The "era of activism" saw AFSC staff and volunteers participating in the Civil Rights Movement and protesting the war against Vietnam. They advocated for fair housing in Pasadena, organized nonviolent civil disobedience trainings and demonstrations, conducted teach-ins on Vietnam at Caltech and elsewhere, and in 1967 alone over 1,400 men received draft counseling through the AFSC network.
Quaker presence in Southern California can be traced back to the founding of the first Monthly Meeting in the region in 1884 by Friends from Iowa—in a community that two years later would become incorporated as the city of Pasadena. In 1887, in what would become the city of Whittier (named after the Quaker poet John Greenleaf Whittier), Friends established a Monthly Meeting that eventually became known as First Friends Church.
Working in partnership with the students of Central High School in Los Angeles, the American Friends Service Committee is creating an edible and sustainable school community garden.
The goal of the Friends Peace Garden is help Central High School become a community leader in green innovation and a pioneer in urban farming by 2012. By using current science, technology and conservation methods, the students will implement ideas to green their campus by creating organic solutions that are environmentally friendly and efficient.