“People can be transformed by being open and human. We believe that people have a need to be heard, but how they are heard really matters – if they take the risk of telling their story, it needs to make a difference.” – Denise Altvater
“These are revolutionary times. All over the globe men are revolting against old systems of exploitation and oppression, and out of the wombs of a frail world, new systems of justice and equality are being born.
We must move past indecision to action. …
Now let us begin. Now let us re-dedicate ourselves to the long and bitter, but beautiful, struggle for a new world.”
Denise Altvater is a member of the Passamaquoddy Tribe and has worked for AFSC for eighteen years. She has been instrumental in developing the first Truth and Reconciliation Commission between a sovereign Tribal Nation, the Wabanaki, and a U.S. state, Maine, to address hurts caused by the foster care system. The commission will be seated on February 12, 2013.
“Let them remember that there is a meaning beyond absurdity. Let them be sure that every little deed counts, that every word has power, and that we can do — every one — our share to redeem the world despite all [the] absurdities and all the frustrations and all [the] disappointments. And above all, remember that the meaning of life is to live life as if it were a work of art.” – Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel
Thanks to Andrew Tomlinson, Director of QUNO-NY, Olivia Ensign, QUNO Program Assistant, and Theresa Kirby for assistance composing this post.
Security was tight in New York City as delegates gathered for the high-level meetings that marked the opening of the 67th session of the United Nations General Assembly in late September. There were snipers on the roof of the UN buildings, and black limousines with flashing lights crowded the streets nearby as they lined up to get through the NYPD roadblocks.
In August I spent a day in New Mexico, visiting AFSC’s farmer training program near Albuquerque.
I met the trainees, hearing from AFSC’s Sayrah Namaste about elements of the program and upcoming plans to expand state-wide, funded in large part by the Kellogg Foundation. I finished the day by talking with program director Don Bustos at his farm near Espanola.
My family and I live in a multicultural neighborhood just west of Philadelphia. My neighbors include many new immigrants from India, Bangladesh, Korea, Vietnam, Greece, and other countries, as well as many African-Americans.
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.