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The American Friends Service Committee is a Quaker organization that promotes lasting peace with justice, as a practical expression of faith in action. Drawing on continuing spiritual insights and working with people of many backgrounds, we nurture the seeds of change and respect for human life that transform social systems.

AFSC in the news

Apr 21, 2020
Congress Desperately Needs to Call Out Trump’s Authoritarianism
(The Nation)
His claims of monarchical powers don’t just politicize the Covid-19 fight. They also threaten our constitutional democracy.
Apr 21, 2020
Trump Moves To Pause Legal Immigration As Border Communities Feel ‘Targeted’ By Oval Office
(KPBS Public Media)
The border has been functionally closed for anyone seeking asylum or trying to immigrate to the United States since last month, due to the coronavirus pandemic. Pedro Rios, the director of U.S.-Mexico Border Program at the American Friends Service Committee, says that further restrictions or stigma of immigrants on both sides of the border is the opposite of what’s needed right now.
Apr 20, 2020
COVID-19 spreads throughout Parnall Correctional Facility
(The Michigan Daily)
Parnall Correctional Facility in Jackson, MI has reported the highest number of positive cases so far of any correctional facility in the state, with 163 reported positive COVID-19 patients out of 186 total inmates tested. There have been 5 deaths due to the virus so far.
Apr 20, 2020
Local News: Working Worried (4/20/2020)
(Spencer Daily Reporter)
Apr 20, 2020
Clay County reports 3rd COVID-19 case
(The Daily Reporter)
Food processing outbreaks raise concerns
Apr 18, 2020
Letter: Ask Rep. Delgado to support this bill
(Daily Freeman)
Congressional leadership must ensure that future COVID-19 response bills do not include any additional funds for the Pentagon, 62 organizations representing pro-diplomacy, veteran, faith, environmental, and anti-war communities, and more, from across the country, said in a letter today.
Apr 17, 2020
Agencies that assist homeless working together more now than ever
(Concord Monitor)
When the state’s leaders in the fight against homelessness talk, it’s good to listen. And when they say more stability is needed at the top, more defined leadership, more of a framework to stitch this patchwork of nonprofits together, you can believe it. They are rapidly working on it, spurred by a virus and an executive order to help the homeless.
Apr 17, 2020
Advocates urge release of prisoners as Arizona fights virus
(The Washington Times)
As the coronavirus surfaces in Arizona prisons, advocates for inmates worry that they are running out of time to persuade Gov. Doug Ducey to avoid a larger outbreak by releasing some of the 42,000 people who live in close quarters behind bars.
Apr 15, 2020
Advocacy groups call for more protections for meatpacking, food processing plant workers
Working too closely together to follow social distancing requirements, carpooling to work with people who are infected with the coronavirus, and reporting safety concerns to managers, only to have those concerns blown off — all complaints that immigrants', refugees' and workers’ advocacy groups say they’ve recently received from people working in Iowa’s food processing plants.
Apr 15, 2020
Prisons, Domestic Violence And COVID-19
The first case of COVID-19 in a Michigan prison was reported March 27 at the Women’s Huron Valley Correctional Facility in Ypsilanti. Since then, the Michigan Department of Corrections has confirmed more than 400 cases in several prisons across the state, with the virus accounting for 10 deaths.
Apr 15, 2020
Worries grow about health of employees in Iowa's meatpacking plants, impact on food supply
(Des Moines Register)
As the COVID-19 pandemic sweeps through the workforce at meatpacking plants in Iowa and elsewhere, employees worry about their safety on the job with little protection.
Apr 14, 2020
Farm to Foodbank: A New Initiative to Benefit the Food Growers and the Hungry Amid the Pandemic
(Latin Post)
Because of the current situation, the number of individuals who experience hunger in New Mexico continues to increase as the ongoing pandemic has led to skyrocketing rates of job insecurity and even unemployment. And, in an initiative to help, the American Friends Service Committee's New Mexico chapter launched Farm to Foodbank.
Apr 14, 2020
Quaker Group Connects N.M. Organic Farmers With Food Banks During COVID Outbreak
Faith-based organizations across the county are providing various community services amid the coronavirus pandemic. Here in New Mexico, the Quaker organization American Friends Service Committee has started a "Farm to Food Bank project to help local pantries, farmers, and community members – each facing their own challenges around food during this health crisis. Director Sayrah Namaste spoke with KUNM about the program and how it came about.
