While many students chose to party or sleep over spring break, a group from Earlham College travelled to Ann Arbor, Michigan to learn about the criminal justice system and AFSC’s ongoing work to promote restorative and healing alternatives. AFSC staff Natalie Holbrook, Pete Martel and Ron Simpson-Bey led the break; Erin Polley assisted with advance organizing.
The students had a packed week, touring and learning, talking and debating, challenging and growing. They had a lot to say about their experiences and the value of relationships over punishment.
Sheila Garrett and Margaret Hawthorn outside the NH State House before the Senate vote on death penalty repeal.
Margaret Hawthorn will speak on "Forgiveness as an Act of Self-Preservation" at the Henniker Peace Community's 30th annual Interfaith Peace Celebration. The program will include music and readings from several faith traditions. Margaret's daughter, Molly Hawthorn-MacDougall, was murdered in Henniker in 2010. Since then, Margaret has insisted on responding to this awful act in a spirit of love.
The Celebration is free and open to the public. A potluck dinner in the parish hall will take place following the program.
Note: Bonnie Kerness presented this talk at the Woodrow Willson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University in March. Her talk was one of a number of events organized around the exhibition of Artwork by Prisoners featuring the collages of Ojore Lutalo. The announcement of the exhibit said,"Ojore, once a member of the Black Liberation Army, was incarcerated in the Trenton State Prison from 1986 though 2009.
It is an afternoon of contrasts – ice cream and cake sprinkled with tragic tales of border crossings and details of due process. Summer interns in the AFSC Immigrant Rights and Healing Justice Programs held their annual “Ice Cream Social” at the Newark office July 10. Pat Simpson, a supporter who sponsors many of these interns, got to meet them. Everyone in attendance (ice cream guarantees a full house) learns who has done what at the midterm point of the internship.
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.
Note: 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.
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.
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.