September Tenant Newsletter: Saying Good-bye to summer, The Lone Quaker and Peace Day Philly.

Issue 52, September 2019Friends Center Tenant Newsletter


I hope you had a good summer! The fall is often a time of renewed vigor and commitment, as well as cooler temperatures. When it’s nice out, please feel free to crack open the windows. As a LEED Platinum green building, it’s designed to use natural air conditioning.

                Fall also comes with an uptick in the use of Friends Center’s event spaces. Please be sure to book your events well in advance!

                Our staff does their best to balance the needs among our many tenants as well as the many outside groups that rent our facilities. Thank you for your patience and flexibility as we do our best to accommodate your requests. I also want to say how much I appreciate the good work of Shakirah Holloway, Erick Emerick, Jennifer Williams, Ed Waters, and our evening/weekend staff, who together keep the event facilities humming; thank you!

– Chris Mohr, Executive Director



If you drive or bike down Race Street, be aware that there is street construction this week, possibly for as long as a month. The city is apparently replacing street light wiring on both sides of the street.

Find Us On…

Are you and your organization following Friends Center on social media? If not, we encourage and invite you to do so. We like to feature the posts of our partners and tenants!

Also be sure to check out Friends on 15th , our new podcast. We will soon be getting it listed on many of the podcast directories. Meanwhile, check out the podcast page on our website.



All migrant children moved from Homestead detention center!

The American Friends Service Committee was one of several groups protesting the conditions and treatment of children at the Homestead facility and organizer Mariana Martinez declared victory.


Laramie: Travels with Josh

“Hello, my name is Joshua Ponter. I am a member of Haddonfield Monthly Meeting in South Jersey’s Philadelphia area. I have embarked on a year-long mission to travel around the country collecting stories about the founding of different meetings and looking at the way we practice Quakerism today. I will be blogging about my travels on the PYM website. Find my latest entry here. Please email me at if there is anyone from your meeting who would like to sit down with me and speak to some of your history—or if you would like more information on me or my project. Thank you!”


Come one, come all to the meeting weekend

October 11-13:  Uncovering Mysteries!

At Friends Center

The weekend will start on Friday, October 11, with a potluck and a dramatic reading of an original play about Mary Fisher, an early English Friend who undertook a dangerous journey alone to Turkey to tell the Grand Sultan about Quakerism.

 Saturday will feature several workshops, including one on spiritual gifts offered by the Gifts and Leadings committee and a workshop led by Carolyn McCoy entitled “Opening to the Spirit.” After a catered lunch, families will enjoy a midday swim at Friends Select School as well as crafts and games. A highlight of the afternoon will be a tour of the “mysteries” of the building, including the secret safe and the windows and doors to nowhere. A talent show will follow a taco dinner, and will end with a fun overnight sleepover. Sunday morning before worship will feature a pancake breakfast.


Singing City and Lyric Fest together in concert

Fall Concert–The Road Less Traveled

Saturday, October 5, 2019, 4 p.m.

Haddonfield United Methodist Church, 29 Warwick Road, Haddonfield, NJ 08033

Sunday, October 6, 3 p.m.

Philadelphia Episcopal Cathedral, 23 S. 38th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104

Songs of journey and diaspora, welcome and belonging, leaving home and finding home. A timely program exploring world-wide migration and America’s roots as an immigrant  nation.

The Alternative to Violence Project Presents

AVP: Introductory Workshops for Radical Peacemaking

Friends Center

Choose 1 day: Fri. September 6th, or Sat. September 7th

9:30 am – 4:00 pm (Sign in at 9:30, workshop at 10:00 am)

Complimentary lunch included. This event is free to attend, and registration is required

Click to Learn more about AVP.


Peace Day Philly

Peace Day Philly is the Philadelphia region initiative for the International Day of Peace, September 21. We invite individuals, communities, organizations and civic leaders to use this powerful global platform to build peace on personal, local and global levels. Participate in a way that’s meaningful for you and your organization! Learn more.

Welcoming Week

Friday, September 13, 2019 –
Monday, September 23, 2019

The City of Philadelphia Office of Immigrant Affairs partners with more than 30 community organizations for 10 days to honor the city’s multiculturalism. The week’s aim: Engage immigrant communities like Philly’s Latino neighbors and neighborhoods, with a variety of to-be-announced events. Learn more.

August Newsletter – Podcast, Annual Sessions and New beginnings!

Issue 51, August 2019


In a time when it seems every day brings news of some fresh example of injustice, violence, and inequality, I’m glad to be a part of the Friends Center community. Of course, it’s true that the people who work, attend events, or worship here are by no means perfect nor better than anyone else. Still, a lot of good things are happening here to advance justice, peace, and equality. This newsletter gives just a few examples.
                Speaking of the newsletter, Jennifer Williams has been doing a great job collecting your stories for it. I thank her for her good work. I am also pleased to announce that she was recently promoted to the position of Guest Reception and Marketing Coordi­na­tor. She has taken on new duties, such as producing our new podcast (see next item), and I know you’ll want to join me in congratulating her.

– Chris Mohr, Executive Director


As you all know by now (or at least that‘s what we’re hoping) Friends Center has launched its Podcast “Friends On 15th”  and it’s a hit!!! Friends On 15th was birthed out of the appreciation we have for the good works being done by our tenants. Friends Center houses roughly 40 non-profit organizations, both Quaker and non-Quaker, whose mission statements we support. By this we were compelled to find a new way to help get their good doings on the front line.

We will be interviewing the organizations in our building, providing them with an opportunity to showcase their accomplishments.

We hope that you will give Friends On 15th a listen and look forward to hearing your feedback.



The American Friends Service Committee was one of several groups protesting the conditions and treatment of children at the Homestead facility and organizer Mariana Martinez declared victory Saturday. Read more on this amazing story!


