Over the past year, AFSC staff have been talking with Quaker meetings across the U.S. about our North Star, a vision for community safety beyond prisons and policing. We’re excited to have received our first minute of support for North Star from a prison-based worship group. It comes from the Quaker Worship Group at Sing Sing prison, which started over 35 years ago and has since provided members “refuge in a dehumanizing institution.” Read the full minute of support here.
Here are more ways you can engage with AFSC, plus a few updates on our work:
Korea Peace Action (July 26-28): Last month, peace advocates across the U.S. met with members of Congress to call for an official end to the Korean War. On July 27, the 70th anniversary of the signing of the Korean War armistice, we will converge on Washington, D.C. to keep putting pressure on President Biden and Congress to end the Korean War and replace the armistice with a peace agreement. Friends will gather at the Korean War Memorial for an inter-faith peace vigil with singing, prayer and a speech from AFSC’s General Secretary Joyce Ajlouny. View the full schedule of events and register here.
Connect with AFSC staff at Annual Sessions!: AFSC staff are traveling across the U.S to share our work and connect with Friends. This month you can find us at FGC, North Pacific, Pacific, New York, Philadelphia and Iowa Yearly Meeting gatherings. Lewis Webb is hosting the workshop “Guided by the Light, both Within and Above” at FGC where you can also find AFSC staff members Brian Blackmore, Laura Boyce, Claire Hannapel, and myself. Claire and I are then attending North Pacific with Alonso Oliveros from Oregon Project Voice immigrant rights program. You can also find Brian at New York and Philadelphia YMs, and Jon Krieg at Iowa YM. Claire and I will then end the month at Pacific YM where Jennifer Tu and John Lindsay-Poland from the California Healing Justice Program will host an interest group on confronting state violence in California communities. If you are attending any of these gatherings and see these folks, please stop by and introduce yourself. We are excited to see you this summer!
Check out the “Quakers Today” podcast: AFSC is sponsoring season two of the “Quakers Today” podcast, which features musicians, writers, and others who seek wisdom and understanding in a rapidly changing world. Each month, Friends are invited to share their insights, reflections, and questions on different inquiries. Last month Friends explored the topic Quakers in leadership, and Friends were asked what they expect and need from a leader. Kat Griffith talked about stepping out of her comfort zone and running for local office and Jean Parvin Bordewich discussed Bayard Rustin and other pacifists who revolutionized resistance. In July, Friends are asked to consider the question, “what do you desire?” Call 317-QUAKERS (317-782-5377) or email quakerstoday.org to share your thoughts. Listen to the latest podcast here.
World’s largest private security company divests from Israeli apartheid: Facing mounting public pressure, G4S decided to sell all its remaining business with the Israeli government. This victory follows years of campaigning, in which AFSC played a key role. “This is a monumental victory, showing that even the largest private security company in the world, which (still) runs private prisons and deports immigrants, cannot afford to do business with apartheid” writes AFSC’s Noam Perry.
67 Sueños “Youth of the Land” podcast: AFSC’s 67 Sueños is a leadership development program for migrant Latinx youth. Since 2010, 67 Sueños youth have reclaimed their power and narratives through storytelling and ARTivism. Listen to their recent podcast, which is filled with rich testimonies, raw emotions, and hope for the future.
Stop Cop City: On June 5, over 1,000 people converged on Atlanta City Hall to speak out against Cop City. If constructed, Cop City would be the largest police training facility in the U.S.—all built by clear-cutting the Welaunee forest. AFSC is advocating alongside community members and organization to stop the project. Tim Franzen, Atlanta economic justice director, said, “We are opposed to the continued destruction of protected forests that are the lungs of this city and to the continued militarization and expansion of a policing strategy that is failing our communities.”
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