In August I spent a day in New Mexico, visiting AFSC’s farmer training program near Albuquerque.
I met the trainees, hearing from AFSC’s Sayrah Namaste about elements of the program and upcoming plans to expand state-wide, funded in large part by the Kellogg Foundation. I finished the day by talking with program director Don Bustos at his farm near Espanola.
Mired in the “economic crisis,” people around the world are calling for just and sustainable economic policies at the local, national, and global levels. Members of AFSC’s program staff recommend these resources to help you understand the complex issues and imagine a more humane economic order.
What really strengthens communities? And what does seeking economic justice look like in the communities where AFSC works?
In this issue of Quaker Action, you will find many stories of how we work with communities struggling for economic security and how we support people in developing their own means to sustain themselves and overcome injustice.
Attendees in each city will view two short videos and a longer documentary on the intersection of peace, justice, and education, seen through the prism of school funding. The documentary “The Inconvenient Truth Behind Waiting for Superman”challenges the allegations in the 2010 film "Waiting for Superman"blaming teachers unions for public schools’ ills and touting charter schools as the sole solution.
Despite little growth in either its population or crime rate, West Virginia has seen a marked increase in the number of people housed in its corrections facilities. As the state's prisons become overcrowded, West Virginia is facing a corrections crisis that not only impacts the state's budget but also the low-income and minority communities that are disproportionately impacted by drug addiction and substance abuse issues that land them in prison instead of treatment programs.
Cover photo credits: Tony Clark, Jane Dillard, Edna Green, James Hagwood, Joan Hairston, Ben Shahn
The report, “Legacy of Inequality: Racial and Economic Disparities in West Virginia” includes a sobering analysis of Census and other data conducted by the West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy, the Partnership of African-American Churches and the American Friends Service Committee.
Last week a friend and I visited the memorial dedicated to the miners who were killed in the 2010 Upper Big Branch mine disaster. The massive 48-foot granite structure with 29 ghostly silhouettes is a powerful tribute to the lost miners and to the industry that has been so dominant in the Appalachian region.
West Virginia stands at a crossroads, and the American Friends Service Committee is working hard to help create a plan for the future. The state is facing a natural gas boom similar to that of the coal industry in the last century. After 90 years of working in West Virginia, AFSC knows that shared prosperity and natural resources extraction don’t necessarily go hand in hand. How can the state beat the “resource curse”?
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.