September Tenant Newsletter: End of Summer Vacation, 9/11, Celebrating 90 years & Quaker Trivia

Issue 74, September 2021

Friends Center Tenant Newsletter

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR’S NOTE

Vacation called and I had to answer! I hope you’ll do the same when the same when the opportunity comes.

– Chris Mohr, Executive Director

AROUND FRIENDS CENTER

  • Please continue to be diligent in wearing your facemask in common areas of the building and practice handwashing regularly.

EQUITY PARTNER NEWS

PHILADELPHIA YEARLY MEETING (PYM)

Morning sessions are also available from 10:30 am – 12:30 pm. Click here for more details

AMERICAN FRIENDS SERVICE COMMITTEE (AFSC)

The lasting impact of U.S. decisions in the aftermath of 9/11By Mary Zerkel

Twenty years ago, on Sept. 11, 2001, the world was shocked at the coordinated attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, resulting in the deaths of nearly 3,000 people.  

Expressions of sympathy and grief came from throughout the world. But rather than use the moment to forge global cooperation, the United States embarked on a disastrous course driven by narratives of fear and retribution. Continue reading here.

CENTRAL PHILADELPHIA MONTHLY MEETING (CPMM)

Quakerism 101 – Quaker Discernment, Decision Making, and the Meeting for Business

Overview

Our second session will explore the Quaker understanding of spiritual discernment and the Quaker processes for making decisions, including the meeting for worship with attention to business and the life of the meeting.

Date: October 24, 1:00-3:00 pm

Zoom: The Zoom link is the same as the link for meeting for worship. The worship meeting will simply be extended.

Facilitators: Barry Scott and Jennifer Walker

TENANT NEWS

The Center For Healing & Justice Through Sport (CHJS)

 Launch Tour Recap 

Last week The Collaborative partnered with the Center for Healing and Justice Through Sport to introduce their work and vision of CHJS, highlight some of the amazing work happening in Philadelphia, and continue the conversation around how the Philadelphia SBYD community can continue to push our field forward. 

The mission of CHJS is to make sport healing for all youth, everywhere, through training, consulting, and movement building. They believe that underneath the fun and camaraderie, sport can be used as a vehicle to provide creative and accessible solutions to some of society’s biggest issues.  Click Here to stay up to date with CHJS and their upcoming events!

YOU’RE INVITED!

Join Friends Council on Education for an evening of Light — poetry, music, thought — to uplift and sustain us on this next stretch of the road we are traveling.

When: September 22nd, 2021

Time: 7-8:30 pm EDT

Location: Event held via Zoom

Register Here

We hope that you will join us for this and other activities throughout the year in celebration of Friends Council’s 90th Anniversary!

IN THE (QUAKER) NEIGHBORHOOD

Quaker Speak is a bi-weekly video series that highlights a variety of relevant topics and how they tie into Quakerism.

This particular video touches on the difference between a welcoming space and an inclusive space. Click here to watch!

Quaker Trivia

Four of the five women who convened the 1848 convention on women’s rights at Seneca Falls were Quakers.  It is presumed that the reason Quaker women played a large part in the struggle for women’s suffrage was due to the leadership skills acquired throughout two centuries of women’s experience speaking publicly and adopting administrative leadership roles within the Quaker community—opportunities unmatched for women in any other western religion at that time.

Friends Center Tenant Newsletter: Going Once, Going Twice, SOLD!, Upgrades, Job Openings and more!

Issue 73, August 2021 

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR’S NOTE  

As announced in February, we have now completed the sale of the 1520 Race Street building to Friends Select School, effective today! 

Thank you to everyone involved, including former tenants of 1520, who collaborated with us on plans for relocation of workplaces and storage; the advisors & board of directors of Friends Center, who thoroughly reviewed every aspect of the deal; and especially the staff and contractors of Friends Center. In particular, a big shout-out to Erick Emerick for managing our side of the move-out.   

– Chris Mohr, Executive Director 

AROUND FRIENDS CENTER 

We’ve upgraded! That’s right, our Historical Quaker Meetinghouse has been updated with some modern-day technology. The Race Street Room now features a built in PC, camera and microphones giving super hosts the ability to hold Zoom meetings. 

What’s that??? Over having zoom meeting you say?!!? No problem! You can now invite up to 300 in person guests to meetings in the worship room. And the room now has air conditioning for hot weather! (Masks required.) 

