Reflections on the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington
I have been reflecting on the importance of the National Action to Realize the Dream march on August 24, 2013, in Washington, D.C. It was a huge, very diverse gathering, with people coming from all over the country to be part of an historic event.
Why does it feel that while the movement is still alive, the energy and vision are missing?
Note: Stephen McNeil is Assistant Director for Peace-building Programs in AFSC's West region. On Aug. 25, 2013, after traveling from San Francisco and attending the 50th anniversary March on Washington to Realize the Dream, Stephen helped to organize a public event at Friends Meeting of Washington commemorating the life of Bayard Rustin, one of the march's chief organizers and a committed Quaker. - Madeline
Criminal Justice reform is catching fire in Quaker communities around the country, in large part due to the publication and popularization of Michelle Alexander’s book, “The New Jim Crow.” The facts embedded in every page are undeniable and horrifying, and illustrate a truth that many have known for years, that these injustices are tied directly to this country’s history of slavery. It’s as if the book has finally made it okay for Quakers (and others) to speak up against injustice and to face our country’s past.
Immigration is about more then the cerebral aspects of policy, laws, and trade; immigration includes relationships, communities, and questions of morality and dignity. To fully delve into and enable a deep listening for truth, one has to get out of the classroom and committee meeting and into the world.
Note: Lori Fernald Khamala, program director of AFSC's Project Voice in Greensboro, North Carolina, shares the story of how AFSC partnered with FCNL and local Quakers to advocate for humane immigration reform this month. - Madeline
Even though Quaker organizations often work on the same issues and share the same values, it doesn’t mean we always work together as well as we should. But recently, a local collaboration between AFSC and the Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL) netted big gains.
Laura Magnani, a member of Strawberry Creek Friends Meeting in Berkeley, Calif., and the director of AFSC’s Bay Area Healing Justice program, tells the story of how local Quaker congregations accompanied a formerly incarcerated man back into the community.
Note: Max Carter, the Director of the Friends Center at Guilford College, has led study tours to Israel-Palestine in the summer for many years. He sent me this post after returning from his most recent trip. - Lucy
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
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AFSC has offices around the world. To see a complete list see the Where We Work page.