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. 


Ryan Cragun Speaking at Master the Possibilities at On Top of the World on September 15, 2018


Please look at coming events below and register.  



All talks are at 2:00 pm on Third Saturdays

At Master the Possibilities On Top of the World

Live Oak Hall

8413 SW 80th Street

Ocala, Florida 34481

Free Admittance for Residents of On Top of the World and Stone Creek

All others pay $5 registration fee at the door

Register online or at the door, or call (352) 861-9751.


May 18, 2019 

2 pm

Maureen Quinlan, SV Victim Advocate Program Director
Ocala Sexual Assault Center
Not all victims Die.  How do we break the silence? 
In April of this year, the names of more than 85 victims were read aloud and photos of them displayed during a memorial service. Maureen will share information about the sexual assault services offered by the center.  Maureen has worked in the human services field for 27 years. She will share information about human trafficking in our county and how this critical issue is being addressed.  

June 15 th
2 pm- 4 pm

Instructor:  Bob Zannelli

Should Our Energy Future Include Nuclear Energy?  

We are facing an environmental crisis. The predominant forms of cheap and abundant energy that powers our affluent society is pumping tons of greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere causing dangerous climate change. In order to preserve both our standard of living and our environment, we need to utilize non-fossil fuel energy sources at a scale that is unprecedented. Even though renewable energy, primarily solar and wind, are advancing rapidly, the fastest growing segment of our energy sources is still fossil fuels. The question must be asked, what about Nuclear Energy?  Is it safe enough and can it really help us meet our energy needs?  What about Nuclear waste and Nuclear Proliferation? In this talk, we will be looking at the worst accidents in Nuclear Power history to evaluate their public health consequences and explore what lessons these events can teach us. These include the infamous Three Mile Island and Chernobyl nuclear accidents. Then we will look at the advances we have made in Nuclear Power Technology, with regard to public safety and cost. 

Bio:  Bob has extensive experience in the field of nuclear energy.  He graduated Rhode Island Radio and Electronics School, U.S. Navy Electronics A School, Naval Nuclear Power, and Naval Prototype School.  Bob worked at Raytheon Corporation prior to entering the Navy’s Nuclear Power program. After leaving the Navy he worked at the Clinton Nuclear Power station in Illinois, the Midland Nuclear power plant in Michigan and the Indian Point Nuclear Power station in N.Y.  Bob collaborated with physicist’s Dr. Gerald Fitzpatrick on three papers and Dr. Vic Stenger, as a member of Stenger’s internet physics gang, on the publication of several papers and eight books.

July 20th
NO program

August 17th
2 pm – 4 pm.

Working in Local Government: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.

Joe Bartosh 

Until moving to Florida Joe lived his entire life in Wisconsin.  He was active in local politics for over 44 years working for candidates whose ideas he could support. 

September 21

2 pm
Update on Opioid Crisis.

Sheriff Billy Woods 

Sheriff Woods was born and raised in Marion County.  Before being elected to sheriff Mr. Woods spent 26 years as the Ocala Police Department in a variety of positions. He holds a B.S. in Criminal Justice Administration/Business Management from Columbia Southern University.  He has also attended the Florida Department of Law Enforcement Executive Senior Leadership Program and was the Class President of Leadership Ocala/Marion Class XXVII. 

 October 19th
2 pm – 4 pm.

Secular or Equal

Presenter:  David Williamson

We know what a secular government should look like, but what about a government that allows all religions equal access to every religious tradition? David will challenge the notion that equal treatment is the solution to a government that is overwhelmed by the Christian majority.

David Williamson is the co-founder of the Central Florida Freethought Community (CFFC), an organization of atheists and Humanists focused on the separation of state and building a thriving secular community in the Greater Orlando area. Locally, he is a member of the Central Florida Commission on Religious Freedom, is Secretary of the Florida Humanist Association, and co-coordinator of the organization’s conference FREEFLO. David serves 2 national organizations. He is on the Advisory Board of the Freethought Equality Fund and a Florida State Representative for the Freedom From Religion Foundation. 

November 16, 2019
2 pm

Transgender Dynamics in Society Today

A discussion of the rapidly emerging transgender community, their challenges, and successes and how they are changing the way we see gender diversity. 

In today’s society, diversity and inclusion are being impacted by our politics, our ideology, and our social discourse. 

Different segments of society are moving at different paces in embracing people different than ourselves. 

How can we find common ground to treat everyone with dignity and respect no matter their sexual orientation or gender identity.  

Gina Duncan

Director of Transgender Equality

Equality Florida Institute, Inc



Watch a video about who the Humanists of North Central Florida Are by clicking the link below:

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.”


Manal Fakhoury Speaking About Her Experience as a Muslim and Palestinian in the US and Ocala