EQUITY PARTNER NEWS  

PHILADELPHIA YEARLY MEETING (PYM) 

Philadelphia Yearly Meeting recently completed their 341st Annual Sessions, which was virtual again this year.  You may review all of Annual Sessions or focus on the parts that speak to you the most: 

AMERICAN FRIENDS SERVICE COMMITTEE (AFSC) 

ARE THERE HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS HIDDEN IN YOUR INVESTMENTS? 

Knowing what you own is the first step to aligning your investments with your values. You be invested in state violence through companies involved in mass incarceration, immigrant detention and surveillance, military occupation, or the border industry. 

Our database includes original research and lists over 150 company and industry profiles. Learn how companies profit from and support state violence. Then use this knowledge to create change.

CENTRAL PHILADELPHIA MONTHLY MEETING (CPMM) 

Central Philadelphia Monthly Meeting is now hosting in person and virtual Meeting for Worship. Meeting for Worship will begin at 11a.m., and unfortunately is no longer followed by coffee hour. The building will close at 1 pm. If you wish to attend CPMM’s virtual Worship, please email the meeting office at office@cpmm.org to get the meeting ID and password. 

TENANT NEWS 

Keystone Energy Efficiency Alliance 

The Conference 

What does the future of energy efficiency look like? A difficult year has given us new appreciation for “business-as-usual” conditions. But as the industry recovers, we’re facing a unique opportunity to look beyond the old “normal” and shape the future. KEEA and EEA-NJ’s first in-person event of 2021, Forging the Future for Energy Efficiency, presents two days of forward-looking programming examining the policies, technologies, and companies pushing our industry into a new period of growth and innovation. 

When: September 22-23rd at the Philadelphia Navy Yard; act by August 13th for early bird pricing! 

» Register here. 

Community Ventures 

 Job Opening: Assistant Rental Manager 

Community Ventures is a non-profit, mission-driven developer and property manager of affordable housing in Philadelphia. 

Seeking a career-minded and energetic Assistant Rental Manager to join the team managing a group of affordable residential properties in North Philadelphia. Click here for responsibilities, requirements and benefits.

IN THE (QUAKER) NEIGHBORHOOD 

Do you know a Quaker leader?   

FCNL is searching for a new General Secretary. 

The Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL) seeks a Spirit-led, seasoned, and strategic leader who brings vision, inspiration, and executive experience to the role of General Secretary. The new General Secretary will be a courageous Quaker leader with a commitment to justice, peace, and environmental stewardship; to expanding diversity, equity, and inclusion within the FCNL community and beyond; and to building and nurturing relationships across political and organizational divides that promote healing of divisions in the Congress and the country. 

A position profile is posted on the FCNL website at www.fcnl.org/gssearch.  

A Fond Farewell, 11 years LEED Platinum, Local Rollin’ Fun!

Issue 72, May-June 2021

Friends Center Tenant Newsletter

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR’S NOTE

Although Friends Center remains relatively quiet a fair amount of the time, a lot of change is happening below the surface, in some respects, quite literally.

            As of now, we plan to close on the sale of our 1520 Race Street building to Friends Select School on August 3.

            We appreciate all the staff from the equity partners and the tenants with storage in that building who have worked so hard to reduce and move over their materials. As you have heard, our remaining storage is quite limited.

            Stay tuned for future updates.

            Meanwhile, stay safe, be healthy, act for justice, and find time for peaceful reflection as you are able.

– Chris Mohr, Executive Director

AROUND FRIENDS CENTER

→→→ FC Furniture GIVEAWAY ←←←

June 21-25, 2021

Sending a big thank you all of the tenants who moved out of the 1520 building and chose to leave furniture and office supplies behind. We would like to pay their kindness forward by opening the doors and offering our entire community the chance to browse what’s there and take what you like.

Stop by the 1520 Race Street building

the week of June 21-25

for our office furnishings giveaway!

  • First-come, first-served!
  • You are responsible for hauling away items you want. Friends Center staff is not able to assist.
  • Please mark claim larger items by taping a sign or post-it to the item your name, organization, and phone number.
  • Other questions? Contact Erick.

CHANGES IN THE RACE STREET ROOM

also known as the Worship Room

Friends Center has two exciting changes to announce for the Race Street Room, betteer known as the Worship Room of the Meetinghouse:

Our contractor Spinnaker Multimedia Solutions recently upgraded the AV system in the Race Street Room. We can now host hybrid meetings with participants who are both in person and online through Zoom!! Please contact Shakirah Holloway in our office if you would like to know more.

Our facility manager John Gibson and our building controls contractor Carrier Systems recently upgraded the HVAC system in the Race Street Room to provide cooled air! While it will probably never be truly cool on a hot day, this solution will make the space bearable in summer. All powered by our path-breaking geothermal heating and cooling system, of course!

