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Quakers host virtual interfaith worship to #FreeThemAll

Person participates in interfaith service
Photo: Nathaniel Doubleday / AFSC

PHILADELPHIA (September 11, 2020) On Sunday September 13, the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) – a century old Quaker social justice organization – will host a virtual meeting for worship lifting up the need to free people behind bars. This event is the culmination of the #FreeThemAll days of action, where protests and events have taken place across the country during the 49th anniversary of the Attica uprising. September 13 marks the day when, in 1971, state troopers killed 39 people and injured hundreds as they retook the prison.

“On this day, we will remember those who lost their lives at Attica, and all those who have helped to build the movement for a world without incarceration,” explains Lucy Duncan, director of Friends Relations for AFSC. “We are coming together for our brothers, sisters, and kin behind the walls in the midst of this COVID-19 pandemic as an interfaith community, calling out to all those in prisons, jails and detention centers. And we are calling on all people of faith to join the call to free them all.”   

Meeting for worship is the Quaker practice of gathering in silence for divine guidance through individual communion with God and sharing vocal ministry as people feel moved. This event will be an interfaith service that also includes speakers from multiple faith traditions.  

WHO: Hosted by the American Friends Service Committee. Speakers include 

  • Joyce Ajlouny, Palestinian Quaker and General Secretary of AFSC
  • Siwatu Salama-Ra - environmental and racial justice organizer from Detroit who was wrongfully incarcerated for self-defense when she was in her third trimester of pregnancy 
  • Alejandra Pablos, social justice activist targeted by ICE for deportation
  • Rev. Liz Theoharis, co-chair of the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival
  • Imam Mika’il DeVeaux, co/founder and Executive Director of Citizens Against Recidivism, Inc., and director of Citizens’ Muslim Re-entry Initiative
  • Rabbi Lynn Gottlieb, author and activist
  • Morena and Antonio, Courageous migrants who crossed the U.S.-Mexico border with a caravan and were detained and separated by the Trump administration’s Zero-Tolerance Policy.
  • Rev. Jason Lydon, Unitarian Universalist minister at Second Unitarian Church in Chicago and the founder of Black and Pink, a national prison abolitionist organization dedicated to liberating LGBTQIA2S+ people
  • Kharon Benson, filmmaker and advocate working to end mass incarceration and member of Echoes of Incarceration
  • Music by Alexis Joi and Elena Lacayo 

WHAT: Virtual interfaith meeting for worship to lift up the call to free people from prisons, jails, and detention centers during COVID-19 

WHERE: Via zoom, register for access at

WHEN: Sunday, September 13 from 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. ET  


The American Friends Service Committee is a Quaker organization that includes people of various faiths who are committed to social justice, peace and humanitarian service. Its work is based on the belief in the worth of every person and faith in the power of love to overcome violence and injustice. 



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