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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!

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 Memorium:

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.

Upcoming Events

  • Meeting at the Library: The ACLU’s Smart Justice Campaign

    Traverse Area District Library, 610 Woodmere Avenue
    Monday, November 11, 7 p.m.

    Grand Traverse Humanists will welcome Anna Dituri of the ACLU, who will present on ways to improve Michigan’s criminal justice system, with a focus on what’s going on in our own area.

    Michigan has the fifth largest prison population in the country: more than 39,000 people, which is more people behind bars than are incarcerated in Canada. This is costing the state’s taxpayers over $2 billion per year, more than our public education system. Black citizens are six times more likely to be incarcerated than white people. The ACLU Smart Justice Campaign is an effort to eliminate racism in the criminal legal system and reduce the jail and prison population by 50 percent. Anna Dituri will talk about how the Campaign is working to reach these goals by advocating for new laws, helping elect fair and competent prosecutors, and engaging in neighborhood outreach to encourage participation in this effort.

    Anna Dituri was born and raised in Traverse City. She is a Field Organizer working to expand the ACLU of Michigan’s presence and volunteer base in Northern Michigan. Anna previously worked at a law office for ten years and as a Court Recorder in the Antrim, Grand Traverse and Leelanau County courts. She obtained her Associates Degree from Northwestern Michigan College and her Bachelor’s Degree in Social Justice from Grand Valley State University.


  • Humanist Book Club: One Hot Summer

    Sunday, November 17, 4:00-6:00 p.m.
    Marlene and Isiah’s house in Traverse City

    Grand Traverse Humanists will discuss One Hot Summer by Rosemary Ashton for our next book read and discussion.

    Horizon Books provides a 10% discount (15% if you are a Horizon Member) for our Humanist Book Club readers. One Hot Summer is now available at Horizon Books in paperback for $16 ($14.40 with our discount). Our local library system also has copies of the book.

    A Brief Summary:
    A unique, in-depth view of Victorian London during the record-breaking summer of 1858, when residents both famous and now-forgotten endured “The Great Stink” together. While 1858 in London may have been noteworthy for its broiling summer months and the related stench of the sewage-filled Thames River, the year is otherwise little remembered. And yet, as historian Rosemary Ashton reveals in this compelling micro-history, 1858 was marked by significant, if unrecognized, turning points. For ordinary people, and also for the rich, famous, and powerful, the months from May to August turned out to be a summer of consequence.

    We will meet at Isiah and Marlene’s home on November 17 at 4 p.m. To get directions, RSVP to Marlene at marlene.smith8@gmail.com. Bring a potluck dish to pass, if you like!


  • Hungry Humanists: Red Mesa Grill

    1544 US Highway 31 N, Traverse City, MI 49686
    Monday, October 28, 6:30 p.m.

    Join the Grand Traverse Humanists for dinner out! Meet at Red Mesa Grill at 6:30 p.m. for a delicious meal with friends both old and new. RSVP to Heather at heather.kingham@gmail.com or by texting 503-422-6515.



  • 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