February 11, 2013

Friends,

More so than any other time in our 96-year history, it seems that the American Friends Service Committee’s message about the power of nonviolence is taking hold.

Many people, institutions, and lawmakers are taking steps in the right direction, showing that they recognize the effectiveness of nonviolent alternatives in the face of conflict and oppression. Here are a few examples…

In Washington, D.C., cuts to the bloated Pentagon budget are on the table for the first time in a decade. And major immigration reform with a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants is under consideration for the first time since the ‘80s, though we must ensure this important step doesn’t rely on the perpetuation of ineffective, deadly, and costly border control policies.

In Maine, today has been marked as a day of reflection, meditation, and prayer by a groundbreaking truth and reconciliation commission that is beginning to heal decades of wounds to Native Americans. We are all invited to join in spiritual solidarity, taking the opportunity to deepen human respect and compassion, taking a moment to listen with open hearts to the difficult shared histories of native children and families and the state’s child welfare system.

AFSC works in many other communities, each one with inspiring stories of nonviolent resistance and conflict resolution. Please browse our website, afsc.org, to hear from more communities, see more evidence of the changing tides, and find out how you can use your voice to help build lasting peace.

Let’s seize this moment and encourage people to continue on these paths to peace.

In peace,

Shan Cretin
General Secretary