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Acting in Faith

By: Madeline Schaefer
Published: June 28, 2013

The Friend of a Friend mentoring program in Baltimore is doing more than providing support for incarcerated men; it is inspiring a movement for serious reform of the criminal justice system, from the inside out. 

Madeline Schaefer sits down with participants as they share stories of the program's success and their own transformation. By learning how to deal with conflict nonviolently, and by connecting with one another, participants are reclaiming their voices and speaking truth to power.

You can read more about the Friend of a Friend program in the summer issue of...

By: Tai Amri Spann Wilson
Published: June 27, 2013

On June 14, 40 young adult Friends from across the country gathrered at Pendle Hill, a Quaker retreat center outside of Philadelphia, to take part in a youth conference on spirit-led activism. The theme of the week was the Quaker testimony of simplicity, and participants explored both the spiritual and the practical meaning of simplicity in the world.

Tai Amri Spann-Wilson, a young adult Friend living in Oakland, Calif., delivered the following sermon during worship on Sunday morning. His powerful stories and challenging message called all of the participants...

Empty Chair
By: Aarati Kasturirangan
Published: June 25, 2013

Note: In May of 2013, three AFSC staff including Aarati Kasturirangan, Program Officer for Integration and Impact, went to the Healing and Rebuilding Our Communities (HROC) workshop held at Stony Run Friends Meeting in Baltimore. Aarati attended the workshop to understand firsthand the HROC work she had heard of from AFSC program staff in Burundi. She went to find out if she thought HROC could be useful for other AFSC programs around the world.  - Lucy

I attended the workshop because HROC sounded miraculous to me. I went...

HROC Participants in Peace Village, Burundi
By: Lucy Duncan
Published: June 20, 2013

Note: Madeline Schaefer, Aarati Kasturirangan, and I attended a Healing and Rebuilding our Communities (HROC) workshop in Baltimore in May. This is the second of three posts about aspects of the workshop.

What is needed to build trust in community? After the HROC participants discussed healing from trauma and trust and mistrust, we set about to answer this question in small groups, and then reported back to each other.

As a whole group, we built a list of 49 qualities and practices needed to build trust in community.

I looked at this list and thought that...

Gordon Hirabayashi
By: Madeline Schaefer
Published: June 14, 2013

In 1942, Gordon Hirabayashi (1918-2012) refused to obey the 8 p.m. curfew for Japanese-Americans established after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. After turning himself in to the FBI, Gordon was sentenced to 90 days in prison, and appealed his case all the way up to the Supreme Court, with the help of Quakers and the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC). 

A Quaker and a pacifist, at 24 Gordon also resisted the mass removal of Japanese-Americans and refused to fill out a special questionnaire given only to Japanese-Americans that would have made him eligible for the...