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Each month, FCNL brings individual Friends’ witness in the world into conversation with Quaker advocacy work through our Quaker Changemaker event series. Here are some highlights from this past years’ events.

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Growing Edges

Liz Nicholson

In the April 2020 event: “The Future of Quakers.”, Liz Nicholson (Southern App. Yearly Meeting and Association) shared:

“I think there are a wealth of tools, practices, and perspectives that are deeply relevant to societal issues and experience of injustice today. As Friends, I think we also have a lot of growing edges and work to do to continue our education, reflection, and work of listening. [We need] to look at our own systems and practices for pervasive pieces of white supremacy and racism; for ageism and ableism and other ways we fall short in meeting that of God in others and creating welcoming Spaces. I’m thinking both about the assets we have to offer while also recognizing the tools, voices, and perspectives we still need to invite to the table that could bring us into deeper alignment with Spirit.”

Power from Below

Nozizwe Madlala-Routledge

South African Friend Nozizwe Madlala-Routledge spoke in the May 2020 event: “Peace Talk.”

In response to a question about how people can better recognize and seize their own power, she said,”

“By this I mean the power from below, when active citizens, individually or collectively take up action to challenge state power. I also refer to this as people’s power. It is when people realise and exercise this power that change is possible. It is the power of social movements and coalitions. The #MeToo movement is an example.”

Getting Beyond Business as Usual

Michael and Neil Snarr lobby their Senators during Annual Meeting 2018.

Michael Snarr (Wilmington Yearly Meeting) spoke during the June 2020 event: “Changing Things from the Inside: Friends in Public Office.”

“I’m in the middle of—maybe—breaking out of business as usual…with regards to race and policing. …. To get beyond business as usual, we have to do something more than just the narrow range of [options we usually have]. Bring in different ideas, create some outside energy… bringing in other voices. “

A Powerful Generation

Lauren Brownlee holding Love Thy Neighbor sign at White House

During the August 2020 event: “Teaching Advocacy,” Lauren Brownlee (Baltimore Yearly Meeting) shared her experience:

“One year instead of going to the Holocaust Museum for our annual class field trip, we lobbied the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in support of a Genocide and Mass Atrocities Prevention Act. The next day in class when students shared their greatest takeaways, they were consistent: ‘The most important thing that I took away from our field trip on Tuesday was the immense power of the younger generation to make a change in our world.’… ‘Something I took away from Tuesday was how powerful our phone calls and letter writing truly is in terms of reaching out to the senators and it truly showed me how powerful the youth is.’…’I realized how powerful our generation is when it comes to change. Our advocacy for what we believe in can really make a difference.’

Attending to the Inward Guide

Margery Post Abbott

Margery Post Abbott (North Pacific Yearly Meeting) spoke during the October 2020 event: “Quakers Changing Government: Past, Present, and Future.”

“Friends carry with them the certainty that it is possible to be directly guided in words and action by the Spirit, by the living Christ. By attending to this inward guide, a person will be led away from self-will, greed, desire for revenge and other motivations that are contrary to the motion of love. The Light, they found, was not always gentle, but rather might make visible the temptations they faced, yet if they learned to listen to this voice, they would always be led into the kingdom of God, which they knew was among them, not just in some distant future.”

 

Bobby Trice

Bobby Trice

Quaker Engagement Associate
Bobby is the Quaker Engagement Associate. He works alongside Alicia McBride (Director of Quaker Leadership) to cultivate relationships with Friends and other FCNL constituents.

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