March Tenant Newsletter – COVID-19 Awareness, Project Funds Available and 2 must see concerts!

Issue 58, March 2020


As I wrote in an email to the building last Friday, Friends Center is monitoring the evolution of the coronavirus (COVID-19) situation closely. Our goal is to provide information and resources and coordinate efforts to help slow the spread of the illness.

                To aid in our response, please let me know if your organization will close or modify its in-office schedule. Also, please notify me if anyone on your staff is diagnosed with or suspected to have the virus, so we can take appropriate cleaning measures.

                Thank you for your understanding and collaboration in our community efforts to respond, in order to reduce harm to everyone, especially the people who are most vulnerable.

– Chris Mohr, Executive Director


CORONAVIRUS: City of Philadelphia Resources

Planning guidance for businesses and nonprofit organizations

In the event of a large-scale infectious disease outbreak, businesses and other organizations must both protect employees’ health and safety and limit the economic impact of the outbreak. The guidance below will assist businesses in preparing for continuity of critical operations if the COVID-19 coronavirus has a severe impact on Philadelphia.

The Philadelphia Department of Public Health (PDPH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will provide up-to-date, reliable information on COVID-19 as the situation unfolds.



Campaign to End Felony Disenfranchisement

Nearly 6 million people, mostly Black and brown people, are blocked from voting by various forms of felony disenfranchisement. All but two states, Maine and Vermont, limit access to the polls for those with criminal justice involvement. Contact your governor today and urge them to restore voting rights.

Learn more:


Continuing Sessions will be Saturday March 28, 2020 and registration is now open.

Location – Westtown School, 101 East School Lane in West Chester, PA 19382.

View the 2020 spring continuing sessions schedule here.

  What is Continuing Sessions?

  • Meets twice a year
  • Includes worship, business sessions, &  fellowship.
  • Offers opportunities to share information from members,  meetings, committees, and other Friends’ organizations.
  • Learn more in our Faith & Practice


CPMM is interested in providing operating and/or project support to local nonprofit organizations in the Philadelphia area that are doing exemplary work in any of our priority areas:

  1. Combating Climate Change
  2. Meeting Basic Human Needs of Housing, Food, etc.
  3. Undoing Racism
  4. Ending Mass Incarceration

Friendly Neighbor Funds Application Form


After School All Stars

After School All Stars is hosting a networking event at Yards Brewing Co. Co. on March 10, from 6-8 pm. Register to attend here: See you there!! #afterschool #networking

Singing City Spring Concert:

Stephen Paulus’ To Be Certain of the Dawn

A Commemoration of the Children

Sunday, May 3, 3 p.m.

Reform Congregation Keneseth Israel
8339 Old York Road
Elkins Park, PA

With the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, Philadelphia Boys Choir
and Philadelphia Girls Choir; Kara Mulder, soprano; Misoon Ghim, mezzo- soprano; Michael Hogue, tenor; and Daniel Teadt, baritone

Purchase Tickets: $35 general admission;; $15 students

Anna Crusis Women’s Choir

Purchase Tickets: Music for the New Revolution Showcase Concert

March 14 @ 8:00 pm – 10:00 pm

The Folk Factory presents “Music for the New Revolution” w/ ANNA Crusis Women’s Choir, Kora Feder, Lydia Munoz

February Newsletter: FC on TV, Fracking Discussion, Friends Journal job opening


Friends Center—Famous in Chile!

Last summer we had a visit from Chilean TV personality Federico Sánchez. His original show, “CityTour,” features the architecture, culture, and people of Chilean cities. For his second show, “CityTour on Tour,” he does the same while visiting cities in other countries.

                While in Philadelphia, he and his film crew stopped in at Friends Center. They interviewed Robin Mohr, executive secretary of the Friends World Committee for Consultation (FWCC), Section of the Americas. (Special thanks to Ralph Medley of AFSC for introducing Sánchez to us that day.)

                The whole episode is now on YouTube. Friends Center is featured from 28:15 to 31:15. It’s fun to see the Race Street Quaker Meetinghouse from a different, global perspective!

– Chris Mohr, Executive Director



Friends Center has changed composting companies to better fit what we dispose of and to keep up with changes in the composting industry.

Here is what we will be collecting:

  • Paper towels from the restrooms
  • Compostable paper plates. They should not have anything printed on them, or any type of coating.
  • All food items, including meat.

We will no longer collect:

  • compostable plastics (cups and utensils).

We are in the process of deploying new signage to help make sense of the changes. We all strive to compost as much as possible, but please keep in mind that getting the wrong materials in the collection bins hinders the sorting process, so please remember: “When in doubt, throw it out.”

If you have questions, please contact Erick Emerick at (215) 241-7190 or

Environmental Event


“Our federal budget should be used to improve our communities, not tear them apart.”

Article: Trump’s budget is bad for New Hampshire! By Maggie Fogarty and Sandra Pontoh


The Annual Sessions 2020 Workshop application proposals are now being accepted.

