Acting in Faith

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A rabbi at AFSC: Quaker and Jewish connections, part 1

When I tell people that I've just started working for the American Friends Service Committee, some will inevitably scratch their heads and ask, "What is a rabbi doing working for a Quaker organization?"

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Brant Rosen at a Methodist Press Conference on divestment

Brant Rosen speaks at a press conference

Brant Rosen at a press conference promoting a divestment resolution at the Methodist General Assembly

Note to self: White people taking part in #BlackLivesMatter protests

I am a white person who recently participated in #millionsmarchnyc as part of #BlackLivesMatter.  As a queer, gender-queer person, I know about some forms of oppression, but I didn’t want my own unconscious racism, entitlement, and unexamined privilege to perpetuate the pathology and systems we were there to protest. So I came up with some guidelines for myself while participating in public demonstrations against racism and police violence.

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Black Lives Matter protest in south Minneapolis

Black Lives Matter protesters holding a sign

Black Lives Matter protest in south Minneapolis

Feeding the flame for racial justice

Watching Selma in a crowded theater, the connections to the Black Lives Matter movement were very apparent. As Vanessa Julye and Barry Scott said in their Acting in Faith post earlier this week, “The struggle for equal voting rights along with the dehumanization of African American lives and experiences continues in 2015.”

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Hidden wholeness: Stepping into faith to undo racism

Selma activists crossing the Edmund Pettus bridge

Selma activists crossing the Edmund Pettus bridge

Selma activists crossing the Edmund Pettus bridge

Acting in Faith eNews from January, 2015

Dear Friend,

“There is a hidden wholeness beneath the very evident brokenness of the world.” – Parker Palmer 

Where are we 50 years later? What can we learn from Selma?

Note: I invited Vanessa Julye, author of Fit for Freedom, not for Friendship: Quakers, African Americans, and the Myth of Racial Justice and her husband, Barry Scott, clerk of Central Philadelphia Monthly Meeting, to write thier reflections about Ava DuVernay's film Selma. Below are their thoughs and stories, with queries for reflection at the end. - Lucy

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Edmund Pettus bridge

Edmund Pettus bridge

Edmund Pettus bridge

An unnatural disaster: What I saw in Gaza

Note: Several US staff visited Gaza recently. Aura Kanegis, AFSC's Director of Public Policy and Advocacy, was among them. This was her first trip to Gaza. These are her reflections and photographs from the trip witnessing the recent devastation of Operation Protective Edge, just the latest round of violence against a people under siege. You can read many more reflections on Gaza and Israel & Palestine here. - Lucy

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A work of the Spirit: Why I felt led to work at AFSC

“Here, you might be interested in this. They’re a Quaker organization.” I look down at the title: "MARStar: Newsletter of the Middle Atlantic Region, American Friends Service Committee." The cover has a large image of protestors holding signs. “Cool,” I say out loud. I turn the pages and see words I’ve never seen before -- “social justice” “activists” “the prison industrial complex.” Immediately, I recognize that this magazine, this document, is something significant, something important, something I am connected to. For the first time in my life, I feel proud to be a Quaker.

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Harpenden Friends House

Harpenden Friends House

Harpenden Friends House

Spirit uprising: a poem

Note: This is a poem I wrote for the New Year.  - Lucy

It rained all day on Christmas Eve this year

The sun slanted in the morning

I rode around the burial ground, circling

The mud clung to my tires

A brown leaf stuck in the spokes, ssshhh

The bare trees’ branches rested like bones

The damp earth waits

Holding sorrow, holding promise

 

A week ago I sat on the stairs in a church in West Philly

All the seats were taken

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Lifting each other up: You can’t stop the revolution

St. Louis resident Diamond Latchison joined the protests five days after Mike Brown’s death. “Once I started seeing firsthand what the people were doing and what the police were doing, I never left,” she says.

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Two women holding protest signs in Times Square

Two protesters in Times Square in solidarity with Ferguson

Two protesters in Times Square in solidarity with Ferguson

In the stillness of Meeting: Following a leading to action

The human experience is a beautifully complex one. In our 21st century lives, it seems that our online newspapers, twitter feeds, and emails are filled with stories of hate, injustice, oppression and violence. We often need to look a little deeper to find the stories of hope, faith, compassion, and love, and by the time we get to them, we are often too weighed down with challenging stories to recognize the uplifting ones. But we must be resilient. We must stay encouraged.

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Sterling Duns Live

Sterling Duns Live

Sterling Duns Live

Who we are

AFSC is a Quaker organization devoted to service, development, and peace programs throughout the world. Our work is based on the belief in the worth of every person, and faith in the power of love to overcome violence and injustice. Learn more

Where we work

AFSC has offices around the world. To see a complete list see the Where We Work page.

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