When I was 14, my mother took me to a weekend-long Quaker work camp in West Philadelphia, one of the last before the program was closed in 2005. I painted a hallway blue, prepared simple meals, and slept in a sleeping bag. By Sunday afternoon, I knew that I had been transformed.
“These are revolutionary times. All over the globe men are revolting against old systems of exploitation and oppression, and out of the wombs of a frail world, new systems of justice and equality are being born.
We must move past indecision to action. …
Now let us begin. Now let us re-dedicate ourselves to the long and bitter, but beautiful, struggle for a new world.”
Denise Altvater (far right)and siblings weeks before they were taken from the reservation and placed in a non-native foster home by the state of Maine.
Denise Altvater is a member of the Passamaquoddy Tribe and has worked for AFSC for eighteen years. She has been instrumental in developing the first Truth and Reconciliation Commission between a sovereign Tribal Nation, the Wabanaki, and a U.S. state, Maine, to address hurts caused by the foster care system. The commission will be seated on February 12, 2013.
Farm trainee Joseluis Ortiz selling produce at farmer's market.
Hear the story of how AFSC partnered with local organizations in the South Valley of New Mexico to create the Farmer to Farmer training program. Participants in the program have recently formed the Agri-cultura Network, a brokerage of farmers that provides local public schools with fresh vegetables year round. Listen to the voices of the community members who have contributed to this program's success. - Madeline
Religious leaders gathered in Sri Lanka to discuss climate change.
How do we—as Quakers, as humans—address climate change? It’s a broad question about a multi-faceted issue, I know—and one that I’m certainly not ready to answer in 500 words or fewer. But Quakers around the country are gathering in their local meetings and churches to ask this question, consider answers, and work with others to speak about and advocate for the solutions they propose.
"The Peaceable Kingdom" by Edward Hicks at the National Gallery
Note: I sent Max Carter a note about an unrelated matter and he sent me these reflections about the recent mass shootings in Newtown, Conn., which he posted on the Guilford College Friends Center Facebook page yesterday. - Lucy
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.