The McKenna Museum of African American Art in New Orleans was the setting for the 2015 Designing Our Freedom Event, Healing Through the Arts. This year more than 20 young artists from Dillard University and several high schools and middle schools from around the city participated in the event. Instead of holding AFSC's traditional t-shirt and hoody themed fashion show, New Orleans participants opted to broaden the use of art and let young people express themselves through several modes of creativity.
Community Members at AFSC PA's Art and Garden Programming
For the last few weeks, Myiya and I have been going to the Borland community garden every Thursday to help Scilla facilitate the Art in the Garden program. Art in the Garden is led by adults from within the community, and we invite all of the neighborhood kids to come to the garden for arts and crafts, games, and snacks. There is no set program, there is no attendance sheet, there is no goal for the end of the summer, and I don’t even know who will be there this week. But even in what may seem like all that disorganization, there was a clear transformation going on. Kids kept coming back.
While military convoys rumble down city streets, planes crisscross the skies, and suicide bombers wreak havoc on the streets, civilians in Afghanistan struggle through terror, lawlessness, deaths and PTSD to hold their families together against extreme odds. In Kabul, women politicians and activists prepare under threat of death to protect women’s rights past the general elections and the pullout of the NATO troops in 2014.
“Why is there poverty in the same country that is also called the most obese country in the world? I say, “because it’s no longer one for all and all for one.” It’s all about “me, myself and I!” We need to stop oppressing each other and start practicing Ubuntu(OO-BOON-TOO), which is an South African word that means “I am because we are.” When one of us suffers then we all suffer.
The sweet tension of waiting for people to arrive combined with the multiple colored lights filling the room, a dream of cold extremities coursing with adrenaline. I, as the door person watching the welcome table, got to say hello to most of the people to the event hopefully making a positive first impression. From my vantage point near the door I’m torn as to what might have been my most memorable experience.
The “29th Annual National “Night Out Against Crime” was held on Tuesday, October 16, 2012 from 5:30-7:30pm for neighborhoods throughout the Greater New Orleans Area. The American Friends Service Committee partnered with A Desire For Change community group to host our “Night Out Against Crime” at the Sampson Park in the 9th Ward Neighborhood to celebrate a commitment to peace in our communities.
The turnout to see the Windows and Mirrors exhibit, American Friends Service Committee’s wonderful traveling exhibit of art on Afghanistan from artists around the country, has been very gratifying. Over 800 people attended the opening, which coincided with a downtown gallery crawl. Many of the people attending would not normally come to AFSC events. In all about 1,100 people attended the events or saw the exhibit during the two weeks it was being shown.
Peter Lems, American Friends Service Committee Program Director for Iraq and Afghanistan will look at the impact of the troop withdrawal from Iraq, our responsibilities to acknowledge the damage, and lessons learned for the peace movement. How can we then use those lessons learned to speed-up the removal of US troops and bases from Afghanistan.
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.