Issue 61, June 2020
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR’S NOTE: Time for change
The recent unrest in Philadelphia and around the country is a cry for change: Black lives matter! Yet the grinding reality of structural and interpersonal racism and violence in the US continues to roll on—even when there are cameras are rolling nearby. Far, far too often, black and brown lives don’t matter in the U.S. It’s upsetting, saddening, and infuriating.
There is so much work still to do, from stopping systemic violence, to reducing economic and social inequality; from repairing relationships to repairing physical structures; and fostering healing, health and wellness, especially in the communities most impacted by illness, including but not limited to Covid-19.
As you know, Friends Center strives to be a hub for justice and peace in our city and world, through the work of our partners and tenants. Below are a few samples, so you can hear a little of what each other is saying.
Generocity.org has been covering the local situation, and these stood out for me in addressing the Philadelphia nonprofit sector in particular:
- As protests and unrest grip the nation, how should Philly nonprofits respond?
- 15 black nonprofit and community voices to listen to in Philadelphia
Finally, I find some comfort in the willingness of the vast majority of people in the US to stay home in order to create better health outcomes for their families, their neighbors, and even complete strangers. May we build upon that shared sense of connection to create a truly NEW normal that is better than the old one.
– Chris Mohr, Executive Director
AROUND FRIENDS CENTER
GUIDELINES FOR “YELLOW” PHASE OF REOPENING
Gov. Wolf is expected to announce on Friday, June 5, that Philadelphia is moving from the “red” to the “yellow” phase of his reopening process for Pennsylvania. During this phase, organizations that can work remotely are encouraged to continue doing so.
Meanwhile, Friends Center is preparing the facility for gradual return of organizations here. We are placing signage to show appropriate distances in common spaces, capacities of shared conference rooms with distancing, and other guidelines. Our janitorial contractor, Team Clean, is also conducting a deep cleaning of the entire facility. We have updated our protocols to clean high-touch surfaces frequently, in keeping with CDC guidelines.
Directors of each partner and tenant organization have already received Friends Center’s guidelines for reopening. They are now posted online here.
AFSC condemns police killing of George Floyd and police violence against protesters.
“The brutal murder of George Floyd is the consequence of a racist system that disproportionately targets people of color for violence, imprisonment, and premature death,” said Shanene Herbert, director of AFSC’s Healing Justice program in Saint Paul. “Firing these police officers is not enough. We need resources directed away from the police forces that occupy our communities. We need investment in our young people, in our schools, in our health care, and in transformative forms of justice that address the root causes of harm.” Full article here
10-Minute Mindfulness Meditation Session with Deborah Cooper.
In this period of uncertainty, there are powerful benefits to meditation. It is an incredible tool to build attentiveness to what is happening in our bodies and to our selves. To help you tap into Deborah’s teaching, we have shared an audio file of a ten-minute meditation.
A Message from Friends Council on Education Regarding Racial Justice
Friends Council will continue to seek ways to engage all educators and Friends school communities to step up and take action for social justice.
A few selected tenant tweets:
PLSE stands in solidarity with the black community amidst the ongoing victimization by the criminal justice system. We stand with the protesters and we look forward to a time where justice exists and riots are unnecessary.
CASA of Philadelphia (@casaphilly)
As advocates for children/youth in foster care, we at CASA of Philadelphia have a front row seat to the far reaching effects of inequity and injustice. As we do every day, we pledge to continue to advocate for systemic improvements to address racial injustice.
New Century Trust (@newcenturytrust)
“Like our societies, budgets are neither gender-neutral or race-neutral. Budgets tell us whose lives matter and whose do not.” #genderjustice