CHANGES IN EVENT ROOM USE

Friends Child Care Center is moving out of the 1520 Race Street building and is now occupying the Cherry Street Room and Rufus Jones Room for the foreseeable future. We are in the process of developing a new facility for them in the Lower Level of the 1501 Cherry Street building.

            Our hope is to have the new facility available in early 2022. Stay tuned as more details become available!

EQUITY PARTNER NEWS

PHILADELPHIA YEARLY MEETING (PYM)

Reflections on the Light and Languages of Pentecost: Fire. Light. The Holy Spirit.

Reflections by Melinda Wenner Bradley, Youth Religious Life Coordinator for PYM

“While Friends did not traditionally celebrate religious holidays aligned with the liturgical calendar of the Christian church, Pentecost feels to me like a story our children should hear…. How can seeking the Light, receiving gifts of the Spirit, and sharing a message of God’s love for all people across the boundaries of place and language be part of all of our days as Friends?”

» Read more

AMERICAN FRIENDS SERVICE COMMITTEE (AFSC)

AFSC Calls for Pathway to Citizenship

Every person without permanent immigration status deserves a lasting solution to keep families and communities together. But today, there are about 11 million undocumented immigrants in the U.S. without a viable pathway to permanent residency and citizenship.

»   Read AFSC’s call for a pathway to citizenship.

AFSC Opposes Weapons Sales

The Biden administration has approved a new sale of $735 million in weapons to Israel, despite objections in Congress. At the same time, the Biden administration also announced it would commit just $5 million to support reconstruction in Gaza—a fraction of what the U.S. is providing in weapons. AFSC is working to change U.S. policy to support those pushing for nonviolent change. Everyone deserves to live in safety and peace.

»   AFSC’s position against weapons sales and in support of reconstruction

»   Learn more about AFSC’s global peace policy: Shared Security

CENTRAL PHILADELPHIA MONTHLY MEETING (CPMM)

GEORGE LAKEY:
STRATEGIES FOR SUCCESS WITH DIVERSE LEARNERS

Saturday, June 5th, 11:00 AM

George Lakey of Central Philadelphia Monthly Meeting will read from one of his newest books. Facilitating Group Learning is an essential resource designed to help educators, trainers, workshop leaders, and anyone who assists groups to learn. George Lakey will discuss the core principles and proven techniques of direct education, an approach he developed for effectively teaching adults in groups. The author emphasizes critical issues related to diversity, as well as authenticity and emotions. Please log in on the Zoom platform.
Login info and other details here.

.O on Transforming Love Ministry

Sunday, June 6th, 1:00 pm

CPMM member .O will talk about her transforming love ministry on June 6, 2021 at 1 pm.

            .O invites participants to bring a seed of their liking, and to watch ahead of time this 6-minute video showing the lived experience of inseparable oneness:

This is part of a series, Meeting for Worship with Attention to Ministry, sponsored by the Committee on Gifts and Leadings.

» Calendar Listing

TENANT NEWS

A Fond Farewell to

Girls Inc.

of Greater Philadelphia & Southern N.J.

After six dynamic years at Friends Center, Girls Inc. of Greater Philadelphia & Southern N.J. is moving to the Bok Building in mid-June. While we are sorry to see them go, we recognize they have outgrown the available space at Friends Center.

            Executive Director Dena Herrin was new in her job when she contacted us in 2015 about leasing space for four staff and some interns. Their work of “inspiring all girls to be strong, smart, and bold” was a great fit with the Quaker testimony of equality, and the long history of women in leadership roles in the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers).

            Since 2015, thanks to the efforts of Dena, Natasha Andrews, Cherice Arrington, and the rest of the team, Girls Inc. has nearly doubled in size! No doubt, they have also increased their impact on the girls and young women they serve by even more than that. They also did a lively and informative podcast with us.

            Many people at Friends Center also benefited from Girls Inc. sharing their resources with the community, especially the many seasonal craft supplies.

            Good luck, Girls Inc.! We look forward to hearing reports of how your programs continue to flourish and grow in your new home.

And welcome back to

Keystone Energy Efficiency Alliance

This month we welcome back Keystone Energy Efficiency Alliance—better known as KEEA—to Friends Center. Their work to advance energy efficiency in the Mid-Atlantic through energy education and awareness is an excellent fit with our mission to promote Quaker values such as stewardship of the environment. It also fits extremely well with our 1501 Cherry Street building, which was renovated to LEED Platinum certification level 11 years ago now.

