Quaker Action Spring 2014

We dream a world: Teambuilding activity at camp in Guatemala

Teambuilding activity at “Sharing Experiences Inspired by Peace,” a summer camp

Peace camp in Guatemala

Ruben Ruíz Cruz

We dream a world

While local and global crises fuel fear and conflict, a movement of peace-minded problem-solvers is moving the world toward a future with justice for all of us.

In this issue of Quaker Action, hear from young people in Cambodia, Guatemala, Indonesia, the United States, and Zimbabwe who are using their lives to create a world we all would like to see.


Growing a movement one person, one community at a time

Carlos "Elmo" Gomez in Warsaw, Poland

Carlos "Elmo" Gomez in Warsaw, Poland

Carlos "Elmo" Gomez in Warsaw, Poland

Sharing with each other what they’ve learned about the power of nonviolence and what it takes to build peace in their communities, young people from AFSC’s programs in six U.S. states and six other countries traveled together to the World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates in Warsaw, Poland last fall. They brought back to their communities a profound awareness that they are not working in isolation—that they are part of a global network of AFSC programs and like-minded partners seeking lasting peace with justice.

Curriculum for racial justice

Marcel Purnell

Marcel Purnell at Friends Center in Philadelphia

Marcel Purnell has worked with AFSC in Seattle for three years. 

Structural violence is rarely covered by school curriculums, but many students know they’re not learning the whole picture. In Seattle, Marcel Purnell and Dustin Washington provide an alternative education, equipping young people with organizing skills that they’re using to undo institutional racism.

Undocumented and unafraid

Maria Cruz

speaking at a mural unveiling

Maria Cruz emcees a mural unveiling event in Oakland, Calif.’s Fruitvale Village.

Culture change and reclamation usually precede political change, and that’s one reason why undocumented immigrants in the San Francisco Bay Area have decided to tell their stories publicly. They stand to lose a lot by doing so—but they have much more to gain by claiming their power and shifting the narrative.

Breakdancing for peace

Carlos Garcia in Guatemala

Carlos prepares to perform.

Carlos Ricardo Garcia Cobo, 22, was for years written off by his neighbors based on negative stereotypes that affected how he saw himself. 

Since he started breakdancing during high school, that’s changed—now, he’s a recognized leader in the community, committed to finding ways for other young people to express themselves artistically. He’s part of a local peace platform in Guatemala City, through which he works to change living conditions and build a sense of community in his neighborhood.

Infographic: Youth today

Nearly two billion people in the world are between ages 10 and 24. Take a look at the story that statistics tell about their lives, including the opportunity to learn and make a living, and hear what young leaders want for the future.

Lighting the way to inclusion

Aceh lighting of peace torch

Aceh lighting of peace torch

A representative of Indonesia’s Ministry for Social Affairs lights the Peace Torch in Aceh.

A social movement committed to diversity is bearing the Peace Torch throughout Indonesia, bringing an emotional message to areas touched by religious and ethnic violence and threatened by intolerance.

Listen up!

YASP's Jamie Carroll, Zachary Banks, Joshua Glenn, and Sarah Morris speak to law students at Temple University.

Jamie Carroll, Zachary Banks, Joshua Glenn, and Sarah Morris speak to law students at Temple University.

Who sets the direction for social change? For young people working to solve problems in their neighborhood, state, or the world at large, speaking out about their lived experiences, sharing their solutions, and being truly heard are critical parts of making lasting peace and justice.

Speaking truth to power

Storm Coleman in WV

Storm Coleman testifies in front of West Virginia’s Select Committee on Children and Families.

To people who criticize welfare and disability recipients in West Virginia, 16-year-old Storm Coleman suggests a visualization exercise: “Picture yourself in my mom’s shoes.”

“Imagine that you’re overweight, or you’re in pain all day, you can’t walk around, and you have three kids to provide for, and no job will hire you either because you’re disabled or ’cause you’re overqualified—’cause my mom is really smart.”

Sustenance of a student movement

high school papers

pile of publications known as the high school papers

Like a subversive textbook, The High School Papers covered everything from student rights to safe sex to organizing for change.

Young people looking for social change have, throughout AFSC’s history, turned to the Service Committee for support.

Quaker Action Spring 2014 (PDF)

Download a PDF of Quaker Action to print or read on your e-reader.

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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