Interview with Sandra Z. Zellick – Secretary, Humanists of Sarasota Bay

by | February 17, 2019

By Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Sandra Z. Zellick is the Secretary of the Humanists of Sarasota Bay. Here we talk about her life, views, and work.

Scott Douglas Jacobsen: What was early life like for you, e.g., geography, culture, language, religion or lack thereof, education, and family structure and dynamics?

Sandra Zellick:  Lived in Winthrop, Massachusetts, public school there.  I am Jewish but only culturally rather than pious.  I was an only child.

Jacobsen: What levels of formal education have been part of life for you? How have you informally self-educated?

Zellick:  I went to Mt.Holyoke College and Brandeis Univ. for my AB degree.  on to Harvard for Ed.M., MBA at West Springfield College.  In middle age got an MBA, then an MS in Counseling Psych., then an MS in Family Therapy, and  PhD in Family Therapy.

Jacobsen: As the Secretary for the Humanists of Sarasota Bay, what tasks and responsibilities come with the station?

Zellick:  I take minutes at Board meetings and publish them to the Board.  I help out at the welcome desk for monthly lecture meetings.  I also organize a bi-weekly lunch for unstructured conversation.

Jacobsen: How did you come to find the humanist community and become involved with the Humanists of Sarasota Bay in particular?  

Zellick: I belong to Gulf Coast Humanists as well as Humanists of Sarasota Bay (HUSBAY.)  I found the Humanists a comfortable, like-minded group of people.  I can’t remember how I got involved initially.  The HUSBAY group is quite active with many activities to choose from.

Jacobsen: Why is a humanistic and secular education important to support, not only with scholarship funds but also with the work to change current educational curricula for a solid secular foundation?

For example, in Canada and the UK, there are explicit religious schools receiving public taxpayer monies.

Zellick:  Sadly, our pubic schools are becoming more religious with our current administration.  Signs like “In God We Trust” are proliferating.

Jacobsen: Who tend to be opposed to the efforts and activities of the construction of a humanist community by the Humanists of Sarasota Bay?

Zellick:  We don’t have opposition to private organizations under our 501c3 non-profits.  Actually anyone is free to create a club or interest group if they so choose, regardless of tax status.

Jacobsen: With the current fiascos of the Trump Administration, women’s rights have been the first to be attacked now. How can there be some work to reduce the level of regression happening now?

What are some ways men can realize the attacks of women’s rights as a serious problem, if they do not realize this already, and then become socially and politically active to protect them?

Zellick:  I wish I had the answer to that.

Jacobsen: Who have been important women humanists in history? What books would you recommend to prospective readers on the subject matter of humanism, if they are becoming more interested in its ethic and lifestance?

Zellick:  If you go to you will find lots of information.

Jacobsen: How can people become involved with the donation of time, the addition of membership, links to professional and personal networks, giving monetarily, exposure in interviews or writing articles, and so on?

Zellick:  Are there Humanists group available to you in your area?  If not, the American Humanist Association is a good resource.

Jacobsen: Any final feelings or thoughts based on the conversation today?

Zellick:  Thank you for your interest.  I hope you can find like-minded people who share your ideas and perhaps begin your own Humanist group.  The American Atheists is another organization you might find interesting.

Jacobsen: Thank you for the opportunity and your time, Sandra.

Scott Douglas Jacobsen is the Founder of In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal and In-Sight Publishing. He authored/co-authored some e-books, free or low-cost. If you want to contact Scott:

Do not forget to look into our associates: Godless Mom, Nice Mangoes, Sandwalk, Brainstorm Podcast, Left at the Valley, Life, the Universe & Everything Else, The Reality Check, Bad Science Watch, British Columbia Humanist Association, Dying With Dignity Canada, Canadian Secular Alliance, and Centre for Inquiry Canada.

Photo by alexandra marcu on Unsplash

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