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Iowans Prepare for Windows and Mirrors at FGC

Iowans Prepare for Windows and Mirrors at FGC

Published: June 29, 2011
Sonia Tuma and Grinnell students Sara and Emma

Sonia Tuma, regional director of AFSC's Central Regional Office in Des Moines, shares a smile with Grinnell College students Sara and Emma, who helped hang a smaller version of AFSC's Windows and Mirrors exhibit at the college in advance of FGC. Click here for a slideshow.

Photo: AFSC / Jon Krieg

A version of AFSC’s Windows and Mirrors exhibit to grace Friends General Conference’s bookstore at Grinnell College

By Jon Krieg

College promotional literature often talks of taking students “to new heights.” That became literal on June 28 as two Grinnell students assisted two AFSC staff in hanging a smaller version of AFSC’s Windows and Mirrors exhibit in FGC’s temporary bookstore space at Grinnell College in Iowa.

Sara, a sophomore track whiz, helped as Emma, a senior Gender Studies/Theater double major, climbed aboard a “Genielift” to hang 25 posters of art depicting the human cost of the U.S. war in Afghanistan. Sonia Tuma, regional director of AFSC’s Central Region, and I shared the students’ awe as the posters went up, one by one, revealing the agony and resistance of a people torn by warfare.

Emma and Sara said they’re interested in exploring the idea of bringing Windows and Mirrors back to Grinnell during the school year. That would be fitting since Grinnell’s new president, Dr. Raynard Kington, has breathed new life into the college’s longstanding commitment to fostering social justice.

The women, who serve as staff of the school’s conference operations department over the summer, say they’re eager to meet some of the 1000 Quakers set to attend FGC next week. Emma observed that while many visiting groups are curious about a venue’s technological possibilities, her sense is that Quakers value the gift of silence even more.

I should have disclosed earlier that, as a 1984 graduate of Grinnell and a 15-year staffer at AFSC, I’m pretty partial to the proud traditions of both my alma mater and employer. I’m excited to see each of them reach new heights.