February Newsletter: FC on TV, Fracking Discussion, Friends Journal job opening

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR’S NOTE

Friends Center—Famous in Chile!

Last summer we had a visit from Chilean TV personality Federico Sánchez. His original show, “CityTour,” features the architecture, culture, and people of Chilean cities. For his second show, “CityTour on Tour,” he does the same while visiting cities in other countries.

                While in Philadelphia, he and his film crew stopped in at Friends Center. They interviewed Robin Mohr, executive secretary of the Friends World Committee for Consultation (FWCC), Section of the Americas. (Special thanks to Ralph Medley of AFSC for introducing Sánchez to us that day.)

                The whole episode is now on YouTube. Friends Center is featured from 28:15 to 31:15. It’s fun to see the Race Street Quaker Meetinghouse from a different, global perspective!

– Chris Mohr, Executive Director

AROUND FRIENDS CENTER

COMPOSTING CHANGES

Friends Center has changed composting companies to better fit what we dispose of and to keep up with changes in the composting industry.

Here is what we will be collecting:

  • Paper towels from the restrooms
  • Compostable paper plates. They should not have anything printed on them, or any type of coating.
  • All food items, including meat.

We will no longer collect:

  • compostable plastics (cups and utensils).

We are in the process of deploying new signage to help make sense of the changes. We all strive to compost as much as possible, but please keep in mind that getting the wrong materials in the collection bins hinders the sorting process, so please remember: “When in doubt, throw it out.”

If you have questions, please contact Erick Emerick at (215) 241-7190 or eemerick@friendscentecorp.org.

Environmental Event

AMERICAN FRIENDS SERVICE COMMITTEE (AFSC)

“Our federal budget should be used to improve our communities, not tear them apart.”

Article: Trump’s budget is bad for New Hampshire! By Maggie Fogarty and Sandra Pontoh

PHILADELPHIA YEARLY MEETING (PYM)

The Annual Sessions 2020 Workshop application proposals are now being accepted.

Please consider sharing your work and witness, as well as your gifts and skills with the yearly meeting at Annual Sessions.
Annual Sessions will be at The College of New Jersey from July 29 through August 2, 2020.

To be considered for a workshop, please fill out an application:

  • There is a firm deadline of February 28, 2020. We will not be able to accept applications past the deadline this year.
  • The workshop dates are Thursday, July 30th, Friday, July 31st, and Saturday, August 1st.
  • Workshops are 3 hours, with a 1 or 2 day option.

CENTRAL PHILADELPHIA MONTHLY MEETING (CPMM)

CPMM is one local point of Light in a wider constellation of Quaker organizations. We are directly affiliated with some and more loosely associated with others. We provide links to these organizations’ websites here.

TENANT NEWS

Friends Council on Education invites you to join them for the following panel workshop they are hosting on the opening day of the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) 2020 Conference in Philadelphia.

Legacy and Future: Quaker Education Preparing Students to Transform the World

A panel of Friends school alumni educators share how their experience of Friends education has lead them to where they are today.

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Friends Center

4pm-5pm with closing worship until 5:30, followed by a reception at Con Murphy.

Panelists:

Darryl Ford (Friends Select School ‘83)

Rachel Kane (Westtown ‘98)
Lee Payton (Friends Select School ‘95)
Drew Smith (Westtown ‘82) – moderator and host

Rebecca Zug (Westtown ‘89)

Philadelphia Lawyers for Social Equity (PLSE)

Two Temple Law students join Philadelphia Lawyers for Social Equity for the spring term.

The only possible way PLSE can file 3,000 expungement petitions per year with just two staff attorneys is by relying on law students for help.

OF INTEREST OUTSIDE FRIENDS CENTER

  • Philadelphia, otherwise known as the City of Brotherly Love, changed its nickname Thursday in honor of the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment. The city’s honorary nickname will be the City of Sisterly Love until the end of 2020!

January Tenant Newsletter – A Grand Opening, Iran Update, Godly Play

Issue 56, January 2020

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR’S NOTE


Greetings and best wishes for the new year! May 2020 be a year in which your work is enhanced and amplified.

That said, I can’t ignore the tense world situation. And with Friends Center being the Quaker hub for peace and justice, you may see events, rallies, and flyers for peace over the coming weeks and months. (See “5 things to know about Iran,” below.)

Here is some context for you. As a historic peace church, the Religious Society of Friends—better known as the Quakers—have long had a testimony against war and for peace. See this article on Wikipedia for background. The best-known statement of the Quaker stance was in a 1660 letter to England’s King Charles II:

All bloody principles and practices we do utterly deny, with all outward wars, and strife, and fightings with outward weapons, for any end, or under any pretense whatsoever, and this is our testimony to the whole world.

