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The Appalachian Center for Equality is dedicated to creating opportunities for young people to pursue their goals and a productive future by working and learning together. We accomplish this through interpersonal skill-building, college trips, and community engagement projects with the belief that together we can make our communities in southern West Virginia stronger and more vibrant for everyone.

Video by AFSC intern Adrienne Miranda

Read more about ACE: Appalachian Center for Equality Expanding Its Impact

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In the summer of 1967, Carolyn McCoy was 12 years old and visiting Japan with her family. On Aug. 6, they visited Hiroshima, where they took part in memorial activities marking the 22nd anniversary of the atomic bombing of the city. 

This digital story—created last month in an AFSC-led workshop at the Friends General Conference gathering—tells how the experience changed her life.

The workshop

At the FGC gathering this summer, AFSC’s Lori Fernald Khamala, Project Voice Program Director in North Carolina, and Tony Heriza, Director of Educational Outreach, led a digital storytelling workshop called “Using Technology to Tell Stories of Spirit and Struggle,” in which an intergenerational group of participants created short videos about their spiritual journeys and political concerns. Carolyn’s story is the first to be shared online. Others will follow. 

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The American Friends Service Committee's Joseph Gerson discusses China's Rise at the March 13, 2012 Challenging the Pivot event in Cambridge, MA.

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American Friends Service Committee's Jason Tower at March 13, 2012 Challenging the Pivot event, Cambridge, MA.

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AFSC's West Virginia Economic Justice Project (WVEJ) works statewide on issues affecting low income and working families. 

The project helps people get the best possible deal from the current system, engages in campaigns to gain or defend economic rights for workers and low income families, helps build effective coalition in support of economic justice for all people.

Watch live streaming video from natofreefuture at livestream.com

Watch live streaming video from natofreefuture at livestream.com

Watch live streaming video from natofreefuture at livestream.com

Watch live streaming video from natofreefuture at livestream.com

Direction and Camera by Hasibullah Asmati
Editing by Hamed Alizada
Sound and Additional Camera by Zarah Sadat

After the refugees returned, post-Taliban, there was no girl’s school in the village.  Waseema took things into her own hands, organizing the women, pressuring the resistant men, and setting up ‘classrooms’ in an abandoned, roofless, building on the outskirts of the village.  The sounds of the girls calling out their lessons doesn’t disturb anyone  - except for those who won’t follow their Mullah’s advice and allow their daughters and sisters to attend.

Hasibullah Asmati
Hasibullah Asmati’s family is from Takhar and he lives in Kabul. He worked as a production assistant on the documentary Addicted in Afghanistan, and as a freelance production assistant with the Takhar province TV channel. Hasib is currently working with Community Supported Film to make Brewing Tea in a Kettle of War, which will look at best practices in economic and social development from the perspective of Afghan villagers. Hasib is in Takhar province to capture one village’s attempt to come to terms with the cyclical terror of flashfloods and drought.

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This video of immigrants and advocates from around the country was created by Yanex, an intern with AFSC. It includes seven principles for immigration reform.

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If I Had A Trillion Dollars is a national youth video contest and film festival. We ask young people aged 10-23, "If YOU had the power to choose, how would you spend 1 trillion dollars? What could that money do for your family, for your community, for your nation, or for the world?"

Youth then create a video for the festival, and many have the opportunity to travel to Washington, D.C. to share their ideas and visions with legislators on Capitol Hill in the spring. 

This short video documents the highlights and reflections of several youth who were involved in last year's festival.

The submission deadline for the 2013 festival is Jan. 11, 2013. Visit ihtd.org to learn more.

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The first plastic army men were made during WWII. Making them out of this material helped conserve tin and other metals needed in the production of arms. During this time, they were still hand painted individually in the United States. Now they stand plain, unpainted, with modern weapons and fatigues, and are made in third world countries. They are very inexpensive and are sold mostly in supermarkets and dollar stores. I personally remember being a poor kid on welfare, and getting them regularly as gifts because they were one of the only toys my mother could afford.

We believe that this is too much of a coincidence. The amount of budget that goes into the military is offensive enough. Why target minorities with the glory of war, guns, and death? That money could help educate us, make us more socially aware and many other things.

Each plastic solider has a weapon of some sort. There are no obvious medics, engineers, or technicians of any kind. In creating this video, we wanted to play with these gray, soulless figures that haunted our childhoods in a memorable way. We wanted to build a trench of peace and love that united any color of solider to send a message and set an example.

We had a lot of fun building the set and working with stop animation which was pretty new to us all. We built hills out of clay and newspaper, decorated them with paint, moss, and rocks. We patiently arranged each figure to orchestrate our message. A message that shouts "Love is louder than guns!"

Robert Khasho is a Portland based artist who mentored AFSC youth to produce "Love is Louder than Guns," this year’s entry into the AFSC/National Priorities Project If I Had a Trillion $ video contest. Using stop motion animation it features plastic toy soldiers, and was chosen as a contest finalist. Participating youth travel to Washington DC in April to receive leadership training and urge their legislators to end war and invest in education and human needs.

Who we are

AFSC is a Quaker organization devoted to service, development, and peace programs throughout the world. Our work is based on the belief in the worth of every person, and faith in the power of love to overcome violence and injustice. Learn more

Where we work

AFSC has offices around the world. To see a complete list see the Where We Work page.

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