Healing Justice

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Michelle Alexander: Embracing humanity to bring down The New Jim Crow

Michelle Alexander points out that mass incarceration and the war on drugs is built on the foundation of demonizing people of color, particularly brown and black men and boys. A very strong thread in her message was that in order to end the system of mass incarceration in a way that keeps it from being reconstructed, all of us must be able “to see and value the humanity in one another.” 

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Michelle Alexander

Michelle Alexander

Michelle Alexander

Racial violence and the California hunger strike: A perspective from the inside

Sitwa Nantambu Jamaa CA Prisons Hunger Strike

Sitawa Nantambu Jamaa, in pictures taken in 2012 and 1988.  Photo: Adithya Sambamurthy

Editor's note: The California prisoners suspended the hunger strike on Sept. 5, 2013. Please visit http://afsc.org/program/bay-area-healing-justice for the latest information.

Catching the fire for healing justice, one Quaker congregation at a time

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.

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Merion Meeting Group

Merion Meeting Group

Merion Meeting outside of Philadelphia.

Accompaniment: An experiment in healing justice

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.

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Helping Hand 2

Helping Hand

Helping Hand

From the inside, out: Transforming Baltimore prisons

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.

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Baltimore

Vacant row homes await demolition in Baltimore's Middle East neighborhood next to the expanding Johns Hopkins Medical Campus.

Maine and Burundi communities begin to heal through storytelling

Denise Altvater

Denise Altvater

Denise Altvater

Telling stories of violence and trauma can lay the foundation for healing and for reconciliation.

The empty chair: Bringing love into the room

Note: In May of 2013, three AFSC staff including Aarati Kasturirangan, Program Officer for Integration and Impact, went to the Healing and Rebuilding Our Communities (HROC) workshop held at Stony Run Friends Meeting in Baltimore. Aarati attended the workshop to understand firsthand the HROC work she had heard of from AFSC program staff in Burundi. She went to find out if she thought HROC could be useful for other AFSC programs around the world.  - Lucy

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Empty Chair

Empty Chair

Empty Chair

Creating one small plot of heaven: 49 ingredients for building trust in community

Note: Madeline Schaefer, Aarati Kasturirangan, and I attended a Healing and Rebuilding our Communities (HROC) workshop in Baltimore in May. This is the second of three posts about aspects of the workshop.

What is needed to build trust in community? After the HROC participants discussed healing from trauma and trust and mistrust, we set about to answer this question in small groups, and then reported back to each other.

As a whole group, we built a list of 49 qualities and practices needed to build trust in community.

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HROC Participants in Peace Village, Burundi

HROC Participants in Peace Village, Burundi

HROC Participants in Peace Village, Burundi

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.

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