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Acting in Faith

Acting in Faith

Note to self: White people taking part in #BlackLivesMatter protests

By: Vonn New
Published: January 22, 2015
Topics:

Nine recommendations for white people taking part in Black Lives Matter protests. 

About the Author

Vonn New is a member of Bulls Head-Oswego Friends Meeting in New York Yearly Meeting.  Ze is a gender-queer lesbian, musician, and social justice activist who was introduced to Friends partly through the work of AFSC's LGBT program in the 1990's.  Vonn works as an independent web developer.

Feeding the flame for racial justice

By: Greg Elliott
Published: January 16, 2015
Topics:

About the Author

Greg serves as the Friends Relations Associate for AFSC in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Born and raised in rural Northeastern Pennsylvania, Greg grew up attending North Branch Friends Meeting at the Curtis family farm in the Poconos. Over the last ten years, he has facilitated numerous workshops for activists and Friends on a variety of topics, including anti-oppression activism, empire, and the "Inquirer's Weekend" at Pendle Hill with Trayce Peterson. Greg currently lives in the Germantown neighborhood of Philadelphia. 

Where are we 50 years later? What can we learn from Selma?

By: Vanessa Julye & Barry Scott
Published: January 13, 2015
Topics:

About the Author

Vanessa Julye works to increase awareness of racism in Quaker and other religious communities. She has a calling to ministry with a concern for helping the Religious Society of Friends become a whole blessed community. She travels throughout the country and abroad speaking on this topic and leading workshops about racism focusing on its eradication and the healing of racism’s wounds. Vanessa and Donna McDaniel are the authors of Fit for Freedom, Not for Friendship: Quakers, African Americans and the Myth of Racial Justice.  Vanessa is Friends General Conference’s Coordinator for the Committee for Nurturing Ministries focusing on the Racism and Youth Ministries Programs, as well as, a member of Central Philadelphia Monthly Meeting. Barry Scott is a scientist and worker health and safety advocate. He is seeking to live into a blessed community in the Religious Society of Friends and works to that end in his Quaker meeting.  He also enjoys finding spirit at the movies and has shared that in workshops he’s led at Friends General Conference Gathering and in his Meeting. He has been a member of Central Philadelphia Monthly Meeting since 1994. Barry and Vanessa have been married for nearly fourteen years.

An unnatural disaster: What I saw in Gaza

By: Aura Kanegis
Published: January 7, 2015
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In January 2015, Aura Kanegis, AFSC's Director of Public Policy and Advocacy, traveled to Gaza for the first time. These are her reflections and photographs from the trip witnessing the recent devastation of Operation Protective Edge.

About the Author

Robin Aura Kanegis serves as Director of Public Policy and Advocacy for the American Friends Service Committee. Prior to joining AFSC, she served as Director of Campaigns and Iraq Peace Campaign Director for the Friends Committee on National Legislation. Aura previously worked for over a decade on issues impacting Native American communities, serving the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) first as Deputy Director for Governmental Affairs and subsequently as Director of Operations and Programs. Later she served as Director of Communications and Development for the First Nations Development Institute, working to restore Native control and culturally-compatible stewardship of the assets they own, and to establish new assets for ensuring the long-term vitality of Native communities. She holds a B.A. in Third World Studies and Women’s Studies from Oberlin College and an I.B. from the Armand Hammer United World College. She is the lead vocalist of Brûlée, a jazz-blues band performing in the Washington area.

A work of the Spirit: Why I felt led to work at AFSC

By: Greg Elliott
Published: December 30, 2014
Topics:

About the Author

Greg serves as the Friends Relations Associate for AFSC in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Born and raised in rural Northeastern Pennsylvania, Greg grew up attending North Branch Friends Meeting at the Curtis family farm in the Poconos. Over the last ten years, he has facilitated numerous workshops for activists and Friends on a variety of topics, including anti-oppression activism, empire, and the "Inquirer's Weekend" at Pendle Hill with Trayce Peterson. Greg currently lives in the Germantown neighborhood of Philadelphia. 