In 1947 the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to “the Quakers.” On behalf of all Friends, the American Friends Service Committee—one of Friends Center’s equity partners—and the Friends Service Committee in Britain accepted it. A replica of the award certificate is on display in AFSC’s headquarters here.

International peacebuilding remains a key issue for AFSC today. They advocate for a US policy framework of shared security that “recognizes the interconnectedness of all people.”

May Friends Center be a place where we sense and live that interconnection.

– Chris Mohr, Executive Director

AROUND FRIENDS CENTER


2020 Holiday Schedule – This link is always present in the sidebar of our monthly newsletter and the information within is always accessible via our website.

GRAND OPENING!

Brand New, Gender-Neutral, Handicapped-Accessible Restroom

The new restroom on the first floor of the 1501 Cherry Street building is now open!

Thank you to the LGBTQ Staff Group of AFSC, who made the original proposal to build an all-gender restroom; other tenants who supported the idea; MJ Settelen, the general contractor; and the PYM Quaker Buildings and Programs Granting Group for financial support. We’d also like to thank our tenants—especially the ones located in the 1501 building—for so graciously handling the noise that this much-needed project came with.

EQUITY PARTNER NEWS


AMERICAN FRIENDS SERVICE COMMITTEE (AFSC)

AFSC’s 5 things to know about Iran:

  1. U.S. aggression toward Iran has brought us to the edge of war.
  2. These recent developments are just the latest in a long line of provocations between Iran and the U.S.
  3. Congress has the power to say “NO” to war with Iran but has so far refused to do so.
  4. The calls for war with Iran echo the misguided calls for war with Iraq.
  5. War with Iran—or any country—is never the answer.

» Details available here

PHILADELPHIA YEARLY MEETING (PYM)

Young Adult Friends Support 2020 Poor People’s Campaign

At a retreat in early January, Young Adult Friends of PYM united in support of the 2020 Poor People’s Campaign: a National Call for Moral Revival. The minute they approved says, in part:

“We agree and recognize that everyone has the right to live a life not in economic and environmental turmoil, but in equitable communities. We are in the spirit of realizing the Peaceable Kingdom is here on Earth, and by supporting the PPC, we keep the choice to stand in solidarity with communities and to keep our morals.”

(The Campaign was co-founded by Rev. Dr. William Barber II of North Carolina, who has spoken here in the Race Street Meetinghouse twice in the last few years. The Campaign will organize a national march on Washington in June 2020. Stay tuned for details!)

CENTRAL PHILADELPHIA MONTHLY MEETING (CPMM)

CPMM Author Event:

Greg Barnes reads from his newest book, Living into the Faith: A Quaker Diary

Sunday, February 2, 12:45 PM.

Lucretia Mott Room, Friends Center

The Diary reveals the broad range of activities in modern unprogrammed Quakerism and the Quaker principles , or “testimonies,” that animate them. The setting is Philadelphia and Philadelphia Yearly Meeting, the heart of American Quakerism as brought here from England by William Penn.

                “This is a diary and not a history. It follows one man through his Quaker and Quaker-related activities for roughly 8 years. The reader should understand it as reflecting my attempt, made out of gratitude to give back to Quakerism and to my Quaker community…”

Greg has also written an award-winning collection of short stories based on his experiences in West Africa with the Peace Corps.

Quaker Meeting for Worship

You are welcome to join CPMM for meeting for worship on Sundays at 11am followed by a coffee hour.

TENANT NEWS


We are proud to announce that Joe Pyle, President of The Scattergood Foundation, is due to give a speech at the national conference for the National Council for Behavioral Health, which will be held from April 5th-7th. Details and registration here

Art-Reach

Cultural Accessibility Forum & Exchange (CAFE) is an initiative driven by Art-Reach to focus on cultural accessibility. These workshops gather cultural organizations, human service professionals, members of the disability community and national experts in the field to learn from one another. The next CAFÉ will be held on Wed, February 12, 2020 3:00 PM – 5:00 PM EST. Click here for more details

OF INTEREST OUTSIDE FRIENDS CENTER


Climate Crisis and Environmental Justice Thread Gathering

PYM Eco-Justice Collaborative

Jan. 18, 10 am – 4 pm
Germantown Friends Meeting
47 W. Coulter Street, Phila. 19144

As people of faith, Friends are called to witness for a more just and livable world. This gathering will explore the intersections of our climate crisis, economic inequality and racism. We will share ideas on how, as individuals and as a faith community, we can address the climate crisis. We will explore whether to advance a minute establishing the Climate Crisis as a corporate witness.

