Drawing from experiences in Burundi and Maine, Lucy Duncan shows how telling stories of violence and trauma in a context in which those stories will be believed, listened to, and deeply held by the community can lay the foundation for healing and for reconciliation between perpetrators and victims—and pave the way to ending harmful practices and conflicts.
Cornelius Steelink in 1948 picketing against WWIII.
Cornelius Steelink first came into contact with AFSC during World War Two, when, as a conscientious objector, he was sent to a CO camp run by AFSC in Northern California. Since then, he's done it all with AFSC. He shares his story with Willie Colon.
For perpetrators and victims, trauma only ends when devastated lives can find enough healing to offer a shared promise of peace to future generations, says General Secretary Shan Cretin in her opening letter:
"I hope you will be as heartened as I am to 'see what love can do' when a narrative built on punishment and retribution is replaced with one built on transformation and wholeness."
Justice is best served by helping people heal and preventing further harm, says longtime California prisoner rights activist Laura Magnani. She argues that with growing momentum for change, now is the time to overhaul the U.S. prison system.
Mike Perry (left) mentored Russell Green (right) when they were incarcerated in a Maryland prison. Today, both men work for the program through advocacy, mentorship, and community engagement. See more photos.
In Maryland state prisons, men siphoned out of Baltimore as part of the “war on drugs” have created a new community through Friend of a Friend. Now a decade old, the mentoring program has shown that giving incarcerated men a way to see new options and find a sense of purpose can transform them into leaders working to make Baltimore whole again. Brooke Fitz introduces us to three mentors carrying out the Friend of a Friend vision.
Peter Martel spent 10 years in solitary confinement following armed robbery charges when he was 20 years old. His life changed during those years as the love of his family and human compassion helped him find a spark within himself. Today, as program associate with AFSC’s Michigan Criminal Justice Program and an aspiring lawyer, he’s leading others to find that spark in themselves.
What do safe communities really look like? That question has been the focus of many in Denver, Colo., a city that has been home to many immigrants over the past 20 years. For AFSC, the answer can only be found by bringing together immigrants and non-immigrants to work together to ensure the fair treatment of all of the city's residents and work for equal human rights. Listen to the voices of community members working with AFSC to support the rights of immigrants in the Denver area.
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 office around the world. To see a complete list see the Where We Work page.