South East New England Program Background
About our work:
AFSC-SENE works on two main themes, which are interwoven: Peacebuilding and Community Justice.
Peacebuilding Work: We want to hold our government accountable to the people - who are weary of war and want the wars spawned by the "Global War On Terror" to end. Toward that end we organize efforts to stop those wars (campaigns to shut down the funding, to stop sending more troops, etc). We also call attention to the terrible costs of these wars - the lives lost, the destruction, the loss of resources for education, health care and infrastructure. At a time when people seem reluctant to "take to the streets" in protest, we feel that it is important to bear witness to these ongoing atrocities, to let our leaders know that there are people who do not agree with their priorities. On the local level, we also work to develop a culture of peace. We have helped establish the Center for Nonviolent Solutions in Worcester and offer workshops on nonviolent action in our communities. We work to bring awareness of the connections between poverty and war, lack of health care and war, the militarism that grows in our law enforcement and immigration crack downs.
Community Justice: Many of our communities struggle with a lack of resources, with tensions with the police, and lack of opportunities. There is great neighborhood organizing in many of these place and AFSC-SENE works as an ally to build bridges to other communities so that we might all work together for true security and community. We work with local groups on immigration reform both nationally and at the RI State House. High on the RI agenda this year is passage of a bill that would allow immigrant children who have spent at least the last three years in RI public schools access to the state colleges at in-state tuition levels. We also are working for passage of legislation to address racial profiling issues with law enforcement (see below).