            KEEA had been a tenant from 2013 to 2018, so it is nice to welcome them back to our tenant community now.

IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD

Local Rollin’ Fun!

Lace up your skates and get ready to roll back in time as live DJs spin throwback tunes at the Rothman Orthopaedics Roller Rink, including hits from the 80s, 90s and early 2000s! Now in place at Dilworth Park next to City Hall.

Friends Center Newsletter 4/2021: Shredding Day II, Chauvin Verdict Responses, Tenants in the News

Issue 71, April 2021

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR’S NOTE

Although this newsletter is going out late in April, it has plenty of interesting information. Send us your updates, so we can share more news again in just a few weeks. Happy spring!

– Chris Mohr, Executive Director

AROUND FRIENDS CENTER

Shredding Day II – First week of May

Shredding Day was so successful, we’re making a sequel!

Please drop off paper for shredding inside the loading dock entrance in the Meetinghouse basement, Monday, May 3—Thursday May 6. (The vendor will be here very early that Friday, so Friday is too late to drop material off.)

EQUITY PARTNER NEWS

PHILADELPHIA YEARLY MEETING (PYM)

Runway to Annual Sessions 2021

May 4—July 24, 2021

The Runway to Annual Sessions is filled with virtual workshops, gatherings, Business Q&As, an All Ages Gathering, and a Collaborative Fair!

            During the week of Annual Sessions, July 27 through August 1, we will gather to begin our week with the 4th Annual Spiritual Formation retreat. Following the virtual retreat, we will connect as a yearly meeting in All Ages Worship, Meeting for Worship with Attention to Business, five fantastic keynotes, an awesome Artist in Residence, Youth programs, Young Adult programs, Fellowship, worship sharing, Affinity Spaces, epistle writing, and Bible studies.

            This year’s Annual Sessions theme is “Uproot Injustice, Root Justice” and is present and woven into all aspects of our work together including Meeting for Worship with Attention to Business, our keynote presentations, the Collaborative Fair, and the workshops. 

            To receive the latest schedule of events, registration details, upcoming events and stories, please check the Annual Sessions page and sign up for our weekly News & Events newsletter.

AMERICAN FRIENDS SERVICE COMMITTEE (AFSC)

Despite Chauvin conviction, trauma of police violence continues

Young Black and Brown people in the Twin Cities need accountability and healing

SAINT PAUL, MN (April 20, 2021) A Minneapolis jury found Derek Chauvin—a white police officer—guilty for the murder of George Floyd. George Floyd—a Black 46-year-old Minneapolis resident—was killed by Chauvin and three other officers on May 25 of last year. Floyd’s murder sparked widespread condemnation and protests across the Twin Cities and across the country. The American Friends Service Committee (AFSC)—a Quaker social justice organization—organized against this killing and police violence nationwide.

»   Read the full statement from Shanene Herbert, director of AFSC’s Healing Justice program in Saint Paul.

CENTRAL PHILADELPHIA MONTHLY MEETING (CPMM)

CPMM member .O will talk about her transforming love ministry on June 6, 2021. This is part of a series, Meeting for Worship with Attention to Ministry, sponsored by the Committee on Gifts and Leadings.

» Calendar Listing

TENANT NEWS

 

CAIR-Philadelphia

Statement on Derek Chauvin Trial Verdict

(PHILADELPHIA, PA, 04/21/21) — The Philadelphia Chapter of Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-Philadelphia) welcomes the conviction of Derek Chauvin in the murder of George Floyd….
            CAIR-Philadelphia Civil Rights Attorney Timothy Welbeck said, “A guilty verdict, while satisfying in that it brings a measure of justice to Derek Chauvin’s heinous actions, is still an incomplete measure. It will never bring back George Floyd and it is just the first step in addressing unchecked police violence against people of color.”
            He continued, “The criminal justice system that we have is broken at its very foundation. The murder of George Floyd is one of the most grotesque illustrations of that. I’m glad to see a guilty verdict. This is what we were hoping for and anticipating. Just as the prosecution said in its closing arguments, ‘you saw what you saw,’ America saw what it saw. And I am relieved that at the very least, we have some semblance of accountability in this moment.” Welbeck concluded by saying, “This conviction is a start, but there is much work to do…”
            Said Mohammed Zubairu, President of the Executive Committee of CAIR-Philadelphia, “The Muslim community of the Greater Delaware Valley must continue to speak out on issues of justice in our locality and our country. As Americans, this is our First Amendment right. As Muslims, this is our obligation, to correct wrongs when we see them, and certainly not be part to them by action or inaction.”
» Read the full statement

GENDER JUSTICE FUND

Trust-based philanthropy offers us a path to power sharing, beyond the pandemic

“By lifting restrictions on the use of funds and relying on grantees to tell us what they needed, we made seismic shifts in the distribution of power in our sector,” says guest columnist Farrah Parkes.

