The martial arts have had a profound influence both on Rick Wilson’s life, and his work for social and economic justice during the past twenty years. Rick, area director of the Middle Atlantic Region’s West Virginia Economic Justice Project, has been a student of classical martial arts since he was a teenager. “I found a small hole-in-wall school that taught traditional Japanese-Okinawan karate. It was like a combination of boot camp and high-church ritual, physically and ethically demanding.”
West Virginia Economic Justice works in partnership with a host of organizations and individuals, including the WV Council of Churches, the state AFL-CIO and member unions, Service Employees International Union, the WV Welfare Reform Coalition, WV Coalition Against Domestic Violence, WV Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers; the Legislative Action Team for Children and Families, Direct Action Welfare Group, WV Interfaith Center on Public Policy, West Virginians United, WV Citizen Action Group, the media, policy makers, public agencies, educational institutions, the Center on
In the grip of the Great Depression, as 89 percent of Lincoln County residents struggled to survive on meager relief payments and 6,000 children in McDowell County could not go to school because they didn’t have clothing, West Virginia’s democratic governors resisted federal initiatives aimed at stimulating the economy.
In An Appalachian New Deal: West Virginia in the Great Depression, Jerry B. Thomas relates how Gov. Guy Kump spoke out against a national “spending orgy” as he withdrew rural road projects, reduced relief rolls and slashed payments for desperate families.
67 Sueños Mural (67 Dreams) mural on wall of San Fransisco Quaker Meeting.
The American Friends Service Committee Youth Programs involve young people in all aspects of the organization's work. The Youth Programs seek to influence young people and be influenced by them, especially regarding their thinking about key issues of peace and justice. The programs develop youth leadership in order to enhance movements for justice, peace and the empowerment of oppressed peoples as well as build bridges of understanding and active alliances among young people from diverse backgrounds and perspectives.
The work of the American Friends Service Committee Women's Program is to strengthen the capacity of the AFSC to recognize and to act, through its programs, to elimenate sexism and gender inequality, which harm women and are root causes of violence. The Women's Program staff keeps abreast of major political, economic, and cultural issues that may affect women and AFSC work with women to ensure that it is responsive to opportunities to bring about positive change in the world.
More than 100 homeless vendors earn income selling Street Spirit, the Bay Area's homeless newspaper. The paper also serves as an important tool in coordinating advocacy of issues concerning the homeless. For many activists, Street Spirit's 30,000 reader distribution provides them the most far-reaching public educational outreach available for homeless rights campaigns.
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.