The Annual Sessions has ended and the atmosphere has shifted! As light hearts and smiling faces pass me by I couldn’t help but to wonder (as a non-Quaker) why are these individuals so filled up? Soon after, the opportunity to sit and briefly chat with attendees of Sessions was upon me.

I was able to gain a better understanding of the annual sessions and as a result, I am no longer in the dark about the Light. Below is a lovely and enlightening quote from one the the delegates who attended.

“It is no coincidence Sessions comes at a time of full bloom. A sense of expansiveness & freedom pervades the day and we are reminded of our commitment to come together. We gather with full whole hearts seeking spiritual renewal while enjoying sweet fellowship in an environment full of integrity & love.”

-Kimani Keaton, Gifts processing and data entry associate, PYM


  • Central Philadelphia Monthly Meeting is a Quaker congregation.
  • We don’t typically refer to ourselves as a church; instead we call our congregation a “Monthly Meeting” (because we hold a business meeting once a month) or “Meeting” for short.
  • You’re welcome to join us for waiting worship in the manner of Friends any Sunday at 11 am.
  • CPMM is a diverse and affirming environment; we welcome people of all ages, races, gender identities, sexual orientations and faith backgrounds.


  • ARSP says goodbye to its U.S. programs director, Mark McGuigan.
  • PLSE Releases Report on First Year of Pardon Project. Read more here.
  • Girls Inc.: In the spring of 2019, a class of senior FOX Sports University students in the Donald P. Bellisario College of Communications at Penn State were challenged to create a strategic campaign for Girls Inc. that encourages FOX Sports fans and viewers to learn more about the organization’s mission: inspiring all girls to be strong, smart and bold. Watch here on YouTube.


Pardon Workshop with
X-Offenders for Community Empowerment

When: August 12, 2019 @ 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm

Where: 2227 N. Broad Street Philadelphia PA 19132

Need assistance with a pardon? Wayne Jacobs, Co-Founder and Executive Director of X-Offenders for Community Empowerment is hosting a workshop to get you started with the pardon application. Mr. Jacobs hosts his clinic at 2227 N. Broad St, Philadelphia, PA 19123 every 2nd Monday from 6-7pm. For more details, please call 215-668-8477 or email

Hidden Lives Illuminated

Mark your calendars for the debut of Hidden Lives Illuminated! Short films created by currently-incarcerated artists will be projected onto the walls of Eastern State nightly August 15 through September 12. Learn more at #HiddenLives

July Newsletter: Tenant Cookout, Friends on 15th Podcast, Time to VOTE and much more!

Issue 50, July 2019 Friends Center Tenant Newsletter


It’s hot outside, and once again it’s time to gather in the courtyard for good food, fun games, and great company here at Friends Center. It’s our way to thank the tenants for being part of the community here.

                If you’re interested in being a tenant here at Friends Center, please contact Chris Mohr at 215-241-7191 or by email at

– Chris Mohr, Executive Director


Check out our new podcast, “Friends on 15th”!

Episode 1: Bartol Foundation

Beth Feldman Brandt and Melissa Talley-Palmer of the Stockton Rush Bartol Foundation joined us for the first episode of the Friends on 15th podcast (July 2019).

If you are interested in being featured on the Friends on 15th podcast, we encourage you to reach out to Jennifer Williams, our receptionist.


American Friends Service Committee (AFSC)

Roots IRL: Abolition, Global Solidarity, and the Future
An outside Netroots event

Evening of Saturday, July 13

Outside of Netroots we are building a communal space in Philadelphia grounded in organizing practices that are accountable to visions of divesting resources away from state violence at home and elsewhere, and investing instead in a future for our children, and in people power that remakes the world. Dream Defenders, AFSC, War Resisters League, Adalah Justice Project, and other partners are co-creating a spacetobring those in Netroots interested in people-powered movements who have been transforming Philadelphia and the planet into where the real work happens, in community and struggle.

We believe world-making starts within our communities so these sessions will share skills, experiences, and tactics that apply an abolitionist and internationalist framework through local specific strategies that can be enacted wherever you live. Towards a future without war, settler occupation, prisons, and police. Building a future with environmental justice, community safety, global accountability, and abundance.

11:00 am – 2:30/3 pm: Bus Tour of Black Radical History in Philadelphia led by Mike Africa Jr., preregistration required, can reserve a spot at the ticket link.

6:00 pm Dinner

  • 6:45 – 8:15 Teach in workshops, choose 1
    Breaking Borders: diaspora internationalist and indigenous organizing
  • Disseminating a narrative of decarceration, electing a progressive DA, and moving toward abolition
  • Hanging up on 911: Restorative Justice and the world beyond police
  • Not your Grandad’s Union: Labor Organizing in the Gig Economy
  • People Power Per Million: Environmental Justice and the fight to save our future.

8:30-9:30 Plenary presentation
Plenary presentation with Marc Lamont Hill in conversation with Kempis “Ghani” Songster and Mike Africa Jr.

Register here:

Philadelphia Yearly Meeting (PYM)

Annual Sessions

July 24-28, 2019 at The College of New Jersey

Annual Sessions is a wonderful opportunity for Friends of every age from 100+ Meetings to gather together for fun, business, and fellowship. Grounded in Spirit, we conduct shared business, plan collective projects and learn from one another in worship sharing and in interesting workshops. We encourage YOU to register today! Drop by for just a session, stay for a day, or attend the whole five-day program.

The theme for the 339th Annual Sessions is “How do we Center ourselves in Trust and Love”.To “center” is to access the essential knowingness that you are alive, which is all you need to see what is true. Start with your breath. Notice how you breathe–feel the ground beneath you and the air that moves through your lungs and throat. Centering in trust and love is about the choices you make when truth comes knocking on your door. Trust compels us to open it willingly and joyfully and to welcome the transformation that might come next.

