American Friends Service Committee was “Founded in 1917…[to] 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, [AFSC] nurture the seeds of change and respect for human life that transform social relations and systems.”
On January 31 at Friends Center in Philadelphia, Pa., AFSC hosted 140 students from U.S. Friends schools participating in the Quaker Youth Leadership Conference. The students learned about the history of AFSC and participated in one of five workshops: Decolonizing the Future, Shared Security, Bystander Intervention, No Way to Treat a Child, and How to Talk to the Media About the Issues You Care About. One student said about the afternoon, “I was moved by personal narratives and experience. The personal messages … brought out the reality of the issue and made it feel especially important and relevant.” When asked what they would say about AFSC, one student shared, “It is an amazing Quaker activism organization. I would tell them the story about the peaceful border protest that really inspired me.”
Many Quakers have been supporting AFSC’s efforts with the No Way to Treat a Child campaign, which is focused on getting the HR 2407 bill passed that will condition military aid on upholding the human rights of Palestinian children. On January 16 Philadelphia Yearly Meeting and AFSC partnered on hosting a documentary screening of Imprisoning a Generation, and invited Quaker meetings to engage with the campaign, lobby Congress, and open their meetinghouses to public education events.
AFSC responded quickly to the call for war with Iran, and created a webpage to share information: afsc.org/noiranwar.