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.
Born to a Quaker family in an Indiana house that had been a station on the Underground Railroad, Martha Gwyn heard mention of AFSC in her formative years. But her personal involvement really started in the 1940s when she was a student at Earlham College.
“The work camp movement made a big impression on me,” Martha says. “It accomplished things. It made friends. It contributed to a community in nearly every case. It did lots of things.”
The siege and blockade of Gaza has cut off its residents from the outside world for more than five years. So when a call went out asking AFSC staff to send messages of solidarity to colleagues and participants in the Palestine Youth Program, many jumped at the chance.
With recent budget cuts, Lincoln High School in East Los Angeles has lost nearly 40 percent of its teachers and seen class sizes nearly double. Its students are organizing to mitigate the effects of the crisis. They asked AFSC to help them build a Peace Garden at their school.
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.
Until recently, the government of Myanmar spent less than 2 percent of its gross domestic product on health and education, so Buddhist monasteries started schools to provide basic secular education to poor children who could not afford the official schools. In 2009, AFSC began working to support civil society efforts to improve livelihoods and educate children.
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.