Register Today!

Central Philadelphia Monthly Meeting (CPMM)

CPMM hosts Philadelphia Quarterly Meeting of Friends

Sunday, July 21

The day begins at 9:30 with a program titled “Climate, Race, Justice and Democracy: We’re all in this together.” Several Friends will share stories of their efforts to address the intersection of these issues. We will then take time in worship sharing to reflect on what we can learn from these connections and how we might bring greater joy, clarity, faithfulness or power to our engagement with this critical work in the world. From 12:15-1:00 pm, hospitality will take place and all are welcome to bring salads, dips, chips and light desserts. Meeting for Worship for Business will take place from 1-4.


Girls Inc. Needs Your Support—Please Vote!

Girls Inc. of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey is a Philadelphia Foundation Key to Community grant finalist in the Opportunity Divide category. This funding opportunity is unique because the public will determine who will win. Top prize in each category is $200,000; second place is $100,000 and third place is $33,000. All nine winners will also participate in their fall Leadership Institute.

Every day until July 26th, you can vote for them once daily here. In addition to voting daily, please spread the word – we want everyone to know that we’re a finalist for this awesome opportunity. Thank you all for your support and happy voting!


  • Vote once per day in each category through July 26.
  • Those 18 and over in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware and New York can participate.
  • Make your choice and then select “Vote Now”. Results appear after the ballot is processed.
  • You can sign up to get daily reminders to vote
  • Share your participation via social media and encourage others to vote daily!

Hosted by Community Ventures at Friends Center:

Lessons Learned: Living Building Challenge Affordable Housing Demonstration Project

Tue, 7/16/2019 – 6:00pm – 8:00pm

Please join Green Building United as they present the Living Building Challenge’s Affordable Housing Demonstration Project! Together we will review the design process and final design solutions, discuss lessons learned, and celebrate the success of the group! After a brief overview presentation, we will gather in small groups and review the project using the imperatives of The Living Building Challenge as a guide. The goals is to continue our efforts to provide sustainable affordable housing if dense urban environments, and to determine priorities for next steps. Project leaders will be on-hand to help guide discussions.

Rachel Miller becomes PLSE’s Director of Criminal Records Expungement

Via Generocity

Also, AFSC announces Jason Drucker as their new Associate General Secretary for Advancement.


Decarcerate PA: Fundraiser for Philadelphia Bail Fund

Date: July 11th, 2019

Location: “Tattooed Mom” 530 South St, Philadelphia Pa 19147

Time: 7-9 pm

Join Decarcerate PA as we celebrate and raise money for the Philadelphia Community Bail Fund! Help bring our loved ones and community members home. Enjoy raffle prizes from local businesses and artists. Hear from Philly Community Bail Fund organizers about the success of Mama’s Day Bail Out, and learn how to get involved throughout the year.

The Philadelphia Community Bail Fund posts bail for residents of Philadelphia who cannot afford to pay bail while advocating for the abolition of bail and pretrial detention in our city. Their goal is to end cash bail in Philadelphia while working to free as many people as we can.

The Philadelphia Community Bail Fund is run by a collective of volunteer grassroots organizers and active members of the community, including folks they have bailed out. They are  committed to organizing with and for the people most directly impacted by the racist system of mass incarceration, criminalization and policing. They use a non-judgmental approach and do not consider a person’s charges to respect an individual’s constitutional right to the presumption of innocence until proven guilty.

June Tenant Newsletter: A film premiere, a vegan flea market, several graduations, and more.

Issue 49, June 2019


Our big news is visible for all to see, at least all who are outside the 1501 Cherry Street building on either Race Street or 15th Street. Keep your eyes peeled and you will see what I’m talking about.

                After a very busy spring, June is still almost as busy, with a film premiere, a vegan flea market, several graduations, and more. As always, I would like to thank the Friends Center staff for all they do to provide the foundation for the work that you do—I am so grateful to you.

– Chris Mohr, Executive Director


Film Premiere: Elder Voices

  • The film by Academy Award-winner David Goodman will premiere Wednesday, June 12 at the Friends Center Race Street Meetinghouse at 1501 Cherry Street in Philadelphia at 7 p.m. A panel discussion will follow the screening.

Philly Vegan Pop: 3rd Birthday

  • On June 12 be sure to join V Marks the Shop for their Philly Vegan Pop in celebration of their 3rd birthday.

Energy Co-op Networking Reception & Annual Meeting

  • Come for an evening of networking with Co-op members, staff, and energy professionals from throughout the region followed by a presentation about the state of The Energy Co-op.

This is a great opportunity to learn more about recent developments at The Energy Co-op and reconnect with our community of energy consumers.

What: 2019 Networking Reception and Annual Member Meeting

When: Thursday, June 20th, 6:00 – 8:00pm

Where: The Friends Center, 1501 Cherry Street

Philadelphia, PA 19102

Light refreshments will be served. So that ECA may accommodate all who wish to attend, please RSVP here.


American Friends Service Committee (AFSC)

Joyce Ajlouny, General Secretary of AFSC, will be one of three plenary speakers for the annual conference of Friends Association for Higher Education (also a Friends Center tenant). The other plenary speakers will be Maurice Eldridge, Vice Chair, The Chester Fund for Education and the Arts and Pendle Hill board member, and Frances Rose Blase, Provost of Haverford College (a participant in the Tri-College Consortium Philly Program, also a Friends Center tenant). Join teachers, scholars and educational administrators on the beautiful campuses of Swarthmore College and Pendle Hill Quaker Study and Retreat Center. The theme is “Truth and Inspiration” and other topics of interest to Friends and educators through presentations, panel discussions, and the plenary talks.

