Published in 2001, this booklet by Katherine Whitlock made a call for dialogue on hate related violence and hate crimes legislation. In her acknowledgements Kay wrote: "The publication of this Justice Visions working paper on hate violence reflects the deep spiritual and social commitment of the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) to address the root causes, and not only the most visible symptoms, of hatred, intolerance, and violence."
AFSC helps nurture the emergence of a new LGBT movement that resists the U.S. government’s perpetual “war on terrorism” and challenges militarism. We believe that LGBT anti-violence work must expand to include the violence of the state. We place our work for LGBT rights and recognition within an international human rights framework and draw on the historic Quaker witness for peace.
When Martin Luther King, Jr., was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964, it was greeted with much satisfaction by those associated with the American Friends Service Committee. For one thing, the AFSC had nominated him for the prize, a privilege of all former recipients. For another thing, AFSC had many connections with the great man in the fifties and sixties, and its social action during that time was interwoven with the Civil Rights Movement.
Before the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) had programs in India, it had several contacts with people in that country. None was more interesting and colorful than with the poet and philosopher Rabindranath Tagore, first made through British Quakers.
As the European relief effort of the American Friends Service Committee concluded in 1924, questions were raised whether the Service Committee should continue to exist at all. In September of that year, a group of concerned Friends met to consider the future direction of the AFSC. It was decided that the Service Committee still had an important mission to carry out and, therefore, should continue to function.
Long before the Civil Rights Movement, the AFSC identified interracial tensions as an underlying injustice in U.S. culture, causing immense suffering and potentially leading to violence. That is why the AFSC set to work on this issue as early as 1925 and continues to this day. Intervening decades have proved how right this assessment was, with internment of Japanese American citizens during World War II, intentional disenfranchisement of Native Americans resulting in widespread poverty and cultural annihilation, and the heavy-handed treatment of Latino immigrants at the Mexico-U.S.
Perhaps it was inevitable that Quakers and the Doukhobors of Russia would cross paths somewhere in history. Both groups share a belief in pacifism and the existence of God's spirit within each person. They also share a history of persecution for their beliefs and are commonly known by names that started out as derogatory. When the Doukhobors ran into difficulties with their government in Russia and later in Canada, assistance came from London and Philadelphia Friends and later from the American Friends Service Committee. This is the story of what took place.
In 1959 Shirley turned 6 years old. Her excitement grew as fall approached because she would be going to school for the first time. What she didn't understand was that 1959 was to be different. The US Federal Court had ordered Prince Edward County, Virginia, where Shirley lived, to desegregate its schools. And the county school board, rather than integrate their system as ordered, closed all the public schools.
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 office around the world. To see a complete list see the Where We Work page.