About Us

The purpose of Center for Inquiry–Michigan is to foster a secular society based on science, reason, freedom of inquiry, and humanist values.

Center for Inquiry (CFI) is an international, nonpartisan, nonprofit 501©(3) organization that encourages evidence-based inquiry into science, pseudoscience, medicine and health, religion, ethics, secularism, and society. The Center for Inquiry is not affiliated with, nor does it promote, any political party or political ideology.

Through education, research, publishing, and social services, CFI seeks to present affirmative, rational ethical alternatives to the reigning paranormal and religious systems of belief, and works to develop communities where like-minded individuals can meet and share experiences.

We host numerous educational and social events throughout Michigan. Event topics include: science, religion, philosophy, social issues, politics, evolution, morality and ethics, psychology, secularism, atheism, humanism, agnosticism, skepticism, and others.

We also have an active Secular Service Program to provide CFI members with opportunities to put CFI’s mission into action for the common good through community service and outreach.

Nearly all of our events are open to the public. You do not have to be a member to attend.

If you value our mission, we encourage you to become a CFI Member, as we rely on the generous support of our members to sustain our programs.

Visit the Event Calendar to learn about upcoming events.

Culture and Conduct Expectations for CFI–Michigan Events.


CFI Michigan was originally formed as the Freethought Association of West Michigan in 1997 by Jeff Seaver, Don Hansen, and Charles Leedy. Originally an informal group of fewer than a dozen members, our membership has since grown to over 400 freethinkers with attendance ranging from 40-550 at our featured lecture events.

Originally, meetings were held at the home of Don Hansen. As we continued to grow, and outgrow locations, we met at Schuler Books, Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts, Wyoming Public Library, Grand Rapids Community College, Yankee-Clipper Library, and our present location at the Women’s City Club.

In September of 2007 the Freethought Association merged with the Center for Inquiry to become Center for Inquiry–Michigan.

CFI Michigan now has events in West Michigan, Southeast Michigan, Mid Michigan, Southwest Michigan and on campus at Michigan State University, University of Michigan, Grand Valley State University, Grand Rapids Community College, and Ferris State University.

Our funding comes solely from tax-deductible donations from supporters like you.


Michigan Advisory Board

  • Jason Pittman, Chair
  • Cindy Krieg, Vice Chair, Secular Service Committee Chair, Volunteer Coordinator
  • Mike Slomka, Secretary Southeast Michigan (Detroit) Event Host
  • Ed Brayton, Advocacy Committee Chair
  • Susan Johnson, Membership Committee Chair
  • Casimir Tokarski, Campus Committee Chair
  • Dean Tersigni, Southeast Michigan (Flint) Event Host
  • Jeremiah Bannister, Family Programming Committee Chair
  • Roger Brewin
  • Sam C., Southeast Michigan (Dearborn) Event Host
  • Robert Goodrich (Emeritus)
  • Robert Collins (Emeritus)
  • Charles LaRue (Emeritus)
  • Gregory Forbes (Emeritus)

Freethinker of the Year Award

The Annual Freethinker of the Year Award is presented to an individual who has made a significant contribution to freethought.

  • 2015 Recipent — Robert Goodrich
  • 2015 Volunteer of the Year — Lukas Schroeder
  • 2014 Recipients — Shirley Draft & Mike Rainwater
  • 2014 Volunteer of the Year — Tim Hamlin
  • 2013 Recipient — Jacob Slomka
  • 2013 Student Recipient — Maria Beelen
  • 2012 Recipient — Luke Galen
  • 2012 Student Recipient/Volunteer of the Year — AJ Bunker
  • 2011 Recipient — Ed Brayton
  • 2011 Student Recipient — Ellen Lundgren
  • 2011 Volunteer of the Year — Renee Ruedisueli
  • 2010 Recipient — Jeremy Beahan
  • 2010 Student Recipient — Erin Ribbink
  • 2010 Lifetime Achievement Award — Arlene-Marie
  • 2010 Volunteer of the Year Award — Dr. Robert and Sherron Collins
  • 2009 Recipient — Adrienne Asselmeier
  • 2008 Recipient — Josh Dunigan
  • 2007 Recipient — Charles LaRue
  • 2006 Recipient — Gregory Forbes
  • 2005 Recipient — Jason Pittman
  • 2003 Recipient — Don Hansen