Philadelphia Yearly Meeting (PYM)

PYM Families Community Playdate

June 15, 2019 @ 9:30 am – 12:30 pm

Where: Please Touch Museum, 4231 Avenue of the Republic Philadelphia, PA 19131

Contact: Children and Families Program 215-241-7171Email

Central Philadelphia Monthly Meeting (CPMM)

Join CPMM for meeting for worship on Sunday mornings at 11am. Be sure to ask for a parking placard to avoid any run-ins with PPA.


New Century Trust:

  1. Carey Morgan Leaves New Century Trust

2. Farrah Parkes Joins New Century Trust: “I have always wanted my work to be about making a difference”

New Century Trust, which works to build the economic and political power of women and girls throughout the Southeastern Pennsylvania region, announced it has named Farrah Parkes its new executive director. Parkes has worked for more than 15 years in the nonprofit sector. The new executive director of New Century Trust says that the private foundation’s focus on gender justice is a perfect fit.

Seventh-grader Brooklyne Spraggins wins award for her business plan for a food truck.

From left: Tara O’Neill and Jamie Gumina of KPMG; Brooklyne Spraggins, S. Weir Mitchell School; Elaine Melchiorre, Executive Board Vice Chair of PFCU; and Jeff Ryan, Executive Board Chair of Spark. (Courtesy photo)

More than 100 seventh-grade students from four Philadelphia schools—S. Weir Mitchell School, Middle Years Alternative, Boys’ Latin Charter School, and Henry C. Lea—came together May 21 for a project-fair style event at which they presented the career interest projects they developed with professional mentors. It is an initiative of Spark Philadelphia, a career exploration and mentoring nonprofit. Throughout the 2018-19 school year, Spark mentors—including architects, web developers, and engineers—volunteer to work with middle school students in a 13-week workplace-based mentoring program.

Brooklyne Spraggins, a seventh-grader at S. Weir Mitchell School, worked with mentors from KPMG to create a business plan for a Parisian food truck, complete with merchandise and a menu.


PYM: Friends in Fellowship

Quakers Got Talent Concert

When: June 17, 2019 @ 7:30 pm

Where: William Penn Charter School – Kurtz Center for the Performing Arts 3000 W School House Ln Philadelphia, PA 19144
Cost: $35 or pay your age

Contact: Grace Sharples Cooke215-241-7115 Email

This event will benefit PYM programs and gather our community around a fun event. Quakers Got Talent will feature an 8:00 PM performance with Rachel Zatcoff, a Broadway star, plus Emily Drinker (singer songwriter) and Zenaida Peterson (slam poet). Together they are donating their talents in support of our programming.

Friends in Fellowship is an event series that bring Friends—and friends of Friends—together for fellowship, refreshments, and networking. They are perfect for expanding your experience of Quakerism beyond Sunday Meeting for Worship.

New tenants, Quakers got talent, a Hoop-a-thon and much more!

Issue 48, May 2019 Friends Center Tenant Newsletter


On June 1st, we welcome the Housing Alliance of Pennsylvania as our newest tenant. The Housing Alliance is a statewide coalition working to provide leadership and a common voice for policies, practices and resources to ensure that all Pennsylvanians, especially those with low incomes, have access to safe, decent and affordable homes.

One of our longtime tenants, Community Ventures, is a member of the Housing Alliance, making for a nice connection. (See below for some exciting news about Community Ventures’ work!)

– Chris Mohr, Executive Director


Holiday Reminders:

  • Friends Center will close for Memorial Day on 5/27.  
  • There will be no air conditioning in the main office building & Meetinghouse on Saturday, 5/25.
  • 1520 Race Street air conditioning will run as usual.
  • 2019 Holiday Schedule

QuakerSpeak Videos Filmed at Friends Center

The QuakerSpeak video series brings weekly interviews on contemporary topics to YouTube. The channel has over 2 million views to date. Many of the videos have been filmed in whole or in part at Friends Center. We’ve compiled a list of some of them here.

Get Informed, Get Inspired, Get Involved!

Date: Saturday, May 4

Time: 10am – 3pm

Location: Friends Center

Friends Committee on National Legislation and Philadelphia Yearly Meeting’s Legislative Policy Collaborative invite you to organize and mobilize with FCNL:

  • how to make your voice heard by your Members of Congress
  • Keynote: Hannah Graf Evans, FCNL’s lobbyist on Immigration and Refugee Policy
  • Identify opportunities to impact national legislative policy on current issues.
  • Build relationships with other energized people from your congressional district

Lunch and childcare can be provided if noted on your RSVP.


American Friends Service Committee

Happy 102nd Birthday AFSC! We thank you for all that you do and wish you many more successful years of changing the world! 3/30/1917


Quakers Got Talent Fundraiser

Kurtz Center for the performing Arts

William Penn Charter School, 3000 W. Schoolhouse Ln, Philadelphia Pa

Date: Monday June 17, 2109

Doors Open: 7:30 Show time: 8pm

We are bringing Broadway to Philadelphia for a fundraiser to benefit PYM programs. Roy Zatcoff will perform with his daughter Rachel Zatcoff, who made her Broadway debut as Christine in “Phantom of the Opera” and is currently starring in an off-Broadway Yiddish version of “Fiddler on the Roof.” The slam poetry artist Zenaida Peterson and the singer-songwriter/NPR Tiny Desk Contest finalist Emily Drinker will add their talents to the mix.


Panel on Meeting-School Relations

Saturday May 11, 2019

Drew Smith, Executive Director of Friends Council on Education, and other panelists. (Time to be determined)

In the works for next fall: Sessions on the history of public education, of Friends education, and an overview of the history of education in philadelphia to imform us about what is going on and how we got to where we are.