Please consider sharing your work and witness, as well as your gifts and skills with the yearly meeting at Annual Sessions.
Annual Sessions will be at The College of New Jersey from July 29 through August 2, 2020.

To be considered for a workshop, please fill out an application:

  • There is a firm deadline of February 28, 2020. We will not be able to accept applications past the deadline this year.
  • The workshop dates are Thursday, July 30th, Friday, July 31st, and Saturday, August 1st.
  • Workshops are 3 hours, with a 1 or 2 day option.


CPMM is one local point of Light in a wider constellation of Quaker organizations. We are directly affiliated with some and more loosely associated with others. We provide links to these organizations’ websites here.


Friends Council on Education invites you to join them for the following panel workshop they are hosting on the opening day of the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) 2020 Conference in Philadelphia.

Legacy and Future: Quaker Education Preparing Students to Transform the World

A panel of Friends school alumni educators share how their experience of Friends education has lead them to where they are today.

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Friends Center

4pm-5pm with closing worship until 5:30, followed by a reception at Con Murphy.


Darryl Ford (Friends Select School ‘83)

Rachel Kane (Westtown ‘98)
Lee Payton (Friends Select School ‘95)
Drew Smith (Westtown ‘82) – moderator and host

Rebecca Zug (Westtown ‘89)

Philadelphia Lawyers for Social Equity (PLSE)

Two Temple Law students join Philadelphia Lawyers for Social Equity for the spring term.

The only possible way PLSE can file 3,000 expungement petitions per year with just two staff attorneys is by relying on law students for help.


  • Philadelphia, otherwise known as the City of Brotherly Love, changed its nickname Thursday in honor of the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment. The city’s honorary nickname will be the City of Sisterly Love until the end of 2020!

January Tenant Newsletter – A Grand Opening, Iran Update, Godly Play

Issue 56, January 2020


Greetings and best wishes for the new year! May 2020 be a year in which your work is enhanced and amplified.

That said, I can’t ignore the tense world situation. And with Friends Center being the Quaker hub for peace and justice, you may see events, rallies, and flyers for peace over the coming weeks and months. (See “5 things to know about Iran,” below.)

Here is some context for you. As a historic peace church, the Religious Society of Friends—better known as the Quakers—have long had a testimony against war and for peace. See this article on Wikipedia for background. The best-known statement of the Quaker stance was in a 1660 letter to England’s King Charles II:

All bloody principles and practices we do utterly deny, with all outward wars, and strife, and fightings with outward weapons, for any end, or under any pretense whatsoever, and this is our testimony to the whole world.

In 1947 the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to “the Quakers.” On behalf of all Friends, the American Friends Service Committee—one of Friends Center’s equity partners—and the Friends Service Committee in Britain accepted it. A replica of the award certificate is on display in AFSC’s headquarters here.

International peacebuilding remains a key issue for AFSC today. They advocate for a US policy framework of shared security that “recognizes the interconnectedness of all people.”

May Friends Center be a place where we sense and live that interconnection.

– Chris Mohr, Executive Director


2020 Holiday Schedule – This link is always present in the sidebar of our monthly newsletter and the information within is always accessible via our website.


Brand New, Gender-Neutral, Handicapped-Accessible Restroom

The new restroom on the first floor of the 1501 Cherry Street building is now open!

Thank you to the LGBTQ Staff Group of AFSC, who made the original proposal to build an all-gender restroom; other tenants who supported the idea; MJ Settelen, the general contractor; and the PYM Quaker Buildings and Programs Granting Group for financial support. We’d also like to thank our tenants—especially the ones located in the 1501 building—for so graciously handling the noise that this much-needed project came with.



AFSC’s 5 things to know about Iran:

  1. U.S. aggression toward Iran has brought us to the edge of war.
  2. These recent developments are just the latest in a long line of provocations between Iran and the U.S.
  3. Congress has the power to say “NO” to war with Iran but has so far refused to do so.
  4. The calls for war with Iran echo the misguided calls for war with Iraq.
  5. War with Iran—or any country—is never the answer.

» Details available here


Young Adult Friends Support 2020 Poor People’s Campaign

At a retreat in early January, Young Adult Friends of PYM united in support of the 2020 Poor People’s Campaign: a National Call for Moral Revival. The minute they approved says, in part:

“We agree and recognize that everyone has the right to live a life not in economic and environmental turmoil, but in equitable communities. We are in the spirit of realizing the Peaceable Kingdom is here on Earth, and by supporting the PPC, we keep the choice to stand in solidarity with communities and to keep our morals.”

(The Campaign was co-founded by Rev. Dr. William Barber II of North Carolina, who has spoken here in the Race Street Meetinghouse twice in the last few years. The Campaign will organize a national march on Washington in June 2020. Stay tuned for details!)


CPMM Author Event:

Greg Barnes reads from his newest book, Living into the Faith: A Quaker Diary

Sunday, February 2, 12:45 PM.

