Report by Anthony Manousos, Clerk of Peace and Social Order for Southern California Quarterly Meeting
Since the election, there has been an upsurge of activism among Friends as well as among other segments of the American population. We have been aroused to action by the threats posed by the current administration to the environment, immigrants, Muslims, people of color, the poor and life itself, with the drumbeats of war becoming increasingly loud and insistent. The words of William Penn seem especially relevant: “True godliness does not turn [us] out of the world, but enables [us] to live better in it and excites [our] endeavors to mend it.” Our divided and broken country desperately needs mending. Our Quaker message and approach are urgently needed.
Each month there is a Peace Committee conference call open to anyone interested in peace and justice. Please join us at 712-770-4010. Access code: 830-785. You can find out more about SCQM peace and justice activities at .Southern California Quarterly Meeting Facebook
Here in So Cal, the Friends Committee on National Legislation has been especially active. FCNL Advocacy Teams have been formed in the Santa Monica area, Pasadena, and Orange County. Thanks in part to the efforts of Joelly Mejia, a young Advocacy Corps staff person, non-Quakers as well as Quakers are being trained on how to be effective advocates and lobbyists. Delegations have gone to the offices of Senators Feinstein and Harris as well as Congress members Judy Chu, Adam Schiff, and others. You can read about these visits on my blog at laquaker.org.
Immigration has become an increasingly urgent concern. On Saturday, May 20, our Quarter is sponsoring an all-day workshop on immigration rights with Pedro Rios, director of the AFSC’s U.S./Mexico Border Program. In this workshop we’ll learn how to be effective immigrant advocates and allies. A native San Diegan, Pedro has worked on immigrant rights and border issues for over 20 years. Orange Grove Meeting co-sponsored this event and we’re looking forward to hosting it.
On Saturday, June 17, Santa Monica Meeting is sponsoring an all-day workshop with George Lakey. noted Quaker activist and author of Viking Economics: How the Scandivanians Got it Right, and How We Can, Too. This workshop will focus on how to address income inequality, a core challenge to American democracy in this era of plutocracy. We’ll learn how Quakers are addressing this issue and what we can do to create a social democracy in America similar to those in Scandinavia.
This is a time when we need to leave our “Quaker bubble” and work with those in the community who share our passion and our concerns. That’s why we are inviting non- Quakers as well as Quakers to both these workshops. Please take flyers and share them not just with your Meeting but also with your friends.
I am eager to find out what your Meeting is doing to promote justice and peace and would be happy to pay a visit, so please invite me. This is a time when Friends who care about justice and peace need to work together. Most of all, we need to be faithful to the Spirit that stirs in our hearts, calling us to do utmost to mend this broken world.