» Register here

Playing in the Light:
Godly Play®/Faith & Play™ Training
Pendle Hill
338 Plush Mill Rd., Wallingford PA 19086

On three Saturdays, January 11, February 8, and March 21, Melinda Wenner Bradley (PYM’s Youth Religious Life Coordinator) will lead a series of three workshops in Playing in the Light– core training in Godly Play and Faith & Play. Godly Play is a Montessori-inspired resource that helps children find words and images for expressing their experiences of holy mystery and wonder in their lives. Inspired by the stories, materials, and methods in Godly Play, Quakers created Faith & Play Stories to add Quaker stories of faith, practice, and witness to the Bible stories in the Godly Play collection used by Friends. This powerful way of being with children can transform your First Day program for children and nurture your own spiritual life.

This is Playing in the Light training for commuters to be completed in three Saturday sessions. Participants are required to attend all three sessions to be trained as Godly Play/Faith & Play storytellers. Registration is for all three Saturdays (9:00 am to 5:30 pm).

» More details here

Author Event: Greg Barnes, Feb. 2

Greg Barnes will discuss and read from his newest book, Living into the Faith: A Quaker Diary.

The Diary reveals the broad range of activities in modern unprogrammed Quakerism and the Quaker principles , or “testimonies,” that animate them. The setting is Philadelphia and Philadelphia Yearly Meeting, the heart of American Quakerism as brought here from England by William Penn.
“This is a diary and not a history. It follows one man through his Quaker and Quaker-related activities for roughly 8 years. The reader should understand it as reflecting my attempt, made out of gratitude to give back to Quakerism and to my Quaker community…”
Gregory A. Barnes has also written an award-winning collection of short stories based on his experiences in West Africa with the Peace Corps.

When: Sunday, February 2nd at 12:45 PM.
Where: Lucretia Mott Room, Friends Center, 15th and Cherry Streets, Center City.

Climate Up Close: Talk with a climate scientist face-to-face

Saturday, January 4th at 2:30 pm

Hosted by CPMM at Friends Center

Free and open to the public.

Flyer for Climate Up Close event at Friends Center, January 4, 2020, at 2:30 pm. The text of the flyer is repeated on the page below.

How do we know CO2 increases are human-caused?  What are climate scientists highly confident about? What will my children’s generation experience?

Meet a panel of climate scientists and put your questions to them yourself.

Climate Up Close is a group of climate scientists who believe Americans should reach their own judgments about climate science by seeing the evidence themselves and putting their questions directly to climate scientists.  Presenters include scientists from Princeton University, Harvard University and UC Berkeley.

www.climateupclose.org

December Tenant Newsletter – Sing it with us, A Tri-Co Presentation and Quaker pop-ups

Issue 55, December 2019

Friends Center Tenant Newsletter

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR’S NOTE:
Happy Holidays!

The early Quakers did not recognize holidays, or “times and seasons” as they called them. Over time, that stance has softened. Still, I like to keep in mind a primary reason they had that position: Because every day is, or can be, a holy day.

       One thing I like about working at Friends Center is every day truly has that potential. Such as when you… train volunteers to advocate for a child in foster care… convene a meeting of behavioral health practitioners… train teaching artists in trauma-informed practice… match a mentor to a middle schooler… make sure children have a chance to learn and play, and girls have a chance to become leaders… And when you organize people against fracking, the death penalty, or war, and organize them for justice, peace, love, and life.

       Whatever it is that you do here—whether organizing or communications or development or admin—it means something. I’m grateful to be a part of helping this work happen. May we recognize and live that, this day and every day!

– Chris Mohr, Executive Director

AROUND FRIENDS CENTER

It has been our pleasure to watch our tenants grow stronger and closer to the communities they serve. We hope that you can also reflect back and smile at the progress you have made.

        As we prepare to say good-bye to 2019 and welcome 2020, we began to consider some memorable events that you’ve all held these past 12 months; and we could think of no better way to commemorate those fabulous events than by writing you a song! Yup, that’s right, a new twist on an old classic, Friends Center Style.

  And it goes a little something like this!
On the 12th day of the holiday season,
Friends Center gave to me:

12 tiny bakers,
11 vegans shopping,
10 tenors singing,
99 meetings,
8 am orientation,
70 kids a camping,
6 ceremonies,
5 groups meditating!
4 keystone testings,
3 Quaker Colleges,
2 many trainings
And a meeting with Mayor Kenney.

