Acting in Faith

From the inside, out: Transforming Baltimore prisons

Baltimore

Vacant row homes await demolition in Baltimore's Middle East neighborhood next to the expanding Johns Hopkins Medical Campus.

The Friend of a Friend mentoring program in Baltimore is doing more than providing support for incarcerated men; it is inspiring a movement for serious reform of the criminal justice system, from the inside out. 

Madeline Schaefer sits down with participants as they share stories of the program's success and their own transformation. By learning how to deal with conflict nonviolently, and by connecting with one another, participants are reclaiming their voices and speaking truth to power.

Acting in Faith podcast: Calling forth the goodness, Episode 4

Calling Forth the Goodness is a podcast series produced through AFSC's Friends relations blog, Acting in Faith. It features the voices of communities that work together to create change.

‘Tis a gift to be free: A sermon on simplicity

On June 14, 40 young adult Friends from across the country gathrered at Pendle Hill, a Quaker retreat center outside of Philadelphia, to take part in a youth conference on spirit-led activism. The theme of the week was the Quaker testimony of simplicity, and participants explored both the spiritual and the practical meaning of simplicity in the world.

The empty chair: Bringing love into the room

Empty Chair

Empty Chair

Empty Chair

Note: In May of 2013, three AFSC staff including Aarati Kasturirangan, Program Officer for Integration and Impact, went to the Healing and Rebuilding Our Communities (HROC) workshop held at Stony Run Friends Meeting in Baltimore. Aarati attended the workshop to understand firsthand the HROC work she had heard of from AFSC program staff in Burundi. She went to find out if she thought HROC could be useful for other AFSC programs around the world.  - Lucy

Creating one small plot of heaven: 49 ingredients for building trust in community

HROC Participants in Peace Village, Burundi

HROC Participants in Peace Village, Burundi

HROC Participants in Peace Village, Burundi

Note: Madeline Schaefer, Aarati Kasturirangan, and I attended a Healing and Rebuilding our Communities (HROC) workshop in Baltimore in May. This is the second of three posts about aspects of the workshop.

What is needed to build trust in community? After the HROC participants discussed healing from trauma and trust and mistrust, we set about to answer this question in small groups, and then reported back to each other.

As a whole group, we built a list of 49 qualities and practices needed to build trust in community.

Fresh voice of resistance: An interview with Lane Hirabayashi

Gordon Hirabayashi

Gordon Hirabayashi

"A Principled Stand," co-authored by Lane and James Hirabayashi.

In 1942, Gordon Hirabayashi (1918-2012) refused to obey the 8 p.m. curfew for Japanese-Americans established after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. After turning himself in to the FBI, Gordon was sentenced to 90 days in prison, and appealed his case all the way up to the Supreme Court, with the help of Quakers and the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC). 

Nourished by our Quaker past: Growing and sharing food in community

Friends Southwestern Burial Ground

Friends Southwestern Burial Ground

Friends Southwestern Burial Ground

I live with my family in a 17-acre Quaker cemetery outside of the west edge of Philadelphia. My husband, Graham, is the cemetery’s caretaker. We live in the house on the grounds built in 1860. Our 11-year-old son, Simon, has known no other home.

There are a few notable Quaker dead buried there: Henry Cadbury, Margaret Hope Bacon, and Addison Hutton, but most of those buried aren't famous—they just lived simple lives.

Deported without warning: How the loss of a father in Newark is affecting a community (PODCAST)

Newark, African immigrants with signs

Newark immigration demonstration

Two participants in AFSC's Newark May 1st rally for humane immigration reform.

In the middle of May 2013, Kofi (whose name was changed for this story) was detained and deported to his home country in Africa. The family he left behind—including a girlfriend and two childrenare struggling with his absence, unsure of their future or his fate. Listen to the story of this family, and hear how the AFSC community in Newark is speaking out against his deportation and others that tear apart families.

Acting in Faith podcast: A father deported without warning

In the middle of May 2013, Kofi (whose name was changed for this story) was detained and deported to his home country in Africa.

Stone in the belly: Transforming trauma in community

Water/stress filling glass

Water/stress filling glass

Water/stress filling glass

Note: This is the first of a series of blog posts on a Healing and Rebuilding our Communities workshop that three AFSC staff took at Stony Run Friends Meeting in early May 2013. - Lucy

"Unless pain is transformed, it will be transferred."            - Richard Rohr, quoted by Amy Rakusin

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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