Children gather on the lawn of the Material Aids warehouse at 110 N. Hudon, Pasadena. In 1953, the AFSC office would move to an adjacent lot at 825 E. Union. Photo: Stanley Hall Steele
1942 AFSC "Southern California Branch" (later to be known as "Pacific Southwest Region") office was established in Pasadena, along with similar regional offices in San Francisco and Seattle. That year, the office moved to 544 E. Orange Grove Blvd., into what was then a small house adjoining Orange Grove Friends Meeting. David E. Henley was Executive Secretary of the Southern California Branch until 1946.
This House Not for Sale was a project growing out of concerns of residents of northwest Pasadena and was an effort to help stabilize changing neighborhoods and keep property values at their current levels. Householders who intended to stay where they lived were encouraged to display the signs. The project (carried out in conjunction with All Peoples Christian Church in Los Angeles) was a precursor to further AFSC efforts through its Fair Housing Program.
1960s 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.
These bags of flour were donated by Pasadena citizens in 1922 for Russian famine relief through the AFSC. The flour was shipped by way of the Panama Canal to New York, and then on to Russia.
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.
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 office around the world. To see a complete list see the Where We Work page.