Community Ventures Wins PACDC Blue Ribbon Award

Congratulations to the staff, board and residents of Community Ventures on winning a 2019 Blue Ribbon Award from the Philadelphia Association of Community Development Corporations (PACDC)! Centennial Village is a 51 unit mixed-use development that has transformed the West Parkside neighborhood. Community Ventures has transformed 44 previously vacant and blighted lots and buildings into a rejuvenated, vibrant block of affordable housing and commercial space.

After School All Stars: Hoop-a-thon, June 1

ASAS Philadelphia & Camden will host our 2nd annual All-Star Hoop-a-Thon at the historical Palestra at the University of Pennsylvania on June 1, 10 am–12:30 pm. All funds raised will expand ASAS’ programs and services for Title 1 students in our region. Register at

CASA Annual Gala, May 8

At its annual gala, CASA will honor its 2019 “Champion for Children” Vai Sikahema, anchor of NBC10 Philadelphia News Today, former Philadelphia Eagles player and host of the weekly feature Wednesday’s Child. We will also honor our 2019 Outstanding CASA Advocates Allison Davenport and Jennifer Bellot. CASA Philadelphia is a volunteer-driven community organization serving abused and neglected children in foster care across our City. Our volunteers are in the courts, the schools, and every neighborhood speaking out on behalf of abused kids. Because of these volunteers, children attend class, stay connected to loved ones, and can return to a safe, permanent home sooner. More info.



The Mystical & Spiritual Dimensions of Trauma & Healing

May 24-27, 2019

Pendle Hill, Wallingford, PA FCRP is one of the oldest conferences in the U.S. dedicated to individual spiritual exploration with a focus on in-depth psychology, specifically Jungian psychology.  The plenary speaker will be Donald Kalsched, Jungian Analyst. Interest Groups will meet on a wide range of topics including Creative Writing and Mindful Movement, Tai Chi, Death & Dying, the Joy of Movement, and Poetry Discussion.

Welcome Spring! Sold Out banquets, E-waste collection and much more.

Issue 47, April 2019 Friends Center Tenant Newsletter


I will let the cherry trees on Cherry Street speak this time, in honor of spring and upcoming Earth Day. Please take time to enjoy the courtyard and front plaza whenever you need a little break!

– Chris Mohr, Executive Director

Cherry blossoms in front of the Race Street Quaker Meetinghouse


Get ready to celebrate Earth Day, Friends Center-style! Stop by to enjoy some water ice, pretzels and—oh, yeah—do some recycling. On Monday April 22nd we will be collecting all of your E-waste and shredding. Let’s use the next few weeks to do some spring cleaning and ready ourselves for Earth Day J. We can’t wait to see you there!

While it is sometimes possible to use a room on a drop-in basis at the last minute, you must check with the front desk before doing so. With 40 organizations here on site, and another 70-80 outside groups a year using our facilities, we are very busy! Just because a room is empty now doesn’t mean it’s not booked 15 minutes from now. Also, as a courtesy, kindly do not use the glassed-in conference rooms (134, 135, 136) on the side of the Cherry Street Room when the Cherry Street is in use for an event. Whenever Cherry Street is not booked, you are very welcome to have a conversation or take a break at the round tables under the balcony or on the comfy chairs in Room 135. No reservations are necessary. All other common rooms should be reserved with Friends Center staff. Thank you!


American Friends Service Committee (AFSC):
Annual Corporation MeetingApril 11-14 The AFSC Corporation is a body of approximately 120 Quakers from across the U.S. who gather once a year to conduct business, worship together, and connect AFSC and one another to the powerful witness of Friends’ work for peace and justice. You are invited to attend several of the events of the Corporation, especially the two public events and the workshop “dry runs” on Thursday. Come learn and engage with some of AFSC’s program work and provide feedback on the dry runs!
Public Events: Please RSVP and share!
Pedro Rios, “Love Knows No Borders” Action
Marc Lamont Hill, “Working across Borders for a Just Future”
Both events will be livestreamed. This is a great opportunity to connect with the work your colleagues in local offices are doing, as well as with Corporation members who represent AFSC to Quakers across the country. We hope to see you there!

Philadelphia Yearly Meeting (PYM)
Spring 2019 Sessions News + Young Adult Friends-Led Worship to End Berks Immigrant Detention On Saturday March 23, 117 people from 50 PYM Monthly Meeting communities convened for Spring Continuing Sessions near Reading PA. A summary of the day’s events is available here.

Central Philadelphia Monthly Meeting (CPMM)
Film: “Quakers, the Quiet Revolutionaries”April 11, 2019, 6:30 pm
Location: Friends Select School Theater, 16th & the Parkway Central Philadelphia Friends Meeting invites you to a viewing of this documentary about Quakers, made by The Gardner Documentary Group. The 79-minute film illuminates tells the story of a spiritual movement that has played a remarkable role in the religious, social and political life of our nation. Demonstrating an influence disproportionate to their numbers, Quakers have led anti-slavery, civil rights and women’s rights movements and been strong advocates for world peace. The event is free of charge.  


CAIR-Philadelphia Banquet a SOLD OUT Success!
More than 900 American Muslims, interfaith leaders, and social justice activists gathered at Springfield Country Club on Saturday, March 9th, for the 13th Annual Banquet of the Philadelphia Chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations. US Congresswomen Susan Wild, Chrissy Houlahan, and Mary Gay Scanlon were present, along with other political, community, religious and interfaith leaders, and imams and representatives from almost all of the Delaware Valley Islamic centers and mosques. At a reception before the banquet, both Rep. Wild and Rep. Houlahan spoke movingly about the need for a united stance against Islamophobia, anti-Semitism, and white supremacy. Learn more about this event.

