14, 7 p.m.

    Grand Traverse Humanists present a talk with Karen Puschel Segal on U.S.-Cuban relations. For sixty years, the relationship has been plagued by distrust and antagonism. Hoping to thwart Fidel Castro, successive U.S. administrations have tried to isolate the island country economically and diplomatically. In fact, the U.S. has sanctioned Cuba longer than any other country. Hopes were raised under President Obama that maybe it would be possible to put the past behind and start again to find ways to cooperate. Alas, President Trump has put those nascent hopes to rest by exerting “maximum pressure,” including further limits on U.S.-Cuban contacts.
    Why is it proving so difficult to overcome the legacy of U.S.-Cuban relations? And what might we expect looking ahead?

    Join Karen Puschel Segal for a lively discussion of this most interesting – and thorny – relationship! Karen and fellow diplomat (and husband) Jack traveled to Havana recently as part of a World Affairs Council trip, led by a former U.S. Ambassador. 

    Karen Puschel Segal began her career as an analyst of Soviet affairs at the State Department and later served in Moscow and Yekaterinburg, Russia and in Geneva at the Strategic Arms Reduction Talks. Karen is a Council on Foreign Relations scholar and the author of U.S.-Israeli Strategic Cooperation in the post-Cold War Era, as well as various articles. Karen has always been an ardent volunteer, heading various charitable organizations while living in the Netherlands. She recently stepped down as co-chair of the International Affairs Forum in Traverse City.


  • Meeting at the Library: Culinary Medicine

    Traverse Area District Library, 610 Woodmere Avenue
    Monday, September 9, 7 p.m.

    Grand Traverse Humanists present Dr. James Fox with a talk entitled “Culinary Medicine.” Dr. Fox is an Interventional Cardiologist at Munson Medical Center as part of their structural heart team. He has a strong interest in nutrition and its role in heart health. Dr. Fox will talk about the science behind which foods are best for us, and which are just hype. He’ll discuss specific diets such as the Keto Diet, as well as explore which types of food preparations are the healthiest.


  • Humanist Book Club: Creating Change Through Humanism

    Sunday, September 29, 4:00-5:30 p.m.

    4813 N Indian Lake Rd, Traverse City, MI 49696

    We’ll discuss American Humanist Association executive director Roy Speckardt’s book “Creating Change Through Humanism.” The address is Scott and Suzette Blair’s home. Bring a dish to share if you like.

    Read more about the book here: Creating Change Through Humanism


  • Meeting at the Library: Skeptical Medicine with Dr. John Byrne

    Traverse Area District Library, 610 Woodmere Avenue
    Monday, August 12, 7 p.m.

    Grand Traverse Humanists present Dr. John Byrne, a doctor of Internal Medicine and Pediatrics in Warren, Michigan, who will talk about quackery and pseudoscience in healthcare.

    Dr. Byrne’s website, Skeptical Medicine, tackles many issues related to critical thinking in the medical field. For example, which, if any, “alternative” medical treatments have any basis in science? Why do people pursue treatments that haven’t been proven to work? What is “Integrative Medicine” and how does it promote unproven practices such as homeopathy and reiki? What exactly is the “placebo effect”?

    Hear about all this and more at our monthly meeting with the Grand Traverse Humanists on August 12th at 7:00 in the Traverse Area District Library Woodmere Branch.

  • Meeting at the Library: Dr. David Martin

    Traverse Area District Library, 610 Woodmere Avenue
    Monday, July 8, 7 p.m.

    Grand Traverse Humanists present Dr. David Martin, infectious disease specialist for Munson Medical Center, who will talk about food safety and how to avoid food poisoning.


  • Meeting at the Library: Katie Grzesiak

    Traverse Area District Library, 610 Woodmere Avenue
    Monday, June 10, 7 p.m.

    Grand Traverse Humanists present a program on native and invasive plants by Katie Grzesiak, coordinator of the Northwest Michigan Invasive Species Network.

    The ISN’s mission is to protect, enhance, and promote northwest Michigan’s natural communities through terrestrial invasive plant management and outreach. ISN is essentially a “think tank” of anyone working with terrestrial invasive plants (and some wetland invaders). ISN shares information, expertise, and resources among partners. They work to educate the public about invasive species and prevent new invasions through workbees, presentations, and Go Beyond Beauty (a program that provides positive recognition to garden professionals and others who exemplify business and landscaping practices that benefit and protect our region’s natural areas).

    Katie is originally from DeWitt, Michigan (near Lansing), but she would rather talk with you about the time she has spent in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. She graduated from Northern Michigan University in 2009 with a Bachelor of Arts in Ecology, and worked for the National Parks Service at Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore on invasive species management for three summers.

    Katie went on to incorporate this employment into her study for a Master of Science at the University of Michigan’s School of Natural Resources and Environment. During this time, she worked with the NPS for an additional two summers to complete research for her Master’s thesis: continuing a long-term study on the effects of herbicides on spotted knapweed and native plant communities.