» Read the full piece

SCATTERGOOD FOUNDATION

PA Pardon System:

Join The Scattergood Foundation & Philadelphia Lawyers for Social Equity for a conversation about the PA Pardon System. Held on 5/17 at 9am with DA Larry Krasner, Jeffery Brown and a host of others. Register here

Aligning policy & practice through local grantmaking efforts
by Caitlin O’Brien & Alyson Ferguson for Generocity:

The Scattergood Foundation will award four $20,000 grants to grassroots orgs as part of its new grant program, Policy Meets Practice: Think Bigger Do Good Support Local.

» Read more

American Rescue Plan Act and Philadelphia Behavioral Health, by Joe Pyle forGenerocity:
»
Part 1

» Part 2

SINGING CITY

Featured on WRTI’s Friday Choral Connection!

This Friday, April 30, 1:30 pm

WRTI-FM, on the radio at 90.7 FM and online wrti.org, presents Friday Choral Connection, which airs every Friday at 1:30 PM. This program, which started last September, has been extended through June 2021. Singing City will be featured on April 30.

IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD

PROGRAMS AT DILWORTH PARK

Center City Fit
Mondays & Tuesdays, April 12-October 12, 6 p.m.-7 p.m.

Get ready to get moving! Professional instructors and trainers from Optimal Sport 1315 Walnut will host free outdoor fitness classes for participants of all skill levels. Monday evenings will be dedicated to Zumba, and Tuesdays in April will focus on Boot Camp before transitioning to HIIT classes in May. 

The Arts on Center Stage
Wednesdays, May 5—August 25, 5 p.m.-7:30 p.m.

Philadelphia’s robust network of arts & culture organizations, large and small, will be celebrated every week as they showcase their talent in the center of the city at Dilworth Park. Performances will range from orchestral serenades and ballet ensembles to jazz instrumentals and beyond. In support of local restaurants, guests are encouraged to dine al fresco with takeout meals from nearby eateries. Cocktails to-go will be offered to guests 21 and older, and a special menu will be available at the Air Grille. CCD and the park’s café operators have implemented increased health safety procedures throughout the park and visitors will be reminded to adhere to all CDC guidelines, including wearing masks at all times. All programs are weather permitting and subject to change. Dilworth Park is located at 1 S. 15th St., on the west side of City Hall. Visit DilworthPark.org to learn more.

Mourning Together, Shredding Day, Innocence on Death Row and more

Issue 70, March 2021

Friends Center Tenant Newsletter

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR’S NOTE

Today in the U.S. we have yet another reason for mourning. The horrific mass shooting of Asian American women in Atlanta is just the latest sign of a wave of anti-Asian violence in the US. And other forms of structural and interpersonal violence continue to occur here in Philadelphia, in the US, and in other countries (many of whom are supplied with weapons from this country).

                Fortunately, many organizations at Friends Center organize communities and offer resources to counter these trends. Here are just a few samples:

  • CAIR:
    TONIGHT (3/17):

    Vigil for Victims of Anti-Asian Violence 10th & Vine St Plaza, 7-8 PM for all those who are grieving those who have suffered. At 6 PM, we also welcome those who want to help make posters for the vigil.
  • AFSC:
    Standing up to Anti-Asian Racism, Feb. 2021
  • Gender Justice Fund:
    Tweet: “White supremacy and patriarchy are inextricably linked. We must fight them both on every front. Our hearts are with those affected by the shooting in #Atlanta.”
  • Friends Center’s Twitter list of the organizations here is a great way to find out what your colleagues are doing: https://twitter.com/i/lists/184330795.   

– Chris Mohr, Executive Director

AROUND FRIENDS CENTER

Shredding Day: March 19th

Our Preferred company will be visiting Friends Center to shred sensitive documents onsite. You can leave your shredding down by the loading area on the cart that is set up. What is collected will be locked up at night until it is picked up Friday.

EQUITY PARTNER NEWS

PHILADELPHIA YEARLY MEETING (PYM)

Spring Continuing Sessions

March 23, 7:00pm – 8:30pm

March 26, 6:00pm – 7:30pm

March 27, 9:00am – 4:00pm

Register Here

AMERICAN FRIENDS SERVICE COMMITTEE (AFSC)

Employment Opportunities

The American Friends Service Committee is a Quaker Organization which includes people of various faiths who are committed to social justice, peace, and humanitarian service.  Its work is based on the Quaker belief in the worth of every person, and faith in the power of love to overcome violence and injustice. Read more about AFSC’s commitment to diversity and inclusion.

