In July 2013, AFSC's Midwest Regional Executive Committee and several senior AFSC staff traveled to Dayton, Ohio to learn more about AFSC's work in promoting the Welcome Dayton Plan and supporting the Harambee Coffee Roasters Cooperative.
In this three-minute video, Jackson Nsilulu describes the reasons for the cooperative and the values which support it.
"I want to thank you for your gracious and generous hospitality and support during my visit," said Hector Cortez, AFSC's new Deputy General Secretary, to Migwe Kimemia, who directs AFSC's work in Dayton. "I must tell you that I was very impressed with the incredible ministry you and other leaders have accomplished with the African Refugee work."
"The quality and depth of leaders who were around the table are a testament to your ability to bring a broad range of leaders from Dayton with the sole purpose of welcoming new refugees and making them a part of the community," Hector said. "Please know that I am a supporter and advocate of your work."
To view more photos of AFSC's meetings with civic, community, youth and refugee leaders in Dayton, click here.
Youth leaders from Logan, WV addressed the Senate Select Committee on Child Poverty on July 23, 2013. Scroll to the 31:35 mark to see Kristiana Drummer (11th grade) talk about juvenile justice reform, Jimetta Early (12th grade) talk about early childhood development, and Ciara Campbell (12th grade) talk about the need for sex education classes in order to prevent teen pregnancy. After they spoke, Senator Unger and Senator Stollings praised them for their leadership.
Arnie Alpert details how, through public education, a coalition working to stop the state from privatizing its prisons was able to shift public opinion and elected officials' position on the issue over the course of two years.
[Arnie offers a correction to his statement at 3:43: Caroline's speaking tour in New Hampshire was held in fall 2012, not 2011.]
AFSC's Linda Lewis shares photos from the day in May 2013 she spent seeing the sights in Pyongyang, DPRK (North Korea), where people were out rollerblading, playing cards, and boating in the Taedong River.
Linda Lewis, AFSC's country representative for China and the DPRK (North Korea), describes her May 2013 trip to partner farms and organizations in North Korea, where farm managers are working to introduce sustainable practices and improve yields.
In this two-minute video reflection, AFSC's Midwest Region offers its thanks to AFSC supporters everywhere.
Origami by Patti McKee. Text below.
The Making of a Star
Symbol of the American Friends Service Committee
When young Quakers drove ambulances during World War I in France, they didn’t see themselves as heroes.
Instead, what drove them is what drives us, the American Friends Service Committee, nearly 100 years later.
They saw then, as we see now,
that injustice fuels conflict
and violence only results in more violence.
But they also saw then, as we see now,
a higher truth.
That there is that of God in all people.
and, as Dr. King said 50 years later,
only Light can drive out darkness
and only love can drive out hate.
Friends chose then, as we choose still,
A star to symbolize our nonviolent work.
Red and black, with eight points
(and a little hourglass in the middle).
They knew then, as we know now,
That AFSC doesn’t make stars – or heroes.
The stars are all around us.
The stars are within us.
The stars are you.
Thank you for your support of the American Friends Service Committee.
The U.S.-Mexico border is one of the most militarized borders in the world, with billions of dollars spent on border security every year. Quina, an AFSC intern in Greensboro, N.C., grew up near the U.S.-Canada border and later lived in Tucson near the U.S.-Mexico border. Struck by the differences, she shares what "border security" means to her.
Joshua Saleem describes some of his experiences doing AFSC peace education work in high schools in St. Louis. In this three-minute video, Joshua focuses on a peace ball project chosen by students at Northwest Academy of Law.
Ghaisha came to the U.S. from Niger seeking asylum. Now a U.S. citizen and member of the Greensboro, N.C. community, she shares the story of a friend who was denied an organ transplant because he is undocumented.
In recognition of World Refugee Day on June 20, and in honor of the thousands of refugees who now call Iowa home, AFSC Iowa’s Immigrants Voice Program (IVP) presents this four-minute video of one mother and son, reunited after 14 years of being apart.
As Hannah describes in the video, the lives of her and her son were saved by an older woman in Liberia, a stranger from a different tribe, who claimed them as her own. “This is how we got safe,” Hannah says. “I didn’t even know her name, yet I was her daughter.”
Upon his arrival at the airport in Des Moines, Hannah and Sherriff didn't even recognize each other. Thanks to photos on Facebook, Hannah's daughter helped identify Sherriff among the arriving passengers.
Currently, Sherriff is learning about computer systems administration. Hannah works in an elderly care facility and is studying nursing.
AFSC-IVP’s legal services program, directed by Jody Mashek, assists 300 refugees and immigrants each year from countries around the world, bringing families together and helping people find opportunity in their new home.
For a great source of up-to-date information about refugee resettlement, check out http://www.culturalorientation.net/learning/arrivals.