Friends Center Tenant Newsletter Issue

Issue 76, November-December 2021

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR’S NOTE
The December days have been growing shorter. As of today, they will
start lengthening again, starting the arc back toward spring.
I know we all wish there were such a clear, predictable arc in
the course of the covid pandemic, too, but alas, it is not to be. I’m
incredibly grateful to all of our partners, staff, and tenants for
observing our guidelines, caring for one another, and helping to keep us
safe and healthy.
May the lengthening of days help carry you forward in your
work and in your experience of the year-end holidays and into 2022.
Thank you for being part of the Friends Center community.
—Chris Mohr, Executive Director

AROUND FRIENDS CENTER
View our 2021 Holiday Schedule for the most up-to-date hours
and closings, and the 2022 schedule in the right column.
New mural across the way: Declaration

Mural Arts Philadelphia recently
dedicated Declaration, a piece
conceived by Reginald Dwayne Betts
and Titus Kaphar as part of Mural Arts
Philadelphia’s Reimagining Re-Entry
Fellowship. The artists worked with
members of Mural Arts’ Guild
Program, a re-entry program for men
and women returning from prison, as
well as men from MAP’s mural
program at SCI Phoenix.
» Read more

EQUITY PARTNER NEWS
PHILADELPHIA YEARLY MEETING
(PYM)
Time for More Inclusive Stories
This holiday season is an opportunity to broaden the images in
traditional stories we tell and pass along to children. Here are
titles of Christmas books that show people of diverse
backgrounds in this familiar story.
 Refuge by Anne Booth & Sam Usher (see also: “Nativity for
the Modern Age” by Kennett Meeting)
 That Baby in the Manger by Anne E. Neuberger
 The Night of Los Posadas by Tomie DePaola
 The Nativity illustrated by Julie Vivas
 The Light of the World by Katherine Paterson
 Also: 40 Multicultural Children’s Books about
Christmas from Colours of Us

AMERICAN FRIENDS SERVICE COMMITTEE (AFSC)

#FreeThemAll Phone Zap*

We need every voice raised to keep the pressure on to support locally-led movements to #FreeThemAll. From International Human Rights Day (Dec. 10) to International Migrants Day (Dec. 18), AFSC and their partners hosted the National Days of Action to #FreeThemAll. We are committed to getting as many people out of prisons, jails, and immigration and juvenile detention centers as possible—and abolishing these carceral facilities once and for all. AFSC held a powerful Free Them All Phone Zap on Thursday, Dec. 16.

* What is a Zap!? It’s an hour long virtual gathering that includes political education and collective action pressuring decision makers through phone calls. We will fill you in on the context, then walk you through how to contact key decision makers together. The demands come directly from local groups and are at the request of directly impacted. Together we can make hundreds of calls!

CENTRAL PHILADELPHIA MONTHLY MEETING (CPMM)  

QuakerSpeak is a biweekly video series from Friends journal featuring Quakers from all different backgrounds. Several members of CPMM have been featured in QuakerSpeak videos over the years.

»      You can find many of them linked here.

»      Watch .O describe “Listening Each Other into Wholeness

TENANT NEWS

SINGING CITY

Singing City returned to live performance with a jazz-infused concert to ring in the holidays. The“Joy Abounds” performance featured one of the finest jazz organists in America, Pat Bianchi, along with his trio, and choral works by Adolphus Hailstork, André Thomas, Roland Carter, Jacob Narverud, Rosephanye Powell, Brian Mann, G.F. Handel, Kim André Arnesen and more.

PYSC has created and made available a series of Programs & Recordings focused around diversity, equity, and inclusion.

  • Conceptualizations of Power & Privilege

CASA OF PHILADELPHIA

(Court Appointed Special Advocates)

Free CASA Information Session:

Tue, February 8, 2022

7:00 PM – 7:30 PM EST

Register here.

CASA volunteers listen first, then act. They use the information they have gathered to inform judges of the child’s needs, best interests, and wishes. A volunteer does not have to be a lawyer or social worker, in fact our volunteers come from all walks of life and a multitude of backgrounds. What they all have in common is a desire to make life better for the more than 5,000 children currently in the child welfare system in Philadelphia.

            Being a CASA volunteer is an investment of time, energy and heart. Our volunteers are asked to make a 2-year commitment because a big part of what makes CASA’s work successful is the continuity of connection between a foster child and a CASA. Training is extensive and the process of advocating can be complex. In short, this isn’t a volunteer option for just anyone. For this reason, we ask all potential volunteers to attend a 30-minute information session that reviews all aspects of being a CASA and will help you to decide if it is a good fit.

IN THE WIDER COMMUNITY

New organization:

ADAPTED BIRDING

Katie Samson of Art-Reach is featured in the December issue of Grid magazine! She founded Adapted Birding to make birding more welcoming, inclusive, and accessible.

» Read the article.

GREEN STREET FRIENDS MEETING

Legal clinics for Black Homeowners in Germantown

  • When: Monthly on the 3rd Saturdays of January to May, 2022, 10am-2pm
  • Where: Green Street Friends Meeting, 45 West School House Lane, Philadelphia 19144

Our closing event on Saturday, June 19, 2022, will include a Juneteenth celebration.

Green Street Friends Meeting established a reparations committee about three years ago. In May 2021 the Meeting committed to devote $50,000/year for a total of $500,000 over ten years toward reparations for the Black community of Germantown. The Black members of the reparations committee in consultation with Black members and attenders of the meeting are holding authority and responsibility for determining priorities for this work. Reparations is economic and spiritual repairs for the intergenerational harms of slavery, Jim Crow, and their afterlives. It is spiritual work intended to address the theft and pillaging of Black wealth for 400 years.

The project in 2022 will be free legal clinics for Black Germantown homeowners to protect and secure Black wealth and redistribute Green Street Meeting’s resources to help stabilize Black homeownership. Green Street Friends will host 4-6 legal clinics for Black Germantown homeowners, in 19138 and 19144 zip codes. The clinics will feature pro bono legal (real estate and estate) services, notary services, and assist with fees for related legal filings, taxes, and other needs that may emerge.