1. Press Release
  2. Immigrants & Refugees

Leaders in Quaker Education Urge President Trump to Continue the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program

September 1, 2017


Today, leaders from more than 45 Quaker schools and colleges sent a letter to President Trump in support of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and its recipients.

“The Religious Society of Friends has a belief that there is ‘that of God’ in each and every person and for over 300 years, Friends schools have been tasked with educating young people from all walks of life both spiritually and intellectually,” the letter reads, “Rescinding or altering DACA before Congress enacts a permanent solution would destabilize the lives of DACA recipients and the communities to which they belong. It would deprive Dreamers of meaningful opportunities and runs counter to our vocational call to set young people up for success, regardless of who they are or where they come from.”

Signers are affiliated with schools in Pennsylvania, New York, Rhode Island, North Carolina, New Jersey, Ohio, Iowa, California, Kansas, Virginia, Georgia, and Delaware.

Press Contact: Hannah Evans, Hannah@fcnl.org, 202-903-2537

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Dear President Trump,

We, the undersigned 48 Heads of School and Presidents of educational institutions founded in close affiliation with the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers), write to you today to urge you to continue the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

The Religious Society of Friends has a belief that there is ‘that of God’ in each and every person and for over 300 years, Friends schools have been tasked with educating young people from all walks of life both spiritually and intellectually. As educators following Quaker principles and testimonies, we encourage students to listen carefully, critically, and with openness to, and compassion for each other and themselves. We believe that the strongest communities are built and best lessons are learned when each person is given a genuine chance to thrive.

Since 2012, the DACA program has given young immigrants who grew up in the United States undocumented – often referred to as Dreamers – a better chance to thrive. Nearly 800,000 young people were able to seek previously unattainable educational and occupational opportunities. DACA recipients have enriched our schools as students, faculty, or wider community members. All Dreamers are welcome at Friends schools.

We understand that ten states have threatened to sue your administration should you keep the DACA program in place. Rescinding or altering DACA before Congress enacts a permanent solution would destabilize the lives of DACA recipients and the communities to which they belong. It would deprive Dreamers of meaningful opportunities and runs counter to our vocational call to set young people up for success, regardless of who they are or where they come from.

All of us have ‘that of God’ within us and deserve a real chance to pursue our dreams, and shine our Light in the world. We write to express our affirmation for the young people that are protected from deportation under DACA, and urge you to do everything in your power to continue that same protection well beyond September 5.

Sincerely,

Drew Smith, Executive Director at Friends Council on Education, Philadelphia, PA

Rich Nourie, Head of School at Abington Friends School, Abington, PA

Dr. Larry Weiss, Head of School at Brooklyn Friends School, Brooklyn, NY

Kimberly Cassidy, President of Bryn Mawr College, Bryn Mawr, PA

Helen Marter, Interim Head of School at Buckingham Friends School, Lahaska, PA

Karen Cumberbatch, Head of School at Carolina Friends School, Durham, NC

Kirk Smothers, Head of School at Delaware Valley Friends School, Paoli, PA

Sharon Fichthorn, Head of School at Fairville Friends School, Chadds Ford, PA

Kathryn Cook, Head of School at Frankford Friends School, Philadelphia, PA

Andrea Kelly, Head of School at Friends Academy, Glen Cove, NY

Craig Sellers, Head of School at Friends' Central School, Philadelphia, PA

Madeleine Beresford, Director of Friends Neighborhood Nursery School, Ridgewood, NJ

Michael Zimmerman, Head of School at Friends School Haverford, Haverford, PA

Matt Micciche, Head of School at Friends School of Baltimore, Baltimore, MD

Brenda Esch, Head of School at Friends School of Wilmington, Wilmington, NC

Michael Gary, Head of School at Friends Select School, Philadelphia, PA

Robert (Bo) Lauder, Head of School at Friends Seminary, New York, NY

Jeff Harwell, Board Chair of Friends Western School, Pasadena, CA

J. Samuel Houser, Head of School at George School, Newtown, PA

Dana Weeks, Head of School at Germantown Friends School, Philadelphia, PA

Kimberly W. Benston, President at Haverford College, Haverford, PA

Darrell Cotton, Head of School at High Point Friends School, High Point, NC

John McKinstry, Head of School at Lansdowne Friends School, Lansdowne, PA

Debbie Zlotowitz, Head of School at Mary McDowell Friends School, Brooklyn, NY

Matt Glendinning, Head of School at Moses Brown School, Providence, RI

Kim Freedman, Head of School at New Garden Friends School, Greensboro, NC

Marty Goldstein, Retired Head of School at New Garden Friends School, Greensboro, NC

Dana Harrison, Head of School at Newtown Friends School, Newtown, PA

Evelyn Cole, Director of Oak Lane Day Care, West Chester, PA

Chad Cianfrani, Head of School at Oakwood Friends School, Poughkeepsie, NY

Cynthia Walker, Co-Head of School at Olney Friends School, Barnesville, OH

Mike Hanas, Head of School at San Francisco Friends School, San Francisco, CA

Thomas Gibian, Head of School at Sandy Spring Friends School, Sandy Spring MD

Thomas Weber, Head of School at Scattergood Friends School, West Branch, IA

Bryan Garman, Head of School at Sidwell Friends School, Washington, DC

Dan Hendey, Head of School at State College Friends School, State College, PA

Valerie Smith, President of Swarthmore College, Swarthmore, PA

Whitney Thompson, Head of School at Tandem Friends School, Charlottesville, VA

Waman French, Head of School at The Friends School of Atlanta, Decatur, GA

Alex Brosowsky, Head of School at The Quaker School at Horsham, Horsham, PA

John Lewis, Interim Head of School at Virginia Beach Friends School, Virginia Beach, VA

Jon Hall, Head of School at Westfield Friends School, Cinnaminson, NJ

Tori Jueds, Head of School at Westtown School, West Chester, PA

Sharon Herzberger, President of Whittier College, Whittier, CA

Pam Chambers, Head of School at Wichita Friends School, Wichita, KS

Darryl Ford, Head of School at William Penn Charter School, Philadelphia, PA

James Reynolds, President of Wilmington College, Wilmington, OH

Ken Aldridge, Head of School at Wilmington Friends School, Wilmington, DE