This summer, the American Friends Service Committee continued its tradition of engaging youth by sponsoring freedom schools in the South Region.
AFSC has a rich history of organizing alternative education dating back to the Civil Rights Movement, when volunteers helped to arrange placement for African American students who had been locked out of schools that refused to desegregate.
AFSC's West Virginia Economic Justice Project hosted an Undoing Racism workshop in Charleston, WV in April 2015 that included 40 participants made up of child poverty campaign coalition partners, faith leaders, representatives from juvenile justice system, domestic violence prevention leaders, professors, college students, as well as AFSC youth leaders from Logan, WV.
In a tough political year in West Virginia, young people from the Appalachian Center for Equality program rose to the challenge.
In the wake of the 2014 elections, control of the WV legislature passed to Republican hands for the first time since 1932. Many legislators who had championed the statewide Our Children Our Future campaign to end child poverty were either no longer there or were not in leadership positions. Many legislators were newly elected and largely unknown.
Our Children Our Future, West Virginia’s campaign to end child poverty, is gearing up for the 2015 legislative session. This coalition of coalitions, of which AFSC is an active member, has won over a dozen policy victories over the last two years, including prison reform, Medicaid expansion, raising the minimum wage, and restoring funding for family programs. While most of these victories take place at the capitol in Charleston during the 60 day legislative sessions that typically last from January to March, the campaign works statewide and year-round to build momentum.
Students from South Region programs in North Carolina, West Virginia, New Orleans, Atlanta and Washington, D.C., gathered in the nation’s capital in June for a Human Rights Summit organized by Jean Louis Peta Ikambana director of the AFSC-DC program.
The students participated in workshops to prepare for meetings with their representatives on Capitol Hill.
While visiting West Virginia State University, BAPS youth leadership group also had the opportunity to participate in the Junior Master Gardening workshop with WVSU Extension Office. At the training we learned how to conduct hands-on learning activities for teaching gardening knowledge and skills to people young and old alike. We will use what we learned to conduct our own trainings in the community garden this summer.
Who we are
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.