Alumni Newsletter Winter (2022)


Happy new year and welcome to the winter issue of the AFSC Alumni Newsletter. Throughout our history, AFSC has worked to build peace and challenge injustice. Over the decades—and continuing today—we have created innovative ways to address problems facing our society. As an AFSC alum, you are part of that. I thank you for your support of AFSC and your dedication to creating a world where the rights and dignity of all are respected.  

With deep appreciation, 

Tonya Histand 
Director of Public Engagement 

Alumni news & notes  

Kay Whitlock served as a regional director and the national representative for LGBT Issues at AFSC. She wrote a new book “Carceral Con: The Deceptive Terrain of Criminal Justice Reform.” It examines how contemporary criminal justice reforms expand—rather than shrink—structurally violent systems of policing, surveillance, and carceral control in the United States. 

Phyllis Kotite died at the age of 91 on Dec. 8. She was the first Lebanese woman to work at the United Nations in New York, and then at UNESCO in Paris. Throughout her career, she continued to serve as a consultant and contributor to peacebuilding and nonviolence education as well as conflict prevention programs. In 1953, Phyllis went to Belgium with AFSC to work at a refugee camp for Russians.  

George Lakey is a Quaker, activist, author, and teacher. As a young adult, he participated in an AFSC summer program, where he clarified his calling to live a prophetic life. The new “George Lakey Documentary Film Project” presents his life as a nonviolent revolutionary guided by his ideal of societal transformation. 

Eric Lee worked in AFSC's Finance Department from 1994-2008 and was married to former AFSC employee Suzanne Lewis. Eric passed away in December. 

Bill Jeffries was AFSC's Southeast regional peace secretary from 1964 until 1975. After leaving the ministry because his views were too radical for the church, he said, “As I saw it, I didn’t get out of the ministry – I just had the privilege of working for peace and justice. Quakers believed in it enough to pay me to do it." Bill passed away at home on Dec. 5. 

Gordon Carey is described as an “unsung hero” of the Civil Rights movement. After participating in an AFSC workcamp in Mexico, he played important roles in two far-reaching events: the 1960 lunch-counter sit-ins and the 1961 Freedom Rides. Gordon died in November. 

Do you have news to share? Email us today! 


Still planting the seeds of change 

Helen and Oliver Wolcott met while in college at Swarthmore before working with AFSC on various projects, including several AFSC workcamps. Now these longtime AFSC donors and volunteers have included the organization in their estate plan. “I like to feel that in some small way we’re working for world peace and justice,” Helen says of the couple’s involvement with AFSC. “We approve of everything AFSC does.” 


Archive dive 

Are you looking for books on peace and justice with a bit of AFSC history? AFSC’s archivist, Don Davis, recommends a few good books that draw from AFSC's work over the past century. 


AFSC today: new program announcement!  

AFSC is launching a new hands-on learning program, Emerging Leaders for Liberation! Applicants must be 18-25 years old as of April 1, 2022 and have a relationship to an AFSC program, a Quaker college/organization, or a Quaker meeting. The first cohort will begin meeting in May 2022. Applications will open Jan. 31. 


Victory: Ending ICE detention in New Jersey 

After years of organizing and advocacy, New Jersey took a major step to uphold the rights and dignity of immigrant community members. Three counties that have detained thousands of immigrants for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) decided to end those relationships, and the state passed a strong anti-detention law.


More ways to take action and connect with AFSC 

New! Find local events on our events page.

Reopen the U.S. border to asylum seekers!

Are you interested in receiving life income while supporting AFSC? A gift annuity is easy to arrange. Reach out to or visit us online.

Thank you for reading our AFSC Alumni Newsletter! To learn more about our Alumni Network and connect with former friends and colleagues, visit our webpage and Facebook group. You can also email me questions and suggestions.