For a complete list of open positions, please click here.

CENTRAL PHILADELPHIA MONTHLY MEETING (CPMM)

Fair Trade Ministry

This is a video recording of Yoko Koike Barnes’s presentation on her Fair Trade Ministry, offered during the meeting for worship with attention to ministry via Zoom on March 4, 2021.

TENANT NEWS

 

Gender Justice Fund & Scattergood Foundation featured:

Generocity.org: “Does the local nonprofit sector have the collective agency to make change and move us toward just recovery?”

“It is hard to find balance between doing the work and finding the energy and resources to argue at City Hall,” says Farrah Parkes of Gender Justice Fund.

» Continue Reading Here

Witness to Innocence

Featured in National Geographic Magazine:

“Sentenced to death, but innocent:
These are stories of justice gone wrong.”

Since 1973, more than 8,700 people in the U.S. have been sent to death row. At least 182 weren’t guilty—their lives upended by a system that nearly killed them.

» Articles and Photos Here (paywall)

February’s Newsletter – Going Once, Going twice, Sold! Quaker Traditions, Muslim Ban termination, and Black History

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR’S NOTE

Today I am excited to announce that Friends Center has entered into an agreement with Friends Select School to buy and renovate the 1520 Race Street, the building on the west side of our courtyard.

Check here for details and updates: https://friendscentercorp.org/1520-race-street/ 

– Chris Mohr, Executive Director


AROUND FRIENDS CENTER

E-WASTE RECYCLING DAY: MARCH 4

SustainabilityDid you get new computers or electronic during the pandemic? Do you have old and obsolete items to dispose of? Come on down and recycle your e-waste!

We will collect items March 1–3 in the loading zone, for pickup some time on March 4.

  • Acceptable: Computers, laptops, monitors, printers, mainframe computers or servers, fax machines, copiers, projectors, wire and cables, modems, phones, computer components and parts, computer peripherals, televisions, radios, UPS equipment, network equipment, video equipment, and batteries.
  • Not acceptable: White goods, kitchen appliances, machinery, old media or software.

Stay tuned for a shredding day soon, too!


EQUITY PARTNER NEWS

PHILADELPHIA YEARLY MEETING (PYM)

Quaker Traditions Series: Part I – Spiritual Practice

The Quaker Traditions Series is a set of articles on the Quaker faith. In his role as Associate Secretary for Religious Life,  Zachary Dutton has listened deeply to Friends in the community. Working with the PYM staff community engagement team he has provided answers to framing questions for this four-part series. The answers are reflective as opposed to definitive.

                The gift of the Quaker faith is that it is one of continuing revelation, so the article speaks to the ‘here and now’ of our faith even as it is tied to, and reflects, our history and tradition. If you have thoughts on these questions, please share them with Zachary – his email is at the end of this article. He is always looking for new ways to be in relationship with our wider Quaker community. Enjoy article here.

AMERICAN FRIENDS SERVICE COMMITTEE (AFSC)

Biden’s changes to the immigration system explained

Soon after taking office, President Joe Biden began making big changes, including to U.S. immigration policy. These actions work to undo some of the most harmful policies passed by the Trump administration—and lay the groundwork for a more just and humane immigration system.

                We welcome these much-needed changes and the Biden administration’s swift action on these issues. Now we need to keep the momentum up to ensure that the administration continues to support immigrant communities and enact policies that respect the rights and dignity of all people. 

            Here’s where you can find some of the positive changes that Biden has already made and what this means for immigrant communities.

CENTRAL PHILADELPHIA MONTHLY MEETING (CPMM)

About Our Meeting (Church)

Central Philadelphia Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends is a large, urban Quaker meeting, diverse in many ways, and we welcome visitors.

  • We worship by gathering and silently waiting for the Spirit to guide us. Learn more about Quaker worship here.
  • We celebrate diversity and welcome people from all walks of life. We are a welcoming and affirming congregation for LGBTQ people.
  • We are also involved in various activities to further peace and social justice.
  • For more information about our meeting, click About in the menu above.
  • What’s happening: See the Google calendar to the right for meeting activities and click Events in the menu above for highlighted events.