Singing City:
T-VOCE presents
Unity in Diversity: Celebrating our Differences and Embracing our Similarities
Wednesday, April 10, 2019, 7 p.m.
BOK Building, 800 Mifflin St, Phila PA 19147
This hour-long performance will explore identity, both individual and communal, through art, dance, music, and spoken word. This concert is a collaboration between Backstage Pass (Opera Philadelphia’s theater technical after-school program), Esperanza Dance Ensemble, and T-VOCE (Teen Voices of the City Ensemble). T-VOCE is made possible due to a partnership between Art Sanctuary, Opera Philadelphia, Play On, Philly!, and Singing City. Register.Note: T-VOCE rehearses here in the Race Street Room!


Art that Liberates: Celebrating Creative Work by Incarcerated and Formerly Incarcerated People
When: April 13, 2019 @ 1:30–5:30 pm
Where: The Barn at Pendle Hill 338 Plush Mill Rd Wallingford, PA 19086
Cost: $60 includes light refreshments
Contact: Jesse White 610-566-4507 x137 EmailEvent website

Philly Spring CleanupApril 6 | Citywide
The City of Philadelphia’s annual Philly Spring Cleanup will take place on Saturday, April 6! It’s the largest citywide cleanup of the year, and your help will make it a success.

Thousands of volunteers take part in cleaning their neighborhoods and parks each year. Your enthusiasm and dedication will make this the best year yet!

Choose from about 300 projects all over the city. You can stay local or help a different neighborhood. Grab a friend or neighbor and volunteer together! Learn more and sign up.

Friends Center Tenant Newsletter: Staff comings & goings, French TV spotlight, events

Issue 46, March 2019 Friends Center Tenant Newsletter


Friends Center recently said goodbye (for now) to Joe Kalil, one of our several outstanding evening/weekend desk clerks. He is taking a language immersion program in Montreal. You may see him from time to time later this spring, though, when he returns to Philadelphia and works toward his goal to become an English language instructor abroad. Bon voyage, Joe!

                Meanwhile, we have hired Helen Sánchez-Stoddard and Helanah Warren as additional desk clerks. Please introduce yourself and welcome them when you see them at the desk!

– Chris Mohr, Executive Director


Philadelphie, berceau de la démocratie américaine
(Philadelphia, cradle of American democracy)

Friends Center and two members of Central Philadelphia Monthly Meeting of Friends, Greg and Yoko Barnes, were recently featured in this French production by Arte TV. Tune in and see us starting at about 11:30! Watch video here.



Bystander Intervention Do’s & Don’ts

If you witness public instances of racist, anti-Black, anti-Muslim, anti-Trans, or any other form of oppressive interpersonal violence and harassment, use these tips on how to intervene while considering the safety of everyone involved.


Larry Butler Memorial Meeting for Worship
Saturday March 9th, 1:30 pm.

A memorial Meeting for Worship for a former member of Central Philadelphia Monthly Meeting and Friends Select School faculty member Larry Butler will be held at Friends Center.  Larry was a civil rights activist, an engaged member of CPMM in the 1970s, and worked to bring LGBTQ concerns to the foreground in Philadelphia Yearly Meeting.  The memorial Meeting for Worship will be held at 1:30 pm, with a reception to follow at 2:30 pm, at Friends Center.  

Here is a link to Larry’s obituary.  


Continuing Sessions, March 23, 2019

10 am: Worshipful Resistance to Family Detention at Berks Detention Center
Join the PYM Young Adult Friends community, who will lead a worshipful resistance to ongoing detention of immigrant families. Learn more here.

1-4 pm: Business session

Miller Center for the Arts, Reading Area Community College,  4 North 2nd Street, Reading, PA 19601. Register here.




April 7th, 2019 5:00 – 9:30 PM

Masjidullah 7401 Limekiln Pike, Philadelphia, PA


Singing City

A 200-person choir filled the Philadelphia Episcopal Cathedral today with a musical retelling of the 1963 Children’s Crusade in Birmingham, Alabama. This pivotal moment in civil rights history saw children protesting injustice, only to be met with violence and authoritative backlash.

Presented by Singing City, children as young as 6 years old performed alongside students and adults up to age 89! 6abc was there as singers from all walks of life gathered to commemorate civil rights and integration!


Friends Conference on Religion and Psychology

FCRP–Inspiring inner journeys for change in the world

Annual Conference

Pendle Hill

May 24-27, 2019

Since 1943, the Friends Conference on Religion and Psychology has gathered annually to provide a respite for individuals of all spiritual and religious backgrounds who wish to delve more deeply into their inner lives.

It is one of the oldest conferences in the U.S. dedicated to individual spiritual exploration, with a focus on in-depth psychology, specifically Jungian psychology. 

Jungian analyst and author Donald Kalsched will speak on “Trauma and the Soul:  The Mystical and Spiritual Dimensions of Trauma and Healing.” 

To learn more or to register click here

Peacemaking: Quilting our Prayers and our Practices

Pendle Hill

When: March 9, 2019, 9:30 am – 5:00 pm

Where: Firbank Art Studio at Pendle Hill
338 Plush Mill Rd Wallingford, PA 19086 USA

Cost: $100 includes lunch

Contact: Jesse White, 610-566-4507 x 137
Email Event website Pendle Hill’s vision is “to create peace with justice in the world by transforming lives.” Does that vision speak to you? Do you enjoy creating with fabric? Do you have experience with basic hand sewing? Join with other peacemakers and piece-makers to create a quilted work of art that expresses both your own fabric contribution and a shared vision of peacemaking in a quilted mandala. Led by Asake Jones

February 2019 Friends Center Tenant Newsletter


The big news this month is that our tenants are invited to a reception on Feb. 21 with the Tri-College Consortium’s Philly Program. (See the next item.) This brand-new pilot program has launched, and Friends Center is grateful to be the launchpad.

