Acting in Faith

Honoring the values and spirit of Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela

“Overcoming poverty is not a task of charity; it is an act of justice. Like slavery and apartheid, poverty is not natural. It is man-made and it can be overcome and eradicated by the actions of human beings. Sometimes it falls on a generation to be great. YOU can be that great generation. Let your greatness blossom.” Nelson Mandela

Teaching peace at Friends schools

Moses Brown I

Victor Bradley from Cambridge Friends School sharing one way that he is helping spread peace work to his students.

On Nov. 15, Quaker schools from around New England gathered at Moses Brown Friends School in Providence, R.I., for a day-long conference on peace education. Madeline Schaefer, Friends Relations Associate at the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC), was invited to present and share AFSC's resources for teaching peace to young people.

On encounters at Thanksgiving

Pumpkins

Pumpkins

Pumpkins

Today people are traveling across the United States to make their way to the homes of loved ones to share food and celebrate Thanksgiving. Sometimes these encounters will be joyful, and sometimes they will be strained.

Realigning our priorities: Young filmmakers work to change the narrative

IHTD Sticker Activity

Festival winner considers how she would allocate our nation's budget during the 2013 lobby training in Washington DC.

Several weeks ago, we invited our Quaker meeting/church liaisons to join our staff on a call to learn more about the "If I Had a Trillion Dollars” youth film festival, which is entering its fourth year. The festival asks young people (middle school through college age) to create a short film on how they would redirect the money in our nation's budget that has been spent on war.

Picking up the branches: Reflections on the Friends General Conference Gathering, 2013

Note: I met Robert Awkward last year during his internship with Erin Polley and the "If I Had a Trillion Dollars" (IHTD) youth film festival. The festival invites young people around the country to engage in conversations around how to shift our nation's budget priorities from militarism and war, to supporting the resources that communities need to thrive. 

Michelle Alexander: Embracing humanity to bring down The New Jim Crow

Michelle Alexander

Michelle Alexander

Michelle Alexander

Note: A month ago, Michelle Alexander, author of The New Jim Crow, spoke at the University of Pennsylvania Humanities Forum, as the first lecturer in a series addressing violence. I had heard her before, but this time her message seemed even sharper and more urgent. 

Truth, Heart, Healing: Working with Spirit transforms

Niyonu Spann and Lucy Duncan

Niyonu Spann and Lucy Duncan

Niyonu Spann and Lucy Duncan

Niyonu Spann and I presented a keynote address at Philadelphia Yearly Meeting sessions this summer in which we examined the anatomy of racism in individuals and organizations and explored how the Spirit can break through the dynamics of white supremacy to offer healing and transformation. The session was described in the yearly meeting epistle this way:

On being good

Goens Sisters

Goens sisters

Goens sisters

AFSC’s Sharon Goens-Bradley says that the desire to be seen as “good” causes much of the harm in the world, and that the difficulty of hearing when we’ve caused harm can cover up opportunities to truly heal.

AFSC’s Sharon Goens-Bradley says that the desire to be seen as “good” causes much of the harm in the world, and that the difficulty of hearing when we’ve caused harm can cover up opportunities to truly heal.

Enveloped by the sacred: Tinicum

Leaves at Tinicum

Leaves at Tinicum

Leaves at Tinicum

Note: I took a walk recently with my son and partner in Tinicum, also known as the John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge.

This poem is a reflection on that walk and the conversation we had. We noticed that the destruction of the environment far away is also here in our midst, all around us.

A spiritual crisis without borders: Immigrant stories after deportation

U.S/Mexico border

U.S/Mexico border

U.S/Mexico border 

Note: I first met Jill Anderson a couple years ago at Intermountain Yearly Meeting and got to know her better at the World Conference of Friends in Kenya.

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.

AFSC Online

Become a fan of AFSC
Follow AFSC online
Flickr
Explore AFSC photos
YouTube
Watch AFSC videos