TENANT NEWS

ACE Mentor Program

What can we say? 2020 was…quite the year! We’re happy to report that ACE has come out of it perhaps stronger than ever thanks to an amazing board of directors, staff, and 4,000+ incredible volunteers around the country. Even in the face of a global pandemic, ACE’s strongest resource – our mentors – rallied to ensure that deserving students still had access to the best career guidance program in the country!

Community Ventures

Green Building United recently spoke with Patrick Isaac—a newly elected Board Member of GBU—about his career path, experience in the industry, and interest in sustainability. This is what he had to say!

Gender Justice Fund

From Generocity, 1/20/2021:

Nonprofit leaders, mayor react to executive actions that will be issued by President Biden

We reached out to seven local leaders for a quick comment….

        Farrah Parkes, the executive director of the Gender Justice Fund, said that she was “heartened by the speed with which the Biden administration is moving to address the most pressing issues facing the country and reverse some of the most egregious actions of the former President — particularly those related to immigration.”

        “We are well overdue for a coordinated federal response to the pandemic which has claimed over 400,000 lives in the United States,” Parkes added. “It is also gratifying to see swift action on addressing systemic racism and workplace discrimination as well as climate change.”

Read More »

CAIR welcomes President Biden’s Termination of the Muslim Ban

CAIR-Philadelphia Executive Director Jacob Bender said in a press release: “We commend President Biden for immediately moving to repeal the Muslim and African Bans, which is an important first step toward undoing the anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant policies of the previous administration. It is an important fulfilment of a campaign pledge to the Muslim community and its allies.”

Read the full statement here »

Scattergood Foundation:

Want to build skills to tell the story of your organization’s impact? Join the RISE Partnership’s Readiness component.

Read Scattergood’s piece in Generocity here »  


BLACK HISTORY IS AMERICAN HISTORY:

Remembering Bayard Rustin 1912-1987

Bayard Rustin was a black Civil Rights activist, a close associate of Martin Luther King, and an advocate of gay and lesbian rights, and a Quaker.

                Rustin was born in West Chester, Pennsylvania and was brought up by his grandmother, who had been raised as a Quaker.  He himself became a Quaker in 1936, shortly before moving to New York where he lived most of his adult life.  He was a pacifist and a primary influence in bringing non-violent resistance into the American Civil Rights Movement, much inspired by Gandhi’s approach in India.

                In 1941, he joined the pacifist Fellowship of Reconciliation.  He protested against segregation within the armed forces, and worked with the American Friends Service Committee to protect the property of interned Japanese Americans.

                Despite his membership of the Society of Friends (one of the so-called ‘Historic Peace Churches’), Rustin was jailed in 1944 for his conscientious objection to cooperating with the draft.  While in jail, he organised protests against segregated seating in the dining hall.  In a letter to the prison warden, he wrote:

Both morally and practically, segregation is to me a basic injustice. Since I believe it to be so, I must attempt to remove it. There are three ways in which one can deal with an injustice. (a) One can accept it without protest. (b) One can seek to avoid it. (c) One can resist the injustice non-violently. To accept it is to perpetuate it.

Source: Quakers in the World

2021 January Newsletter – Good omens, Inauguration day, The Assault on Democracy

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR’S NOTE

Is it January 13, 2021? Or more like December 44, 2020? It’s sometimes hard to tell. (Credit for this idea goes to our staff member Teneshia Washington!)

                Personally, whenever I see a raptor, I take that as a good omen. On Jan. 11, a juvenile Cooper’s hawk paused with its lunch on the wall by the front entrance to Friends Center. So I’ve decided to take this as an auspicious sign for the year ahead! (Fun fact: One definition of “auspices” is “observation by an augur especially of the flight and feeding of birds to discover omens,” according to Merriam-Webster.)

                Wishing you all the best in 2021,

– Chris Mohr, Executive Director

AROUND FRIENDS CENTER

CLOSED Mon. January 18

In celebration of MARTIN LUTHER KING JR. DAY!

INAUGURATION DAY

We are monitoring the anti-democracy protests being announced in the days leading up to and including Jan. 20, when President-Elect Biden and Vice President-Elect Harris are sworn in. As of now, state and national capitol buildings appear to be the focus. The situation is fluid and uncertain.

                If the local situation in Center City warrants it, we will reduce hours or close altogether.

                We will announce any changes by email and social media.

EQUITY PARTNER NEWS

PHILADELPHIA YEARLY MEETING (PYM)

PYM Community Playdates are for Children up through 5th Grade and their Family.

