I have always had a very strong sense of direction rooted in my spirit. That said, there are few times in my life where I have felt as called as I did this spring.
I have been working on Palestine advocacy on Penn’s campus for the past year or so, and have always felt very emotionally invested in the struggle, but I had never been there. There came a point when I became so invested in the movement that it felt disingenuous of me to be advocating so fiercely for a place I had never visited.
Note: So far 35,000 people have signed AFSC's petition protesting military intervention in the civil war in Syria, and advocating for diplomatic, political solutions instead. Many have added their own thoughts and reasons for opposing becoming involved in the war, many very direct and moving. Here are a few of the comments shared.
William DiCanzio's new play, "Rustin and the March," on Bayard Rustin and his important role in organizing the 1963 March on Washington, is being performed in open readings in and around the city of Philadelphia this year. Madeline Schaefer attended one of these readings and spoke with DiCanzio, the play's future director, Benjamin Lloyd, and the play's leading actor, Frank X, about the power and legacy of Bayard Rustin's message of nonviolence.
As we approach the Congressional vote on military intervention in Syria, asking what our response can and should be, instead of military intervention, and how the U.S. thinks of its role in the world seems critical.
Reflections on the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington
I have been reflecting on the importance of the National Action to Realize the Dream march on August 24, 2013, in Washington, D.C. It was a huge, very diverse gathering, with people coming from all over the country to be part of an historic event.
Why does it feel that while the movement is still alive, the energy and vision are missing?
Note: Stephen McNeil is Assistant Director for Peace-building Programs in AFSC's West region. On Aug. 25, 2013, after traveling from San Francisco and attending the 50th anniversary March on Washington to Realize the Dream, Stephen helped to organize a public event at Friends Meeting of Washington commemorating the life of Bayard Rustin, one of the march's chief organizers and a committed Quaker. - Madeline
Criminal Justice reform is catching fire in Quaker communities around the country, in large part due to the publication and popularization of Michelle Alexander’s book, “The New Jim Crow.” The facts embedded in every page are undeniable and horrifying, and illustrate a truth that many have known for years, that these injustices are tied directly to this country’s history of slavery. It’s as if the book has finally made it okay for Quakers (and others) to speak up against injustice and to face our country’s past.
Immigration is about more than the cerebral aspects of policy, laws, and trade; immigration includes relationships, communities, and questions of morality and dignity. To fully delve into and enable a deep listening for truth, one has to get out of the classroom and committee meeting and into the world.
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.