Friends Center Tenant Newsletter 

Issue 83, November 2022

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR’S NOTE  

Last week I went to the Parkway Central Branch of the Free Library to hear George Lakey in conversation with Varshini Prakash, executive director and co-founder of Sunrise Movement, the youth-led movement to stop climate change.

            George was in conversation about his new book, Dancing with History: A Life for Peace and Justice.

            Now a member of Central Philadelphia Monthly Meeting, George has been a Quaker nonviolent activist and researcher for over 7 decades! Among many other things, he co-founded Movement for a New Society in the 1970s, Training for Change in the 1990s, and Earth Quaker Action Team in the 2010s.

            Oh, and if that wasn’t enough, George often leads a community singalong of Handel’s Messiah in the Cherry Street Room in December. We’ll announce it if and when it returns.

            Friends Center is full of inspiring stories like George’s. In the tenant newsletter, we try to lift up a few of them each month. Please let Jennifer Williams know if your organization has news to share!

—Chris Mohr, Executive Director

AROUND FRIENDS CENTER

Y.A. BOOK LAUNCH EVENT AT CPMM
Young Adult Adaptation of Robin DiAngelo’s White Fragility
Dec 7, 2022 from 6:30pm to 8:30pm

Friends Center, 1501 Cherry Street

Join Toni Graves Williamson and Ali Michael for the launch of their Young Adult adaptation of Robin DiAngelo’s bestselling book White Fragility. This event is sponsored by Central Philadelphia Monthly Meeting, Friends Council on Education, and Friends Select School. Tickets are available for free or purchase (copy of the book included) on Eventbrite.

» Register here.

Event: Covenant House

Annual ‘Sleep Out’ raises over $600,000 for local youth homelessness

In the bitter cold on Thursday night into Friday morning, people traded their beds for a sleeping bag and a cardboard box. Participants raised funds for Covenant House’s services for homeless youth.

Get the full scoop here: Via Channel 6/ABC
(Early on in the segment, you get a glimpse of our facility manager, John Gibson, moving some supplies!)

EQUITY PARTNER NEWS 

PHILADELPHIA YEARLY MEETING (PYM)

Decolonizing Thanksgiving Is An Oxymoron – Kids Books Dismantling The Myth of a ‘First Thanksgiving’

Teach your kids the truth of Thanksgiving—modeling generosity and gratitude all year long—but don’t whitewash the violent history of colonization.

AMERICAN FRIENDS SERVICE COMMITTEE (AFSC)

Emerging Leaders for Liberation

This year, AFSC launched Emerging Leaders for Liberation (ELL) to help young people strengthen their social justice and leadership skills. Over eight months, youth get trained on anti-racism, organizing, advocacy, nonviolent direct action, and more. They also develop projects to address systemic issues in their own communities.

“It’s vital that young people understand how much their voices matter and the power they have to create change. We need to continue investing in their leadership for a better future for everyone,” says Mariana Martinez,
ELL program director. 

The inaugural cohort of ELL participants includes 30 young people from 15 states. Many have worked with local AFSC programs or are part of Quaker meetings or colleges.

Meet three of this year’s participants.

CENTRAL PHILADELPHIA MONTHLY MEETING (CPMM)

CPMM AUTHOR EVENT
The Library Committee warmly invites you to hear CPMM member Steve Davison talk about and read from 3 of his books of poetry on Saturday, Dec. 3, from 11 a.m. – 12 noon (via Zoom).

The Road to Continental Heart: Befriending and Defending the Spirit of North America —  A coffee-table-style book featuring poems he wrote once a week for a friend who walked across the country with a group environmental activists;
Continental Heart — A meditation on our relationship with the land we live in and an appeal for a more spiritual culture of place;
Dancing Mockingbird — A collection of nature poems.

CLICK HERE to join in on the poetry and discussion!

Or cut and paste this URL into your internet browser:
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87989229096?pwd=ZkhoTXJ3M2ExZ0c5V1BUMTE1WklXQT09

Meeting ID: 879 8922 9096
Passcode: 084669
To find your local number: https://us02web.zoom.us/u/kbs4ogRVI

TENANT NEWS

Stockton Rush Bartol Foundation

Fundamentals of Game Design for the Classroom

December 5, 2022, 4:00 pm – 5:30 pm

Come join Global Writes to learn the fundamentals of game design with the integration of a variety of technology tools to plan and create board and video games that can be used to teach content-based themes in the classroom.  Their Skin in the Game process utilizes game design and concepts in Science, Technology, Reading, Engineering, Art, and Math (STREAM) to engage participants in advanced, interdisciplinary learning.  Please have on hand a computer that can support Chrome browser as well as some plain paper and pencil.

ANNA Crusis Feminist Choir

This fall, small groups of ANNA singers took to the streets to sing, hoping the current cultural climate would bend toward justice. We are pleased to present a full choir concert in person and broadcast online. In this concert, we sing to remind ourselves that when we connect and collaborate, our power is much more than when we move through the world alone. Together, People Have the Power.

Tickets available here.

(Community Sing starts at 7:00 pm before the concert.)

December 10th & 11th  @ 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm

BEYOND FRIENDS CENTER

Season One Episodes:

  • Episode 1How Do We Stop Doing Things that Make No Sense? With Rev. Mariama White-Hammond
  • Episode 2Where Do You Find Hope? With Corina Newsome
  • Episode 3What Do We Tell the Children? With Craig Santos Perez 
  • Episode 4What is Wrong with Me? With Keyana Pardilla, Robin Wall Kimmerer, and Sherri Mitchell 
  • Episode 5If I Can’t Make a Difference, then What Do I Do? With Veronice Miles 
  • Episode 6Daddy, Did We Hurt Them? With Ben Yosua-Davis

October Tenant Newsletter: Grand Opening, Fall Continuing Sessions, Singing a Dream and Helping with Reentry

Issue 82, October 2022

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR’S NOTE  

Congratulations to Friends Child Care Center on moving into their new space! The staff, board, and families of FCCC celebrated with a ribbon-cutting event on October 6. Thank you to the FCCC families, board, and staff, especially Executive Director Raechel O’Neal Coats, for partnering with Friends Center on this project, which will maintain Friends Center as a truly multigenerational community for decades to come.

