Our Quaker faith is based on a firm belief in a loving God. We are guided by the understanding that there is that of God in all persons. This leads us to a broad and tender concern to address suffering and oppression in this world and to oppose military solutions to conflict. With these goals in the forefront we work through committees in each Friends Meeting called Peace and Social Concerns. At Durham Friends Meeting this committee is led to educational and advocacy work that focuses on
- the persistence of racial injustice
- the outsized military budget,
- the U.S. military’s large carbon footprint, and
- the climate crisis that threatens the wellbeing
of all living things.
We work especially closely with the Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL), the Quaker Lobby on Capital Hill. [Try out FCNL’s new Action Center for communicating with Congress.]
Materials for the Peace and Social Concerns Discussions
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, The Danger of a Single Story (TED Talk)
Action Requests: What Peace & Social Concerns Asks You to Do
Recent News and Commentaries of Note
America’s Enduring Caste System, Isabel Wilkerson, New York Times Magazine, July 1, 2020
No Warming, No War: How Militarism Fuels the Climate Crisis and Vice Versa, Lorah Steichen and Lindsay Koshgarian, Institute for Policy Studies, 2020.
Think This Pandemic Is Bad? We Have Another Crisis Coming, Rhiana Gunn-Wright, New York Times, April 15, 2020
What the CoronaVirus Means for Climate Change, Meehan Crist, New York Times, March 27, 2020
Endless Wars, Endless Environmental Harm, FCNL, December 19, 2019
Reduce Pentagon Spending, FCNL
Peace and Social Concerns Committee
The task of the Meeting’s Peace and Social Concerns Committee is two fold: discernment and taking action.
The process of discernment consists of:
- Determining what issues confronting our present social order pertain to Friends traditional testimonies of equality, peace, and non-violence, stewardship, civic and community responsibility.
- Hearing the concerns of Monthly Meeting, or individual members of the Meeting, and those brought by other religious, service and legislative bodies that address these issues.
As we consider action the Committee seeks to make recommendations to Monthly Meeting for supportive action on the following:
- Educate the Meeting regarding Friends traditional testimonies and their application in today’s world, especially addressing the issues of violence, discrimination, addictions, and poverty.
- Enable the Monthly Meeting and individuals to take action on their concerns.
- Support those who are suffering because of actions they have taken in support of their concerns.
- Act in solidarity with those who are affected by our failure to achieve a society of non-violence, equality, economic justice, and equal opportunity.
The committee seeks to work in cooperation with other committees of the Monthly Meeting, other Monthly Meetings and community groups that work constructively on these issues.
In being rooted in a covenant with God as Quakers … the Quaker peace and social testimonies are the discernment of God’s will for the Quaker community and provide a vision of authentic society: one of peace and nonviolence; equality and community; truth and integrity, and simplicity and mindfulness.
— David Gee, British Friend