The lasting impact of U.S. decisions in the aftermath of 9/11 – By Mary Zerkel
Twenty years ago, on Sept. 11, 2001, the world was shocked at the coordinated attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, resulting in the deaths of nearly 3,000 people.
Expressions of sympathy and grief came from throughout the world. But rather than use the moment to forge global cooperation, the United States embarked on a disastrous course driven by narratives of fear and retribution. Continue reading here.
Quakerism 101 – Quaker Discernment, Decision Making, and the Meeting for Business
Our second session will explore the Quaker understanding of spiritual discernment and the Quaker processes for making decisions, including the meeting for worship with attention to business and the life of the meeting.
Date: October 24, 1:00-3:00 pm
Zoom: The Zoom link is the same as the link for meeting for worship. The worship meeting will simply be extended.
Facilitators: Barry Scott and Jennifer Walker
The Center For Healing & Justice Through Sport (CHJS)
Launch Tour Recap
Last week The Collaborative partnered with the Center for Healing and Justice Through Sport to introduce their work and vision of CHJS, highlight some of the amazing work happening in Philadelphia, and continue the conversation around how the Philadelphia SBYD community can continue to push our field forward.
The mission of CHJS is to make sport healing for all youth, everywhere, through training, consulting, and movement building. They believe that underneath the fun and camaraderie, sport can be used as a vehicle to provide creative and accessible solutions to some of society’s biggest issues. Click Here to stay up to date with CHJS and their upcoming events!
Join Friends Council on Education for an evening of Light — poetry, music, thought — to uplift and sustain us on this next stretch of the road we are traveling.
We hope that you will join us for this and other activities throughout the year in celebration of Friends Council’s 90th Anniversary!
IN THE (QUAKER) NEIGHBORHOOD
Quaker Speak is a bi-weekly video series that highlights a variety of relevant topics and how they tie into Quakerism.
This particular video touches on the difference between a welcoming space and an inclusive space. Click here to watch!
Four of the five women who convened the 1848 convention on women’s rights at Seneca Falls were Quakers. It is presumed that the reason Quaker women played a large part in the struggle for women’s suffrage was due to the leadership skills acquired throughout two centuries of women’s experience speaking publicly and adopting administrative leadership roles within the Quaker community—opportunities unmatched for women in any other western religion at that time.
As announced in February, we have now completed the sale of the 1520 Race Street building to Friends Select School, effective today!
Thank you to everyone involved, including former tenants of 1520, who collaborated with us on plans for relocation of workplaces and storage; the advisors & board of directors of Friends Center, who thoroughly reviewed every aspect of the deal; and especially the staff and contractors of Friends Center. In particular, a big shout-out to Erick Emerick for managing our side of the move-out.
– Chris Mohr, Executive Director
AROUND FRIENDS CENTER
We’ve upgraded! That’s right, our Historical Quaker Meetinghouse has been updated with some modern-day technology. The Race Street Room now features a built in PC, camera and microphones giving super hosts the ability to hold Zoom meetings.
What’s that??? Over having zoom meeting you say?!!? No problem! You can now invite up to 300 in person guests to meetings in the worship room. And the room now has air conditioning for hot weather! (Masks required.)
ARE THERE HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS HIDDEN IN YOUR INVESTMENTS?
Knowing what you own is the first step to aligning your investments with your values. You be invested in state violence through companies involved in mass incarceration, immigrant detention and surveillance, military occupation, or the border industry.
Our database includes original research and lists over 150 company and industry profiles. Learn how companies profit from and support state violence. Then use this knowledge to create change.
Central Philadelphia Monthly Meeting is now hosting in person and virtual Meeting for Worship. Meeting for Worship will begin at 11a.m., and unfortunately is no longer followed by coffee hour. The building will close at 1 pm. If you wish to attend CPMM’s virtual Worship, please email the meeting office at firstname.lastname@example.org to get the meeting ID and password.
What does the future of energy efficiency look like? A difficult year has given us new appreciation for “business-as-usual” conditions. But as the industry recovers, we’re facing a unique opportunity to look beyond the old “normal” and shape the future. KEEA and EEA-NJ’s first in-person event of 2021, Forging the Future for Energy Efficiency, presents two days of forward-looking programming examining the policies, technologies, and companies pushing our industry into a new period of growth and innovation.