 With FCCC’s move, Friends Center’s event and conference rooms are back in service. See below for ways you can reserve them.

 Finally, as shown on the right, we have expanded our weekday open hours to be from 7 am to 7 pm.

—Chris Mohr, Executive Director

AROUND FRIENDS CENTER

Friends Center’s Shared Event and Meeting Spaces Are Available Once Again!

Check availability and make reservations with Shakirah Holloway, our Events and

EQUITY PARTNER NEWS 

Fall Continuing Sessions

November 4th – 6th, 2022

Join Friends of all ages from across Philadelphia Yearly Meeting in our first fully hybrid (online & in-person) Sessions! Our Sessions theme “Living communally with our neighbors, seeking to build beloved community,” calls us to come together in the joyful work of reweaving our connections. This is Both an In-Person and an Online Event

 Friends can actively participate on Saturday either by attending in person or by joining via Zoom. Friday and Sunday programs are online only. In celebration of our return to in-person gatherings, PYM is providing a special evening experience! We’ll provide a community dinner, music and most importantly, fellowship with Friends!

Proof of vaccination and a rapid test done with 24 hours before the event will be required to attend.

» Register Here.

AMERICAN FRIENDS SERVICE COMMITTEE (AFSC)

Nominate the next Presiding Clerk of the AFSC Corporation and Board

The American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) is a Quaker organization that promotes a world free of violence, inequality and oppression as a practical expression of faith in action. Drawing on continuing spiritual insights and working with people of many backgrounds, we nurture the seeds of change and respect for human life that transform social relations and systems. 

 AFSC seeks nominees qualified to serve as the next presiding clerk of the AFSC Corporation and Board of Directors. Nominations of individuals who are people of color, women, LGBTQ+, people with disabilities, and people with diverse class backgrounds, ages and life experience are most encouraged, as are candidates from the Global South.  The term of the new clerk of the AFSC Board will begin with the annual meeting of the Corporation in April 2023 and run three years. The clerk may serve two consecutive three-year terms, for a total of six years.   Please review the AFSC clerk position description or nominate a qualified individual here.

CENTRAL PHILADELPHIA MONTHLY MEETING (CPMM)

David Gray, Principal of Brummana High School in Lebanon, to Present

Tuesday, October 18, 2022 – 7:00pm to 9:00pm

Philadelphia Yearly Meeting’s Middle East Collaborative and CPMM’s Peace and Social Concerns are helping to organize a special opportunity for all of us. 

David Gray, principal of Brummana High School, the Quaker school in the hills east of Beirut, Lebanon will be in the Delaware Valley in mid October.  

 We invite you to hear him present on the current challenges in Lebanon—social, political, economic—and what effect it has all had on the school. David Gray’s presentation will be online/virtual via Zoom.

Advance registration is required so that Philadelphia Yearly Meeting may send you the zoom url. 

 » REGISTER HERE.

TENANT NEWS

Singing City Presents:

We Dream a World
Nate Zullinger, conductor

Sunday, November 6, 2022, 3p.m.
Old First Reformed UCC, 4th & Race Streets, Phila, PA 19106

This concert will feature contributions to the choral art from women, all within the last 75 years. A highlight will be the premiere of The Canticle of Hannah, a new work by Philadelphia composer Melissa Dunphy, commissioned by Singing City.

Online Box Office 

Download Ticket Order Form 

Prisoner Visitation and Support (PVS):

Power of Visiting: Helping the Incarcerated Prepare for Reentry

10/26/2022, 7 pm

BEYOND FRIENDS CENTER

Virtual Worship for White Friends Confronting Racism – Friday

Friday, October 14th 2022, 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM

The Ministry on Racism is hosting a bi-weekly virtual Meeting for Worship for white Friends/Friends of European descent confronting racism and white supremacy. This worship seeks to nourish white Friends’ communal anti-racism commitment and provide a space for the work we have to do together. It will be held every Thursday at 8PM EST and Friday at 12 PM ET. It is in the care of a rotating team of volunteers.

To view past and recent queries from Virtual Worship for White Friends Confronting Racism click here.

If you are white/of European descent and would like to join our worship, please complete the form below:

Register Here.

Philadelphia Historical Commission:

Cultural Preservation Town Hall: Thurs. 10/13

Information gathering session and discussion

about Philadelphia history and culture

The city is full of stories and history. The Philadelphia Register of Historic Places only captures some of them. To understand what is missing, the Philadelphia Historical Commission will host a town hall event on Thursday, October 13. You’re invited!

Location: Center For Business & Industry

Community College of Philadelphia

1723 Callowhill Street, Philadelphia, PA 19130

The Cultural Resources Survey Plan and Pilot Project explores how to recognize Philadelphia’s vibrant histories. The goal is to design and test a more inclusive preservation process. The Philadelphia Historical Commission has partnered with The ROZ Group, Little Giant Creative, and Partners for Sacred Spaces to develop a plan and pilot project.

RSVP: https://culturalresourcessurveytownhall.splashthat.com/

Please share this event with your neighbors and community.

Friends Center Tenant Newsletter

Issue 81, September 2022

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR’S NOTE   

On September 12th, 2022 Friends Select School held the ribbon-cutting for their new STEAM Building at 1520 Race Street! (STEAM = Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math.)

            We closed on the sale just 13 months ago. With the interior almost completely rebuilt, the building opened last week, just in time for the new school year.

            In his remarks, Head of School Michael Gary acknowledged the school’s partnerships with Friends Center and CPMM, which enabled the project to happen.

            FSS plans a formal grand opening event later this fall.

            Meanwhile, back here in 1501 Cherry Street, our general contractor has scheduled the final building inspection for Friends Child Care Center’s new space and expects to get the Certificate of Occupancy by the end of the week. Then the Health Department and DHS will do their own inspections over the next two weeks. The new facility should be in operation by 10/3. We will then clean the conference and meeting rooms and place back in service.

