Mark Braverman is author of Fatal Embrace: Christians, Jews, and the Search for Peace in the Holy Land. His visit with church leaders in Des Moines is one example of AFSC Iowa's peacebuilding efforts throughout the year.Photo: AFSC / Jon Krieg
By Kathleen McQuillen, Iowa Program Coordinator
Home for the holidays. We hear that sentiment echo among others across radio stations and shopping malls. While commercialism threatens to rob the holidays of their truer spirit, there still lives within all of us the simple joy found in being with friends and family in a safe, warm, and peaceful place—Home.
We at AFSC try to make this holiday wish a reality throughout the year. We work with and for people around the world and across the street. But ultimately, we do this work because it creates a safer, more peaceful home for all of us.
AFSC educates, organizes and advocates on behalf of peace and justice in Palestine and Israel, a spiritual home to many people and yet a conflicted, disputed home, as well. Throughout the year, AFSC hosts speakers who challenge common misconceptions and media distortions about the Middle East while offering a vision of a safe homeland for all.
Immigrants and refugees fleeing violence of many kinds in their native countries can find a new, safe home here. AFSC’s Immigrants Voice Program assists over 1,000 people a year from 50 different countries. Our affordable legal services help bring families together in a new home. The educational and organizing side of our work strives for comprehensive immigration reform. It also highlights the myriad ways in which immigrants enrich our lives.
AFSC works with youth on college campuses—their home away from home. Our “Peace Fellows” program mentors young people as they educate and organize among their peers, stretching their own understanding of what peace and justice will require of us all in the years to come. There’s no stopping past wars, but we do have an opportunity to end current ones and prevent future ones if we act now.
Education, service, and organizing—the building blocks for peaceful tomorrows are the cornerstones of AFSC’s work for peace with justice. We want you to know we appreciate your support of AFSC’s efforts to transform our troubled planet into a safe home for all. Thank you.