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Acting in Faith

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Acting in Faith

Barrington Dunbar
By: Barrington Dunbar
Published: February 11, 2015

Note: For Black History Month, we will be honoring some of the many Black Quakers who have contributed to the world of Friends and beyond. Barrington Dunbar (1901-1978), like many others, challenged white Friends to take a more active approach in addressing racism and white supremacy. He asked Friends to show their support for the Black Power Movement even though its violent rhetoric often felt alienating to pacifist Friends. Although we cannot know what Friend Barrington would have to say about current events, it is easy to imagine him challenging white Friends to support the Black...

By: Brant Rosen
Published: February 5, 2015

In my previous post, I explored the ways that Quakers and Jews have been historically connected and proposed a deeper spiritual connection between our respective faith traditions. As a rabbi who now works for AFSC, I can say without hesitation that my spiritual life has greatly benefitted from my encounter with Quaker thought and practice. The more I dwell in these two religious communities, the more I am able to discern important parallels between them.

I’ve found particularly fertile ground in my...

Rabbi Brant Rosen at protest with police in riot gear
By: Brant Rosen
Published: January 27, 2015

When I tell people that I've just started working for the American Friends Service Committee, some will inevitably scratch their heads and ask, "What is a rabbi doing working for a Quaker organization?"

Those who know me well, know enough not to ask. During my twenty-plus years as a congregational rabbi/activist, I've often worked alongside AFSC staff and progressive Quakers, particularly on the issue of Mideast peace and justice. I’ve cultivated a wonderful ongoing relationship with the Friends Meeting in my hometown of Evanston and have spoken there on more than one occasion....

Black Lives Matter protesters holding a sign
By: Vonn New
Published: January 22, 2015

I am a white person who recently participated in #millionsmarchnyc as part of #BlackLivesMatter.  As a queer, gender-queer person, I know about some forms of oppression, but I didn’t want my own unconscious racism, entitlement, and unexamined privilege to perpetuate the pathology and systems we were there to protest. So I came up with some guidelines for myself while participating in public demonstrations against racism and police violence.

One thing I’m figuring out is that it is important for me as a white ally to engage in anti-racism work with other white people....

Church congregation being led in prayer
By: Greg Elliott
Published: January 16, 2015

Watching Selma in a crowded theater, the connections to the Black Lives Matter movement were very apparent. As Vanessa Julye and Barry Scott said in their Acting in Faith post earlier this week, “The struggle for equal voting rights along with the dehumanization of African American lives and experiences continues in 2015.”

Although I was not surprised by Selma’s political relevancy, I did not...