Also, by now you’ve seen our zoning hearing notice by the front door. Today we received city approval to install two exterior signs on the main office building, identifying it as Friends Center. They should be installed in the next few months. Our goal is to make it easier for your volunteers, board members, event participants, and other guests to find us.
– Chris Mohr, Executive Director

February 21, 3:15 -4:30 pm
Cherry Street Room
Meet the Students of the Tri-College Consortium Philly Program
In November, we welcomed new tenant the Tri-College Consortium Philly Semester, which is a pilot program that started in January 2019. It is a joint effort of Bryn Mawr, Haverford, and Swarthmore Colleges, the Tri-College Consortium. They have leased office space here, and are holding classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays in the MLK Room. More info
Please join us on Feb. 21 at 3:15 pm for a reception in the Cherry Street Room so the students can meet the organizations here. Bring some brochures and business cards. Perhaps some partnerships or projects will emerge!
Friends Center Fills Positions
Friends Center has filled the positions it recently advertised. Thank you.

Why I Got Arrested at the Border
AFSC’s Lucy Duncan writes about her experience with the “Love Knows No Borders” action in southern California in December. It’s the cover story in this month’s issue of Friends Journal magazine.
New to Quakerism or just interested to learn more? Then check out the QuakerSpeak video series, featuring members of CPMM, and produced by Friends Journal to give newcomers a better understanding of Quakers.
Interested in attending Meeting for Worship near you? Philadelphia Yearly Meeting unites 100+ Quaker meetings and thousands of Friends in Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey, and Maryland. Quakerism is a faith of direct communion with God, lived with a sense of continuing revelation.

Philadelphia Lawyers for Social Equity (PLSE)
Join PLSE as we return to West Philly for an expungement clinic.
Friday, February 15, 2019 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm
3509 Spring Garden St, Philadelphia, PA, 19104
We will cover the creation, dissemination, and destruction of criminal records in Pennsylvania during a Know Your Rights sessions. Sit for a one-on-one expungement eligibility intake session to see if you have charges from Pennsylvania arrests that are eligible for an expungement. This clinic is FREE and OPEN to the public and operates on a first come, first served basis. No registration is needed.
Art-Reach mentioned on WHYY:
Sensory-friendly museum days in Philly

Singing City
The Children’s March
Sunday, February 24, 2019, 3 p.m.
Philadelphia Episcopal Cathedral, 23 S. 38th Street, Philadelphia, PA
Get Tickets
Prisoner Visitation and Support (PVS)
Take a look at this article featured in The Christian Science Monitor. It’s about Steve Gotzler, executive director of Prisoner Visitation and Support, knows firsthand the benefits of visitors for prisoners.
Friends World Committee for Consultation (FWCC)
2019 Section of the Americas Meeting
Lake Doniphan Camp and Conference Center – Outside Kansas City, MO|March 21 – 24, 2019
¡Come and See! (John 1:46)
Join Quakers from across the Americas to explore “Who is my neighbor?” and “How can we all be Friends?” through workshops, worship, Scripture and the ministry of FWCC Traveling Ministers.
In a time of conflict and uncertainty, the biannual Section Meeting provides vital opportunities for personal encounters with Friends, and spiritual transformation through the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of God, the Inward Christ, the Light Within. All Friends are welcome to attend. Preregistration is required

Haverford College
Guadalupe Rosalas: Legends Never Die
January 25—March 8, 2019
A Collective Memory originated at Aperture Gallery, New York, and extends from a feature in Aperture magazine’s Fall 2018 issue, “Los Angeles.” Support for its presentation at Haverford is provided by the John B. Hurford ’60 Center for the Arts and Humanities.

Happy New Year!!! CPMM staff changes and much more.

Friends Center Tenant Newsletter
Issue 44, January 2019
Welcome back to the Friends Center! As we said in our year-end holiday card: Best wishes for a happy, healthy, more peaceful, and more just year for you and everyone in 2019. — Chris Mohr, Executive Director
Happy New Year!!! Friends Center’s 2019 Holiday Closure Calendar is now online. Please bookmark or download for your reference.
Campaign Action
Since mid-October (2018), groups of asylum seekers escaping violence and poverty have been traveling north from Central America through Mexico. Instead of responding with compassion, President Trump has deployed thousands of troops, shot tear gas at children, and pursued policies to criminalize all who seek refuge. People fleeing violence and poverty in Central America and elsewhere should be treated with humanity and compassion—not face family separation, military troops, or criminalization. It’s time for Congress to stop funding cruelty against immigrants.
Sign the petition: Respect the human right to migrate and end militarization at the border    

Central Philadelphia Monthly Meeting is glad to announce the hiring of a new Meeting secretary, Dan Zemaitis. Dan will be taking over for Amy Ward Brimmer, who has been the secretary for the previous 4 years. Dan is a member of Moorestown Monthly Meeting, a graduate of Moorestown Friends and Haverford College and holds a PhD in Religion and Theology with a focus on Quaker Studies from the University of Birmingham, UK. Dan also teaches Comparative Religion at Rowan College of Burlington County.  
The PYM Community Events Calendar is for all events in the PYM region under the care of any Quaker meeting, organization, school, committee, collaborative, or another group. See   Here’s one example of a calendar listing: “Women of Our World: Photojournalism with Love” When: January 5, 2019 – April 24, 2019 all-day America/New York Timezone Where: The Barn Gallery at Pendle Hill 338 Plush Mill Rd Wallingford, PA 19086 Cost: Free Contact: Jesse White, 610-566-4507, ext 137 A series of photographs of women from around the world taken by Quaker photojournalist Blair Seitz will be on display through April 24, 2019.

