If I Had a Trillion Dollars youth lobbying in Washington, D.C.
This is a guest post by Erin Polley, AFSC Program Coordinator of the Indiana Peacebuilding Program and the “If I Had a Trillion Dollars” Youth Film Festival. Submissions are now being accepted for films created by youth which explore how they would allocate the money that has been spent on the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq differently. - Lucy
Don Bustos, Program Director for AFSC in New Mexico.
by Lucy Duncan
In August I spent a day in New Mexico, visiting AFSC’s farmer training program near Albuquerque.
I met the trainees, hearing from AFSC’s Sayrah Namaste about elements of the program and upcoming plans to expand state-wide, funded in large part by the Kellogg Foundation. I finished the day by talking with program director Don Bustos at his farm near Espanola.
Rick Wilson gives visiting students a presentation on West Virginia politics, energy policy, and social and economic justice.
In the October issue of Friends Journal, a monthly magazine focused on contemporary Quaker faith and practice, AFSC’s Rick Wilson, coordinator of the West Virginia Economic Justice project, writes about “Economic justice 101”:
What is economic justice? My flip answer is to say that I haven’t really seen any yet but hope to recognize it when I do. It might be easier to define what working for it means.
What really strengthens communities? And what does seeking economic justice look like in the communities where AFSC works?
In this issue of Quaker Action, you will find many stories of how we work with communities struggling for economic security and how we support people in developing their own means to sustain themselves and overcome injustice.
Attendees in each city will view two short videos and a longer documentary on the intersection of peace, justice, and education, seen through the prism of school funding. The documentary “The Inconvenient Truth Behind Waiting for Superman”challenges the allegations in the 2010 film "Waiting for Superman"blaming teachers unions for public schools’ ills and touting charter schools as the sole solution.
Despite little growth in either its population or crime rate, West Virginia has seen a marked increase in the number of people housed in its corrections facilities. As the state's prisons become overcrowded, West Virginia is facing a corrections crisis that not only impacts the state's budget but also the low-income and minority communities that are disproportionately impacted by drug addiction and substance abuse issues that land them in prison instead of treatment programs.
Cover photo credits: Tony Clark, Jane Dillard, Edna Green, James Hagwood, Joan Hairston, Ben Shahn
The report, “Legacy of Inequality: Racial and Economic Disparities in West Virginia” includes a sobering analysis of Census and other data conducted by the West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy, the Partnership of African-American Churches and the American Friends Service Committee.
Last week a friend and I visited the memorial dedicated to the miners who were killed in the 2010 Upper Big Branch mine disaster. The massive 48-foot granite structure with 29 ghostly silhouettes is a powerful tribute to the lost miners and to the industry that has been so dominant in the Appalachian region.
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.