A world at peace. What a powerful possibility to consider! A world with no bombs falling on children in Gaza or Afghanistan. With the thousands of soldiers killed in pointless wars instead at home celebrating this season with their families. With a trillion dollars to spend on infrastructure and human needs at home.
Of course, real peace requires much more than ending war.
That’s why the American Friends Service Committee addresses the seeds of violence within communities, removing the barriers to peace. We understand that nurturing the capacity for peace on a personal level is one essential step along the way to building peace in neighborhoods, cities, nations, and the world.
This year, we’ve seen our work for peace at every level make a real difference in people’s lives.
I invite you to join me on Thursday, Dec. 20, for a look at highlights like these and to hear what 2013 will hold as AFSC continues paving the path of peace. I will host our monthly program update call at 6 p.m. EST. You can register online today.
One thing will be clear when Congress convenes on Tuesday: A compromise on the 2013 federal budget must be reached to avoid blanket cuts to everything from domestic programs to military spending.
Funding for the social safety net, health care, and education must not be sacrificed in favor of the military; the United States already accounts for a staggering 43 percent of the world’s total military spending—nearly five times more than China and Russia combined.
The belief that communities must develop their own means to overcome injustice and sustain themselves is at the heart of the American Friends Service Committee’s approach to building peace. As we move from one place to the next, we adapt our programs, informed by the strength and vision of each new partner community.
Still, consistent themes cut across the communities where we work. AFSC is able to bring lessons learned in one community into another, exploring ways to meet local needs, respect local culture, and build on each other’s wisdom.
Peace is not a destination; it is a way of living, a way of treating every other person, community, and nation with dignity and respect. In our work for peace, the American Friends Service Committee fosters compassionate truth-telling, healing, and reconciliation across the sharp edges of conflict. We bring people together across geography, race, ethnicity, religion, and class using many tools—the arts, interfaith dialogue, nonviolent activism, and advocacy. And we work tirelessly for the just economic and social conditions that make peace possible.
Respect for human rights is essential for a peaceful society. We each have a duty to ensure that every one of our neighbors is treated with dignity and respect. The American Friends Service Committee has been standing with immigrants and their families since 1924, when we responded to anti-immigrant laws of that era that sought to exclude immigrants from Asia, Mexico, and Southern Europe.
Tomorrow is the last day to file your federal taxes for 2012. For Tax Day this year, AFSC is working hard to make clear how the choices in our federal budget affect communities across the U.S. Like you, AFSC wants:
“Sooner or later, all the peoples of the world will have to discover a way to live together in peace, and thereby transform this pending cosmic elegy into a creative psalm of brotherhood. If this is to be achieved, man must evolve for all human conflict a method which rejects revenge, aggression, and retaliation. The foundation of such a method is love.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.
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.