Secular Conversations

The Public is Welcome

Humanists of North Central Florida programs are offered monthly in collaboration with Master the Possibilities Lifelong Learning Center in Ocala, Florida.  Join the conversation on the third Saturday each month.

Freethinkers, including atheists, agnostics and others, participate in respectful dialogue, sharing ideas on a variety of subjects. Videos, essays, participants and guest speakers may be used to enhance topics. Check out this informative video and then use the links below to register.

Master Poss class1

2:00 p.m. on Third Saturdays
Master the Possibilities
Cypress Hall
8413 SW 80th Street
Ocala, Florida 34481
$5 Registration Fee at the Door


August 19, 2017

Marijuana: Science or Fiction?

Leader: Dr. José A. Gaudier

While our history with cannabis stretches back to the beginning of civilization, amazingly, there are many myths and misconceptions about its effects on the human body.

At a time when cannabis products have been approved in several states — including Florida — for medical and/or recreational purposes, our communities need to understand the possible benefits and risks of its use.

For this lecture, Dr. Gaudier has done a comprehensive review of the literature, from historical features of the plant and data regarding its potential medical benefits, to its short– and long-term side effects.

Biographical information: José A. Gaudier, MD is a neurologist practicing in Ocala for 25 years. He studied medicine at the University of Puerto Rico and moved to Alabama for his neurology training before establishing his practice in Marion County.

He formerly served as: president of the Marion County Medical Society; member of the hospice board; chairman of the hospital ethics committee, and other positions as well.  Dr. Gaudier is known for his interest in education and has lectured extensively on  history, science, medicine and neurology.
Register online or at the door, or call (352) 861-9751.

September 16, 2017

What You Always Wanted to
Know About Trans People
But Had No One to ASK

Leaders: J Sumerau and Robyn Kelly

Transgender issues have been emerging in recent years and creating much controversy in different parts of the US and the world.  Listen and discuss what these experts have to say about the nature of transgender identity and issues that transgender people face in modern society, including:

  • Personal evolution as a transgender person
  • Challenges faced in the process of coming to terms with a new identity
  • Use of public places like bathrooms
  • Acceptance or rejection in different social settings
  • Problems faced by transgender individuals when accessing medical care
  • The public’s perception of transgender individuals and the impact of these perceptions
  • The future of transgender identity as our society becomes more pluralistic

Drawing on experience and scholarship, Dr. Sumerau and Ms. Kelly discuss everyday experience as well as historical, religious, and scientific challenges transgender people face in contemporary American society.

Biographical information:

J.E. Sumerau, PhD. is a teacher, researcher, and novelist specializing in intersections of gender, sexuality, religion, and health. He is published in more than 40 scientific journals and edited collections. He regularly contributes to scholarly and political discussions on Write Where It Hurts and Conditionally Accepted at Inside Higher Education. Sumerau is an Assistant Professor of Sociology and Director of Applied Sociology at the University of Tampa. He authored the non-binary, bisexual coming of age novel Cigarettes & Wine.

Robyn Kelly earned an MS in Human Relations. She retired from 30-plus years of government service specializing in systems analysis for Air Force Intelligence Operations, Naval recruit education, and Army simulation contract management. Robyn has spent several years as a group counselor/facilitator. She assisted in establishing Gender Identity in Florida Today in Orange County​ and served on its board of directors. Robyn established the Triangle Interweave website and has served as the secretary of the Board of the Interweave Chapter in Lake County. She regularly speaks on conditions faced by members of the transgender community and answers questions on LGBTQ issues.


Humanists of North Central Florida (HNCFL) in Ocala welcomes your interest. Join the conversation by clicking here.

Past Secular Conversations

Ibram Kendi-MasterPoss

Ibram X Kendi, PhD discussing his 2016 National Book Award winning book, “Stamped From the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America.”

Hassan Shibly MasterPoss

Attorney Hassan Shibly, director of the Council on American & Islamic Relations

Rev Leroy Chandler

The Rev. Leroy Chandler honors Juneteenth, in his presentation, “Slave Ships Emerge in American Cities.”