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Acting in Faith

Acting in Faith

Art and social change: Five artists with a cultural strategy for change

By: Sara Z. E. Hughes
Published: August 14, 2015
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About the Author

Sara Zia is a curator of film, visual art and new media and for over a decade has produced film screenings and exhibits in the Philadelphia area. She has worked as a consultant with Independent Television Service (ITVS) and with individual independent filmmakers on their engagement and outreach campaigns. Currently, she works as a Social Media Specialist at American Friends Service Committee (AFSC). A MFA graduate of Temple University, her own short films have screened internationally and been awarded grants from Chicken & Egg PicturesRooftop Films and the Leeway Foundation. In Spring of 2015 she released her first web series, Bailout, which she wrote and directed.

Palestine Activism in an Anti-Racist Framework

By: Mike Merryman-Lotze
Published: August 10, 2015
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About the Author

Mike Merryman-Lotze is the American Friends Service Committee’s Palestine-Israel Program Director.  He coordinates AFSC’s Israel and Palestine focused advocacy and policy programming, working closely with AFSC’s offices in Jerusalem, the West Bank, Gaza, and throughout the US.  From 2000 through 2003 Mike worked as a researcher with a human rights organization in the West Bank, and from 2007 through 2010 he worked in Save the Children UK’s Jerusalem office managing child rights and child protection programming.  Between these two experiences he worked for an international development NGO managing community and local government development programs in Lebanon, Jordan, and Yemen.  

No pride in occupation

By: Sahar Vardi
Published: August 7, 2015
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About the Author

Sahar Vardi has served three prison sentences for her refusal to be conscripted into Israel's military service. She works with other refusers and serves as Coordinator of AFSC's Israel program in east Jerusalem.

Weapons of the devil: Hibakusha’s call for a world without nuclear weapons

By: Michiko Kodama
Published: August 5, 2015
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Michiko Kodama, a Hibakusha--survivor of the atomic bomb in Hiroshima--shares a first hand account of her memories that day and provides a moving testimony calling for the abolition of what she calls "weapons of the devil."

About the Author

Mrs. Michiko Kodama is Assistant Secretary General of Nihon Hidankyo (Japan Confederation of A- & H- Bomb Sufferers' Organizations.)  She lives in Chiba, just north of Tokyo, were she is a leader of Nihon Hidankyo's Chiba branch.  She can also be seen in a film helping to launch the Japan Peace March, from Tokyo to Hiroshima last May.

Secret assassination and its aftermath

By: Stephen McNeil
Published: July 24, 2015
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Some believe that drone attacks save U.S. lives because they do not rely on "boots on the ground" and thus service members are spared death and injury. But what about other people's lives? As a Quaker and an AFSC staff member, Stephen McNeil joined a gathering of 150 interfaith folk at Princeton Theological Seminary to consider that very question.

About the Author

Stephen McNeil, of San Francisco, is director for peace-building work with the American Friends Service Committee, U.S. West Region. He is a member of Strawberry Creek Monthly Meeting in Berkeley.

Ending Mass Incarceration: On a mission to transform our barbarous system

By: Glenn E. Martin
Published: July 18, 2015
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About the Author

Glenn E. Martin is the Founder and President of JustLeadershipUSA (JLUSA), an organization dedicated to cutting the US correctional population in half by 2030. JLUSA empowers people most affected by incarceration to drive policy reform. Glenn is a national leader and criminal justice reform advocate who spent six years in New York State prisons. Prior to founding JLUSA, Glenn served for seven years as Vice President of Development and Public Affairs at The Fortune Society, one of the most respected reentry organizations in the country and six years as Co-Director of the National HIRE Network at the Legal Action Center.

Glenn is Co-Founder of the Education from the Inside Out Coalition, a 2014 Echoing Green Black Male Achievement Fellow, a 2012 America’s Leaders of Change National Urban Fellow, and a member of the governing boards of the College and Community Fellowship, Prisoners’ Legal Services, the Petey Greene Program, the Reset Foundation, the New York Foundation, and California Partnership for Safe Communities.

Glenn also serves on Governor Cuomo's Reentry and Reintegration Council, the advisory board of the Vera Institute’s Public Health and Mass Incarceration Initiative, the National Network for Safe Communities and the Executive Session on Community Corrections at Harvard Kennedy School. Glenn regularly contributes his expertise to national news outlets such as MSNBC, Fox News, CNN, Al Jazeera and CSPAN on topics such as policing, decarceration, alternatives to incarceration, and reentry issues.

Gaza one year on: Does the world wake up?

By: Lucy Duncan
Published: July 17, 2015
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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.

How Quakers can help end mass incarceration

By: Lucy Duncan
Published: July 12, 2015
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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.

On Charleston: Will we answer forgiveness with repentance?

By: Lucy Duncan
Published: July 2, 2015
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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.

No separate justice

By: Bonnie Kerness
Published: June 23, 2015
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About the Author

Bonnie Kerness has been an anti-racist activist since she was 14, working at the University Settlement House as a volunteer on issues of housing, neighborhood and gangs. In 1961, at the age of 19, she moved to Tennessee to participate in the Civil Rights Movement. In Memphis she was trained as a community organizer by the NAACP. She continued her work and training at Highlander Training School in Knoxville, where organizers from throughout the Civil Rights movement met for training and brainstorming. Bonnie moved back North in 1970 and became active with welfare rights, tenants rights and anti-war groups. Bonnie has worked as a professional organizer on gay rights, welfare rights, women’s rights and other campaigns and has her MSW in community organizing. She has been a human rights advocate on behalf of prisoners since 1975, working as coordinator of the American Friends Service Committee’s Prison Watch Project. Bonnie has raised eight children, three Caucasian and five of African decent. She has served as Associate Director and Acting Director of the AFSC Criminal Justice Program in Newark, the National Coordinator of the Campaign to Stop Control Unit Prisons and serves on the Board of Directors of the World Organization For Human Rights, USA, the Advisory Board of California Prison Focus and Money, Education and Prisons Committee of Madison, Wisconsin. She has helped publish, “Our Children’s House”; “Torture in U.S. Prisons – Evidence of U.S. Human Rights Violations; and “The Prison Inside the Prison: Control Units, Supermax Prisons and Devices of Torture”, and the Survivor’s Manual. Bonnie speaks publicly on behalf of people in prison on U.S. human rights violations of the UN Convention Against Torture and has been quoted in articles, books and other publications on prison related subjects. 

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