When: September 22-23rd at the Philadelphia Navy Yard; act by August 13th for early bird pricing!
Community Ventures is a non-profit, mission-driven developer and property manager of affordable housing in Philadelphia.
Seeking a career-minded and energetic Assistant Rental Manager to join the team managing a group of affordable residential properties in North Philadelphia. Click here for responsibilities, requirements and benefits.
IN THE (QUAKER) NEIGHBORHOOD
Do you know a Quaker leader?
FCNL is searching for a new General Secretary.
The Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL) seeks a Spirit-led, seasoned, and strategic leader who brings vision, inspiration, and executive experience to the role of General Secretary. The new General Secretary will be a courageous Quaker leader with a commitment to justice, peace, and environmental stewardship; to expanding diversity, equity, and inclusion within the FCNL community and beyond; and to building and nurturing relationships across political and organizational divides that promote healing of divisions in the Congress and the country.
Although this newsletter is going out late in April, it has plenty of interesting information. Send us your updates, so we can share more news again in just a few weeks. Happy spring!
– Chris Mohr, Executive Director
AROUND FRIENDS CENTER
Shredding Day II – First week of May
Shredding Day was so successful, we’re making a sequel!
Please drop off paper for shredding inside the loading dock entrance in the Meetinghouse basement, Monday, May 3—Thursday May 6. (The vendor will be here very early that Friday, so Friday is too late to drop material off.)
The Runway to Annual Sessions is filled with virtual workshops, gatherings, Business Q&As, an All Ages Gathering, and a Collaborative Fair!
During the week of Annual Sessions, July 27 through August 1, we will gather to begin our week with the 4th Annual Spiritual Formation retreat. Following the virtual retreat, we will connect as a yearly meeting in All Ages Worship, Meeting for Worship with Attention to Business, five fantastic keynotes, an awesome Artist in Residence, Youth programs, Young Adult programs, Fellowship, worship sharing, Affinity Spaces, epistle writing, and Bible studies.
This year’s Annual Sessions theme is “Uproot Injustice, Root Justice” and is present and woven into all aspects of our work together including Meeting for Worship with Attention to Business, our keynote presentations, the Collaborative Fair, and the workshops.
Despite Chauvin conviction, trauma of police violence continues
Young Black and Brown people in the Twin Cities need accountability and healing
SAINT PAUL, MN (April 20, 2021) A Minneapolis jury found Derek Chauvin—a white police officer—guilty for the murder of George Floyd. George Floyd—a Black 46-year-old Minneapolis resident—was killed by Chauvin and three other officers on May 25 of last year. Floyd’s murder sparked widespread condemnation and protests across the Twin Cities and across the country. The American Friends Service Committee (AFSC)—a Quaker social justice organization—organized against this killing and police violence nationwide.
CPMM member .O will talk about her transforming love ministry on June 6, 2021. This is part of a series, Meeting for Worship with Attention to Ministry, sponsored by the Committee on Gifts and Leadings.
(PHILADELPHIA, PA, 04/21/21) — The Philadelphia Chapter of Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-Philadelphia) welcomes the conviction of Derek Chauvin in the murder of George Floyd…. CAIR-Philadelphia Civil Rights Attorney Timothy Welbeck said, “A guilty verdict, while satisfying in that it brings a measure of justice to Derek Chauvin’s heinous actions, is still an incomplete measure. It will never bring back George Floyd and it is just the first step in addressing unchecked police violence against people of color.” He continued, “The criminal justice system that we have is broken at its very foundation. The murder of George Floyd is one of the most grotesque illustrations of that. I’m glad to see a guilty verdict. This is what we were hoping for and anticipating. Just as the prosecution said in its closing arguments, ‘you saw what you saw,’ America saw what it saw. And I am relieved that at the very least, we have some semblance of accountability in this moment.” Welbeck concluded by saying, “This conviction is a start, but there is much work to do…” Said Mohammed Zubairu, President of the Executive Committee of CAIR-Philadelphia, “The Muslim community of the Greater Delaware Valley must continue to speak out on issues of justice in our locality and our country. As Americans, this is our First Amendment right. As Muslims, this is our obligation, to correct wrongs when we see them, and certainly not be part to them by action or inaction.” » Read the full statement
GENDER JUSTICE FUND
Trust-based philanthropy offers us a path to power sharing, beyond the pandemic
“By lifting restrictions on the use of funds and relying on grantees to tell us what they needed, we made seismic shifts in the distribution of power in our sector,” says guest columnist Farrah Parkes.
