As we approach the Jewish holy days, we are reminded of the phrase that initiates the Telling of the Story: Let all who are hungry come eat, let all who are oppressed, join us at the table of liberation. Unfortunately, if they are Palestinians living in the West Bank, they may need a special security clearance. That is the case for Palestinian workers who are employed by SodaStream, the increasingly popular home carbonation product sold in 39 countries in 35,000 stores worldwide.
When I think of well-known figures of AFSC’s past, I think of men—Rufus Jones and Clarence Pickett, more specifically. I’m sure much of this has to do with the fact that I have spent numerous hours sitting in rooms named after them at Friends Center in Philadelphia. But I have little doubt that their familiarity is also due to the general attention that our society pays to men with big ideas and big voices, particularly the society in which the organization was founded.
AFSC invites Quaker congregations everywhere to join in the effort to help transform the U.S. criminal justice system from one focused on crime and punishment to one focused on moving from harm to healing. Quaker meetings and churches are encouraged to learn more about issues of mass incarceration, engage their local communities in the issue, establish relationships with those directly affected, and advocate for just policy.
As we enter Hatcliffe Extension outside of Harare, Zimbabwe via a dirt road marred by deep ruts and washed out areas with more than a 12-inch drop-off, I wonder if our Toyota four wheel drive will survive with shock absorbers intact. We park and walk toward a grassy area where several men and a woman are repairing a metal wheelbarrow using the only welding machine available. Several others watch the process. Homes surround the workspace.
Jacqueline Duhart, a Unitarian minister, runs a women’s group at Dublin Federal Women’s Prison south of Oakland for AFSC. The original leaders adapted Pace e Bene’s Traveling with the Turtle, a curriculum for women learning nonviolence.
Each year as we approach the annual meeting of the AFSC Corporation, I hear people wondering whether the Corporation has outlived its usefulness – or indeed whether it ever had one.
Newcomers wonder what the Corporation is for, whether it matters that they attend, and whether, if they do, they will really understand the issues in play. Those with experience of past Corporation meetings have many of the same questions.
I am one who believes the Corporation has immense potential value to AFSC – and also that AFSC has immense value to Quakers in the U.S.
Learn more about AFSC's growing involvement in the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement to end the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories. Hear the voices of activists, students, and Quakers as they work together to hold large corporations accountable for the violation of human rights and listen to the power of nonviolence to bring change to both hearts and minds.
"Calling forth the goodness" is a podcast series that features the voices and communities that work together to create change.
This episode, "Seeds of an Occupation," tells the story of how the AFSC is partnering with students, interfaith coalitions, and community groups to end the Israeli occupation in Palestine through the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement.
Listen and hear the voices of community members all around the country working together for change.
In 1968, I was a high school student in Evanston, Ill., firm in my loyalty to the Chicago White Sox and firm in my belief that my country was on the right side in Viet Nam.
One day I walked into the public library. In the new books display I found a book with a dramatically designed cover dominated by one jagged word: "WAR." The subtitle also grabbed my attention: "The Anthropology of Armed Conflict and Aggression."
AFSC is a Quaker organization devoted to service, development, and peace programs throughout the world. Our work is based on the belief in the worth of every person, and faith in the power of love to overcome violence and injustice. Learn more
Where we work
AFSC has offices around the world. To see a complete list see the Where We Work page.