We hope that you have find this tidbit as entertaining as we do! Thanks for being the best tenants ever. Please have a safe and happy holiday and new year!

EQUITY PARTNER NEWS

AMERICAN FRIENDS SERVICE COMMITTEE (AFSC)

You are invited to help change the narrative on youth and our collective power. We are not at risk; we are 3 billion strong.

The Campaign:

AFSC’s “We Are Not At-Risk” campaign is a youth-led narrative change movement that is transforming the stories media tell about young people. Throughout December and January, we will be collecting stories of youth and their allies, educating our audiences on the impacts of harmful narratives about youth, and sharing positive youth stories through social media. We will harness the power of art and collective action to enter into conversation with media outlets about who we are and the stories that we want to tell. We are #3BillionStrong, and will we make our truths heard.

The Ask:

We are calling on you, as young people and allies—as people who care about and love young people, and who see them in their full humanity—to join us in the Cherry Street room on Tuesday, December 17th, from 11am-1pm to create art, share stories, and learn more about the campaign. Refreshments will be served.

PHILADELPHIA YEARLY MEETING (PYM)

Philadelphia Yearly Meeting has much to report on its news page: www.pym.org/news.

One story is even about one of our tenants, the Tri-College Consortium Philly Program!

Bryn Mawr, Haverford and Swarthmore Colleges team up for Tri-Co City classes

This fall, about 35 students from Bryn Mawr, Haverford and Swarthmore Colleges took courses at the Friends Center in Philadelphia as part of a new Tri-College Philly Program.

                Students present their projects to each other and Friends Center guests.

                The courses focused on the themes of sustainability and environmental justice, from different disciplines: math, environmental studies, political science, education and anthropology.
» Read the full article.

CENTRAL PHILADELPHIA MONTHLY MEETING (CPMM)

51st Annual Messiah Sing-Along

The annual Messiah sing-along hosted by Ingrid & George Lakey will be Friday, Dec. 20th at 7pm, here in the Cherry Street Room. CPMM encourages all to bring a score, a friend who likes to sing (this is not a performance, but a sing-along), and also goodies to share during break.

Coming in January:

Climate Up Close:
Talk with a climate scientist face-to-face

Saturday, January 4th, 2:30 pm

Hosted by CPMM at Friends Center

Free and open to the public.

How do we know CO2 increases are human-caused?  What are climate scientists highly confident about? What will my children’s generation experience?

Meet a panel of climate scientists and put your questions to them yourself.

Climate Up Close is a group of climate scientists who believe Americans should reach their own judgments about climate science by seeing the evidence themselves and putting their questions directly to climate scientists.  Presenters include scientists from Princeton University, Harvard University and UC Berkeley.

www.climateupclose.org

TENANT NEWS

Philadelphia Lawyers for Social Equity

announced in its November newsletter that it has hired Taylor Pacheco and Sarah Coyle as staff attorneys:

According to the organization’s website, Pacheco “is a 2016 graduate of the University of Pennsylvania Law School where she was senior editor of the Journal of Law and Social Change, an Edward V. Sparer Public Interest Summer Fellow, and a volunteer with the UPenn Criminal Records Expungement Clinic run in partnership with PLSE. She also interned with Community Legal Services in the Housing Unit and the Montgomery County Public Defender’s Office. Her career after law school included positions with the New Jersey Office of the Public Defender and the Support Center for Child Advocates.”

Coyle “joined PLSE in September 2019 from Legal Aid of Southeastern Pennsylvania (LASP), where she had been a staff attorney for over two years and ran the Media office. After receiving her JD in 2016 from Savannah Law School, she worked in a private firm concentrating in criminal defense before joining LASP, where she developed a program assisting victims of domestic/sexual violence under a program funded by the Victims Of Crime Act (VOCA).”

INTEREST OUTSIDE FRIENDS CENTER

QuakerBooks Pop-Up Store
@ Friends General Conference

1216 Arch St # 2B, Philadelphia

Dec 18 @ 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm

Pop-up bookstore with a selection of books and pamphlets of interest to Friends. Many newer publications, some hot off the press! Subjects include Quaker practice, spiritual deepening, anti-racism, environmentalism, and many children’s books. If you are looking for a particular book, it is recommended you call FGC (215) 561-1700 in advance.

November Tenant Newsletter; Flu vaccines, Continuing Sessions, A new executive director, and more!

