In the immediate aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombings, Carlos Arredondo made headlines for courageously rushing to save the lives of victims—distinctive in his cowboy hat, he quickly became the iconic hero amid tragedy. As the dust settled, people learned that Carlos was there with his wife, Melida, honoring the memory of their sons—Alex, a soldier who died in the Iraq War and Brian, who struggled with mental health issues after his brother’s death and eventually took his own life.
In this interview, Carlos and Melida talk about their antiwar and mental-health activism, and how they are working to heal the wounds of violence both at home and abroad.
The Friend of a Friend mentoring program in Baltimore is doing more than providing support for incarcerated men; it is inspiring a movement for serious reform of the criminal justice system, from the inside out.
Madeline Schaefer sits down with participants as they share stories of the program's success and their own transformation. By learning how to deal with conflict nonviolently, and by connecting with one another, participants are reclaiming their voices and speaking truth to power.
On June 14, 40 young adult Friends from across the country gathrered at Pendle Hill, a Quaker retreat center outside of Philadelphia, to take part in a youth conference on spirit-led activism. The theme of the week was the Quaker testimony of simplicity, and participants explored both the spiritual and the practical meaning of simplicity in the world.
Note: In May of 2013, three AFSC staff including Aarati Kasturirangan, Program Officer for Integration and Impact, went to the Healing and Rebuilding Our Communities (HROC) workshop held at Stony Run Friends Meeting in Baltimore. Aarati attended the workshop to understand firsthand the HROC work she had heard of from AFSC program staff in Burundi. She went to find out if she thought HROC could be useful for other AFSC programs around the world. - Lucy
Note: Madeline Schaefer, Aarati Kasturirangan, and I attended a Healing and Rebuilding our Communities (HROC) workshop in Baltimore in May. This is the second of three posts about aspects of the workshop.
What is needed to build trust in community? After the HROC participants discussed healing from trauma and trust and mistrust, we set about to answer this question in small groups, and then reported back to each other.
As a whole group, we built a list of 49 qualities and practices needed to build trust in community.
In 1942, Gordon Hirabayashi (1918-2012) refused to obey the 8 p.m. curfew for Japanese-Americans established after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. After turning himself in to the FBI, Gordon was sentenced to 90 days in prison, and appealed his case all the way up to the Supreme Court, with the help of Quakers and the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC).
I live with my family in a 17-acre Quaker cemetery outside of the west edge of Philadelphia. My husband, Graham, is the cemetery’s caretaker. We live in the house on the grounds built in 1860. Our 11-year-old son, Simon, has known no other home.
There are a few notable Quaker dead buried there: Henry Cadbury, Margaret Hope Bacon, and Addison Hutton, but most of those buried aren't famous—they just lived simple lives.
In the middle of May 2013, Kofi (whose name was changed for this story) was detained and deported to his home country in Africa. The family he left behind—including a girlfriend and two children—are struggling with his absence, unsure of their future or his fate. Listen to the story of this family, and hear how the AFSC community in Newark is speaking out against his deportation and others that tear apart families.
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.