            FCCC expects to have a grand opening this fall, too. Details will be shared once we have them.            Thanks to the many Friends Center board and committee members who advised and assisted on one or both projects. And a huge thank you to our staff, who have done so much on the ground to smooth the way for both projects. Friends Center is blessed to have such a good team supporting these major changes. Thank you all!

—Chris Mohr, Executive Director

EQUITY PARTNER NEWS

PHILADELPHIA YEARLY MEETING (PYM)

Family Camping Weekend: Hosted by PYM Youth Programs

Youth Programs staff will host this weekend at a PA State Park Campground, and welcome family units of adult(s)+kid(s) and other camping-friendly Friends to join in intergenerational community.

Bonus: Sunday, Oct. 2 is World Quaker Day, which we will celebrate together!

  • Cost: $10/child or youth and $15/adult, or $50 for a family of 4 or more. Scholarships are available.
  • Registration Deadline: September 23

Register here.

AMERICAN FRIENDS SERVICE COMMITTEE (AFSC)

Anti-Racist Youth Mixtape

Freedom School

This event will be about AFSC’s efforts at educate scholars to think critically about the history of race and racism in the United States as well as give them tools to address issues. The workshop will be an effort to respond to questions around youth’s role in movements of social justice. The facilitators of our workshop will be Realign (Dr. Elizabeth Eikmann, Dr. Tan Taylor, and Dr. Cindy Reed).

Date/Times:
Saturday, September 24th 9am-5pm
Sunday, September 25th 11:30am-5pm.
Location: St. Louis Friends Meetinghouse, 1001 Park Avenue., St. Louis, MO, 63104
Stipend: $200 Visa Debit Cards are available for completing the training

Note: There’s limited seating so please register today! This is a first come basis event.

More Info: Jonathan Pulphus Program Associate)

E: jpulphus@afsc.org T: 314-556-4633

REGISTER AT: tinyurl.com/youthmixtape.

CENTRAL PHILADELPHIA MONTHLY MEETING (CPMM)

FAREWELL AND THANK YOU TO DAN

In August, we bade farewell to our Meeting Secretary, Dan Zemaitis. Dan started with us in December, 2018, and did an excellent job keeping our Meeting organized, especially during the challenge of COVID19. We wish Dan well on his new journey.

HELLO AND WELCOME TO RACHEL

Our new Office Administrator, Rachel Ellis Adams, has come on board! Rachel has been active in the Religious Society of Friends for more than 25 years, including service in Cambridge, MA, as Clerk of Young Adult Friends and as a member of Ministry & Counsel, and in Minneapolis, MN, as a member of the Peace & Social Concerns and the Adult Education committee. Currently, she is attending Green Street Meeting. We are looking forward to celebrating Dan and welcoming Rachel in person, at our coffee hour on September 18, following Meeting for Worship.

TENANT NEWS

Jacob Bender of C.A.I.R Philadelphia Honored at ISNA Interfaith Banquet

C.A.I.R. Philadelphia is honored to announce that their former executive director and current creative director Jacob Bender received an award at the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) Annual Convention in Chicago to recognize his years of service to the American Muslim community and to CAIR. Jacob’s remarks can be read here.

            Thank you, Jacob, for your ongoing service to our communities!

Getting Ready for New Home Repair and Housing Development Funding and Resources

Description: New money will soon be available in Pennsylvania for home repair, housing development, and preservation. Senators Vincent Hughes and Nikil Saval were our champions in making this new $375 million in funding a reality.

            Join us on Friday, September 23rd at 10:00 am to talk about what we know so far about the new programs with a deeper dive into Whole Home Repairs.

            This webinar will feature Senators Hughes and Saval, and we will profile Philadelphia’s Built to Last Program—administered by the Philadelphia Energy Authority—that served as one of the models for Whole Home Repairs. We will specifically address how Built to Last could be adapted for a community of any size and provide you with ideas for how to get your own local program started and ready for new funding.

When: Friday, September 23, 2022
10 AM – 11 AM. This is an online event. More information available
here.

IN THE WIDER QUAKER WORLD

22nd Annual Bucks Quarter Peace Fair

The Peace Fair, dedicated to promoting harmony in the home, the community, the environment and the world, will be held on the grounds of Buckingham Friends Meeting and Buckingham Friends School on Saturday, September 17, from 10:30 am to 4:00 pm.

Highlights of the day will include information tables from organizations with peace-related messages and missions, non-competitive children’s games, family-friendly entertainment, crafts by local artisans and food for purchase.

World Quaker Day will take place on Sunday October 2nd, 2022 with the theme Becoming the Quakers the World Needs. 

World Quaker Day is an annual event where we celebrate the diversity of Quakerism around the world and build connections to make our community stronger.

This year, every Friends Church and Quaker Meeting is encouraged to send or receive visitors to or from another Quaker group, to bring greetings, build relationships and share ideas.

You can see which Quaker groups in each Section are welcoming Friends here. (Please note the deadline to apply to be a host meeting for World Quaker Day 2022 has now passed.)

Also, you can download the World Quaker Day poster to display in your church or meeting house here. The posters are available to download in a number of different languages.

We welcome your participation in World Quaker Day. We are grateful for all you bring to the Quaker world.

Friends Center July Tenant Newsletter: Drill! Build! Paint!, A New Newsletter & CASA’s 7 figure piece of the pie

Issue 80, July 2022

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR’S NOTE  

The big news is about construction!

—Chris Mohr, Executive Director  

AROUND FRIENDS CENTER

Construction Update 1:
Friends Child Care Center

General contractor MJ Settelen projects work will be completed for the new Friends Child Care Center facility in the Lower Level of the main office building in mid-September. FCCC will need time to move in and to complete the inspection process. Once they move, we will freshen up the main meeting rooms, and those will once again be available for tenant events and meetings. We hope all spaces will be available by October 1, if not sooner. However, as with any construction project, especially in today’s economy, there may be unanticipated delays.

Refresher: Friends Center’s Shared
Event and Meeting Spaces

Construction Update 2:
1520 Race Street

Friends Select School expects to occupy 1520 Race Street as their new STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) building by the end of August. They will be doing exterior brick work in the next week or so, so there will be more activity in the courtyard. Please use caution when visiting the courtyard.