Philadelphia Lawyers for Social Equity When: January 18, 2019 @ 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Where: Drexel University Dornsife Center for Neighborhood Parnerships 3509 Spring Garden St Philadelphia, PA 19104
Contact: Email, Event website , Expungement Clinics
We will cover the creation, dissemination, and destruction of criminal records in Pennsylvania during a Know Your Rights sessions. Sit for a one-on-one expungement eligibility intake session to see if you have charges from Pennsylvania arrests that are eligible for an expungement. This clinic is FREE and OPEN to the public and operates on a first come, first served basis. No registration is needed. Graciously hosted by the Drexel University’s Dornsife Center for Neighborhood Partnerships.

Singing City: The Children’s March Sunday, February 24, 2019, 3 p.m. Philadelphia Episcopal Cathedral 23 S. 38th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104 With Singing City, The SC Children’s Choir, T-VOCE, Keystone State Boychoir’s Anonymous 8 Germantown Friends School Middle School Choir Charlotte Blake Alston, narrator A work that unites all ages in re-telling the story that changed the direction of the Civil Rights movement in America.

Stockton Rush Bartol Foundation Lesson
Planning for Engagement and Belonging Tuesday, January 15 @ 9:30 AM – 12:00 PM, Free   Dig into the “why” as well as the “how” of strong lesson planning.  Join Julia Katz, ArtWell Associate Executive Director and Sarah Chavez, ArtWell School Partnerships Assistant Coordinator, to learn intuitive and accessible ways to develop workshop goals, then plan your lesson working backwards. We will explore key components of a strong lesson plan as well as how workshop structure and facilitation can decrease anxiety and power dynamics, and encourage active learning, safety, and youth voice.  Artists in all disciplines are welcome.

Arch Street Meeting House has a devoted group of volunteers who interact with visitors as docents and greeters. They are always looking for new folks to join in! If you have questions feel free to reach out to Volunteer (@)

Friends Center’s Tenant holiday reception!! | And more Community News 12/2018

Issue 43, December 2018
Friends Center Tenant Newsletter

As we approach the end of 2018, I am grateful to our staff for their support of all the work YOU do here at Friends Center.
And I’m grateful for your good work, too. The Friends Center community is doing an astounding and outstanding variety of work to make our city, nation, and world a better place. Keep it up!
Please join us for our end-of-year celebration as detailed below, so we can take a moment to recognize one another and to share food and fun together.
May you and yours have a blessed end of 2018, and wishing you a happy 2019 in advance!

– Chris Mohr, Executive Director


Friends Center Year-End Celebration!
The presence of our tenants is requested for the Friends Center year-end celebration, POTLUCK STYLE!
Friends Center will provide a CHICKEN & WAFFLE BAR including fresh fruit & whipped cream and beverages. We are excited to see what delicious dishes they’ll bring. For games, good food and even better company please contact Jennifer at by December 13th to RSVP.


Monday, 12/24 – Center CLOSED
Tuesday, 12/25 – Center CLOSED
Monday, 12/31 – Open regular hours
Tuesday, 1/1 – Center CLOSED


NEWS: Quaker relief worker recounts helping migrants in caravan get through Mexico — WHYY

Quaker relief worker recounts helping migrants in caravan get through Mexico

JANUARY 14, 7:30-9:00 pm
Pendle Hill Retreat Center
338 Plush Mill Road, Wallingford, PA 19086

On Monday, January 14, from 7:30 to 9:00 pm, please join Laura Boyce, associate general secretary for US programs of the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC), in the Barn, for a first-hand report of the situation of migrants from Central America seeking refuge in the United States. She will also inform us of the work AFSC and other faith-based organizations are doing in response to the humanitarian crisis developing along the border with Mexico.

NEWS: A home-grown ‘Messiah’ sing-along marks 50 years in Philly — WHYY
Friday, December 7, 7 pm
Join Central Philadelphia Monthly Meeting of Friends in the Worship Room for the 50th anniversary of this festive sing-along of Handel’s “Messiah”!

One Quilt, One Yearly Meeting
Quilts, Quilts and oh yeah more Quilts! Check out this short skit launched by PYM’s community engagement team promoting Friends Quilts. The project was birthed at Continuing Sessions in November of this year.

Anna Crusis Women’s Choir
Winter Coat Concert 2018
Lutheran Church of the Holy Communion
2110 Chestnut St. Philadelphia, PA 19103
This venue is accessible via wheelchair. The performance is visually interpreted.
Date: December 8, 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm
December 9, 4:00 pm – 6:30 pm
Cost: $10.00 – $35.00

Declaration of Interdependence – Join us as we sing music from Moira Smiley, Aretha Franklin, Paul Simon, Lin Manuel Miranda, the students from Marjorie Douglas High School in Fla., and a host of others. Help us make a joyous noise for all to hear!
Community Sing ½ hour before each performance

Singing City
Holiday Concert – Dave Brubeck’s La Fiesta de la Posada
Sunday, December 9, 2018, 3 pm
The Church of St. Luke & the Epiphany
330 S. 13th Street, Philadelphia, PA

With Bill Carter and Presbybop and Elizabeth Weigle, soprano
The Mexican tradition of “La Fiesta de la Posada” recreates Joseph and Mary’s search for a room at an inn-a universal story of faith, community, and the joy of sharing. The second half features jazz with Presbybop, playing holiday favorites!


A Feast of Carols
December 8, 2018 – 5PM
St. Paul’s Episcopal Church
Chestnut Hill
Mendelssohn Brass Clara Gerdes, organ
Mendelssohn Club’s signature program, blending seasonal music from around the world with beloved holiday sing-along carols. This season’s program includes two brilliant neoclassical miniatures, Four Motets for Christmas by Francis Poulenc and Sing With Joy, Glad Voices Lift by Hugo Distler. Purchase tickets here