Tomorrow, June 6 marks the 56th anniversary of the Israeli occupation of the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and Gaza Strip. On this day, AFSC is launching the Apartheid-Free Communities initiative, a movement for peace that we invite you to join. As people of conscience and loving communities, we stand in solidarity with the Palestinian people and their call for equal and full rights. We invite faith communities, congregations, and organizations to join us by signing the pledge to dismantle apartheid.
If you haven’t already, register for our launch event tomorrow night. To learn more, visit our Apartheid-Free Communities website.
Here are more ways you can engage with AFSC, plus a few updates on our work:
Watch: Think Twice webinar recordings: Thank you to all who joined AFSC’s May webinar series “Think Twice Before Calling the Police.” The recordings from all four webinars are now available on our website, in addition to resources to help you deepen your understanding of police militarization and the importance of investing in community safety.
Michiganders work for Second Look legislation: The AFSC Michigan Criminal Justice Program and partner organizations recently announced the introduction of Second Look legislation. These bills would allow people in prison to petition for a reduction in their sentence after serving at least 10 years. AFSC staffer Lawanda Hollister shared her story of how, after being incarcerated for 35 years, she went on to work for criminal justice reform and mentor other formerly incarcerated people. To learn more about Second Look, check out this zine created by Lawanda and fellow AFSC staffers Natalie Holbook, Myron Wood, and Pete Martel.
Opposing the surveillance and mistreatment of immigrants: For the past four years, members of AFSC’s Coloradans for Immigrant Rights project have tracked the use of surveillance technology on immigrant communities and the mistreatment of immigrants by employees of Behavioural Interventions Inc. (BI) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Recently they learned of a pilot program in Colorado and Wyoming that expands surveillance techniques and who’s being surveilled. AFSC leaders will meet with BI and ICE officials this month to question the use of the devices. Learn more.
QUNO 75th anniversary celebration (June 9 – 11): For 75 years, the Quaker United Nations Office (QUNO) has engaged diplomats, U.N. officials, and community members to implement the original vision of peace and human rights. QUNO’s commitment to lifting up diverse perspectives, insights, and concerns has led Quakers to be seen as trusted partners who create the space for new and creative solutions in response to global challenges. This weekend, join AFSC staff in New York City and online to celebrate this important work.
Connect with AFSC at Annual Sessions: Staff from across AFSC are traveling to join Friends this summer at Yearly Meeting Annual Sessions around the U.S. We will be at Friends General Conference (FGC), Pacific, Great Plains, Lake Erie, New York, North Pacific, Southern Appalachian, Iowa, and many more Yearly Meetings! We are looking forward to connecting with Friends, nurturing our relationships, and spending time together. Our staff are excited to share updates on their work and how you and your meeting can engage with AFSC in Spirit-led action.
Thank you for your continued support of AFSC’s work and all that you do in working for a more just and peaceful world!
Sofia Di Pietro
Quaker Engagement Coordinator