Alumni Newsletter Spring 2023

Dear Friend,

In May of 1963, AFSC published “Letter from Birmingham City Jail” by the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The letter was a response to white clergy who said civil rights leaders were demanding change too quickly. King wrote, “We know through painful experience that freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed.”

Sixty years later, AFSC continues to stand with communities struggling for peace, equality, and human dignity. Thank you all for the role you played in building a better world alongside us.

To learn more about our Alumni Network and get in touch with former friends and colleagues, visit our webpage and Facebook group.

With deep appreciation,

Tonya Histand
Director of Public Engagement 

Alumni news & notes  

AFSC staff in Vietnam and the work they did to repair their countries are central to the new book “The Long Reckoning.” The book, which was recently reviewed by The New York Times, features AFSC staff and peace activists Adelaide (Lady) Borton, Jacqui Chagnon, and Roger Rumpf.  

Larry White, the founder of AFSC’s Hope Lives for Lifers program, passed away at the age of 87 earlier this year. Since 2018, the program has provided support to more than 200 people serving long sentences in New York prisons.

Arnie Alpert wrote this recent article on the Golden Rule—the first boat to protest nuclear weapons. Sixty-five years ago, the Golden Rule ignited protests that led to a partial ban on nuclear weapons testing. AFSC alum George Willoughby sailed on the Golden Rule, and George Lakey sailed on its successor, the Phoenix.

Earlier this year, Roberta Foss died in Medford Leas, New Jersey, where she lived for the last nine years. Roberta worked for AFSC in the early 1970s in Japan and then served as director of East Asian Programs in Philadelphia. She was married to Terry Foss, who was the main AFSC photographer for decades.

Many of you know about Daniel Seeger's case, the U.S. vs. Seeger, that went before the Supreme Court. Check out this short video on conscientious objection that highlights the case and includes a photo of Dan from AFSC's archives).

PBS recently aired the documentary “The Movement and the ‘Madman,” which examines how two major antiwar protests in 1969 stopped President Nixon from escalating the U.S. war in Vietnam, including a threat to use nuclear weapons. The film draws from firsthand accounts from movement leaders, including AFSC alumni. The film's executive producer is Robert Levering, and features David Hartsough, Stewart Meacham, George Willoughby, Ron Young, and Trudi Schutz.

Eddie Conway, former staff and executive committee member, passed away in February. Eddie helped to create AFSC's Friend of a Friend program in Baltimore.  

Do you have news to share? Email us today

Updates from AFSC 

Supporting Ukrainian refugees in Europe
Over the past year, the war in Ukraine has displaced millions of people. As humanitarian need continues to grow, AFSC is partnering with local groups in Europe to fund essential work. Together we are assisting internally displaced people as well as refugees in Poland, Hungary, Czechia, and Estonia. Our efforts include distributing food, providing temporary housing, and other vital aid. 

4 ways the Farm Bill can protect our climate
Right now, the climate crisis is jeopardizing our food system—affecting the viability of farmland, crop harvests, and the safety of farmworkers. At the same time, the agriculture industry is a major contributor to climate change. The U.S. Farm Bill is a critical opportunity for Congress to change that, writes AFSC’s Peniel Ibe. 

Advocating for immigrant youth
Julie Flores-Castillo knows firsthand the harms caused by U.S. immigration policies. Last year, she took part in the first class of AFSC’s Emerging Leaders for Liberation program, which helps youth develop their social justice and leadership skills.  And today Julie is working to create a more just future for all immigrant youth.

Archive dive
AFSC's archives have been used by scholars and researchers the world over. Throughout 2022, we received over 200 inquiries for information. Over the past year, several books have been published that utilized AFSC's archives and describe AFSC’s work in key moments in history. Read about a few of these books.

More ways to take action and connect with AFSC: 


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