Midwest Digest 11-27-13
AFSC Peace Education Director Joshua Saleem, front, with four students honored for their Peer Mediation Program work at Northwest Academy of Law in St. Louis. The students were honored at a school assembly held November 7, 2013 in advance of the first Urban Peace Summit held at the high school.Photo: AFSC
Highlights of Recent Work in the Midwest Region
November 27, 2013
Youth lead urban peace summit in St. Louis
It's time to listen to students and to follow up on their ideas for reducing violence. It's time to stop stereotyping African American youth. These were two of the key messages at a recent peace summit at a St. Louis high school where Joshua Saleem of AFSC leads an award-winning peer mediation program. Learn more about the summit in this article.
Executive Committee member profile: Mama Nozipo Glenn
“That’s all I know – to fight against injustice,” says Mama Nozipo, who grew up resisting Apartheid in South Africa. Since 1975, she’s been involved with AFSC’s work for justice for Africa and African refugees in Dayton, Ohio. Mama tells her story in this eight-minute video.
Voters opt for people power in Ohio
This past election day, two communities in Ohio overwhelming passed resolutions calling for an end to corporate domination of our political system. "Voters realize that only fundamental reforms, such as amending the U.S. Constitution to end the bizarre doctrines that corporations are people and money is speech, are essential steps toward a real democracy where people's needs trump special interests,” says AFSC Northeast Ohio Director Greg Coleridge, a key organizer with Ohio Move to Amend. More on the story here.
AFSC advocates for Palestinian activist in Chicago
AFSC in Chicago has joined local and national organizations calling on federal officials to drop immigration fraud charges against Chicago Palestinian community leader Rasmea Odeh. AFSC is concerned that this indictment is further evidence of government harassment of Arab and Muslim residents in the U.S. Shirien Damra of AFSC recently joined a busload of supporters from Chicago who traveled to Detroit for Ms. Odeh’s court appearance. More about the matter on afsc.org; take action here.
Dayton forum promotes conflict-free trade
Most of us don’t think much about how we spend our money – whether our purchases help or harm others. Two AFSC interns in Dayton, however, recently learned about conflict-minerals in Africa and developed conflict-free trade principles to guide AFSC Dayton’s work for sustainable, fair trade. They shared their learning at this forum.
Never stop dreaming
“Take responsibility. Try not to burn bridges. Pray, meditate and exercise every day. Learn to sit with yourself and be OK with just you.” These are some of the tips – helpful to us all – offered by a person who spent seven years in Michigan prisons. She shares them on AFSC Michigan’s Prisoner Advocacy website.
Small things lead to big things
In October, AFSC Chicago intern Jessica Alaniz joined 18 other young people and AFSC staff, including General Secretary Shan Cretin, at the World Summit of Nobel Prize Laureates in Warsaw, Poland. In this interview, Jessica talks about some of the ideas offered by the Laureates – and her newfound enjoyment of Polish food.
Former AFSC Indiana intern reflects on his life’s journey
Robert Awkward is a former AFSC Indiana and IHTD intern, now a senior at Earlham College. In Acting in Faith, he writes about attending Friends General Conference: “I had come into that new space, ready to break new ground and explore new practices, but was instead reminded of perhaps one of the most primordial facets of my life experience: I have the space to learn by making mistakes and maturing in my journey, since I am always a growing work in progress.”
EWO boots make a final statement in Kansas City
On the Sunday before Veterans Day, AFSC teamed up with others in Kansas City for a final display of the Eyes Wide Open exhibit, followed by the donation of 200 boots to homeless people in the area. According to Ira Harritt, AFSC-KC Program Coordinator, the event symbolized our need to move away from Pentagon waste and invest in people, instead.
What’s bad about wanting to be seen as “good”?
How might striving to be seen as “good” harm us and our communities? Sharon Goens-Bradley shares her thoughts on AFSC’s Acting in Faith blog. Sharon directs AFSC’s Healing Justice Program in the Twin Cities and originally offered this talk at Iowa Yearly Meeting of Friends (Conservative).
Personal tragedy leads to immigration advocacy
For Sandra Sanchez of AFSC Iowa, work for immigrant rights comes from her heart. “I promised myself that I would do everything I could to prevent another person from experiencing the terrible pain, sadness, frustration, and powerlessness I experienced,” Sandra says in this profile posted on the national website of Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc.
Iowans keep up the resistance to drones
The planned conversion of the Iowa Air National Guard base to a drone command center has AFSC and F/friends taking to the streets and opinion pages. Kathleen McQuillen, AFSC Iowa Program Coordinator, helped organize these November Days of Action Against Drones and wrote this opinion piece for the Des Moines Register.
Join AFSC in calling for the repeal of the Authorized Use of Military Force (AUMF)
According to Mary Zerkel and Peter Lems of AFSC’s Wage Peace program, the precedent being set by the U.S. with its targeted killing program is opening the door to profoundly troubling levels of insecurity and cycles of violence. Urge your representative to support the repeal of the AUMF as a concrete step toward stopping the drone war. Mary joined other AFSC staff to discuss the resistance to the militarization of the Mexico/U.S. border in this Google Hangout.
Shannon Sullivan to begin as new Midwest Regional Director on December 4
In this post, Laura Boyce, AFSC’s Associate General Secretary for U.S. Programs, announces Shannon Sullivan’s appointment and expresses our thanks to Margaret Jackson, Interim Regional Director.
Ideas for future Midwest Digests?
Please send ideas for future Digests to Jon at JKrieg@afsc.org. Thanks for being involved!