High school is often a time of judgment and isolation. At New Garden Friends School, where the students are encouraged to accept their differences and create a loving community, discrimination can sometimes feel like a distant notion. Last Friday, the NGFS Upper Division took time out of their weekly all-school meeting for worship to let us share a film and open up conversation about prejudice and tolerance.
They witness atrocities most of us cannot imagine. They make perilous journeys, often alone, through countries where violence is ubiquitous and food is scarce. They make their way to refugee camps. They receive the good news that they will be resettled in the United States, and arrive, ready to embrace a new life.
Following the scrawling of racist graffiti on the homes of three African refugee families in Concord, members of the community organized “Love Your Neighbor” rallies September 24 and again September 28. AFSC’s Maggie Fogarty was one of the speakers at the second rally, which was organized by the Concord Interfaith Council. The following is a slightly edited version of her statement:
In response to recent incidents of racist graffiti targeting the families of African refugees, the AFSC, New American Africans, the Concord Unitariarian Universalist Church, and others will hold a "Love Your Neighbor" gathering to show support for the families and for all the immigrants and refugees who have made their homes in Concord. Cast out fear and hatred! Come share the love! Meet in the park at the corner of West and St. State Streets. Wear bright, bold yellow.
Windows and MIrrors Closing Reception followed by a panel and community discussion meant to emphasize the rise of violence among youth in countries where war is prevalent---those who wage war, and those whose environments suffer from war—and draw attention to global and domestic forms of youth violence (i.e. child soldiers, local gang violence). The moderated panel discuss will be among participating groups and individuals who have witnessed, suffered at the hands of, or are/were affected by violence, especially war.
On July 2, bright yellow and crisp white T-shirts marked two teams vying for a win on the soccer field. For the second year, AFSC’s Dayton (Ohio) Refugee Justice Program sponsored a tournament for young refugees from Africa. Their home countries include Burundi, Rwanda, Sudan, Eritrea, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Ghana. More than 60 participants appreciated the opportunity to play their favorite sport and to share their experiences in the greater Dayton area.
AFSC held an 8-day exchange between 47 Somali and Kenya youth to promote constructive dialogue. Participants learned from each other’s experiences of youth employment, sports as a tool for development, and the promotion of human rights. The program was included partnerships with a Somaliland youth organization and a Kenyan youth program.
After visits to both Nairobi and North Eastern Kenya the youth left with a greater awareness and understanding of the dilemmas facing youth today and a drive to promote sharing and change in their communities.
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.