Healing Justice

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Catching the fire for healing justice, one Quaker congregation at a time

Criminal Justice reform is catching fire in Quaker communities around the country, in large part due to the publication and popularization of Michelle Alexander’s book, “The New Jim Crow.” The facts embedded in every page are undeniable and horrifying, and illustrate a truth that many have known for years, that these injustices are tied directly to this country’s history of slavery. It’s as if the book has finally made it okay for Quakers (and others) to speak up against injustice and to face our country’s past.

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Merion Meeting Group

Merion Meeting Group

Merion Meeting outside of Philadelphia.

Accompaniment: An experiment in healing justice

Laura Magnani, a member of Strawberry Creek Friends Meeting in Berkeley, Calif., and the director of AFSC’s Bay Area Healing Justice program, tells the story of how local Quaker congregations accompanied a formerly incarcerated man back into the community.

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Helping Hand 2

Helping Hand

Helping Hand

From the inside, out: Transforming Baltimore prisons

The Friend of a Friend mentoring program in Baltimore is doing more than providing support for incarcerated men; it is inspiring a movement for serious reform of the criminal justice system, from the inside out. 

Madeline Schaefer sits down with participants as they share stories of the program's success and their own transformation. By learning how to deal with conflict nonviolently, and by connecting with one another, participants are reclaiming their voices and speaking truth to power.

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Baltimore

Vacant row homes await demolition in Baltimore's Middle East neighborhood next to the expanding Johns Hopkins Medical Campus.

Maine and Burundi communities begin to heal through storytelling

Denise Altvater

Denise Altvater

Denise Altvater

Telling stories of violence and trauma can lay the foundation for healing and for reconciliation.

The empty chair: Bringing love into the room

Note: In May of 2013, three AFSC staff including Aarati Kasturirangan, Program Officer for Integration and Impact, went to the Healing and Rebuilding Our Communities (HROC) workshop held at Stony Run Friends Meeting in Baltimore. Aarati attended the workshop to understand firsthand the HROC work she had heard of from AFSC program staff in Burundi. She went to find out if she thought HROC could be useful for other AFSC programs around the world.  - Lucy

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Empty Chair

Empty Chair

Empty Chair

Creating one small plot of heaven: 49 ingredients for building trust in community

Note: Madeline Schaefer, Aarati Kasturirangan, and I attended a Healing and Rebuilding our Communities (HROC) workshop in Baltimore in May. This is the second of three posts about aspects of the workshop.

What is needed to build trust in community? After the HROC participants discussed healing from trauma and trust and mistrust, we set about to answer this question in small groups, and then reported back to each other.

As a whole group, we built a list of 49 qualities and practices needed to build trust in community.

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HROC Participants in Peace Village, Burundi

HROC Participants in Peace Village, Burundi

HROC Participants in Peace Village, Burundi

Twin Cities advocates share about healing justice work

Four advocates of healing justice share their experiences and explain why restorative rather than punitive practices work better for all involved. 

Creating community and learning about forgiveness

By Sharon Goens
AFSC Twin Cities Healing Justice Program Director 

What does it mean to forgive? How do you define community? What is justice? Would it change if you’ve been harmed? What if your family was murdered right in front of your eyes?

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

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AFSC has offices around the world. To see a complete list see the Where We Work page.

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