WRTI-FM, on the radio at 90.7 FM and online wrti.org, presents Friday Choral Connection, which airs every Friday at 1:30 PM. This program, which started last September, has been extended through June 2021. Singing City will be featured on April 30.
IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD
PROGRAMS AT DILWORTH PARK
Center City Fit Mondays & Tuesdays, April 12-October 12, 6 p.m.-7 p.m.
Get ready to get moving! Professional instructors and trainers from Optimal Sport 1315 Walnut will host free outdoor fitness classes for participants of all skill levels. Monday evenings will be dedicated to Zumba, and Tuesdays in April will focus on Boot Camp before transitioning to HIIT classes in May.
The Arts on Center Stage Wednesdays, May 5—August 25, 5 p.m.-7:30 p.m.
Philadelphia’s robust network of arts & culture organizations, large and small, will be celebrated every week as they showcase their talent in the center of the city at Dilworth Park. Performances will range from orchestral serenades and ballet ensembles to jazz instrumentals and beyond. In support of local restaurants, guests are encouraged to dine al fresco with takeout meals from nearby eateries. Cocktails to-go will be offered to guests 21 and older, and a special menu will be available at the Air Grille. CCD and the park’s café operators have implemented increased health safety procedures throughout the park and visitors will be reminded to adhere to all CDC guidelines, including wearing masks at all times. All programs are weather permitting and subject to change. Dilworth Park is located at 1 S. 15th St., on the west side of City Hall. Visit DilworthPark.org to learn more.
Today in the U.S. we have yet another reason for mourning. The horrific mass shooting of Asian American women in Atlanta is just the latest sign of a wave of anti-Asian violence in the US. And other forms of structural and interpersonal violence continue to occur here in Philadelphia, in the US, and in other countries (many of whom are supplied with weapons from this country).
Fortunately, many organizations at Friends Center organize communities and offer resources to counter these trends. Here are just a few samples:
CAIR: TONIGHT (3/17): Vigil for Victims of Anti-Asian Violence10th & Vine St Plaza, 7-8 PM for all those who are grieving those who have suffered. At 6 PM, we also welcome those who want to help make posters for the vigil.
Our Preferred company will be visiting Friends Center to shred sensitive documents onsite. You can leave your shredding down by the loading area on the cart that is set up. What is collected will be locked up at night until it is picked up Friday.
The American Friends Service Committee is a Quaker Organization which includes people of various faiths who are committed to social justice, peace, and humanitarian service. Its work is based on the Quaker belief in the worth of every person, and faith in the power of love to overcome violence and injustice. Read more about AFSC’s commitment to diversity and inclusion.
Quaker Traditions Series: Part I – Spiritual Practice
The Quaker Traditions Series is a set of articles on the Quaker faith. In his role as Associate Secretary for Religious Life, Zachary Dutton has listened deeply to Friends in the community. Working with the PYM staff community engagement team he has provided answers to framing questions for this four-part series. The answers are reflective as opposed to definitive.
The gift of the Quaker faith is that it is one of continuing revelation, so the article speaks to the ‘here and now’ of our faith even as it is tied to, and reflects, our history and tradition. If you have thoughts on these questions, please share them with Zachary – his email is at the end of this article. He is always looking for new ways to be in relationship with our wider Quaker community. Enjoy article here.
Biden’s changes to the immigration system explained
Soon after taking office, President Joe Biden began making big changes, including to U.S. immigration policy. These actions work to undo some of the most harmful policies passed by the Trump administration—and lay the groundwork for a more just and humane immigration system.
We welcome these much-needed changes and the Biden administration’s swift action on these issues. Now we need to keep the momentum up to ensure that the administration continues to support immigrant communities and enact policies that respect the rights and dignity of all people.