Issue 54, November 2019

Friends Center Tenant Newsletter

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR’S NOTE

Recently we had a tenant reception specifically scheduled at a time when students and faculty from the Tri-College Philly Program could attend. It was a rich and rewarding opportunity for all present to learn about all the organizations here at Friends Center and the good work they do. And not only did some of the students connect with some of the equity partners and tenant groups about  their work, some of the partners and tenants got to know each other, too!

                To that end, I encourage you to browse the directory of organizations here. We strive to keep the page updated with everyone’s current website, so if your information is out of date, please let me know.

                And if you don’t know what a group does, please click through page to learn more, and maybe even contact them directly. We always love to hear when you all find ways to collaborate with each other!

– Chris Mohr, Executive Director

AROUND FRIENDS CENTER

Spread the word! Beginning January 1, 2020 Friends Center will be increasing its rental rates for event and conference room use.

Encourage your comrades to book their 2020 event, in 2019 to maximize savings!

EQUITY PARTNER NEWS

AMERICAN FRIENDS SERVICE COMMITTEE (AFSC)

Border Patrol denies delivery of flu vaccines to detained migrants

Three children have died in recent months at Border Patrol’s detention facilities because of influenza. Border Patrol officials have complained that they lack resources to provide adequate medical care, even to children. Meanwhile, this week Customs and Border Protection (CBP) purchased 33 million rounds of ammunition for its new handguns, and it has $300 million available for more bullets to purchase by 2025. Read more here

PHILADELPHIA YEARLY MEETING (PYM)

Fall Continuing Sessions  

Continuing Sessions reporting is broken into two reports. This web story on the activities of the morning, and the full minutes of Meeting for Business, taken by Recording Clerk, Kri Burkander, with accompanying reports, all in PDF format. 

Quaker Meeting Portrait Project

Philadelphia Yearly Meeting is encouraging its 100+ individual local Quaker meetings & other groups to take part in activities showing who they are: Take a selfie, write a poem, tell a story… whatever way they want to express themselves! Early group selfies include Green Street Meeting in Philadelphia, Appoquinimink Worship Group, and Southampton Meeting in Bucks County. See more Quaker Self Portraits here.

CENTRAL PHILADELPHIA MONTHLY MEETING (CPMM)

How we win

How do people concerned with peace and justice operate in times of intense polarization? According to Quaker author and activist George Lakey in this recent QuakerSpeak video, now is a moment of tremendous opportunity—click to watch and learn How We Win!

TENANT NEWS

Holiday Concert–Philadelphia, An Immigrant City

With Singing City Choir, The Philadelphia Brass, and Teen Voices of the City Ensemble (T-VOCE)

Sunday, December 15, 3 p.m.

Old First Reformed Church of Christ, 151 N. 4th Street, Philadelphia, PA

Philadelphia is made up of people from around the world. This concert will feature seasonal  works that are a reflection of the City’s diverse population and includes pieces by Zachary Moore, Paul Halley, Glen Burleigh, Mark Sirett, and more. Repertoire from Ireland, Poland, Germany, Italy, Russia, and Latin America, along with music for Chanukah and African American traditions.

Phoenicia Wallace becomes only second executive director of Philadelphia Lawyers for Social Equity

Philadelphia Lawyers for Social Equity (PLSE) announced that Phoenicia D.W. Wallace is its new executive director. She is the second to hold the post, following Mike Lee, one of PLSE’s founders, who left to become interim director of legislation and public affairs for District Attorney Larry Krasner.

                Wallace was most recently a deputy attorney general for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, serving in the Bureau of Consumer Protection. A lifelong Philadelphian, currently a resident of Germantown, she took part in the entrepreneurship program at Temple University’s Fox School of Business, the Peace Corps in Kenya, the district office of State Senator Anthony H. Williams and the legislative office of City Councilman Kenyatta Johnson. She also served four years as a staff attorney and law clerk within the Philadelphia Court System. For two years, Wallace hosted “Universally Speaking” on WURD, and she speaks Swahili and Spanish. Welcome, Phoenicia!

New from New Century Trust:

Check out New Century Trust’s new quarterly newsletter!

OF INTEREST OUTSIDE FRIENDS CENTER

Friends Journal’s 7th Annual
Student Voices Project
2019–2020 Theme: Creating Change

https://www.friendsjournal.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/SVP_2019_Banner2.png

Positive change in a community is dependent upon individuals speaking up, coming together around a shared goal, and making a plan for action. Quakers have a long history of organizing for change in response to various social, economic, racial, and environmental injustices; most often this change begins with community members working together at the local level. See examples below of Quakers who have helped create change, including a curated list of QuakerSpeak videos about activism. Read more here