Toward Peace and Justice, December 2012
AFSC uses the "peace torch" to bring people together across lines of religion and ethnicity.Photo: AFSC
Working for world peace
A world at peace. What a powerful possibility to consider! A world with no bombs falling on children in Gaza or Afghanistan. With the thousands of soldiers killed in pointless wars instead at home celebrating this season with their families. With a trillion dollars to spend on infrastructure and human needs at home.
Of course, real peace requires much more than ending war.
That’s why the American Friends Service Committee addresses the seeds of violence within communities, removing the barriers to peace. We understand that nurturing the capacity for peace on a personal level is one essential step along the way to building peace in neighborhoods, cities, nations, and the world.
This year, we’ve seen our work for peace at every level make a real difference in people’s lives.
The state of Maine established an AFSC-supported truth and reconciliation process—the first in the United States to focus on child welfare issues—encouraging healing and disclosing the truth about the removal of Native American children from their homes and tribes as part of a policy of forced assimilation.
Last month, the United States renewed its relationship with Myanmar (Burma) after decades of sanctions. For the past seven years, AFSC has been quietly working there in support and recognition of the tremendous forces for change bubbling through the country’s civil society.
I invite you to join me on Thursday, Dec. 20, for a look at highlights like these and to hear what 2013 will hold as AFSC continues paving the path of peace. I will host our monthly program update call at 6 p.m. EST. You can register online today.
In the meantime, please enjoy a slideshow of photos from AFSC’s work this year to see what it looks like to build a world at peace in some of the communities where we work.
Gift idea from QuakerBooks
Our partners at Friends General Conference suggest the book “One City, Two Brothers” as a holiday gift our supporters might be interested in giving this year. This beautifully illustrated version of an old folktale tells how the city of Jerusalem came to be as two brothers find peace by seeing themselves in each other.
Visit QuakerBooks, the online bookstore of Friends General Conference, to find this book and others when you search for “Israel” and “Palestine.” QuakerBooks also carries AFSC publications.