Here’s where you can find some of the positive changes that Biden has already made and what this means for immigrant communities.
What can we say? 2020 was…quite the year! We’re happy to report that ACE has come out of it perhaps stronger than ever thanks to an amazing board of directors, staff, and 4,000+ incredible volunteers around the country. Even in the face of a global pandemic, ACE’s strongest resource – our mentors – rallied to ensure that deserving students still had access to the best career guidance program in the country!
Green Building United recently spoke with Patrick Isaac—a newly elected Board Member of GBU—about his career path, experience in the industry, and interest in sustainability. This is what he had to say!
Nonprofit leaders, mayor react to executive actions that will be issued by President Biden
We reached out to seven local leaders for a quick comment….
Farrah Parkes, the executive director of the Gender Justice Fund, said that she was “heartened by the speed with which the Biden administration is moving to address the most pressing issues facing the country and reverse some of the most egregious actions of the former President — particularly those related to immigration.”
“We are well overdue for a coordinated federal response to the pandemic which has claimed over 400,000 lives in the United States,” Parkes added. “It is also gratifying to see swift action on addressing systemic racism and workplace discrimination as well as climate change.”
CAIR-Philadelphia Executive Director Jacob Bender said in a press release: “We commend President Biden for immediately moving to repeal the Muslim and African Bans, which is an important first step toward undoing the anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant policies of the previous administration. It is an important fulfilment of a campaign pledge to the Muslim community and its allies.”
Bayard Rustin was a black Civil Rights activist, a close associate of Martin Luther King, and an advocate of gay and lesbian rights, and a Quaker.
Rustin was born in West Chester, Pennsylvania and was brought up by his grandmother, who had been raised as a Quaker. He himself became a Quaker in 1936, shortly before moving to New York where he lived most of his adult life. He was a pacifist and a primary influence in bringing non-violent resistance into the American Civil Rights Movement, much inspired by Gandhi’s approach in India.
In 1941, he joined the pacifist Fellowship of Reconciliation. He protested against segregation within the armed forces, and worked with the American Friends Service Committee to protect the property of interned Japanese Americans.
Despite his membership of the Society of Friends (one of the so-called ‘Historic Peace Churches’), Rustin was jailed in 1944 for his conscientious objection to cooperating with the draft. While in jail, he organised protests against segregated seating in the dining hall. In a letter to the prison warden, he wrote:
Both morally and practically, segregation is to me a basic injustice. Since I believe it to be so, I must attempt to remove it. There are three ways in which one can deal with an injustice. (a) One can accept it without protest. (b) One can seek to avoid it. (c) One can resist the injustice non-violently. To accept it is to perpetuate it.
Is it January 13, 2021? Or more like December 44, 2020? It’s sometimes hard to tell. (Credit for this idea goes to our staff member Teneshia Washington!)
Personally, whenever I see a raptor, I take that as a good omen. On Jan. 11, a juvenile Cooper’s hawk paused with its lunch on the wall by the front entrance to Friends Center. So I’ve decided to take this as an auspicious sign for the year ahead! (Fun fact: One definition of “auspices” is “observation by an augur especially of the flight and feeding of birds to discover omens,” according to Merriam-Webster.)
Wishing you all the best in 2021,
– Chris Mohr, Executive Director
AROUND FRIENDS CENTER
CLOSED Mon. January 18
In celebration of MARTIN LUTHER KING JR. DAY!
We are monitoring the anti-democracy protests being announced in the days leading up to and including Jan. 20, when President-Elect Biden and Vice President-Elect Harris are sworn in. As of now, state and national capitol buildings appear to be the focus. The situation is fluid and uncertain.
If the local situation in Center City warrants it, we will reduce hours or close altogether.
We will announce any changes by email and social media.
Central Philadelphia Monthly Meeting was formed in 1956 when two city meetings—12th Street Meeting and Race Street Meeting—were united. Our building, however, is 100 years older, and has served as a Quaker meetinghouse since it was built in 1856. Continue Here
Friends Center staff remains at your service weekdays from 8 am to 6 pm. It is always nice to see you in person whenever you are able to be here.
May the new year bring improved health, justice, and economic outcomes, through all our combined efforts!