Spirit uprising: a poem

By: Lucy Duncan
Published: December 30, 2014
Topics:

About the Author

Lucy serves as Director of Friends Relations for AFSC. She has been a storyteller for 20 years and has worked with Quaker meetings on telling stories for racial justice and of spiritual experience. Before working for AFSC, she was Director of Communications at FGC, managed QuakerBooks of FGC, and owned and managed her own children's bookstore in Omaha, The Story Monkey. She attends Green Street Friends Meeting (PhYM) and lives with her son and partner in a Quaker cemetery.

Lifting each other up: You can’t stop the revolution

By: Diamond Latchison
Published: December 18, 2014
Topics:

St. Louis resident Diamond Latchison joined the protests five days after Mike Brown’s death. “Once I started seeing firsthand what the people were doing and what the police were doing, I never left,” she says.

About the Author

Diamond Latchison, 21, born in Chicago, IL but raised in St. Louis, MO in the Florissant - Ferguson region. She has now become a local activist through being on the grounds of Ferguson and one of the Co-founders of Freedom Fighters, a local organization that's been on the grounds of Ferguson & Shaw. In her leisure time, she likes to write stories and poetry, read, and watch movies & TV shows.

In the stillness of Meeting: Following a leading to action

By: Sterling Duns
Published: December 10, 2014
Topics:

About the Author

Sterling Duns is a West Philly based hip-hop artist and musician.  His passion for music stems from his desire to make sense of the events that make our lives unique and intertwined, all at once. He holds a BA in English from Dickinson College and an MA in Poetry from the University of East Anglia in Norwich, England. Sterling has worked with youth from all different backgrounds, at summer camps and in classrooms, for the last 10+ years. He truly believes that if we empower and inspire the youth of today, our future will be in great hands.

From Prison Walls to the United Nations

By: Bonnie Kerness & Lia Lindsey
Published: December 2, 2014
Topics:

About the Author

Bonnie Kerness became an anti-racist activist when she was 14 years old, volunteering at New York’s University Settlement House. She participated in the Civil Rights Movement, trained in Tennessee by the NAACP and Highlander Center as a community organizer. Moving North in 1970, she became active with welfare, tenants rights and anti-war issues. 

Bonnie has an MSW and serves as Director of the American Friends Service Committee’s Prison Watch Program.  At AFSC she provides support to imprisoned individuals and their family members, collects testimonies of prisoners reporting abuses committed behind bars and creates resources to help prisoners struggling in imprisonment.

She is an advisor to California Prison Focus; Critical Resistance; Women Who Never Give Up, a group of family members dedicated to helping other families secure justice in criminal justice and prison systems; and SolitaryWatch, a website monitoring solitary confinement in US prisons.

She contributed to the publication of “Our Children’s House” – testimonies on juvenile imprisonment; “Our Children’s House - The Play”; “Torture in US Prisons – Evidence of US Human Rights Violations”; “The Prison Inside the Prison: Control Units, Supermax Prisons and Devices of Torture”, the “Survivor’s Manual” and “Inalienable Rights”.

Her articles have appeared in numerous publications including Peace Review, a Journal of Social Justice, the Atlantic Journal of Communications, War Resisters League Magazine and others. Bonnie speaks widely on mass imprisonment on behalf of men, women and children in US prisons suffering human rights violations of United Nations Covenants and Treaties. 

Lia Lindsey is Policy Impact Coordinator with the American Friends Service Committee’s Office of Public Policy and Advocacy in Washington, DC.  She is AFSC’s lead in developing policy recommendations and building political will for humane practices on immigration, healing and restorative justice, international human rights, civil rights, and Latin America. 

Lia, an East Coast transplant from the Midwest, has worked on human and civil rights for over 15 years.  Prior to joining AFSC she assisted pro se workers seeking redress for employment discrimination, conducted legal research for the Office of the Prosecutor at the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, coordinated national and state-level human rights campaigns with Amnesty International USA, helped expand online constituent engagement with the American Civil Liberties Union, and while working for The Moratorium Campaign supported death row exonerates calling for a moratorium on the death penalty.

Lia is an attorney licensed to practice in Washington DC, Massachusetts, and New York.    

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