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Toward Peace and Justice, December 2012

Working for world peace


A world at peace. What a powerful possibility to consider! A world with no bombs falling on children in Gaza or Afghanistan. With the thousands of soldiers killed in pointless wars instead at home celebrating this season with their families. With a trillion dollars to spend on infrastructure and human needs at home.

Of course, real peace requires much more than ending war.

That’s why the American Friends Service Committee addresses the seeds of violence within communities, removing the barriers to peace. We understand that nurturing the capacity for peace on a personal level is one essential step along the way to building peace in neighborhoods, cities, nations, and the world.

This year, we’ve seen our work for peace at every level make a real difference in people’s lives.

The state of Maine established an AFSC-supported truth and reconciliation process—the first in the United States to focus on child welfare issues—encouraging healing and disclosing the truth about the removal of Native American children from their homes and tribes as part of a policy of forced assimilation.

Last month, the United States renewed its relationship with Myanmar (Burma) after decades of sanctions. For the past seven years, AFSC has been quietly working there in support and recognition of the tremendous forces for change bubbling through the country’s civil society.

I invite you to join me on Thursday, Dec. 20, for a look at highlights like these and to hear what 2013 will hold as AFSC continues paving the path of peace. I will host our monthly program update call at 6 p.m. EST. You can register online today.

In the meantime, please enjoy a slideshow of photos from AFSC’s work this year to see what it looks like to build a world at peace in some of the communities where we work.

In peace,

Shan Cretin
General Secretary


Toward Peace and Justice, November 2012


One thing will be clear when Congress convenes on Tuesday: A compromise on the 2013 federal budget must be reached to avoid blanket cuts to everything from domestic programs to military spending.

Funding for the social safety net, health care, and education must not be sacrificed in favor of the military; the United States already accounts for a staggering 43 percent of the world’s total military spending—nearly five times more than China and Russia combined.

October 2012 E-Newsletter - NC Immigrant Rights Program

The October 2012 e-newsletter for the NC Immigrant Rights Program

September 2012 E-Newsletter- NC Immigrant Rights Program

The September 2012 e-newsletter of the NC Immigrant Rights Program

Toward Peace and Justice, October 2012


The belief that communities must develop their own means to overcome injustice and sustain themselves is at the heart of the American Friends Service Committee’s approach to building peace. As we move from one place to the next, we adapt our programs, informed by the strength and vision of each new partner community.

Still, consistent themes cut across the communities where we work. AFSC is able to bring lessons learned in one community into another, exploring ways to meet local needs, respect local culture, and build on each other’s wisdom.

Toward Peace and Justice: August 2012

Dear Friend,

Peace is not a destination; it is a way of living, a way of treating every other person, community, and nation with dignity and respect. In our work for peace, the American Friends Service Committee fosters compassionate truth-telling, healing, and reconciliation across the sharp edges of conflict. We bring people together across geography, race, ethnicity, religion, and class using many tools—the arts, interfaith dialogue, nonviolent activism, and advocacy. And we work tirelessly for the just economic and social conditions that make peace possible.

Toward Peace and Justice, July 2012: Standing with Immigrant Communities Across the U.S.

Dear Friend,

Respect for human rights is essential for a peaceful society. We each have a duty to ensure that every one of our neighbors is treated with dignity and respect. The American Friends Service Committee has  been standing with immigrants and their families since 1924, when we responded to anti-immigrant laws of that era that sought to exclude immigrants from Asia, Mexico, and Southern Europe.

Toward Peace and Justice - May 2012

Dear Friend,

I am Mark Graham, AFSC’s Director of Communications. While our General Secretary Shan Cretin is traveling to visit AFSC’s programs in Asia, I have the privilege of updating you on our work for peace. 

Toward Peace and Justice: Tax Day 2012

Dear Friends,

Tomorrow is the last day to file your federal taxes for 2012. For Tax Day this year, AFSC is working hard to make clear how the choices in our federal budget affect communities across the U.S. Like you, AFSC wants:

Acting in Faith: Ain't Gonna Study War No More

Dear Friend,

“Sooner or later, all the peoples of the world will have to discover a way to live together in peace, and thereby transform this pending cosmic elegy into a creative psalm of brotherhood. If this is to be achieved, man must evolve for all human conflict a method which rejects revenge, aggression, and retaliation. The foundation of such a method is love.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.

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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