P.S. If you are looking for additional help next year, consider hosting a Quaker Voluntary Service (QVS) Fellow. QVS is an 11-month fellowship for young adults at the intersection of social justice, spirituality and community. In the QVS program, young adults work full-time in professional positions. Some of our tenants have benefited from QVS Fellows. Fact sheet attached.
Christmas Eve Meeting for Prayer and Healing :Dec. 24 @ 7:15 pm – 8:30 pm Free
On Christmas Eve 2020 we will have a special Meeting for Prayer and Healing. We will participate in a guided meditation/prayer in which we open up to divine healing love, and then share it with others. This will be followed by an opportunity in small groups to share our experiences with each other. We will close together as a whole group. More information here
Meetings may be seeking to create meaningful Christmas programs that keep Friends connected while also being safe about Covid-19. Two online Conversation Circles were hosted by the Youth Religious Life Coordinator to share ideas and support each other with how to plan for celebrations in this challenging time. Read more here on how to stay connected!
CPMM continues to worship via Zoom every Sunday, 11 am – noon!
If you would like the link so you can join Quaker meeting for worship, please contact CPMM Meeting Secretary Dan Zemaitis, email@example.com or (215) 241-7260.
Where a global pandemic increases the struggle
This article from Generocity Philly features the Founding director of PHAN, Antoinette Kraus. Kraus says “After the emergency declaration is over, folks could end up losing benefits because of additional paperwork, they have to submit or things like that,” Kraus said. “It’s really a patchwork fragmented system that has a lot of hoops and barriers for folks to be able to master.”
Becoming an Anti-Racist Quaker Meeting, Part 1: Preparation
By Carolyn Lejuste and David Etheridge for Friends General Conference
The work of anti-racism can be costly in ego and in resources. It takes critical humility to look directly at the roots of racism and how we perpetuate it. It is spiritual work that Quakers are familiar with. When we examine our lives and the life of our Meetings through the lens of our testimonies, our experience of the God within us grows and the beloved community thrives.
Greetings and best wishes from 1501 Cherry Street! I hope you are doing well, staying healthy, and staying as engaged in community work as ever, even if it’s taking different forms these days. We certainly have our work cut for us at the city, state, and national levels to build a more just, peaceful, and healthy society for all.
Meanwhile, thank you for doing what you can to help stop the spread of Covid-19, through working from home as you are able, washing your hands often, wearing a mask, and staying physically distant from people outside your household. Philadelphia’s case numbers are growing, so these guidelines are as important as ever. We are glad to have you as part of our community, we miss you when you’re not here, and we are always happy to see you when you are here in person.
No matter who won the 2020 U.S. election, we will need mutual aid for our shared well-being. The multiple challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, economic downturn, and continuing white supremacist and state violence in 2020 have been catalysts for communities to come together to help each other when the government can’t or won’t. When systems fail to protect our survival, many respond by working together to keep their communities safe and healthy through mutual aid.
In keeping with the Quaker practice of welcoming all, this event focuses on how individual people successfully navigate gender and other transitions and what we as a society can do to make that easier. Register here.
CPMM member in the news: George Lakey co-founds Choose Democracy
George Lakey is a longtime nonviolent activist who co-founded Choose Democracy. As stated on their website, https://choosedemocracy.us:
“Choose Democracy has one mission: prepare Americans in how to prevent and, if necessary, stop an undemocratic power grab or coup. Our work involves psychological preparation, lessons from history, and strategic sensibility.”
Here’s their most recent update: “None of the [post-election tactics] shows the potential to overturn the election result. There’s a deteriorating democracy, but there’s no coup. Choose Democracy is watching events carefully, but believe the coup attempt is behind us. Meanwhile, we’re pausing our rigorous training schedule unless we see evidence otherwise.” Stay tuned and check back to see what they say as the situation continues to evolve!
10 Philadelphia-area leaders on what’s next for philanthropy, including Farrah Parkes, Gender Justice Fund:
3 from Scattergood Foundation:
Tia Burroughs, consultant to Rise Partnership (Scattergood Foundation): It’s time to start calling out the systems that lead to need for nonprofit programs
“Failing to discuss the reasons why we need equity is not helpful,” says Tia Burroughs, guest columnist from the RISE Partnership (Scattergood Foundation is a member of RISE)
What kind of data affects social change and where does it come from?