Apr 13, 2020
AFSC welcomes new legislation to improve humanitarian access to North Korea
(Relief Web)
Representative Andy Levin and Senator Markey announced a new bill today that would help with the delivery of humanitarian aid to the people of North Korea. The announcement comes at an important time as aid groups prepare urgent shipments amid the pandemic. The text of the bill addresses key challenges to aid delivery including clarifying regulations for humanitarian groups and streamlining approval processes.
Apr 13, 2020
How the U.S. Southern Border Became a Militarized Zone
(YES! Magazine)
The Trump administration recently announced it will send 160 troops to the U.S.-Mexico border. In February, the U.S. Border Patrol sent tactical units to sanctuary cities such as Detroit and Atlanta to support immigration arrests.
Apr 13, 2020
LSM di AS Kampanyekan Pembebasan Tahanan Anak Palestina
(MINA News)
Sejumlah LSM dan aktivis kemanusiaan di Amerika Serikat (AS) mengkampayekan pembebasan tahanan anak-anak Palestina dalam aksi “No Way to Treat a Child”.
Apr 12, 2020
Campaign calls for immediate release of Palestinian child detainees
(WAFA Palestinian News and Info Agency)
The United States-based No Way to Treat a Child campaign has kick-started a petition online demanding the release of around 190 Palestinian child detainees in Israeli jails, at time of a growing coronavirus outbreak in Israel that has so far claimed the lives of about 103 people in Israel.
Apr 10, 2020
Justice Advocates Thank Governor Murphy For Executive Order Releasing State Prisoners During COVID-19 Outbreak
(Insider NJ)
Governor Phil Murphy announced an executive order to temporarily release prisoners from state prisons in an effort to curb the spread of the coronavirus in correctional facilities. Social justice advocates applauded the governor’s order and encouraged him to oversee its implementation as quickly and inclusively as possible.
Apr 10, 2020
Farmworkers risk coronavirus infection to keep the U.S. fed
(National Geographic)
While millions of Americans shelter in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19, farmworkers on California’s cool central coast move from row to row, carefully picking fat strawberries and packing them into boxes to ship country-wide.
Apr 10, 2020
Lawmaker: Virus makes need for change to sentencing laws greater than ever
(Arizona Capitol Times)
In the final meeting of Rep. Walter Blackman’s sentencing reform committee, a group assembled to craft and analyze policies to reduce the state’s bloated prison population and dial back on harsh sentencing laws, the Snowflake Republican had a simple message to his colleagues: If you can’t imagine voting for these bills, instead imagine yourself in prison.
Apr 9, 2020
State’s Policy For Handling COVID-19 Concerns In Jails, Prisons Remains Confidential
(West Virginia Public Broadcasting)
The number of inmates in West Virginia’s overcrowded criminal justice system has declined over the last few weeks, as prosecutors throughout the state identify low-risk inmates eligible for parole. But several groups are still calling on the state to do more, to further reduce its incarcerated population and ensure that staff and inmates have the appropriate space and supplies to protect themselves against COVID-19.
Apr 9, 2020
Crain's Chicago Business: For Pritzker, prison-release pressure rises
(Illinois Policy)
With signs that COVID-19 is rising among Illinois prison inmates and staffers, Gov. J.B. Pritzker is under increasing pressure to do more to help a population that is especially vulnerable to the pandemic—potentially including mass release of those being held.
Apr 8, 2020
2 Arizona prison inmates test positive for COVID-19
(Tucson Sentinel)
Two Arizona prison inmates have tested positive for coronavirus, authorities said — one a state prisoner now at a hospital, and another an inmate at a Marana private prison.
Apr 8, 2020
For Pritzker, prison release pressure rises
(Chicago Business)
Apr 7, 2020
Advocates for inmates seek inspection of Arizona’s prisons
(Martinsville Bulletin)
Advocates for inmates have asked Arizona’s top public health official to order inspections of state prisons to help guard against the coronavirus there, saying corrections officials aren’t consistently following COVID-19 prevention guidelines and have done an inadequate job of keeping the public informed on those efforts.



AFSC experts are available for comment and background briefings for the media on a wide range of regional, national and global issues and policies and our programs. 

Media Relations

Layne Mullett
Interim Media Director


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