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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 Memoriam:

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: Bill Rapai on the Kirtland’s Warbler

    Traverse Area District Library, 610 Woodmere Avenue
    Monday, January 13, 7 p.m.

    Grand Traverse Humanists present Bill Rapai with a talk called “The Kirtland’s Warbler: From the brink of extinction to a secure future.”
    In October 2019, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service officially removed the Kirtland’s Warbler from the Endangered Species List. Ironically, even though the warbler’s population is healthy and sustainable at about 5,000 individuals, humans will still need to intervene on its behalf to ensure its survival for as far as we can see into the future. Learn about the fascinating history of this iconic species, recent breakthroughs in knowledge, new ways of approaching Kirtland’s Warbler conservation, and the challenges that need to be overcome as we move forward.

    Bill Rapai is chair and acting executive director of the Kirtland’s Warbler Alliance. He has traveled across North America and to Cuba, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Iceland, Europe and Asia to view and research birds. He was an award-winning reporter and editor for the Grand Forks (N.D.) Herald, the Detroit Free Press, and the Boston Globe and is the author of three books.


  • Meeting at the Library: Isiah Smith on Patriotism

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

    Grand Traverse Humanists present Isiah Smith with a talk examining patriotism through the lens of history and music, using personal anecdotes and social commentary.

    Historically, patriotism has been used as both a shield and a cudgel by more than a few politicians and aspiring politicians. But what does it really mean? Can patriotism be fairly defined? Does it require blind fealty to an ideal that may or may not actually exist? This presentation will attempt to answer those and other vexing questions.



  • Hungry Humanists: Poppycocks

    128 E. Front St., Traverse City
    Monday, November 25, 6:30 p.m.

    Join the Grand Traverse Humanists for dinner out! Meet at Poppycocks 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.





  • Humanist Movie Night: The Great Hack

    Sunday, November 24, 4 p.m. at Linnaea’s house

    For our next Humanist movie night, we’ll gather at the home of Linnaea Melcarek to watch the documentary “The Great Hack,” about the Facebook-Cambridge Analytica data scandal. We’ll share a potluck dinner, so bring whatever you like (or just yourself)! Email Linnaea at lmelcarek@gmail.com to get the address. Please RSVP by email even if you know the address, because seating is limited.



  • 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!