Toward Peace and Justice

Toward Peace and Justice, November 2013

Youth Delegaation in Poland on steps of the Palace of Culture and Science in Warsaw, Poland

Youth Delegaation in Poland on steps of the Palace of Culture and Science.

Youth delegation members and AFSC staff (From left to right) Jiway Tung (Indonesia), Charly, Shyline (Zimbabwe), Yuval (Israel), Dominique Stevens (Baltimore), James, and Emil.

Shan Cretin writes about the young change-makers who accompanied her to Poland last month for the World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates. 

What the California prison hunger strike can teach us

Toward Peace and Justice, July 2013

July 16, 2013
Yesterday, thousands of people in California prisons entered a second week of hunger strikes, their nonviolent protest against dehumanizing practices used throughout the state’s prison system.

Toward Peace and Justice, June 2013

Food is a human right and a basic human need, says General Secretary Shan Cretin in this month's newsletter, which highlights how imaginative young people in an inner-city food desert can lead the way to food security and economic justice

Toward Peace and Justice, May 2013

In this month’s newsletter, General Secretary Shan Cretin asks people to join AFSC in the march for humanely reforming immigration policy. 

Toward Peace and Justice, April 2013

In her monthly newsletter, General Secretary Shan Cretin considers the culture of militarism in the U.S. and what all of us can do today to pave the way for a truly secure future.

Toward Peace and Justice, March 2013

In her monthly newsletter, General Secretary Shan Cretin reflects on women change-makers from AFSC’s 96-year history and our partners for peace around the world, as well as the courageous young activists who they have inspired.

Toward Peace and Justice, February 2013

In this month’s e-newsletter, General Secretary Shan Cretin shares evidence that AFSC’s message about the power of nonviolence is taking hold.

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.

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.

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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