Welcome image
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!

Upcoming Events

  • Scott Blair Speaks at Etcetera on “Knowledge, Reason, Faith, and the Search for Truth”

    Scott Blair Speaks at Etcetera on “Knowledge, Reason, Faith, and the Search for Truth.”

    April 26 saw the first meeting of Traverse City’s “Street Level Philosophy” group, Etcetera, at the Good Work Collective on Union Street. Featured on the panel were Grand Traverse Humanist board member Scott Blair and parkour specialist Levi Meeuwenberg, with Anthony Weber moderating. Scott began the evening with an excellent summation of why reason and dispassionate inquiry are the best tools to discover what is true, as opposed to faith. Click here to see the session on youtube. Etcetera is planning to meet once a month for civil discourse on a variety of topics. It was an interesting evening!

  • Meeting at the History Center: Roundtable Discussion “The Face of the Secular Movement”

    June 11 2012: Meeting at the History Center: Roundtable Discussion “The Face of the Secular Movement”

    7 p.m…History Center of Traverse City (322 Sixth St.; the old library)

    The Reason Rally was comprised of a great diversity of people…young, old, black, white, brown, male, female, military civilian, etc. There was also a diversity in the manner of presentation of ideas…some more edgy and confrontational, others more focused on building bridges and celebrating commonalities. Is it important how we present ourselves? Who is considered the “face of the movement” today, and how are they perceived? How can we best continue the momentum of the Reason Rally, both nationally and more locally…how can we promote rational thought in our own community? Join us for what is sure to be a lively discussion.

  • American Humanists Association Annual Convention

    Mark Elliott and Heather Kingham are attending the 71st annual American Humanist Association conference in New Orleans this weekend. (Our group is a chapter of this national organization.) The conference begins tomorrow…check back here for news and updates!

  • Special Gathering for End-of-Life Planning

    Sun Leaf imageApril 30 2012: Special Gathering for End-of-Life Planning

    7 p.m…History Center of Traverse City (322 Sixth St.; the old library)

    At our December meetings we discuss end-of-life issues, from green burial to hospice care to secular celebrations in place of religious funerals. Everyone agrees it is best to plan ahead and discuss one’s wishes with friends and family members. Our presenters from Munson Hospice last December were impressed that we have put together notebooks to assist in this planning (thank you, Larry Dean)…but the less impressive reality is that few of us have actually filled out the information in these notebooks or really put some thought into how we would like our end-of-life celebrations to proceed. Here is your opportunity to change all that, in an atmosphere of collaborative fun. Bring your notebook (free to members, or available for purchase by non-members) and let’s do some planning. Ideas for secular poems, songs, and readings are welcome.

  • Meeting at the History Center: Reason Rally and American Atheists Convention Highlights

    Atheism T-ShirtMay 14 2012: Meeting at the History Center: Reason Rally and American Atheists Convention Highlights

    7 p.m…History Center of Traverse City (322 Sixth St.; the old library)

    Missed the Reason Rally? Come experience the highlights through a presentation from several of our members who were fortunate enough to attend. The largest secular gathering in world history was then followed by the highest-attended American Atheists convention in history. Both were exciting and inspiring! Richard Dawkins, PZ Myers, Tim Minchin, Lawrence Krauss, Jessica Ahlquist, Shelley Segal, MAAF, The Clergy Project…we could spend the rest of the year’s meetings discussing the important ideas brought up by these presentations, but we’ll try to squeeze it into one night.

  • Reason Rally Photos
    Our merry band...Dave, Scott, Heather and Gail

    On the road to DC…

    DC Metro

    Taking DC’s excellent Metro downtown to the National Mall.

    Scott and Mark

    On the Metro, after deciphering their complicated ticket-buying procedures.

    DC Metro Station

    Throngs of people going to the rally!

    DC Metro Escalator

    Nearly there…one escalator ride away from the Mall…

    Non-Praying Mantis

    The first of many wonderful t-shirts we saw at the Rally.

    Gail, Scott, Mark, and Dave

    We have arrived at the Mall!

    Helpful Reason Rally volunteer

    A Reason Rally volunteer dispenses helpful information.


    We found Larry and Lynda almost immediately! Not so lucky with Bob, unfortunately.

    Scott, Mark, and Larry

    Sharing a laugh at the rally…we’re all among friends!

    Humanism definition

    Another great t-shirt!

    Atheist Homeschooler

    Took this picture for Jennifer…see, there are at least two of you!

    I do teach evolution!

    Thank goodness for sane people.

    Heather, Mark, and the Washington Monument

    He’s even taller than I thought.

    Opening musicians at the Reason Rally

    Two musicians opened the rally with some festive (if irreverent) tunes.

    Rally audience

    Our best view of the audience was on the Jumbotron.

    Happy human evolution

    Another t-shirt logo we loved.

    Wall for a reason

    A few of the many great signs at the rally.


    We stood steadfast through steady rain.

    Jessica Ahlquist

    Jessica Ahlquist, the high school student from Rhode Island, wowed the crowd.

    Damp but happy

    Rain could not dampen our enthusiasm for the awesome Tim Minchin!


    Even the Flying Spaghetti Monster was there!

    Separation of Church and State

    Have to agree with JFK.

    TC Reason Rally group

    We had a pretty good spot near the front!

    Richard Dawkins at the Reason Rally

    Richard Dawkins rallies the secular masses!

    Convention schedule

    On to the American Atheists convention. Just a few of the excellent speakers.

    Richard Dawkins

    Richard Dawkins offers some thoughtful remarks at the convention.

    personal relationship with reality

    Another great t-shirt seen at the convention.

    Reason is a virtue

    And the front is great, too!

    Heather and Dave

    Dressed up for the costume party…er, well, one of us is.

    Margaret Downey

    Margaret Downey, president of the Freethought Society, hams it up as a devilish angel!

    PZ Myers

    The wonderful PZ Myers…check out his blog, Pharyngula.

    same old indisputable scientific evidence

    Excellent cartoon from PZ Myers’ presentation