Our January 16 Community Playdate (10:00 am) is a “Meeting for Feelings.” Learn More Here

AMERICAN FRIENDS SERVICE COMMITTEE (AFSC)

Year in review: How you helped us Defund Hate in 2020

On a Facebook Live event in January 2021, AFSC’s Tori Bateman, Benjamin Prado, and Fabiola Davila talked about the need to stop abuses by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Read More Here.

CENTRAL PHILADELPHIA MONTHLY MEETING (CPMM)

The History of CPMM

Central Philadelphia Monthly Meeting was formed in 1956 when two city meetings—12th Street Meeting and Race Street Meeting—were united. Our building, however, is 100 years older, and has served as a Quaker meetinghouse since it was built in 1856. Continue Here

TENANT NEWS

C.A.I.R.

Jacob Bender, Executive Director of C.A.I.R (The Council on American-Islamic Relations), supports IMPEACHMENT NOW!


GENDER JUSTICE FUND:

Statement on the January 6 attacks

Learn more at https://www.genderjusticephilly.org/.

FRIENDS COUNCIL ON EDUCATION

Here is FCE’s statement on the January 6 attacks.

Quaker Quote

Friends Center December Newsletter

Issue 67, December 2020

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR’S NOTE

Friends Center staff remains at your service weekdays from 8 am to 6 pm. It is always nice to see you in person whenever you are able to be here.

May the new year bring improved health, justice, and economic outcomes, through all our combined efforts!

P.S. If you are looking for additional help next year, consider hosting a Quaker Voluntary Service (QVS) Fellow. QVS is an 11-month fellowship for young adults at the intersection of social justice, spirituality and community. In the QVS program, young adults work full-time in professional positions. Some of our tenants have benefited from QVS Fellows. Fact sheet attached.

»Site placement application is here.

– Chris Mohr, Executive Director

AROUND FRIENDS CENTER


EQUITY PARTNER NEWS

PHILADELPHIA YEARLY MEETING (PYM)

Christmas Eve Meeting for Prayer and Healing : Dec. 24 @ 7:15 pm – 8:30 pm Free

On Christmas Eve 2020 we will have a special Meeting for Prayer and Healing.  We will participate in a guided meditation/prayer in which we open up to divine healing love, and then share it with others.  This will be followed by an opportunity in small groups to share our experiences with each other.  We will close together as a whole group. More information here

AMERICAN FRIENDS SERVICE COMMITTEE (AFSC)

Download and print AFSC Posters from here!

PHILADELPHIA YEARLY MEETING (PYM)

Christmas Together in New Ways

Christmas Together in New Ways

Meetings may be seeking to create meaningful Christmas programs that keep Friends connected while also being safe about Covid-19. Two online Conversation Circles were hosted by the Youth Religious Life Coordinator to share ideas and support each other with how to plan for celebrations in this challenging time. Read more here on how to stay connected!

CENTRAL PHILADELPHIA MONTHLY MEETING (CPMM)

CPMM continues to worship via Zoom every Sunday, 11 am – noon!

If you would like the link so you can join Quaker meeting for worship, please contact CPMM Meeting Secretary Dan Zemaitis, office@cpmm.org or (215) 241-7260.

TENANT NEWS

Where a global pandemic increases the struggle

This article from Generocity Philly features the Founding director of PHAN, Antoinette Kraus. Kraus says “After the emergency declaration is over, folks could end up losing benefits because of additional paperwork, they have to submit or things like that,” Kraus said. “It’s really a patchwork fragmented system that has a lot of hoops and barriers for folks to be able to master.”

» Read more here.

Girls INC.

Hello Friends,

We are looking to fill two positions:

Operations Manager and EUREKA! (STEM) Program Manager.  You can see the job descriptions here

Wishing you all a happy, healthy and safe holiday.

Best,

Dena Herrin, Executive Director

Happy Holidays from Singing City!

Enjoy Singing City’s holiday video with choral music, since they cannot hold their traditional holiday performance this year.

https://vimeo.com/489397574

NEIGHBOR NEWS

Becoming an Anti-Racist Quaker Meeting,
Part 1: Preparation

By Carolyn Lejuste and David Etheridge
for Friends General Conference

The work of anti-racism can be costly in ego and in resources. It takes critical humility to look directly at the roots of racism and how we perpetuate it. It is spiritual work that Quakers are familiar with. When we examine our lives and the life of our Meetings through the lens of our testimonies, our experience of the God within us grows and the beloved community thrives.

» Read More Here

Quakers and Christmas:
A Historical and Contemporary Retrospective

December 17, 6:30-7:30 pm

Speaking of Dan Zemaitis, he will give this talk by Zoom. Hosted by Historic Arch Street Meeting House. » Register here.