IGE is a meeting place for community groups that share our concerns about human rights and education for multicultural and religious awareness. We promote peaceful conflict resolution through training, workshops with youth and adults, and ongoing community discussion.

Free Thought Cafe: Dunbar’s Number Theory on Sunday Sept. 18

Dunbar’s Number Theory on Sunday from 12-2pm

Does Dunbar’s Number theory offer insights into why humans act as we do?

Are there implications for our cities, workplaces, or government? This discussion will have no formal moderator and may go anyplace! Will Free Will be pondered? You bet!

Potluck as usual!

Everyone is welcome 🙂

Dunbar’s number is a suggested cognitive limit to the number of people with whom one can maintain stable social relationships. These are relationships in which an individual knows who each person is and how each person relates to every other person.

Upcoming Free Thought events:

September 25, 2016 we will road trip to the museum in Big Rapids

We will have a discussion on Sunday, October 9, 2016 from 12-2pm

IGE Talks: How to vote…step one, register.

IGE Talks vote

IGE Talks -Thursday, Sept. 1 at 7 pm

“How to vote… step one, register.”

This IGE Talks follows up on our popular July IGE Talks, “Meet Your Candidates for the Aug. 2 Primary

Joy Murphy of the AARP voter education program and a precinct chairperson will tell you everything you need to know about the election process. The League of Women Voters is slated to appear also. We present no candidate or proposal information, just procedural information. There’ll be time for public questions and discussion and snacks. And we will have voter registration forms.



            Web site: www.igegr.org


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Chris Hedges “The Algebra of Revolution”–a video showing/discussion

Chris Hedges “The Algebra Revolution”

View this interesting talk by Chris Hedges about the times of revolution we are living in at this moment.   There will be time for discussion before and after the video.

Hedges flyer

Thursday, Sept. 15, 2016

6:30pm at the IGE Office, 1118 Wealthy Street SE, Grand Rapids, MI  49506



Freethought Cafe: Bigger, Longer, & Uncut: The History of Circumcision

Freethought Cafe
Sunday, August 28, noon-2 p.m
1118 Wealthy St SE
Grand Rapids, MI  49506
Bigger, Longer, & Uncut: The History of Circumcision 
“Intactivist” Glen Allen presents a history of circumcision: how it is entangled with religion, how it got started in America. Learn new things about a body part near you, and how it is viewed in other cultures as well.
We will potluck a marvelous lunch (12:00-12:30) and there will be coffee.  Freethought Cafe will give you some things to think about.

Look Who’s Back (film) on Sunday, Aug. 21 at 12:15pm

Free Thought Cafe:


Look Who’s Back is a subtitled German film, from the novel, 116 minutes long. Hitler returns and is universally mistaken for a brilliant comedian…at first.
Freethought Cafe is showing this movie at IGE, 1118 Wealthy St SE Sunday August 21.  We also potluck food and drink!  We will start the film at 12:15 p.m.so please plan accordingly.
See you!
Next Sunday, August 28, circumcision!  No, not you–a guest speaker will talk about it.

Free Thought Cafe presents: A Destiny Drive Life

Free Thought Cafe presents:

A Destiny Driven Life: How to make magic in the middle of despair and have the resiliency for follow through when all seems to fail.

At IGE, 1118 Wealthy St. S.E., Sunday, August 14, noon-2 p.m.  https://www.igegr.org/

Wolfgang will present based on coaching lessons with youth and his career as anthropologist / therapist and now  the dark side of the corporate world. Formal discussion 12:30-1:30. Potluck as usual. Coffee is free.
We have ways of making you talk!

Free Thought Cafe on Sunday, August 7, 12 noon

Free Thought Cafe

“Systems Thinking, Aligned Incentives, Urban Design: common sense codified?”

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Institute for Global Education, 1118 Wealthy St., Grand Rapids, MI 49506

Now is the time! End the blockade of Cuba!

Cuba scored a victory when President Obama moved to normalize relations.
Does it mean an end to more than 50 years of a U.S. blockade against our
neighbor? How will the changes impact the Cuban people? What can we do to
continue acting in solidarity with the people of Cuba and Latin America?
Speaker: Manolo De Los Santos
Manolo De Los Santos works in the Pastors for Peace program, coordinating solidarity projects in Haiti, Cuba and Central America. He helped lead many delegations & caravans to Cuba in civil disobedience of the US blockade. He currently lives in Cuba where he is studying Theology & Philosophy at the Evangelical Theological Seminary in Matanzas.
Thursday, July 7, 2016 at 7pm
At the Institute for Global Education
1118 Wealthy Street SE Grand Rapids

Workshop on Non-Violent Communication (NVC) this Thursday!

Nonviolent Communication can change the world.  More importantly, it can change your life.  I cannot recommend it highly enough.”

Jack Canfield, Chicken Soup for the Soul Series

Peaceful relationships live in the heart….

….but they can be created by simple, radical steps.

Steps are clearly set out in “NVC”, also called Compassionate Communication, with plenty of real life examples. Pragmatic effective steps reduce stresses in any relationship and enliven passion and compassion that you probably didn’t think possible.

Interested? Come hear about NVC on Thursday, June 23rd at IGE – 7-8pm. Bring your friends and real life examples for a lively discussion!

You will be glad you checked NVC out!


What is NVC?
a pragmatic process for identifying, communicating and meeting the often unseen but essential motivating needs of your self and of others;  An NVC practice gradually lessens thoughts and actions based on ineffective systems of guilt, judgment, and manipulation (thru positive or negative reactions), while replacing them with thoughts and actions that address the driving issues in each person with creativity and kindness.
How does NVC work?  You go beyond counterproductive cultural habits to connect genuinely with Observations, Feelings, Needs and Requests in yourself and others at the present moment.  Most of NVC is common sense but developing these compassionate ways can make life surprisingly wonderful.   
O – peel off evaluation, comparison, criticism, and judgment to identify objective observations;
F –  develop a vocabulary and awareness of feelings in yourself and others
N – identify one or more basic needs attached to each authentic feeling
R – identify positive actions that you or others can take to meet your needs — requests
E – practice empty-space listening/empathy to hear accurately, paraphrase, reflect;  When appropriate, engage in active “question” empathy to release the ofnr of others;
A – Also apply the above skills to address issues to convey appreciation, dissolve depression, diffuse violence, and work effectively with children and other people at home, work or anywhere;