Across the region, offices working with youth have joined together to expand Peace by Piece (PxP), a program collective designed to spread the meaningful youth work currently being done in the south. By tapping into successful initiatives tested in New Orleans, and shaping new groups of young people who are involved in their respective communities elsewhere, AFSC is working to develop a strong platform for tackling social issues regionwide.
Last year, AFSC’s Atlanta Economic Justice Program partnered with residents and community organizations to facilitate a listening project in Peoplestown. After evaluating the results, it was clear that residents cared deeply for their community and have deep concerns about its future. On the top of the list of concerns were the lack of affordable housing, limited access to good food, and trash in the community.
In January 2015, long-time Ellenwood, GA resident Michele Swan, with the support of her neighbors and Occupy Our Homes Atlanta, publically reclaimed her home.
Evicted over the holidays by WRI Group, a subsidiary of American Residential Leasing Co., Michele has been locked in a battle with WRI Group to claim the house that has rightfully belonged to her since 2003.
In October, youth from all over the region gathered with staff at AFSC’s Atlanta office for workshops on how to better advocate for social justice within their communities. AFSC Greensboro’s Toni Etheridge, who has helped the South Region roll out its new regional youth work project, says that the North Carolina office has been gaining interest from young people.
In North Carolina, the NAACP and partnering organization AFSC initiated a series of weekly protests demanding progressive policy changes from lawmakers. Dubbed “Moral Monday,” the protests targeted specific policies in the state which have had negative effects on citizens.
AFSC joined Occupy Our Homes Atlanta and DeKalb County residents who are facing eviction in staging a press conference in July at which speakers called for a more humane process for those facing eviction.
A sense of rebirth and renewal is spreading throughout the South Region under the dynamic new leadership of Kamau Franklin. Kamau, a civil rights attorney who was named regional director in April, brings to AFSC his rich background in organizing at the grassroots level around issues of racial justice and civic engagement. He shares his vision for the region here.
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.