Acting in Faith

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By Vonn New
Published: January 22, 2015

I am a white person who recently participated in #millionsmarchnyc as part of #BlackLivesMatter.  As a queer, gender-queer person, I know about some forms of oppression, but I didn’t want my own unconscious racism, entitlement, and unexamined privilege to perpetuate the pathology and systems we were there to protest. So I came up with some guidelines for myself while participating in public demonstrations against racism and police violence.

One thing I’m figuring out is that it is important for me as a white ally to engage in anti-racism work with other white...

By Greg Elliott
Published: January 16, 2015

Watching Selma in a crowded theater, the connections to the Black Lives Matter movement were very apparent. As Vanessa Julye and Barry Scott said in their Acting in Faith post earlier this week, “The struggle for equal voting rights along with the dehumanization of African American lives and experiences continues in 2015.”

Although I was not surprised by Selma’s political relevancy, I did not...

By Vanessa Julye & Barry Scott
Published: January 13, 2015

Note: I invited Vanessa Julye, author of Fit for Freedom, not for Friendship: Quakers, African Americans, and the Myth of Racial Justice and her husband, Barry Scott, clerk of Central Philadelphia Monthly Meeting, to write thier reflections about Ava DuVernay's film Selma. Below are their thoughs and stories, with queries for reflection at the end. - Lucy

We were blessed with the opportunity to preview Ava DuVernay’s film, Selma (2014), twice. Each time we sat in the movie theatre, we experienced a range of emotion from anger to horror to tears to cheering....

By Aura Kanegis
Published: January 7, 2015

Note: Several US staff visited Gaza recently. Aura Kanegis, AFSC's Director of Public Policy and Advocacy, was among them. This was her first trip to Gaza. These are her reflections and photographs from the trip witnessing the recent devastation of Operation Protective Edge, just the latest round of violence against a people under siege. You can read many more reflections on Gaza and Israel & Palestine here. - Lucy

The taxi bounces slowly over rutted roads as we...

By Greg Elliott
Published: December 30, 2014

“Here, you might be interested in this. They’re a Quaker organization.” I look down at the title: "MARStar: Newsletter of the Middle Atlantic Region, American Friends Service Committee." The cover has a large image of protestors holding signs. “Cool,” I say out loud. I turn the pages and see words I’ve never seen before -- “social justice” “activists” “the prison industrial complex.” Immediately, I recognize that this magazine, this document, is something significant, something important, something I am connected to. For the first time in my life, I feel proud to be a Quaker. I am 14...