EQUITY PARTNER NEWS 

PHILADELPHIA YEARLY MEETING (PYM)

In the Light:
The Yearly Meeting’s Print Newsletter

Earlier this month, we sent out a print newsletter to Friends in the yearly meeting. We plan to send out a print issue of the newsletter quarterly. This issue of the newsletter illustrates a new way in which our yearly meeting has been called—and our faithful response to it—the call to witness against racism. You can read it online.

Engaging in PYM-wide corporate (meaning of the body) witness is one of the strategic directions we approved in 2014. Six months after accepting those directions, we committed to a witness to address racism. The minute we approved expressly declares that the ministry is not one to be given to a group of people to carry on behalf of PYM but that we are all to find our way in it. All Friends, all households, and all meetings are asked to consider what their own response to the call is.

Many of the stories in Philadelphia Yearly Meeting reflect our journey to eradicate racism, create spaces of belonging, and transform our inner lives. This newsletter is filled with a selection of those stories from local monthly and quarterly meetings and PYM groups. Read, be inspired, and share your meeting’s stories on the PYM website so we may continue to know one another.

The next newsletter will be sent out in the Fall and will include a gathering of stories about all topics from across the yearly meeting. If your meeting has a story to submit, please do so at pym.org/news/share-a-story/.

Also, Philadelphia Yearly Meeting is conducting its 342nd annual sessions this week!

AMERICAN FRIENDS SERVICE COMMITTEE (AFSC)

Read about AFSC New Mexico’s Farm to School project, an effort to create a replicable model for school food procurement that supports local producers for sourcing fresh, healthy produce for school children.

CENTRAL PHILADELPHIA MONTHLY MEETING (CPMM)

“What is First Day School?”

“What if I have babies or toddlers?”

“What if I have school-aged children?”

“What does Quaker Spiritual Education for Kids Look Like?”

“What is your child safety policy?”

The answers to all of these questions and others resources concerning religious education for children can be found here.

TENANT NEWS

CASA Scheduled to Receive $1.8 Million
Pennsylvania CASA is excited to share that Governor Wolf signed the budget adopted by the General Assembly into law and CASA is scheduled to receive $1.8 million.

“This is an exciting time for CASA in Pennsylvania. It is the result of years of work by the state office including staff, board, and volunteers. We were lucky to be supported by local programs at different points in the process. There is still a lot of work ahead for all of us, but the opportunities this funding provides for CASA are great and worth all the effort.”

Full Article Available Here…

Women in Housing & Finance PA Event 2 :
Philadelphia

Address:  Triple Bottom Brewing 915 Spring Garden St, Philadelphia, PA 19123

When: Friday, July 29, 2022 6 PM – 8 PM

We’re back! Women in Housing & Finance PA (WHF-PA) is returning to in-person with events in three locations across Pennsylvania in late July and early August. Join us for some or all of the summer events!

Join us as WHF-PA returns to in-person events for an outdoor happy hour at Triple Bottom Brewing in Philadelphia! The beautiful patio on Spring Garden Street will be reserved for our members and guests. Registration includes one alcoholic or non-alcoholic beverage and snacks. Register here, we’ll see you there!

QuakerSpeak Video:

“On Quaker Deathways: Practices Around Death and Dying”

QuakerSpeak is a production of new tenant Friends Publishing Corporation. FPC also publishes Friends Journal magazine.

“Working as a healthcare chaplain—you know, almost all modern healthcare chaplains are interfaith chaplains. It’s actually against the chaplain’s code of ethics to proselytize any particular faith, and so my Quaker faith set me up very well for that—just to understand that there’s that of God in every person and to be genuinely curious to meet them where they are.”

—Carl Magruder (The Accidental Chaplain) Video: https://youtu.be/jc6ajthaedE

Friends Center Tenant Newsletter, June 2022

Issue 79, June 2022

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR’S NOTE 

Although the office and event spaces are still low-key at Friends Center, we have two active construction projects on site. Friends Select School is on track to complete renovation of the 1520 Race Street building by the start of the school year.

Friends Center is moving full steam ahead to build out a new facility for Friends Child Care Center in the lower level of the 1501 Cherry Street building. Our general contractor, MJ Settelen, is working hard to deliver the space by the end of August, depending on various supply chain issues. The Child Care Center and their consultant, Becker & Frondorf, have been terrific partners in getting the project done.  

Once the new child care center is open, we will prep the rooms used as interim child care space (Jones Room, Mott Room, Cherry Street Room, and Room 21) and return them to service for tenant and outside events, we hope in September. Thanks to everyone for your patience during this milestone time at 15th and Cherry Streets!

—Chris Mohr, Executive Director  

AROUND FRIENDS CENTER


Welcome (Back), Friends Publishing Corporation!

Friends Publishing Corporation became Friends Center’s newest (old) tenant in May. FPC is the publisher of Friends Journal, the leading North American Quaker magazine, and the producer of the QuakerSpeak video series. Often known simply as Friends Journal for their flagship publication, FPC was a tenant at Friends Center for decades before moving elsewhere for a spell. Welcome back, Friends!

EQUITY PARTNER NEWS 


PHILADELPHIA YEARLY MEETING (PYM)

Rise Up for Reparations

June 20, 2022, 2-4 pm


Co-Sponsored by Mayor’s Office of Interfaith and Faith-Based Affairs, POWER, The Truth Telling Project, and PYM

Save the Dates:

Looking Ahead to PYM Annual Sessions

  • Saturday June 25 for Workshops
  • Saturday July 23 for Affinity Groups
  • Tuesday July 26 to Sunday July 31 for spiritual formation, worship, business, and keynotes.

AMERICAN FRIENDS SERVICE COMMITTEE (AFSC)

Community Safety Beyond Policing:
Gun Violence and Policing

Many communities across the country have experienced an uptick in gun violence over the last 2 years at the same time that we are having a robust debate around the role of policing in our society. How has or should the movement to divest from policing and invest in community been responding?

CENTRAL PHILADELPHIA MONTHLY MEETING (CPMM)

CPMM is happy to announce that childcare services are once again available during meeting for worship! Join us for worship at 11 AM every Sunday in the Race Street Meetinghouse at Friends Center.

