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Acting in Faith

Acting in Faith

Building a nonviolent revolution against injustice: A conversation with Michelle Alexander

By: Lucy Duncan
Published: June 5, 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.

Called by God: an interview with Migwe Kimemia

By: Kadija Diallo
Published: May 29, 2015
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About the Author

Kadija Diallo serves as a Friends Relations volunteer in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She has worked with numerous organizations advocating everything from improving judiciaries to fighting for gender equality and global peace. She firmly believes in the goodness of humanity and our ability to improve each other’s lives. She holds a BA in Political Science from Temple University in Philadelphia.

Family immigrant detention centers: The new internment camps

By: Mich Gonzalez
Published: May 26, 2015
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About the Author

Mich Gonzalez joined the Immigrant Rights Program in Newark in February 2015 to provide legal services to immigrants in detention and facing deportation.  Ms. Gonzalez is working with AFSC’s new initiative representing indigent immigrants in a public defender model.  The program is the first of its kind in New Jersey and only the second in the country. Since March, the initiative has helped over 80 immigrants in their deportation defense. 

Ms. Gonzalez obtained her JD from Cardozo Law School and is a licensed attorney in New York.  Prior to joining AFSC, she worked with Immigration Equality representing LGBT immigrants seeking asylum and other immigration protections.  She has testified before the NY City Council Committee on Immigration regarding the use of solitary confinement in detention.   

#BlackLivesMatter: From Baltimore to Jerusalem

By: Sahar Vardi
Published: May 13, 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.

Thoughts on Black/Brown unity: A poem

By: Pablo Paredes & Ericson Amaya
Published: May 7, 2015
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About the Author

Pablo Paredes is a Conscientious Objector to war in all forms.  In 2004 Paredes made headlines as US Navy Sailor who refused to board a naval vessel with a mission to ferry 1000+ marines to Iraq.  Paredes was then court-martialed and eventually discharged from the Navy after serving a sentence of 3 months hard labor, 2 months restriction, and reduction in rank to the navy's lowest pay grade.  Since obtaining his freedom from the armed forces Pablo has dedicated himself to building youth power in communities of color to challenge militarism, racism and xenophobia.  The 31 year old has spoken at hundreds of High Schools in several states as well as in Puerto Rico.  Son of an Ecuadorian (im)migrant father and a Puerto Rican mother, Paredes has always had a deep understanding and passion for migrant justice issues.  His wife became undocumented in the first years of their relationship.  His family lived the fear of the possibility of raids and checkpoints destroying their young family.  In 2010 he brought together a core group of high school aged (im)migrant youth to begin the 67 Sueños collective with AFSC. The goal of this migrant youth organizing project is to build migrant youth leadership and advocacy skills while providing work experience and summer paid internships for undocumented youth. 

Ericson Amaya is a member participant in AFSC’s 67 Sueños program.  He is from Oakland and is an accomplished poet and community organizer in his own right.

Occupied Susiya: Walk with us

By: Lucy Duncan
Published: April 29, 2015
Topics:

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.

#BlackLivesMatter: Why we can't wait

By: Dominque Stevenson
Published: April 24, 2015
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AFSC's Dominque Stevenson discusses connections between police violence, racism, and imprisonment.

About the Author

Dominque Demetrea Stevenson is currently the director of the American Friends Service Committee – Friend of a Friend program in Baltimore, Maryland. She coordinates prisoner run mentoring projects in several Maryland prisons, and one federal institution. The program, A Friend of a Friend, helps foster healing, and connects young men with prison mentors who help them develop the skills necessary to navigate violent situations, and prepare for a successful return to their communities. Ms. Stevenson is the co-author of Marshall Law: The Life and Times of a Baltimore Black Panther, and has written a novel, Blues Before Sunrise. Dominque currently resides in Baltimore, Maryland.

Letter from Birmingham City Jail: What would King say today?

By: Victoria Greene
Published: April 15, 2015
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AFSC published Letter from Birmingham City Jail by Martin Luther King, Jr. in May, 1963. In this post for AFSC’s Acting in Faith blog, Victoria Greene, executive director of the EMIR Healing Center, which offers support to families of murder victims, writes about her first encounter with the letter and how it changed her relationship with King.

About the Author

Victoria Greene has led support groups for families who have experienced homicide for the last eight years. She has developed programs for and led workshops with young people in high school about grief and trauma. She worked as a drug and alcohol counselor in the Philadelphia Prison system for 20 years. During this time she facilitated one-on-one counseling and group counseling.

Victoria participated in a play called “Beyond the walls, the road to redemption.” This play was about mothers who lost their children to homicide, and perpetrators who have turned their lives around. The play was made into a video, which was shown at Green Street Meeting’s film series. Victoria attended as a cast member to answer questions from the audience. This was her introduction to Quakerism and she ultimately became a member of the Green Street Meeting.  Victoria was a keynote presenter at the FGC Gathering in 2014.

[Updated] Oscar's story: Help stop a deportation

By: Lori Fernald Khamala
Published: April 10, 2015
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About the Author

Lori Fernald Khamala is the director of the North Carolina Immigrant Rights Program for the American Friends Service Committee in Greensboro.   A native of North Carolina, she grew up in the Charlotte Friends Meeting and later studied Spanish at Guilford College and spent time in Guadalajara, Mexico. She spent nearly eight years advocating for the rights of migrant and seasonal farmworkers in North Carolina and mobilizing the faith and secular community to support farmworker justice.  Currently, she is working to involve the Quaker and broader community in creating a more welcoming and compassionate environment for immigrants in our community, and to support fair and humane immigration policy at local, state and national levels. Lori has a beautiful and charming seven-year old daughter who occupies all her non-working time.

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