Videos

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Hector Salamanca, an AFSC Iowa Dreamer and intern, reads a poem written by Michael McConnell to celebrate the creation of AFSC's Midwest Region in 2012. Michael was an AFSC regional director for 23 years until his passing April 7, 2013. AFSC has established the Michael McConnell Youth Internship Fund to help carry on Michael's passion for peace and justice.

Here's the text of the poem:

WE ARE THE MIDWEST
Together we're on a quest
We call on TIAA-CREF to divest
and the Pentagon to stop their war chest.
Citizens United we detest.
When kids are in conflict we cannot rest
until their problems are redressed
or they make their mark in a trillion dollar video contest.
We stand with cab drivers in their request
until a fare increase is addressed.
Life-affirming businesses are finessed
for refugees and dreamers to be unstressed.
Quite simply, we side with the dispossessed
whether in prison due to arrest
or immigrants who should be our guests.
We are obsessed to make unrest
to stir up a hornets nest
and wrest the power from the billionaires blest
we do attest and have confessed
to side with the oppressed
and not politicians who fail the test
ego and power obsessed.
We're not impressed they are a pest.
All injustice we do protest
and we do all of this because
we are the best
we do all of this because
WE ARE THE MIDWEST

TOAST
As a region may we work hard
but not so hard as to sacrifice our health and balance, our friends and family
May we have many victories
but even if we lose, may we find a way to gain
in every negative find a positive
in every setback, a way forward
and along the way,
let us find a way to have a whole lot of laughter and fun

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Michael McConnell, former regional director of AFSC's Midwest Region, reminds us of the power each of us has to build peace and justice.

This is 11 minutes of footage from Michael's Oct. 6, 2012 talk at a Windows and Mirrors reception held in the Des Moines Valley Friends Meetinghouse.

Michael passed away April 7, 2013 after a courageous dance with cancer. Read more.

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Three 15-year-olds from Virginia Beach Friends School in Virginia Beach, Va., share their views on how the U.S. could better spend the $1 trillion it spends yearly on the military.

This is one of 25 official selections for the third annual "If I Had a Trillion Dollars" youth film festival, which asks young people to speak out on the federal budget via short videos that answer the question “what would you do with $1 trillion—for yourself, your family, and your community.” The youth are asked to consider the $1 trillion spent yearly on the U.S. military; the $1 trillion spent on the wars abroad, and the $1 trillion plus in tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans.


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College students in South Kingstown, R.I., weigh in on federal budget spending priorities. They call for more investment in education, health care, and infrastructure, and less in the military. 

This is one of 25 official selections for the third annual "If I Had a Trillion Dollars" youth film festival, which asks young people to speak out on the federal budget via short videos that answer the question “what would you do with $1 trillion—for yourself, your family, and your community.” The youth are asked to consider the $1 trillion spent yearly on the U.S. military; the $1 trillion spent on the wars abroad, and the $1 trillion plus in tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans.

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A video produced by middle school students from the Whatsoever Community Center in Kansas City, Mo., a city with more than 2,000 homeless young people.

This is one of 25 official selections for the third annual "If I Had a Trillion Dollars" youth film festival, which asks young people to speak out on the federal budget via short videos that answer the question “what would you do with $1 trillion—for yourself, your family, and your community.” The youth are asked to consider the $1 trillion spent yearly on the U.S. military; the $1 trillion spent on the wars abroad, and the $1 trillion plus in tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans.

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This is a short video about the human cost of the Iraq war produced in 2005 as an online companion to AFSC's Eyes Wide Open exhibit. It was viewed more than 750,000 times during the next four years.

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Produced in Brooklyn, N.Y., by youth in the Urban Arts Partnership.

This is one of 25 official selections for the third annual "If I Had a Trillion Dollars" youth film festival, which asks young people to speak out on the federal budget via short videos that answer the question “what would you do with $1 trillion—for yourself, your family, and your community.” The youth are asked to consider the $1 trillion spent yearly on the U.S. military; the $1 trillion spent on the wars abroad, and the $1 trillion plus in tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans.

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On January 21, 2013, AFSC's Friend of a Friend program led a Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day community tribunal at Mount Pleasant Baptist Church in Govans, Baltimore. Residents shared their experiences and concerns with the Maryland prison system and brainstormed strategies for making their voices heard.

Slideshow edit: Isaac Bunn
Photos: Bryan Vana

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Students in Boston produced this short video as an open letter to Education Secretary Arne Duncan.

This is one of 25 official selections for the third annual "If I Had a Trillion Dollars" youth film festival, which asks young people to speak out on the federal budget via short videos that answer the question “what would you do with $1 trillion—for yourself, your family, and your community.” The youth are asked to consider the $1 trillion spent yearly on the U.S. military; the $1 trillion spent on the wars abroad, and the $1 trillion plus in tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans.

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AFSC AND CPM GATHER TO SEND SEQUESTATION MESSAGE: TRANSFER PENTAGON SPENDING INTO HUMAN NEEDS

DES MOINES - (CPM News Services, 2/28/13) - A group of Iowans heeded the call of the American Friends Service Committee and Catholic Peace Ministry to assemble in front of 1900 Grand Avenue, to protest 'sequestration' that will cut education programs. The gathering was in front of a Gateway Education facility that is scheduled for closing as a result of budget cuts.

Holding a 25-foot banner, the assembled group (see 'Flicker' photos) told reporters from WOI - TV 5 and Cityview newspaper that the visual of the Federal Discretionary Budget tells the story.

"We need to cut the Pentagon budget and transfer the money to human needs, said Kathleen McQuillen of AFSC Iowa. "Our real security likes not in war but in meeting the needs of people."

Aaron Jorgensen-Briggs of Catholic Peace Ministry said the U.S. needed to move beyond "a permanent war economy."

Jeffrey J Weiss added that perpetual war is a rejection of the Gospel of Jesus and supports a "culture of death over life."

The 'budget sequestration' set to take March 1 will make cuts of more than $80 billion from the Federal Discretionary Budget, proportionally equal across the board by agency.

Because the Pentagon swallows half the Federal Disretionary Budget (as the banner depicted in the photograph shows), war cuts will amount to $40 billion. Weapons contractors like Lockheed - Martin, however, will be exempt from the budget cuts and many of them will hit lower-level personnel.

The Catholic Peace Ministry advocates a conversion to a civilian economy where employees of the Pentagon are transferred into constructive sectors of the economy. CPM also considers militarism a rejection of the Sermon on the Mount and envisions a world without violence.

Another budget banner video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MSQV_Kxm9i8&feature=youtu.be

Jeffrey J Weiss
Catholic Peace Ministry
4211 Grand Avenue
Des Moines IA 50312
515 255 8114
jjwcpm@yahoo.com

http://catholicpeaceministry.com/

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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

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