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Healing Justice

Healing Justice

#BlackLivesMatter: Why we can't wait

By: Dominque Stevenson
Published: April 24, 2015
Topics:

AFSC's Dominque Stevenson discusses connections between police violence, racism, and imprisonment.

About the Author

Dominque Demetrea Stevenson is currently the director of the American Friends Service Committee – Friend of a Friend program in Baltimore, Maryland. She coordinates prisoner run mentoring projects in several Maryland prisons, and one federal institution. The program, A Friend of a Friend, helps foster healing, and connects young men with prison mentors who help them develop the skills necessary to navigate violent situations, and prepare for a successful return to their communities. Ms. Stevenson is the co-author of Marshall Law: The Life and Times of a Baltimore Black Panther, and has written a novel, Blues Before Sunrise. Dominque currently resides in Baltimore, Maryland.

Call for Spirited Action: Quaker Network to end mass incarceration

Podcast

Have you heard about the new growing network of Quakers working together across the country to end mass incarceration?  What started as a small group of Friends meeting during mealtimes at the 2014 Friends General Conference Gathering has burgeoned into a movement of Quakers connecting across the country to see how we can pool our knowledge and resources on shifting our prison system. 

Lifting each other up: You can’t stop the revolution

By: Diamond Latchison
Published: December 18, 2014
Topics:

St. Louis resident Diamond Latchison joined the protests five days after Mike Brown’s death. “Once I started seeing firsthand what the people were doing and what the police were doing, I never left,” she says.

About the Author

Diamond Latchison, 21, born in Chicago, IL but raised in St. Louis, MO in the Florissant - Ferguson region. She has now become a local activist through being on the grounds of Ferguson and one of the Co-founders of Freedom Fighters, a local organization that's been on the grounds of Ferguson & Shaw. In her leisure time, she likes to write stories and poetry, read, and watch movies & TV shows.

In the stillness of Meeting: Following a leading to action

By: Sterling Duns
Published: December 10, 2014
Topics:

About the Author

Sterling Duns is a West Philly based hip-hop artist and musician.  His passion for music stems from his desire to make sense of the events that make our lives unique and intertwined, all at once. He holds a BA in English from Dickinson College and an MA in Poetry from the University of East Anglia in Norwich, England. Sterling has worked with youth from all different backgrounds, at summer camps and in classrooms, for the last 10+ years. He truly believes that if we empower and inspire the youth of today, our future will be in great hands.

A Lifetime of Resistance: An Interview with Eddie Conway

By: Madeline Smith-Gibbs
Published: December 3, 2014
Topics:

About the Author

Madeline is temporarily taking up the reins as the Friends Relations Associate.  Prior to AFSC, Madeline researched alternative economies in Philadelphia and worked with people returning from prison to organize against employment discrimination.  A lifelong Friend, Madeline is excited to rise with a new generation of Quaker social activists.

From Prison Walls to the United Nations

By: Bonnie Kerness & Lia Lindsey
Published: December 2, 2014
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About the Author

Bonnie Kerness became an anti-racist activist when she was 14 years old, volunteering at New York’s University Settlement House. She participated in the Civil Rights Movement, trained in Tennessee by the NAACP and Highlander Center as a community organizer. Moving North in 1970, she became active with welfare, tenants rights and anti-war issues. 

Bonnie has an MSW and serves as Director of the American Friends Service Committee’s Prison Watch Program.  At AFSC she provides support to imprisoned individuals and their family members, collects testimonies of prisoners reporting abuses committed behind bars and creates resources to help prisoners struggling in imprisonment.

She is an advisor to California Prison Focus; Critical Resistance; Women Who Never Give Up, a group of family members dedicated to helping other families secure justice in criminal justice and prison systems; and SolitaryWatch, a website monitoring solitary confinement in US prisons.

She contributed to the publication of “Our Children’s House” – testimonies on juvenile imprisonment; “Our Children’s House - The Play”; “Torture in US Prisons – Evidence of US Human Rights Violations”; “The Prison Inside the Prison: Control Units, Supermax Prisons and Devices of Torture”, the “Survivor’s Manual” and “Inalienable Rights”.

Her articles have appeared in numerous publications including Peace Review, a Journal of Social Justice, the Atlantic Journal of Communications, War Resisters League Magazine and others. Bonnie speaks widely on mass imprisonment on behalf of men, women and children in US prisons suffering human rights violations of United Nations Covenants and Treaties. 

Lia Lindsey is Policy Impact Coordinator with the American Friends Service Committee’s Office of Public Policy and Advocacy in Washington, DC.  She is AFSC’s lead in developing policy recommendations and building political will for humane practices on immigration, healing and restorative justice, international human rights, civil rights, and Latin America. 

Lia, an East Coast transplant from the Midwest, has worked on human and civil rights for over 15 years.  Prior to joining AFSC she assisted pro se workers seeking redress for employment discrimination, conducted legal research for the Office of the Prosecutor at the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, coordinated national and state-level human rights campaigns with Amnesty International USA, helped expand online constituent engagement with the American Civil Liberties Union, and while working for The Moratorium Campaign supported death row exonerates calling for a moratorium on the death penalty.

Lia is an attorney licensed to practice in Washington DC, Massachusetts, and New York.    

Blessed are the PeaceMAKERS: Praying for just peace in Ferguson

By: Joshua Saleem
Published: November 21, 2014
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Since August I’ve seen banners, signs, Facebook statuses, and Tweets with the message “Pray for peace in St. Louis.” I’ve heard prayers for peace as people of faith gather in response to events in Ferguson, MO. In recent days I’ve seen an increase in the calls to pray as people waited for the Grand Jury announcement. I’m tired of hearing the calls for peace. Let me be clear: I do not want violence, destruction, or death. I care about the well-being of all parties from police to protesters. However, when I see some call for peace I don’t think they understand it to mean what I understand it to mean.

About the Author

Joshua Saleem is the Peace Education Director for AFSC in St. Louis. He grew up in the city and before working for AFSC served Faithful Friends, a mentorship organization there. This September he launched a Freedom School which focused on undoing institutional racism. Watch a video with statements from program participants.

Healing, not harm: An interview with AFSC's Lewis Webb

By: Madeline Smith-Gibbs
Published: November 20, 2014
Topics:

About the Author

Madeline is temporarily taking up the reins as the Friends Relations Associate.  Prior to AFSC, Madeline researched alternative economies in Philadelphia and worked with people returning from prison to organize against employment discrimination.  A lifelong Friend, Madeline is excited to rise with a new generation of Quaker social activists.

Organizing with the Spirit

By: Lucy Duncan
Published: November 14, 2014
Topics:

About the Author

Lucy serves as Director of Friends Relations for AFSC. She has been a storyteller for 20 years and has worked with Quaker meetings on telling stories for racial justice and of spiritual experience. Before working for AFSC, she was Director of Communications at FGC, managed QuakerBooks of FGC, and owned and managed her own children's bookstore in Omaha, The Story Monkey. She attends Green Street Friends Meeting (PhYM) and lives with her son and partner in a Quaker cemetery.

Reflections after Ferguson October

By: Liz Oppenheimer
Published: October 30, 2014
Topics:

About the Author

Liz Oppenheimer is a Conservative Friend and member of Bear Creek Meeting in Iowa. She worships with Laughing Waters Friends Preparative Meeting and volunteers at the AFSC office in St. Paul. Liz occasionally blogs about Quakerism at thegoodraisedup.blogspot.com and edited Writing Cheerfully on the Web.  Liz is thoroughly enjoying watercoloring, which she began exploring last year.

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