Fierce Love, the 2020 Annual Meeting and Quaker Public Policy Institute, was a record-setting event. A total of 883 people from 47 states registered to attend, nearly half of whom were first-time attendees.
FCNL’s first virtual Annual Meeting created opportunities for participants who could not otherwise have come to Washington, D.C. They joined with long-time supporters to worship, build community, learn, and advocate together.
Tucked into the meeting was a celebration of the first five years of FCNL’s Advocacy Teams, organizers working around the country to build relationships and change policy in Washington.
FCNL’s first virtual Annual Meeting created opportunities for participants who could not otherwise have come to Washington, D.C.
“We need to have the perseverance that so many people of previous generations did, to do our part to fight for a more just world,” said Rep. Ro Khanna (CA-17) as he cited the difference FCNL’s lobbying has made.
In addition to a meeting of FCNL’s governing General Committee, the gathering was the occasion to recognize two members of Congress.
Rep. Deb Haaland (NM-01) was the first recipient of the FCNL Justice Award, recognizing her “commitment to end the crises of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls and of violence against Native people.”
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (NY) received this year’s Edward F. Snyder Peace Award for “working to bring an end to nearly two decades of endless wars, prevent new wars, and reduce the suffering of those affected by violent conflict.”
As part of its journey to becoming a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive organization, the meeting listened to a talk by Lisa Sharon Harper, president of Freedom Road. “You can’t talk about love in America … without talking about the construct of race … because it is embedded so deeply in the … fabric of our nation,” she said.
Participants also lobbied for strong action to address the crisis of racism, police brutality, and the militarization of police. In the biggest turnout for an FCNL lobby day to date, 615 people from 44 states lobbied 231 congressional offices to cosponsor and pass the Justice in Policing Act (H.R.7120/S.3912).
“We can only win if all of us are treated equally,” said Julián Castro, former secretary of Housing and Urban Development, as the meeting closed.
A full report on Fierce Love, the 2020 Annual Meeting, including videos, is available at www.fcnl.org/annualmeeting2020.