I hope you are enjoying the turn to fall weather and colors, and that you and yours are staying healthy and doing well. Thank you for continuing your good work even in the face of continued uncertainty. It’s as important as ever!
Also, I would once again like to express gratitude to our dedicated Friends Center staff and contractors for continuing to provide essential facility management services during the coronavirus pandemic. Thank you!
With prayers for peace, justice, and health for all.
A free event designed for students engaged in the college search process, the 2020 Quaker College Panel (aka the Quaker College Fair) will be held 11:00 am – 1:30 pm on Saturday, October 17th over Zoom. After the panel discussion, representatives from several college admissions will be available to speak with interested attendees via breakout groups.
Quakerism 101: Quaker Spirituality, Theology, and the Bible
Saturday, October 24th2020 from10:00am – 12:00pm
Description: Session 2 of our Quakerism 101 course. George Schaefer from Philadelphia Yearly Meeting staff and Helene Pollock will present on Quaker Spirituality, Theology, and the Bible, and lead a discussion. Lunch break: 12–1 pm.
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR’S NOTE: “I Hope This Newsletter Finds You Well”
Recently Tim Herrera wrote in the NY Times of the line, “I hope this email finds you well”:
“How many times have you seen that line in an email this year and thought, ‘Well, no, this email does not find me well — I’m terrible, thanks.’ None of us are well!”
The coronavirus pandemic continues (Philly is apparently doing a good job of masking up, though—keep it up!), unemployment is increasing, and mass evictions are looming (though there may be a federal moratorium!). Black and Brown people continue to suffer disproportionately from state-sanctioned violence, while white supremacists are openly out in the streets. It’s all too much….
And yet, at the same time, millions of people are speaking out for justice, for equality, for new priorities that lift people over profits and raw power. With passion, creativity, anger, sorrow, humor, and the full range of human expression, ordinary people of all ages and backgrounds are saying, “Enough!”
That is inspiring!
And so too is the work you are doing, to adapt to the times and deliver programs that bring your organization’s mission to life. Together, you are helping lead our city and country in the direction we need to go. Thank you!
Meanwhile, I hope that you are finding time and space for self-care that you need, whether mental, physical, emotional, spiritual, or creative. It’s vital.
Speaking of mental health and well-being, Joe Pyle of The Scattergood Foundation was recently interviewed by QuakerSpeak to talk about the influence of Quakers in mental healthcare. See below; another inspiring moment.
Finally, we hope to be in touch later this month with some updated guidance for being at Friends Center during the pandemic, and to solicit your input for the future.
Join AFSCSept. 9-13 to demand the release of all people from incarceration.
Everyone deserves dignity and justice. But in the United States, 2.3 million people are locked away in prisons, jails, and detention centers, where they are subject to civil and human rights violations and a lack of access to adequate health care.
With the pandemic, the dangers of imprisonment have multiplied exponentially, making every sentence a potential death sentence.
Join AFSC and communities across the U.S. for our National Days of Action to #FreeThemAll on Sept. 9 to 13.
The dates mark the 49th anniversary of the Attica uprising, when more than 2,000 people incarcerated in upstate New York took over the yard of Attica Correctional Facility, demanding freedom, wages, education access, medical care, and more.
Overall, 386 people attended PYM’s six days of annual sessions’ virtual programming. Thank you to all who worked so very hard to make Annual Sessions a success. Click the links below to get a peek at some of the fun we had.
On behalf of the many people who helped make possible the new Friends Memorial Garden at our meeting’s burial ground, I am pleased to write that, after a slow scheduling start due to the pandemic, the garden is now complete! With Covid-19 still around us, we will have to wait until a future time to have a possible formal opening. In the meantime, all are welcome to visit and experience the peaceful beauty of the garden. Take a picnic and come on out. I am assured by our new burial ground manager, Jim Krull, that staff and visitors are usually around, and there is no need to call ahead. It might also be a good opportunity to meet Jim and wish him well with his new duties.
Special thanks to those who contributed their time and money to the project.
Stay safe, and enjoy the remainder of our summer blessings.
-Tony Junker For the garden fundraising and construction committees