Friends Center Tenant Newsletter 

Issue 83, November 2022


Last week I went to the Parkway Central Branch of the Free Library to hear George Lakey in conversation with Varshini Prakash, executive director and co-founder of Sunrise Movement, the youth-led movement to stop climate change.

            George was in conversation about his new book, Dancing with History: A Life for Peace and Justice.

            Now a member of Central Philadelphia Monthly Meeting, George has been a Quaker nonviolent activist and researcher for over 7 decades! Among many other things, he co-founded Movement for a New Society in the 1970s, Training for Change in the 1990s, and Earth Quaker Action Team in the 2010s.

            Oh, and if that wasn’t enough, George often leads a community singalong of Handel’s Messiah in the Cherry Street Room in December. We’ll announce it if and when it returns.

            Friends Center is full of inspiring stories like George’s. In the tenant newsletter, we try to lift up a few of them each month. Please let Jennifer Williams know if your organization has news to share!

—Chris Mohr, Executive Director


Young Adult Adaptation of Robin DiAngelo’s White Fragility
Dec 7, 2022 from 6:30pm to 8:30pm

Friends Center, 1501 Cherry Street

Join Toni Graves Williamson and Ali Michael for the launch of their Young Adult adaptation of Robin DiAngelo’s bestselling book White Fragility. This event is sponsored by Central Philadelphia Monthly Meeting, Friends Council on Education, and Friends Select School. Tickets are available for free or purchase (copy of the book included) on Eventbrite.

» Register here.

Event: Covenant House

Annual ‘Sleep Out’ raises over $600,000 for local youth homelessness

In the bitter cold on Thursday night into Friday morning, people traded their beds for a sleeping bag and a cardboard box. Participants raised funds for Covenant House’s services for homeless youth.

Get the full scoop here: Via Channel 6/ABC
(Early on in the segment, you get a glimpse of our facility manager, John Gibson, moving some supplies!)



Decolonizing Thanksgiving Is An Oxymoron – Kids Books Dismantling The Myth of a ‘First Thanksgiving’

Teach your kids the truth of Thanksgiving—modeling generosity and gratitude all year long—but don’t whitewash the violent history of colonization.


Emerging Leaders for Liberation

This year, AFSC launched Emerging Leaders for Liberation (ELL) to help young people strengthen their social justice and leadership skills. Over eight months, youth get trained on anti-racism, organizing, advocacy, nonviolent direct action, and more. They also develop projects to address systemic issues in their own communities.

“It’s vital that young people understand how much their voices matter and the power they have to create change. We need to continue investing in their leadership for a better future for everyone,” says Mariana Martinez,
ELL program director. 

The inaugural cohort of ELL participants includes 30 young people from 15 states. Many have worked with local AFSC programs or are part of Quaker meetings or colleges.

Meet three of this year’s participants.


The Library Committee warmly invites you to hear CPMM member Steve Davison talk about and read from 3 of his books of poetry on Saturday, Dec. 3, from 11 a.m. – 12 noon (via Zoom).

The Road to Continental Heart: Befriending and Defending the Spirit of North America —  A coffee-table-style book featuring poems he wrote once a week for a friend who walked across the country with a group environmental activists;
Continental Heart — A meditation on our relationship with the land we live in and an appeal for a more spiritual culture of place;
Dancing Mockingbird — A collection of nature poems.

CLICK HERE to join in on the poetry and discussion!

Or cut and paste this URL into your internet browser:

Meeting ID: 879 8922 9096
Passcode: 084669
To find your local number:


Stockton Rush Bartol Foundation

Fundamentals of Game Design for the Classroom

December 5, 2022, 4:00 pm – 5:30 pm

Come join Global Writes to learn the fundamentals of game design with the integration of a variety of technology tools to plan and create board and video games that can be used to teach content-based themes in the classroom.  Their Skin in the Game process utilizes game design and concepts in Science, Technology, Reading, Engineering, Art, and Math (STREAM) to engage participants in advanced, interdisciplinary learning.  Please have on hand a computer that can support Chrome browser as well as some plain paper and pencil.

ANNA Crusis Feminist Choir

This fall, small groups of ANNA singers took to the streets to sing, hoping the current cultural climate would bend toward justice. We are pleased to present a full choir concert in person and broadcast online. In this concert, we sing to remind ourselves that when we connect and collaborate, our power is much more than when we move through the world alone. Together, People Have the Power.

Tickets available here.

(Community Sing starts at 7:00 pm before the concert.)

December 10th & 11th  @ 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm


Season One Episodes:

  • Episode 1How Do We Stop Doing Things that Make No Sense? With Rev. Mariama White-Hammond
  • Episode 2Where Do You Find Hope? With Corina Newsome
  • Episode 3What Do We Tell the Children? With Craig Santos Perez 
  • Episode 4What is Wrong with Me? With Keyana Pardilla, Robin Wall Kimmerer, and Sherri Mitchell 
  • Episode 5If I Can’t Make a Difference, then What Do I Do? With Veronice Miles 
  • Episode 6Daddy, Did We Hurt Them? With Ben Yosua-Davis

Friends Center Tenant Newsletter – November 2020

Issue 66


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.

– Chris Mohr, Executive Director



We recently updated our Current Guidelines for Return to Friends Center during Modified Green Phase. Please review them.

  • The city recently changed limits for indoor gatherings, so that is updated.
  • Also, we would like to ask each organization to appoint a Pandemic Safety Officer to serve as the lead connecting point for covid-related communications.



How to create a mutual aid network

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.

Solidarity, not charity.

» Continue reading


Personal Stories: Navigating the LGBTQ+ Journey with Loved Ones

November 12 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

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,

“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.”

The group was featured in numerous news articles, including in The Guardian, The Atlantic and Waging Nonviolence.

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?

At ECS’s Forum on Justice & Opportunity, the Scattergood Foundation and Azavea presented projects on understanding needs and assets, and strengthening social programs through data and evaluation.

  • Eight priorities for Philly’s next behavioral health commissioner

By Scattergood Foundation’s Joe Pyle and Kate Williams

Opinion, The Philadelphia Inquirer (paywall)