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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

  • Bike Ride: TC to Suttons Bay

    Leelanau Trail
    Sunday, June 3 2018
    (possibly also a month earlier, Sunday May 6, weather permitting)
    Grand Traverse Humanists Bike Ride

    All summer long, Grand Traverse Humanists host bike rides on the first Sunday of the month. Usually we start at Darrow Park in Traverse City at 10:30 a.m., bike up to Suttons Bay on the Leelanau Trail, have lunch, and then bike back (or take BATA back to Traverse City). However, we’ve also biked other local trails, including the Heritage Trail in the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore and the Betsie Valley Trail from Beulah to Frankfort. Starting time and location to be announced. Stay tuned for more details!

  • Meeting at the Library: Autism

    Autism graphic
    Monday, June 11 2018

    Meeting at the Library: Autism

    7 p.m….610 Woodmere Ave., Traverse City

    Join us as we welcome various speakers on the topic of autism. We’ll learn about autism from a scientific perspective, local advocacy efforts for those with autism, and about support groups that are available. Author Cari Noga, who is a parent to a child with autism, will start off the evening with a reading.

  • Paddling the Crystal River

    The Crystal River
    Saturday, June 16 2018
    Paddling the Crystal River

    10 a.m….Crystal River access on Fisher Road off of 675 / Dunn’s Farm Rd.

    Join the Grand Traverse Humanists as they lead a paddle trip down the beautiful Crystal River! This trip is appropriate for all skill levels. We’ll meet at 10 a.m. at the access on Fisher Road, just south of Dunn’s Farm Road, a couple miles east of Glen Arbor. The parking lot is run by Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, so you will need a park pass. You bring: your watercraft, paddle, flotation device, appropriate water shoes (barefoot not recommended), and a picnic lunch. We’ll bring the expert river guide! Email Linnaea at lmelcarek@gmail.com to RSVP.

    And if you’re an experienced paddler, stay tuned for a future outing on a more challenging local river!

  • Meeting at the Library: Mark Gustafson

    Monday, May 14 2018

    Meeting at the Library: Mark Gustafson

    7 p.m….610 Woodmere Ave., Traverse City
    Former literature instructor and Grand Traverse Humanists member Mark Gustafson will present a program on Humanism in Literature.

    Mark Gustafson was a teacher of literature and composition at Muskegon Community College for 25 years and also taught literature at Northwestern Michigan College and Interlochen Center for the Arts. Over his years of teaching, he discovered that many of the themes in the books he used in class were humanistic in nature. Mark will talk about some of these books and how they influenced his beliefs about God and religion.

  • Book Club: Herb Silverman’s “Candidate Without a Prayer”

    Candidate Without A Prayer cover
    RESCHEDULED due to weather
    Wednesday, April 18 2018

    Book Club: Herb Silverman’s “Candidate Without a Prayer”

    6 p.m at Mark and Heather’s house, 7670 E. Shore Rd., Traverse City.

    Following our visit from atheist activist Herb Silverman, we’ll discuss his book “Candidate Without a Prayer.” In this deeply revealing and engaging autobiography, Herb Silverman tells his iconoclastic life story. Equal parts Bertrand Russell, Woody Allen, and Elizabeth Cady Stanton, he takes the reader from his childhood as an Orthodox Jew in Philadelphia, where he stopped fasting on Yom Kippur to test God’s existence, to his adult life in the heart of the Bible Belt, where he became a legendary figure within America’s secular activist community and remains one of its most beloved leaders.

    More information available here: GT Humanists Book Club

  • Meeting at the Library: Roy Speckhardt, Executive Director of the American Humanist Association

    Roy Spechardt
    Monday, April 9 2018

    Meeting at the Library: Roy Speckhardt, Executive Director of the American Humanist Association

    7 p.m….610 Woodmere Ave., Traverse City

    Grand Traverse Humanists are excited to present American Humanist Association executive director Roy Speckhardt! Speckhardt will give a talk that will follow the outline of his book Creating Change Through Humanism published by Humanist Press. He will explore the modern state of humanism, what it means, the history of humanism, and what’s in store for our forward-thinking outlook. With its emphasis on critical thinking and self-reflection, humanism can be at the forefront of pressing social issues.

    Speckhardt is a frequent media commentator, having appeared on Good Morning America, CNN, Fox News, and NPR, among others. He also writes a regular column for The Huffington Post, and has given speeches at colleges, conferences, and local humanist groups across the country.

    Speckhardt serves on the board of the Humanist Institute and the advisory board of the Religious Freedom Center of the Newseum Institute. He is also a member of the Forbes Nonprofit Council. He previously served as deputy director of The Interfaith Alliance and worked for various other politically progressive nonprofits.