Note: Liz Oppenheimer is a Quaker who has been very involved in supporting AFSC's Healing Justice program in Minneapolis. During Ferguson October she traveled to St. Louis and participated in protests and in supporting activists on the ground. The experience opened her eyes and led her to wonder about Quaker readiness to lend support to the communities of color most impacted by police brutality and other injustice. These are some of her reflections on her time in Ferguson, with an invitation to Quakers to become engaged and activated as allies in this movement.
Note: This guest post is by Bassem Masri, a Palestinian who has been very involved in the Ferguson protests and has documented the events with Live Stream. He was arrested this week and interrogated and writes in the post below powerfully about the ways that the police presence in Feruguson resembles the police presence in Palestine.
Note: I first met J. Jondhi Harrell through Philadelphia’s prison and reentry activism circles. Later, I worshipped with him at Germantown Friends Meeting, where he recently became a member. As an insider to the worlds of both Quakerism and the criminal justice system – he was incarcerated for over 20 years – he speaks powerfully about prison, reentry, and Friends’ mandate to confront the dehumanizing system of mass incarceration. -Madeline Smith-Gibbs
Note: Raed Jarrar serves as AFSC's Policy Impact Coordinator. He is Iraqi and Palestinian and has been speaking out in many media outlets including All in with Chris Hayes, Democracy Now, and Common Dreams since the United States' decision to bomb ISIL. Here he responds to a question that kept him up the night after it was asked at a recent presentation. - Lucy
Note: On September 28th Upper Dublin Friends Meeting of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting celebrated the unveiling of a Pennsylvania Historic marker which honored the lives of Thomas and Hannah Atkinson, members of the meeting who offered safe haven on the underground railroad. Avis McClinton, a member of the meeting, was instrumental in having a marker placed which recognized and remembered the formerly enslaved African Americans who lost their lives while seeking freedom and were buried in the cemetery in unmarked graves next to the meeting house.
Note: Dalit Baum, AFSC’s Director of Economic Activism and an Israeli Jew, was one of the founders of Who Profits, an organization that researches companies that profit from the occupation of Palestinian territory. In this post she writes about the passbook system in South Africa and the ID system in Israel, both established to control, segregate, and limit movement.
Note: Mati Gomis-Perez is AFSC's Country Representative for Israel and Palestine. Last week she went into Gaza after Operation Protective Edge and speaks about the impacts of the bombardment and occupation, and what's next. This is the most recent is a series of posts on Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory by AFSC staff. You can read all of them here. - Lucy
Note: This year Laura Magnani gave the final plenary address at the FGC Gathering. She focused her remarks on her long years working within and outside the criminal justice system, grappling with a system which she believes embodies and carries out evil. In her talk she spoke about the power of nonviolence and love to upend both the racism out of which mass incarceration has arisen and the system itself and to find a way to a “new normal” based on transformative justice.
It’s been a hard summer. From the bombardment on Gaza to the refugee children on the border to Ferguson, it feels as though the world is cracking apart and oppressive policies and the militaries or police that protect them are proceeding with impunity. The consequences of the twisted systems in which we live are being exposed. People all over the world are crying out for justice and connecting their struggles.
Members of AFSC's Corporation at last year's annual meeting.
Join AFSC’s Friends Relations team, Lucy Duncan and Madeline Schaefer, for a presentation and discussion on the new Meeting/Church Liaison program, a growing community of Quakers from around the country who are partnering with AFSC to build a powerful Spirit-led movement for social change.
If you’ve been interested in becoming an AFSC liaison for your meeting/church, or are curious to learn more about how Quakers can partner with AFSC, please join us!
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.