In 2022, we launched Emerging Leaders for Liberation. Our first cohort of young adult leaders, hailing from AFSC communities and Quaker colleges and institutions, learned activism approaches together and went back to their communities to engage in social change work to practice their skills.
Below are a few samples of their change-making in action. It’s exciting to see what people can do when they act from conscience.
Inspired by the Emerging Leaders for Liberation program, and by their own experiences growing up in Chicago, Kee Taylor and August Hupp worked together on a powerful zine they called ‘The Miseducation of Illinois: Debunking Carceral Narratives.’ Hear them explain the project in their own words.
“When people are creating together, they’re learning about each other and connecting,” says Madeyson Dyce, a student at Guilford College. And she saw an opportunity to connect her interest in art with social action. Madeyson organized a group of 12 students to draw a racial justice-themed work on campus – and witnessed powerful learning along the way, as the participants shared and reflected on what their identities, and what racial justice, meant to them. “When we use art to express our vision for a better world, we’re taking the first step to making that world real, and we often realize just how much we have in common.”
Molly Dorgan wanted to make it easier for students in North Carolina to get the resources and support they need to go to college and pursue their dreams. Using skills honed in ELL, she held an event called a Field Summit for students who may face challenges like financial problems, poor education, or cultural differences that could prevent them from going to college. Molly says, "I want all the young people in this area to know that there are people who want them to succeed and can help them achieve their goals."
Lucas Meyer-Lee is working to create public attention for incarcerated people at the SCI Chester prison facility, near his college, Swarthmore. “Growing up a Quaker, I’ve always been opposed to U.S. mass incarceration,” says Lucas. “But now, seeing the prison-industrial complex up close, I realize all the ways it isolates people and makes them jump through hoops.” With the support of ELL and Kenjuan Congo, Jr., his partner inside the facility, he is navigating a complex and often frustrating system to expand the work of Prison Radio, sharing the stories and perspectives of people held in the facility.