About This Community
We are a lively group of atheists, secular humanists, free-thinkers, agnostics, and others who embrace a world view guided by a love of reason as well as skepticism toward supernatural beliefs. Our group seeks to bolster area atheists and secular humanists and their families through social gatherings and events, but we also support our members who want to take a more proactive role in community outreach.
We know that being 'atheistic' isn't always easy, so we are here for one another. But we also love to have fun and to learn, to raise our children and strive to reach our potential. We don't all think the same, but we DO honor one another's individuality and courage to reason.
We welcome everyone with an interest in secular humanism, atheism, and the naturalist outlook and encourage you to attend and participate as you see fit!
Portland Center for Inquiry: P.O. Box 3378 Portland, OR 97208
MEET THE ADVISORY BOARD MEMBERS
NICOLE K. ORR
BRANCH LEADER FOR CFI PORTLAND
Nicole Orr is the administrative assistant for CFI–Portland. Working with youth has always been very important to her. In her teens, Nicole was an assistant team leader for a Search and Rescue Unit. There, she taught young people wilderness survival skills, as well as crime scene protocols. As an adult, Nicole strongly advocates the written word. She has helped run and participated in National Novel Writing Month for ten years and has been a freelance children’s author for five years. Nicole moved to Oregon from Indiana because it was the furthest she could get from that kind of religious mentality without hitting the ocean. In 2012, Nicole temporarily moved to Brisbane, Australia, and became fascinated at the religious differences culture to culture. She is a lifetime homeschooler and always delighted to prove that atheist homeschoolers do indeed exist!
FORMER BRANCH LEADER
Sylvia Benner is a native of Germany and an early transplant to Portland, where she has lived since 1989. She has been involved in the humanist movement since 1997, when she became a member of and later program organizer for the Humanists of Greater Portland. In 2008, she helped co-found the Portland branch of Center for Inquiry. In 2010, she was awarded the organization's Volunteer Leader of the Year Award, together with Kurt Johansen. Beginning in 2012, she also served as Chairperson of the committee that organized the annual Portland Humanist Festival, a cultural event supported by Humanists of Greater Portland and intended to introduce humanist philosophy and values to the general public. She has participated in a number of debates and conversations with faith leaders in the Portland and Eugene areas.
Sylvia is a techincal translator by profession, a former secular homeschooler to her now grown son. When she is not busy promoting science and reason, she enjoys gardening, cooking, reading, and motorcycling. She lives in North Portland with her husband, Paul.
JON PETERS (MD, MS, FAAFP)
Dr. Peters completed a BS in Zoology from Arizona State University, an MS in Biology from Northern Arizona University, an MD from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School in Dallas, and was awarded the degree of Fellow by the American Academy of Family Physicians in 2007. He is a senior partner in his family medicine private practice group in Portland, Oregon. He has been the recipient of several teaching awards. This includes a Master Teacher Award from The Oregon Health & Science University where he is an Affiliate Associate Professor. He has also received the Resident Teacher Award from the Society of Teachers of Family Medicine. His interest in origins and the evolution-creation struggle began in 1971 after reading Whitcomb and Morris’ “The Genesis Flood” while pursuing his undergraduate studies. Recently, he again renewed his interest in the religious and scientific conflicts over origins when it became apparent that newer DNA and fossil discoveries might greatly simplify the origins debate between science and many religious traditions. He is the proud father of four wonderful daughters and shares his life with his partner Valerie, often hiking in the summer and downhill skiing in the winter. He is actively promoting secular humanism and reason by serving on the Advisory Board of CFI Portland as a Member at Large. He also started a secular humanist group in east Portland that has grown to over 700 members, giving lectures on evolution and origins. Through this group, Peters advocates for the separation of church and state.
Dani Tofte is a native Oregonian who has lived most of her life in the Portland area. She has a Bachelor's Degree from the University of Oregon and a Graduate Certificate for Training and Development from Portland State University. She joined the CFI advisory board in 2008 while raising two boys. In 2009 she used CFI's Legal Department when she acquired help from Americans United for Separation of Church and State to take on a fundamentalist religious group in her son's elementary school. The conflict was widely publicized and she was able to get policy changes at the district level. She has spoken to various secular groups and at conferences about this issue, as well as on Secular Humanism at alternative high schools.