Change Makers

Throughout our history, AFSC has been a catalyst for change by providing a platform for individual change makers—people who are willing to stand tall and bear witness for peace and justice.  We supported the freedom riders and marched with Martin Luther King, Jr. and Rosa Parks during the civil rights movement and counseled conscientious objectors and were a vital part of the movement that helped bring an end to the misguided war in Vietnam.
    
Today, AFSC is still standing with those who have the courage to speak up for a better world—one person and one community at a time.  The individuals highlighted below include beneficiaries of our programs, current and past interns, and a founder of one of our regional offices. These are just six of many inspiring stories from the AFSC community. Help continue to support and inspire the next generation of peacemakers by giving here.

Carlos “Elmo” Gomez

Carlos “Elmo” Gomez

Carlos “Elmo” Gomez

“To be realistic, we have to think about the impossible.  When I work with people, I say, ‘let’s try to create what we want to see.’  We need to create it visibly.”  ~Carlos “Elmo” Gomez

Carlos “Elmo” Gomez became a change maker after surviving a shooting outside his school.  One of six children being raised by a single mother, Elmo had seen too much of his neighborhood devastated by gang violence, too much prejudice, and too much discouragement.  

Yeni Sufaeni

Yeni Sufaeni

Yeni Sufaeni

“My dream, and obviously the dream of our community, is that there will no longer be any conflict, be it over different faiths, ethnicities, or race.” ~Yeni Sufaeni

Indonesia, one of the world’s most vibrant and diverse democracies, has recently been plagued by outbreaks of religious and ethnic intolerance and violence.  At age 22, Yeni Sufaeni is one of 16 young people of Muslim, Catholic, Protestant, and Hindu backgrounds who responded to religious tension and potential violence in their city by carrying a peace torch in the annual Easter Festival parade.

Hector Salamanca

Hector Salamanca

Hector Salamanca

“No human being is illegal.” ~Hector Salamanca

Hector Salamanca was just a few years old when his parents came to the United States to look for work.  Today, with help from AFSC, Hector successfully applied for Deferred Action status, although his parents are still among the 11 million undocumented immigrants living in the United States.  
    

Aaron Tanaka

Aaron Tanaka

Aaron Tanaka

“When working for change, real leadership needs to come from the people experiencing the injustice.” ~Aaron Tanaka

For most of the kids in Aaron Tanaka’s failing Bay Area school district, college was way out of reach.  So, when Aaron got to Harvard, he knew just how fortunate he was.  He volunteered to tutor young people at a Boston juvenile detention center and met Jamie, an organizer with AFSC.  He says, “I realized I could be an organizer as my job and took a semester off from college to intern with AFSC full time.”

Frances Crowe

Frances Crowe

Frances Crowe

“I heard on the radio that they dropped the bomb on Hiroshima.  I knew it was really bad... So I literally unplugged the iron and went out looking for a Peace Center.” ~Frances Crowe

Frances Crowe has spent a lifetime blazing the path for a more peaceful and just world.  After the atomic bombings on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Frances became an advocate for nuclear disarmament, later helping to launch the Nuclear Freeze movement.  She spent a month in federal prison after painting “Thou shalt not kill’’ and pasting pictures of her grandchildren on missile tubes of nuclear submarines in Connecticut.

Assistant Police Chief Nick Metz and Officer Shandy Cobane, Seattle Police Department

Assistant Police Chief Nick Metz and Officer Shandy Cobane, Seattle Police Department

Assistant Police Chief Nick Metz and Officer Shandy Cobane, Seattle Police Depar

“You better believe I’m a change maker.  Anything I can do to make this community better for everybody who lives here, I’m going to try.”

After a high profile shooting and increased concerns regarding racial profiling, tensions between the Seattle police department and the community were high.  

Assistant Police Chief Nick Metz was in search of training options for his force and attended an AFSC-sponsored “Undoing Racism” workshop. At the trainer’s suggestion, at first he didn’t reveal that he was a police officer so others would share more freely.  “I heard some really rough experiences,” he says. “It was an eye opener that there’s a lot of work we need to do in the community.”  

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