Acting in Faith

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By Vanessa Julye & Barry Scott
Published: January 13, 2015

Note: I invited Vanessa Julye, author of Fit for Freedom, not for Friendship: Quakers, African Americans, and the Myth of Racial Justice and her husband, Barry Scott, clerk of Central Philadelphia Monthly Meeting, to write thier reflections about Ava DuVernay's film Selma. Below are their thoughs and stories, with queries for reflection at the end. - Lucy

We were blessed with the opportunity to preview Ava DuVernay’s film, Selma (2014), twice. Each time we sat in the movie theatre, we experienced a range of emotion from anger to horror to tears to cheering....

By Aura Kanegis
Published: January 7, 2015

Note: Several US staff visited Gaza recently. Aura Kanegis, AFSC's Director of Public Policy and Advocacy, was among them. This was her first trip to Gaza. These are her reflections and photographs from the trip witnessing the recent devastation of Operation Protective Edge, just the latest round of violence against a people under siege. You can read many more reflections on Gaza and Israel & Palestine here. - Lucy

The taxi bounces slowly over rutted roads as we...

By Greg Elliott
Published: December 30, 2014

“Here, you might be interested in this. They’re a Quaker organization.” I look down at the title: "MARStar: Newsletter of the Middle Atlantic Region, American Friends Service Committee." The cover has a large image of protestors holding signs. “Cool,” I say out loud. I turn the pages and see words I’ve never seen before -- “social justice” “activists” “the prison industrial complex.” Immediately, I recognize that this magazine, this document, is something significant, something important, something I am connected to. For the first time in my life, I feel proud to be a Quaker. I am 14...

By Lucy Duncan
Published: December 30, 2014

Note: This is a poem I wrote for the New Year.  - Lucy

It rained all day on Christmas Eve this year

The sun slanted in the morning

I rode around the burial ground, circling

The mud clung to my tires

A brown leaf stuck in the spokes, ssshhh

The bare trees’ branches rested like bones

The damp earth waits

Holding sorrow, holding promise

 

A week ago I sat on the stairs in a church in West Philly

All the seats were taken

500 converge to mourn, to raise voices, to turn pain into r/evolution...

By Diamond Latchison
Published: December 18, 2014

Note: I invited Matthew Armstead who went to Ferguson during Ferguson October to write a guest piece about his experience. He thought it would be great if we invited someone from the community to write about their experience and introduced me to Diamond Latchison, a young woman who has been involved since the early days of the protests. Here Diamond writes about how she got involved and her determination to stay in the struggle until change comes. - Lucy

I remember a month before Michael Brown was shot down and killed and the movement in Ferguson became what it is, I had a...