TENANT NEWS

Anna Crusis Women’s Choir:

Make Good Treble

6/18/22, 7:30 pm | 6/19/22, 2 pm

Tickets available here:
https://annacrusis.org/make-good-treble/

IN THE WIDER QUAKER WORLD


GREEN STREET FRIENDS MEETING

LEGAL CLINIC AND JUNETEENTH CELEBRATION

Saturday June 18, 11am-3pm

Green Street Friends Meeting

45 W Schoolhouse Lane, Philadelphia 19144

GSFM’s Reparations Committee will hold its last planned in-person legal clinic for Black Germantown homeowners and a Juneteenth celebration.
As you may know, fellowship over good food is a hallmark of GSFM, one thing which helps bind us together and draws people to us. We’ll have a great spread of food catered by Soul to Soul Philly (Doug and Noah White). 

You’re invited along with the 68 Black Germantown homeowners we’ve met through the legal clinic sign-ups and 3 in-person clinics, the 20 or so volunteers and partners who have engaged with these neighbors, and a host of people we hope will come that Saturday. No RSVP is needed, just come, and enjoy!

EARTH QUAKER ACTION TEAM (EQAT)

Brings Climate Activism to Vanguard’s Doorstep

Grid Magazine, June 2022

A five-day journey to the headquarters of Vanguard, organized by Earth Quaker Action Team (EQAT) in collaboration with local communities and in partnership with a global campaign. Vanguard, which manages $8.1 trillion, is one of the largest global investors in coal, oil, and gas.

» Full story

Job Announcement: Facilities Assistant

Download the announcement here.

June 2022 | Open until filled

Friends Center, the Quaker hub for peace and justice in Center City Philadelphia, seeks a well-rounded, motivated Facilities Assistant to support the upkeep and maintenance of its facilities.

Friends Center includes the historic Race Street Quaker Meetinghouse and the office building at 1501 Cherry Street, which has nearly 30 nonprofit tenants working for a better community and city. Friends Center also hosts meetings and conferences for tenants and outside groups, and the local Quaker congregation worships in the Meetinghouse on Sundays. Friends Center’s front plaza and interior courtyard and gardens provide a place of peace in Center City for tenants and visitors alike.

The right candidate for Facilities Assistant will make sure that tenants, guests, and visitors have a pleasant experience at a well-maintained facility. Friends Center strives to be a friendly, supportive place to work, with competitive pay and excellent benefits.

ABOUT THE POSITION

Position Summary: The Facilities Assistant is responsible for maintaining the complex and its grounds and preparing the facility for events by tenants and outside groups.

Status: Full-time, 35 hours/week, Non-exempt.

Location: Philadelphia, PA

Application Deadline: Open until filled

COMPENSATION

  • Starting compensation: $18/hour
  • Benefits include: paid time off; paid sick leave; paid healthcare, dental, and vision insurance; 403(b) retirement plan with employer contribution and match; and paid life and disability insurance.

ESSENTIAL FUNCTIONS AND RESPONSIBILITIES

  • including carpentry, painting, electrical, plumbing
  • including setup and takedown of tables and chairs

QUALIFICATIONS

Minimum:

  • Basic skills in the following building trades:
    • Electrical, Plumbing, Carpentry, Painting
    • Limited on-the-job training may be available for candidates with experience in some but not all of the above.

Preferred:

  • Basic skills in the following building trades:
    • Sheetrock
    • Masonry

OTHER REQUIRED SKILLS AND ABILITIES

  • Demonstrated punctuality: able to arrive on time for work every day.
  • Demonstrated ability to complete tasks within the assigned time.
  • Demonstrated ability to work with others to complete larger tasks.
  • Physically able to lift 50 pounds to chest level.
  • Physically able to carry, set up, and take down 8-foot long tables for meetings.
  • Physically able to stand on a six-foot ladder to carry out tasks such as painting or changing light bulbs and electrical ballasts.

SCHEDULE

  • Monday – Friday, 11 am – 7 pm, with 1 hour of break time per day

The schedule may change because of the covid-19 pandemic. When making schedule changes, Friends Center works to fairly balance the needs of all of its staff.

TO APPLY:

Send application with resume or employment history

  • By email to info@friendscentercorp.org; or
  • By mail to Facilities Assistant, c/o Friends Center, 1501 Cherry Street, Philadelphia PA, 19102.
  • No phone calls please.

PROCESS:

  • Candidates of interest will have either a phone interview, an in-person interview, or both.
  • Finalists may be asked to work one or two trial half-day shifts to assess skills and productivity, and will be paid $18/hour for their time.

Friends Center is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Women, minorities, and other underrepresented groups are encouraged to apply. Friends Center is a smoke-free workplace.

Tenant News: Friends Child Care Center update, Earth Day = E-Waste & Shredding Collection, and more

Issue 78, March – April2022

Friends Center Tenant Newsletter

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR’S NOTE  

As you may know, Friends Center is working on plans to convert the Lower Level of the 1501 Cherry Street building into a new facility for the Friends Child Care Center. FCCC, Friends Center, and our design team have been hard at work to plan this exciting project. Friends Child Care Center has been an important part of the Friends Center community for over 40 years, and this facility will serve them for decades to come. We look forward to providing a more detailed update soon!

—Chris Mohr, Executive Director

AROUND FRIENDS CENTER

In recognition of EARTH DAY on April 22:

E-Waste and Shredding Collection

After taking time off for the pandemic, Friends Center will once again collect your e-waste for recycling and paper files for shredding and recycling from Monday, April 18, to Friday, April 22. Items from home are acceptable, provided we have enough room to store everything. We will provide bins to drop off materials in the main lobby.

EQUITY PARTNER NEWS 

PHILADELPHIA YEARLY MEETING (PYM)

Quaker College Fair – through April 10

Register Here

AMERICAN FRIENDS SERVICE COMMITTEE (AFSC)

The City of Philadelphia’s Office of Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy (OACCE) presents Harriet Tubman: 200 Years of Hope, Strength and Inspiration. Cultural leaders, program partners, and descendants of Harriet Tubman’s family were invited to share messages celebrating Harriet Tubman’s 200th birthday and their thoughts on what Tubman’s message would be to sustain her legacy for the next 200 years.

