Episode 6: Art-Reach

On this episode of Friends On 15th we were joined by two staffers of Art-Reach. John Orr who is the executive director and Charlie Miller who is the director of Access Philly.

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

Issue 54, November 2019

Friends Center Tenant Newsletter


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 We strive to keep the page updated with everyone’s current website, so if your information is out of date, please let me know.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


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!



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


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.


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!


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!


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


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

Episode 5: Singing City

Rehearsals, concerts, auctions, and more! Listen in on our time spent with the executive director of Singing City, Lauren Anderson, and Cortlandt Matthews, the office administrator.

10/29/2019: Elizabeth Yeampierre on Climate Justice

Building the Just Transition Led by Frontline Communities

On Tuesday, October 29th, the Tri-Co Philly Program hosts nationally recognized Puerto Rican environmental justice leader and attorney, Elizabeth C. Yeampierre, executive director of UPROSE.

Thumbnail for talk by Elizabeth Yeampierre on Climate Justice at Friends Center, October 29, 2019
Click for downloadable flyer

Drawing on her experiences as a leader in the field of environmental justice, Yeampierre provides a unique perspective on how to promote meaningful engagement toward concrete, inclusive, community-based solutions to deal with the climate emergency we are facing as a community, a city, a nation, and world. In these times of political and environmental uncertainty, Yeampierre’s thoughts will leave an impression on audience members’ thoughts and actions regarding climate change and climate justice.

6:30-7:00 pm: Reception in Rufus Jones Room

7:00 pm: Talk in Race Street Room

Issue 53, October 2019 Friends Center Tenant Newsletter: World Quaker Day, Might Writers town hall & In-house Construction



        At the request of one of our equity partners, the American Friends Service Committee, we will be converting the first floor shower room in the 1501 Cherry Street building into a fully accessible, all-gender restroom.

        The Friends Center board of directors enthusiastically endorsed the idea, as it will increase both our restroom capacity and provide more equitable access for all people.

        Construction starts in mid-October, and will take a few weeks. The contractor plans to cordon off the work area so people can still pass by to use the existing women’s room and access the first floor office suite. Inevitably, there will be noise and disruption. We hope you can live with it for a short while, knowing that a larger benefit is on the way.

        By the way, the existing shower room on the second floor of 1501 will remain. It’s part of our green building practice, for those who walk or bike to work.

        Thank you in advance for your patience with the construction phase of this project. Please let me know if you have any questions.

– Chris Mohr, Executive Director


World Quaker Day is Sunday, October 6!

Please see the last piece in this newsletter for more information.

Mighty Writers hosts Anti-Violence Town Hall here

On Friday, 9/27, in the Rufus Jones Room, Mighty Writers held an Anti-Violence Town Hall for Philadelphia youth impacted by violence, as part of their MightFest. Click here for coverage by NBC10 and WHYY



Bystander Intervention Do’s and Don’ts

If you witness public instances of racist, anti-Black, anti-Muslim, anti-Trans, or any other form of oppressive interpersonal violence and harassment, use these tips on how to intervene while considering the safety of everyone involved.  


PYM Families Autumn Community Playdate

We’re excited to invite PYM Families to our next Community Playdate for Apple and pumpkin picking, autumnal FUN at Solebury Orchards in Bucks County.

The Community Playdate is an opportunity for fellowship and learning with our PYM Family community.

                We’ll meet on Saturday, October 12 at 9:00am at Solebury Orchards in New Hope, PA. Kimani Keaton, Children and Families Program Facilitator, will be there to greet and gather our group, and then lead families on wagon rides to pick apples and find the perfect pumpkin in the patch.

In case of inclement weather and cancellation, we’ll email those who have registered (see below) and post on the PYM Families Facebook page. No parking, entry or wagon ride fees; apples are $1.50/lb.

Questions? Contact the Youth Engagement Coordinator mwennerbradley@pym.org or ChildrenAndFamilies@pym.org


You Are Welcome Here

Join us for worship at 11 AM every Sunday at Friends Center

Central Philadelphia Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends is a large, urban Quaker meeting, diverse in many ways. We welcome visitors throughout the year.

  • We worship by gathering and silently waiting for the Spirit to guide us.
  • We celebrate diversity and welcome people from all walks of life. We are a welcoming and affirming congregation for LGBTQ people.
  • We are also involved in various activities to further peace and social justice.


Singing City Fall Concert–The Road Less Traveled Singing City and Lyric Fest together in concert.

Saturday, October 5, 2019, 4 pm: Haddonfield United Methodist Church, 29 Warwick Rd., Haddonfield, NJ 08033

Sunday, October 6, 3 pm: Philadelphia Episcopal Cathedral, 23 S. 38th St., Phila., PA 19104

Songs of journey and diaspora, welcome and belonging, leaving home and finding home. A timely program exploring world-wide migration and America’s roots as an immigrant  nation.

Bartol Foundation (@BartolFdn) Workshop: Introduction to Trauma-Informed Practice for Teaching

Tuesday, October 15, 10:00 AM – 12:30 PM at Friends Center

More information can be found here on the Bartol Foundation website.  

Recap of Living Building Challenge
with Community Ventures

Green Building United recently completed a “Living Building Challenge” for infill affordable housing with our tenant, Community Ventures. Read about it here.



This year’s theme is Sustainability: Planting Seeds of Renewal for the World We Love.

Friends World Committee for Consultation, Section of the Americas (FWCC), invites you to join Quakers around the world for the 6th annual World Quaker Day.

Across our churches, meetings, countries and sections, we feel the power of God connecting us in to a faithful family. We celebrate all expressions of Quaker worship!

Learn more and see photos at www.worldquakerday.org.

World Quaker Day

This year’s theme is Sustainability: Planting Seeds of Renewal for the World We Love

FWCC invites you to join Quakers around the world for the 6th annual World Quaker Day.

Across our churches, meetings, countries and sections, we feel the power of God connecting us in to a faithful family. We celebrate all expressions of Quaker worship!

Visit the resources page for ideas on how to get involved.

Episode 2: Girls Inc.

On this episode of Friends on 15th we had the pleasure of interviewing Dena Herrin and Cherice Arrington of Girls Inc.! Take a listen and learn how girls get started learning to run the world!

Cherice Arrington and Dena Herrin of Girls Inc. took a selfie with Chris, Jennifer and Shakirah