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Acting in Faith

Acting in Faith

On Black Lives Matter and revolutionary love

By: Lucy Duncan
Published: February 4, 2016
Topics:

Reflecting on Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Black Lives Matter movement Lucy Duncan explores revolutionary love as a tool for reclaiming humanity and healing communities. She describes an action in Philadelphia in January.

 

About the Author

Lucy serves as Director of Friends Relations for AFSC. She has been a storyteller for 20 years and has worked with Quaker meetings on telling stories for racial justice and of spiritual experience. Before working for AFSC, she was Director of Communications at FGC, managed QuakerBooks of FGC, and owned and managed her own children's bookstore in Omaha, The Story Monkey. She attends Green Street Friends Meeting (PhYM) and lives with her son and partner in a Quaker cemetery.

The Maine Wabanaki-State TRC: Healing from historic trauma to create a better future

By: Genevieve Beck-Roe
Published: January 27, 2016
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Interview about the Maine Wabanaki-State Child Welfare Truth and Reconcilation Commission with AFSC's Denise Altvater. The TRC concluded in June 2015 and was the first in the nation to address child welfare and Native people.

About the Author

Genevieve Beck-Roe is serving as the Friends Relations Fellow with AFSC as part of Quaker Voluntary Service's Alumni Fellowship for 2015-16. Genevieve grew up in Chicago and graduated in 2014 from Earlham College. She has previously worked and been active around issues of mass incarceration and immigrant detention at the intersection of LGBTQ rights, and is excited to engage those issues in a Quaker context at AFSC. She swam in the ocean for the first time in August and it was great.

Was 2015 Gaza's worst year ever?

By: Refaat Alareer
Published: January 20, 2016
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Editor and contributor to Gaza Writes Back, Refaat Alareer, describes a year of attrocities and crimes in Gaza. This harrowing essay makes the case that 2015 was even worse for Gaza than 2014 with no end in sight.

About the Author

Refaat Alareer is the co-editor of Gaza Unsilenced (2015) and was the editor of (and a contributor to) Gaza Writes Back (2014). A native of Gaza City's Shijaieh neighborhood, he received his M.A. in Comparative Literature from the University College of London (U.K.) and is currently completing his Ph.D. in English Literature at the Universiti Putra Malaysia. He has been teaching world literature, comparative literature, and both fiction and non-fiction creative writing at the Islamic University of Gaza since 2007.

Alareer is interested in emerging Palestinian writers and works very closely with many of them to help them develop their creative writing skills. His book Gaza Writes Back is a compilation of short stories written in English by young Palestinian writers living in the Gaza Strip. It shows a different side of the struggle to create a free Palestine, since it includes fictional work and was written by young people as part of Gaza’s creative reaction to Israel’s repeated acts of aggression against Gaza.

In Spring 2014, Alareer and two other contributors to Gaza Writes Back toured the United States, speaking to thousands of young (and older) Americans in a tour co-organized by Just World Books and the American Friends Service Committee.

Refaat blogs at thisisgaza.wordpress.com and can be followed at his twitter handle @thisisgaza. 

On Trump, fear, and uprooting the tree of white supremacy

By: Lucy Duncan
Published: December 22, 2015
Topics:

Lucy Duncan reflects on Donald Trump's, "Ban all Muslims" comment and the importance of white people divesting from fear and standing up against the racist backlash that Muslims and people of color face in the United States.

About the Author

Lucy serves as Director of Friends Relations for AFSC. She has been a storyteller for 20 years and has worked with Quaker meetings on telling stories for racial justice and of spiritual experience. Before working for AFSC, she was Director of Communications at FGC, managed QuakerBooks of FGC, and owned and managed her own children's bookstore in Omaha, The Story Monkey. She attends Green Street Friends Meeting (PhYM) and lives with her son and partner in a Quaker cemetery.

Quakerism and racism: Reclaiming faith from the wreckage of white supremacy

By: Greg Elliott
Published: December 18, 2015
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Greg Elliott considers the question, “What are you going to do about this white God that demands Black and Brown blood?” within a Quaker context and how Friends can reclaim faith from white supremacy.

About the Author

Greg serves as the Friends Relations Associate for AFSC in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Born and raised in rural Northeastern Pennsylvania, Greg grew up attending North Branch Friends Meeting at the Curtis family farm in the Poconos. Over the last ten years, he has facilitated numerous workshops for activists and Friends on a variety of topics, including anti-oppression activism, empire, and the "Inquirer's Weekend" at Pendle Hill with Trayce Peterson. Greg currently lives in the Germantown neighborhood of Philadelphia. 