AFSC General Secretary Joyce Ajlouny contributed to the “Video Wall” for the City of Philadelphia’s Celebration of Harriet Tubman.

Celebration page: https://www.creativephl.org/programs/harriet-tubman/

CENTRAL PHILADELPHIA MONTHLY MEETING (CPMM)

CPMM announcement on environmental justice grant funding:

The Grandom Institution places a priority on clean, affordable energy solutions for low income households. The Institution has funds available to increase energy self-sufficiency of low income households and permanently reduce their energy burden.

Examples of the types of projects that meet this priority include: 

  • Solar installations
  • Decarbonization projects for low income households
  • Self-help weatherization workshops including the distribution of simple and inexpensive material that low income people can install in their own homes
  • Energy efficiency improvements
  • Fuel switching from fossil fuel to electric heat pumps

Eligible applicants must be local, nonprofit, 501(c)(3) organizations.

Deadline for Applications:  July 1, 2022 no later than 5 pm.  Applications must be submitted by email. 

For more information: https://friendsfiduciary.org/grants-scholarships/grandom-institution/

TENANT NEWS

CAIR Philadelphia: 

Iftar-Seder

4/10/2022 @ 7:30-9:30pm

Co-Sponsored by The Shalom Center, Sisterhood of Salaam-Shalom, Masjidullah, CAIR-Philadelphia, Interfaith Peace Walk

Live on Zoom & Facebook. Register at bit.ly/iftar-seder2022

What is an Iftar? From sunrise till sunset each day during the month of Ramadan, Muslims fast from food and water and contemplate the wisdom of Quran and reflect on how to live more fully by the Word and Will of God. Each evening they eat Iftar – the meal-of-consciously-breaking-the-fast that begins with the eating of a date.

What is a Seder? The Seder is a Jewish sacred meal in which the foods themselves embody the story of liberation from oppression. A bitter herb embodies the bitterness of racism, oppression, and war. Matzah, the bread whose baking was so urgent that its bakers could not take time to let it rise, embodies what Reverend Martin Luther King called “the fierce urgency of Now.” Charoset, a sweet mix of chopped fruit, nuts, and spices, embodies the joyful world we work to create.

And why an “Iftar-Seder”? Because this year the Muslim lunar month of Ramadan and the Jewish lunar month of Nisan, with its eight-day festival of Passover, coincide. Joining the two meals is a spiritually moving way of bringing the American Muslim and American Jewish communities together in a historical moment when come in each community have defined the other as an Other. On Iftar-Seder evening, not only for the night but for our lives.

Inshallah! Keyn yehi ratzon!

May it be God’s will that our sharing continues!

IN THE WIDER QUAKER WORLD

Ben Lomond Quaker Center (near Santa Cruz, Calif.) seeks a full-time, on-site Director and Associate Director or Co-Directors to provide spiritual and practical leadership to West Coast Friends.
These individuals need to be familiar and supportive of Friends’ beliefs, values, and practices. They must be experienced in program development and be well able to manage staff, finances, and fundraising efforts for the Center. Strong computer proficiency is essential. Management and/or experience in developing and supporting a non-profit organization are highly desirable.
                The ideal candidates will have a Friendly and hospitable personality to welcome Friends and the public and have a passion for program development using themes consistent with Quaker values. They will be able to interact effectively and collaboratively with the Board.
                Compensation includes salary, housing in the beautiful Santa Cruz redwoods, utilities, and other benefits. We are accepting applications from individuals and couples. Persons of color and LGBTQ are encouraged.
                The Quaker Center website will soon include job descriptions and application requirements. Direct inquiries & questions to: quakercentersearch@gmail.com

IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD

GIRLS INC. (former tenant)

Reimagining Workplace Equality

Register Here.

February’s Newsletter: The War on Ukraine, Dedicating a Historical Marker, Continuing Sessions And SO MUCH MORE

Issue 77, February 2022

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR’S NOTE  

Greetings and best wishes for midwinter. We have some wonderful news from the Friends Center community to share with you below.

            Sadly, with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine this week, we also mourn the outbreak of a new “hot war” on the European continent. As I was writing this, a convoy of cars with Ukrainian flags was on its way down 15th Street to a demonstration at City Hall.

            How to respond? I found hope in yesterday’s statement from the American Friends Service Committee, one of Friends Center’s equity partners: “The invasion of Ukraine must be stopped – but U.S. military aid is not the answer.

            Quakers are one of the traditional “peace churches.” As a key founder of Quakerism, George Fox, wrote in 1650, we strive to “live in the virtue of that life and power that takes away the occasion for all wars.” While most of you working at Friends Center are not members of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers), I know you share this vision for a better, more peaceful world, because of the work you do.

            Let us keep working for that change here at home—to increase every Philadelphian’s access to health, education, housing, and the arts, to end gun violence, to support civil rights—even as we support peace in the wider world, too. And if you’d like to learn more, the Friends Historical Library at Swarthmore College has a list of resources on the Quaker Peace Testimony.

—Chris Mohr, Executive Director  

AROUND FRIENDS CENTER

Wednesday, March 23, 4:00 p.m.

Race Street Meetinghouse

1501 Cherry Street, Philadelphia, PA 19102

This event is free and open to the public, but RSVP is required.

In honor of Women’s History Month, the Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission and Friends Select School cordially invite you to the dedication of an official state historical marker commemorating Anna Elizabeth Dickinson (1842-1932). We will gather at the Race Street Meetinghouse for a dedication ceremony. Following the ceremony, we will walk to Broad and Arch Streets, where we will unveil a marker at the site of a home where Dickinson frequently stayed in the 1870s and 1880s.

EQUITY PARTNER NEWS 

PHILADELPHIA YEARLY MEETING (PYM)

Friends are invited to come together for worship, fellowship, and business! Join our wider Yearly Meeting community for events in Philadelphia, online, and at your home meeting. Details of Continuing Sessions available here.

