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.
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.
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 points out that mass incarceration and the war on drugs is built on the foundation of demonizing people of color, particularly brown and black men and boys. A very strong thread in her message was that in order to end the system of mass incarceration in a way that keeps it from being reconstructed, all of us must be able “to see and value the humanity in one another.”
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:
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.
Friends Meeting of Washington hosted an event on the American Friends Service Committee and Friends Committee on National Legislation publication "Shared Security: Reimagining US foreign policy." Listen to this short audio story to hear more about the document, as well as how audience members responded to the presentation and discussion on beginning the work of creating a world that prioritizes human rights and the peaceful resolution to conflict.
Palestinian-American Sandra Tamari, a member of the St. Louis Religious Society of Friends, recounts how a small group of St. Louis activists brought the boycott and divestment movement for justice in Israel-Palestine to their city—and how their impact was felt across 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.