Walking with Syrian refugees toward sanctuary

By: Giovanna Negretti
Published: December 16, 2015
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In November 2015, AFSC’s Middle East Regional Director Giovanna Negretti joined a fact-finding mission led by the Nobel Women’s Initiative, learning on the ground about dangers to women and families along the difficult refugee trek from Syria to Germany. Here are her reflections on the trip through Serbia, Croatia and Slovenia

About the Author

Giovanna is the Middle East Regional Director for the American Friends Service Committee (Quakers), an organization working for peace and social justice in the United States and around the world. In 1947 AFSC received the Nobel Peace Prize along with the British Friends Service Council on behalf of all Quakers worldwide.

Over the past 20 years Giovanna has been a passionate advocate for human and civil rights in the United States and around the world. Giovanna co-founded and led ¿Oíste?, a US-based NGO with a mission to advance the political, social and economic standing of people of Latin American descent. Concurrently she held a number of other leadership positions in a variety of US NGOs, government commissions and political campaigns. Internationally, Giovanna has served as a consultant, advisor and trainer in leadership development and civic engagement strategies for under-served communities in Latin America, the Middle East and Europe, with a particular focus on women, minority and indigenous groups.

Giovanna is a graduate of the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, a recipient of the 2008 John F. Kennedy New Frontier Award, a 2008 Prime Movers Fellow, and a 2010 Eisenhower Fellow.  She is a passionate campaigner for the independence of Puerto Rico and helped to lead the movement to stop US military exercises on her home island of Vieques in Puerto Rico

On mass incarceration, movement building and racism: A conversation with Daniel Hunter

By: Lucy Duncan
Published: December 10, 2015
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Organizer and strategist Daniel Hunter talks with Lucy Duncan about building effective campaigns, the status of the movement to end mass incarceration, racism, and the importance of holding a vision on the way to transformation.

About the Author

Lucy serves as Director of Friends Relations for AFSC. She has been a storyteller for 20 years and has worked with Quaker meetings on telling stories for racial justice and of spiritual experience. Before working for AFSC, she was Director of Communications at FGC, managed QuakerBooks of FGC, and owned and managed her own children's bookstore in Omaha, The Story Monkey. She attends Green Street Friends Meeting (PhYM) and lives with her son and partner in a Quaker cemetery.

Keeping our doors open to Syrians

By: Kathryn Johnson
Published: December 9, 2015
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Policy Impact Coordinator Kathryn Johnson reflects on her experience meeting Syrian refugees in Turkey and on visiting a US Refugee Support Center there. She says, "I hope compassion wins out over fear and we keep our doors open to Syrians."

About the Author

Kathryn Johnson is the Policy Impact Coordinator with AFSC's Office for Public Policy and Advocacy. Before joining AFSC, she was a Field Organizer for Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch where she educated and mobilized constituents against the Trans Pacific Partnership. Previously, she served as Assistant Director of the Guatemala Human Rights Commission/USA, supporting human rights defenders, educating the international community, and coordinating a network of activists to demand responsible US policies. As part of that position, Kathryn did significant legislative advocacy in response to the surge of child migrants from Central America to highlight the root causes of migration and push for an effective and humane response from the US Government.

Kathryn has also organized students and activists on issues related to sweat shop labor, fair trade, environmental protections and campesino land rights.  She has a B.A. in International Trade and Human Development from Western Washington University and a Master of Public Administration from the Evans School at the University of Washington.

Reflections on Palestine: Symbols of Homeland

By: Pedro Rios
Published: November 24, 2015
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Pedro Rios reflects on a recent trip to Palestine and Israel. As he traveled throughout the region, he learned about symbols of homeland and resistance in the region. In this piece he reflects on these symbols and the current state of occupation.

About the Author

Pedro Rios serves as director of the AFSC’s U.S./Mexico Border Program and has been on staff with AFSC for 13 years. He is also chairperson for the San Diego Immigrant Rights Consortium, a coalition of over 25 different organizations in San Diego working to support the rights of immigrants.

A native San Diegan, Pedro has worked on immigrant rights and border issues for over 20 years. He became active on immigration issues in the early 1990s, when California was debating the passage of Proposition 187, the anti-immigrant initiative that was later ruled unconstitutional.

Currently, Pedro is overseeing a program that documents abuses by law enforcement agencies, working with many community groups, advocating for policy change, and interacting with migrant communities. Pedro has been widely interviewed and published by the Associated Press, Univision, ABC10, NBC7, and  Think Progress, among others. 

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