AMERICAN FRIENDS SERVICE COMMITTEE (AFSC)

On the Issues: Using love to #FreeThemAll this Valentine’s Day – YouTube

CENTRAL PHILADELPHIA MONTHLY MEETING (CPMM)

FYI: Marriage Under the Care of the Meeting

Friends conduct a meeting for marriage—the wedding ceremony—as a meeting for worship. The meeting appoints a clerk for the meeting and the couple chooses two witnesses, who will sign the certificate of marriage. The couple chooses their own vows, in consultation with the committee appointed to arrange the meeting for marriage. In the meeting itself, the couple sits together and their guests and the members of the meeting sit as they would in a normal meeting for worship. The clerk opens the meeting by explaining how things will go, mostly for the benefit of family and friends of the couple, who may not be familiar with our way of worship. The meeting begins with worship. After a time of worship, the clerk invites the couple to exchange vows and rings, and the couple and their witnesses sign the wedding certificate. The certificate is then read aloud. Then worship continues, with spoken messages if persons are so moved. When it seems to the clerk that the meeting is fully gathered and the messages have all been given, she or he closes the meeting and the couple and wedding party withdraw. All present are invited to sign the wedding certificate as witnesses themselves after the meeting.

The process

If you seek to be married after the manner of Friends and under the care of the meeting, contact the committee (clerk-membershipcare@cpmm.org, or 215-241-7260) to get started. The committee will arrange a clearness committee that works much like a clearness committee for membership. It will meet with you and you will talk together until both you and the committee are clear that the marriage should go forward as requested, or not.

If yes, the clearness committee brings a recommendation to Membership Care Committee, and then after committee’s discernment, the committee brings a recommendation to the meeting for business in worship. If the meeting approves, then Membership Care appoints a committee to help you arrange the meeting for marriage.

TENANT NEWS

This past week Rob Marcus, founder of Coaching Corps Racial Equity and Access in Youth Sports Task Force, met with members from the Collaborative, Eric Worley from Philadelphia Youth Basketballand Valencia Peterson from Open Door Abuse Awareness & Prevention, to gain insight on the impact sport has on Philadelphia’s community.

Valencia “Coach V” Peterson, Founder & CEO of ODAAP Open Door Abuse Awareness & Prevention provided unique insight into her organization’s mission and how she uses football to connect with young men. She describes how inequity in access to sports during the pandemic negatively impacted her violence prevention efforts. Coach V also discusses working together with other local leaders and organizations in the Collaborative to overcome these barriers.

Eric Worley, Co-founder & Program Director of Philadelphia Youth Basketball discusses the rich basketball tradition of his organization and the role it plays in building his kids as students, athletes, and positive leaders in the community. While some of the barriers have historically pertained to systemic issues like lack of access to out-of-school programs and recreation centers, his organization, Philadelphia Youth Basketball, and the Collaborative, are educating city leaders on the principles of sports-based youth development and making great strides in growing their support.

Click here to watch their full interviews

Singing City

Winter Concert–Learn to Walk Together

Saturday, March 5, 2022, 7 pm 
Philadelphia Episcopal Cathedral, 13 N. 38th Street, Philadelphia, PA

Tickets available here: https://singingcityboxoffice.wazala.com

Presenting the world premiere of A New Day is Rising by Ethan Haman set to poetry by Philadelphia’s Youth Poet Laureate Cydney Brown

Michael Brown. Trayvon Martin. Oscar Grant. Eric Garner. Kenneth Chamberlain. Amadou Diallo. John Crawford. These African-American men are the subjects of Seven Last Words of the Unarmed, a powerful multi-movement choral work by Atlanta-based composer Joel Thompson. Seven movements represent the last words from seven lost lives. Using the text structure of the Joseph Haydn’s Seven Last Words of Christ, each victim’s last words are set in a different musical style and Thompson incorporates the L’homme armé (The armed man) Renaissance French secular tune throughout.

With works by Moses Hogan, William Dawson, Matthew Emery, Undine Smith Moore, and Jake Runestad.

Art-Reach’s John Orr quoted in Inquirer article 2/25/22:

Arts venues learn to make their spaces welcoming with sensory-friendly shows.
How one theater is making it happen.

            “You see [programming for neuro-diverse audiences] growing. It’s really encouraging to see places embracing it,” said John Orr, Art-Reach’s executive director. He now describes Philadelphia as a leader. “This can rewrite the book on what arts interaction looks like.”

» See full article (paywalled)

IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD

African American Children’s Book Fair

Sat., 2/26/2022, 1-4 pm

The 30th Annual African American Children’s Book Fair – LIVE and IN PERSON will be held at the Pennsylvania Convention Center, 12th Arch Street on Saturday, February 26, 2022, from 1:00 to 4 p.m. Hosted by the African American Children’s Book Project, the book fair is one of the oldest and largest single-day events for children’s books in the country. Games, prizes and promotional giveaways will highlight the afternoon. A wide selection of affordable Black children’s books will be available for purchase.

Surgical mask are required at all times.

There is also a Covid-19 protocol in place.

Friends Center Tenant Newsletter

October Tenant Newsletter: Renovation & Parking Updates, Famous African American Quaker, FCNL is Hiring

Issue 75, October 2021

DIRECTOR’S NOTE  

Greetings and best wishes for fall!

With changes in climate, our local autumn season seems to come later than ever. One bonus is that the native plants in the front garden and the courtyard oval are still blooming—and attracting pollinators. The gardens have filled in nicely over the years. I like to see it as a metaphor for the millions of people working in communities for positive change, including the few hundred based here at Friends Center. Through your steady, persistent work, through your showing up again and again, may the systems in which we are embedded also evolve, just like the gardens have grown—even if it’s hard to see the change at any given moment.

Take care and stay safe,

Chris Mohr, Executive Director 

AROUND FRIENDS CENTER

Renovation of 1520 Race Street

The renovation of the 1520 Race Street building by Friends Select School began this week, starting with interior demolition.

                While most of the work will not have an impact on users of the Friends Center, there will be some temporary changes in the courtyard. The contractor will put fencing and barriers in place to provide a safe distance from the building. This will impact Friends Child Care Center the most, and so we will be in frequent communication with them.

                Note that the loading zone is being used by contractors for both Friends Center and Friends Select. The loading zone is only for deliveries, pickups, and dropoffs. There is no tenant parking until further notice. See the updated LOADING ZONE GUIDELINES (right).

                We will be in close touch with the contractor, so that we may do our best to alert the Friends Center community to any significant changes before they occur. Our priority is to maintain safety for everyone. Please reach out to Erick Emerick with any concerns and we will do our best to address them.

EQUITY PARTNER NEWS

PHILADELPHIA YEARLY MEETING (PYM)

Famous Quaker: Benjamin Banneker, an Astronomer and Mathematician

Benjamin Banneker (1731-1806) was a self-educated African American mathematician, astronomer, surveyor, compiler of almanacs, and writer. He was also a regular attender at Quaker meetings and an abolitionist who gained fame and recognition for his contributions to science and his prescient correspondence on multiple subjects, including race, with key intellectuals of the time. Click link above to read the full article.

AMERICAN FRIENDS SERVICE COMMITTEE (AFSC) 

On the Issues: 50 Years Since the Attica Uprising

On Sept. 9, 1971, over 1200 people incarcerated at the Attica Correctional Facility in New York took control of the prison to demand better living conditions and human rights. After four tense days, law enforcement retook the prison by force, leading to the deaths of at least 43 people. In the 50 years since, organizations like AFSC have been entrenched in the work to advocate with incarcerated people for improvements to the system that respect basic human dignity, as well as the growing movement to #FreeThemAll and abolish the prison system as we know it.

Join AFSC staff from our Healing Justice program as they discuss how our work was catalyzed by the events of the Attica Uprising, and hear from campers from the Liberation Summer Camp, which had a focus on this moment in history. Speakers include Healing Justice program coordinator Lewis Webb, Jr., filmmaker and advocate Kharon Benson, Liberation Camp intern Akira Rose, Joeli Valerio, and others.

CENTRAL PHILADELPHIA MONTHLY MEETING (CPMM) 

Author Reading by Pamela Haines

Pamela Haines will speak via Zoom on her book of poetry, ALIVE IN THIS WORLD, on October 30th at 11:00 AM.

The collection of poetry is organized into three sections. The first, A HOME WITH THE TREES, explores a relationship with trees with a growing understanding and gratitude. In COMMUTER ENCOUNTERS, intimate contact with strangers on a trolley or bus invites reflection on humanity, connection and justice. In the final section, A HOME WITH THE EARTH, the soil is a medium for meditation on nourishment and how living in small green city spaces can bring big gifts.  The poems are a call to pay attention to Life and to not let the world go by unnoticed.

Please log in using the Zoom platform listed below:

                Meeting ID: 818 4086 3719

                Password: 979529

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81840863719?pwd=ZmdUSmVUL2orbmxpZGtxc05sYmwxZz09

TENANT NEWS

COUNCIL ON AMERICAN-ISLAMIC RELATIONS (CAIR), PHILADELPHIA CHAPTER
“On the anniversary of Sept. 11, local Muslims contemplate what they’ve endured the last 20 years”
From the Philadelphia Inquirer, 9/11/2021:

                …In general… Philadelphia is a “hospitable place for American Muslims, both African American and immigrants,” said Jacob Bender, executive director of CAIR Philadelphia, the Council on American Islamic Relations, a Muslim civil liberties and advocacy group. “Perhaps it’s the city’s Quaker background, opening it to different religious minorities.”…

                Bender estimates that close to 200,000 Muslims live in Philadelphia, 80% of whom he identified as African Americans. The Pennsylvania suburbs are home to another 200,000, mostly Arab immigrants and their children….

                Another unfortunate aftermath of Sept. 11 was that many young Muslim Americans wanted to disassociate themselves from their religious background, said Ahmet Selim Tekelioglu,education and outreach director for CAIR-Philadelphia.

Full Article Here

PENNSYLVANIA HEALTH ACCESS NETWORK (PHAN)

Please join us for PHAN’s 13th annual health conference

WHEN: Thursday October 21st, 10am – 3pm and Friday October 22nd from 10am-1:30pmWHERE: We’re going virtual again this year!QUESTIONS?: Contact Jennifer at jennifer@pahealthaccess.org or 267-908-9100 x704

As the only conference of its kind, PHAN brings together health care policy experts, advocates, industry representatives, enrollment assisters, and government leaders to discuss key health policy issues directly affecting the Commonwealth.

This fall, join us as we discuss such critical healthcare issues as: lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic (thus far); the federal and state landscape for healthcare policy; lowering the cost of prescription drugs; health equity & the role of Medicaid; hospital consolidation & the changing healthcare landscape; and much more!

» Register Here

IN THE (QUAKER) NEIGHBORHOOD 

Haddonfield Quarterly Meeting

“The Underground Railroad in South Jersey
and Its Importance Today”

Featuring
Linda Shockley, Executive Board President,
Lawnside Historical Society

“Oral history identifies Peter Mott as an agent and conductor for the Underground Railroad, working from his home and Mt. Pisgah A.M.E. Church in present day Lawnside.  Freedom seekers would continue their journey north via Evesham, Haddonfield, and Pennsauken.  The Lawnside Historical Society has restored Mott’s home for use as a museum of the Underground Railroad and the Lawnside community, the only historically African-American incorporated municipality in the northern USA.:  (www.petermotthouse.org)

Sunday, October 24, 2021

Worship – 10 AM; Program – 11 AM

At Medford Meeting and via Zoom.

Email Haddonfieldquarterly@yahoo.com for more information.

Now Hiring:
Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL) is searching for their next General Secretary.

Friends Committee On National Legislation (fcnl.org)

The new General Secretary will be a courageous Quaker leader with a commitment to justice, peace, and environmental sustainability; to expanding diversity, equity and inclusion within the FCNL community and beyond; and to building and nurturing relationships across political and organizational divides.

We Seek a World Free of War and the Threat of War
We seek a Society with Equity and Justice for All
We seek Community where Every Person’s Potential Can be Fulfilled
We Seek an Earth Restored

For more information, contact DeAnne Butterfield, Clerk, Search Committee gssearch@fcnl.org