Lucretia Mott Room, Friends Center

The Diary reveals the broad range of activities in modern unprogrammed Quakerism and the Quaker principles , or “testimonies,” that animate them. The setting is Philadelphia and Philadelphia Yearly Meeting, the heart of American Quakerism as brought here from England by William Penn.

                “This is a diary and not a history. It follows one man through his Quaker and Quaker-related activities for roughly 8 years. The reader should understand it as reflecting my attempt, made out of gratitude to give back to Quakerism and to my Quaker community…”

Greg has also written an award-winning collection of short stories based on his experiences in West Africa with the Peace Corps.

Quaker Meeting for Worship

You are welcome to join CPMM for meeting for worship on Sundays at 11am followed by a coffee hour.


We are proud to announce that Joe Pyle, President of The Scattergood Foundation, is due to give a speech at the national conference for the National Council for Behavioral Health, which will be held from April 5th-7th. Details and registration here


Cultural Accessibility Forum & Exchange (CAFE) is an initiative driven by Art-Reach to focus on cultural accessibility. These workshops gather cultural organizations, human service professionals, members of the disability community and national experts in the field to learn from one another. The next CAFÉ will be held on Wed, February 12, 2020 3:00 PM – 5:00 PM EST. Click here for more details


Climate Crisis and Environmental Justice Thread Gathering

PYM Eco-Justice Collaborative

Jan. 18, 10 am – 4 pm
Germantown Friends Meeting
47 W. Coulter Street, Phila. 19144

As people of faith, Friends are called to witness for a more just and livable world. This gathering will explore the intersections of our climate crisis, economic inequality and racism. We will share ideas on how, as individuals and as a faith community, we can address the climate crisis. We will explore whether to advance a minute establishing the Climate Crisis as a corporate witness.

» Register here

Playing in the Light:
Godly Play®/Faith & Play™ Training
Pendle Hill
338 Plush Mill Rd., Wallingford PA 19086

On three Saturdays, January 11, February 8, and March 21, Melinda Wenner Bradley (PYM’s Youth Religious Life Coordinator) will lead a series of three workshops in Playing in the Light– core training in Godly Play and Faith & Play. Godly Play is a Montessori-inspired resource that helps children find words and images for expressing their experiences of holy mystery and wonder in their lives. Inspired by the stories, materials, and methods in Godly Play, Quakers created Faith & Play Stories to add Quaker stories of faith, practice, and witness to the Bible stories in the Godly Play collection used by Friends. This powerful way of being with children can transform your First Day program for children and nurture your own spiritual life.

This is Playing in the Light training for commuters to be completed in three Saturday sessions. Participants are required to attend all three sessions to be trained as Godly Play/Faith & Play storytellers. Registration is for all three Saturdays (9:00 am to 5:30 pm).

» More details here

December Tenant Newsletter – Sing it with us, A Tri-Co Presentation and Quaker pop-ups

Issue 55, December 2019

Friends Center Tenant Newsletter

Happy Holidays!

The early Quakers did not recognize holidays, or “times and seasons” as they called them. Over time, that stance has softened. Still, I like to keep in mind a primary reason they had that position: Because every day is, or can be, a holy day.

       One thing I like about working at Friends Center is every day truly has that potential. Such as when you… train volunteers to advocate for a child in foster care… convene a meeting of behavioral health practitioners… train teaching artists in trauma-informed practice… match a mentor to a middle schooler… make sure children have a chance to learn and play, and girls have a chance to become leaders… And when you organize people against fracking, the death penalty, or war, and organize them for justice, peace, love, and life.

       Whatever it is that you do here—whether organizing or communications or development or admin—it means something. I’m grateful to be a part of helping this work happen. May we recognize and live that, this day and every day!

– Chris Mohr, Executive Director


It has been our pleasure to watch our tenants grow stronger and closer to the communities they serve. We hope that you can also reflect back and smile at the progress you have made.

        As we prepare to say good-bye to 2019 and welcome 2020, we began to consider some memorable events that you’ve all held these past 12 months; and we could think of no better way to commemorate those fabulous events than by writing you a song! Yup, that’s right, a new twist on an old classic, Friends Center Style.

  And it goes a little something like this!
On the 12th day of the holiday season,
Friends Center gave to me:

12 tiny bakers,
11 vegans shopping,
10 tenors singing,
99 meetings,
8 am orientation,
70 kids a camping,
6 ceremonies,
5 groups meditating!
4 keystone testings,
3 Quaker Colleges,
2 many trainings
And a meeting with Mayor Kenney.

We hope that you have find this tidbit as entertaining as we do! Thanks for being the best tenants ever. Please have a safe and happy holiday and new year!



You are invited to help change the narrative on youth and our collective power. We are not at risk; we are 3 billion strong.

The Campaign:

AFSC’s “We Are Not At-Risk” campaign is a youth-led narrative change movement that is transforming the stories media tell about young people. Throughout December and January, we will be collecting stories of youth and their allies, educating our audiences on the impacts of harmful narratives about youth, and sharing positive youth stories through social media. We will harness the power of art and collective action to enter into conversation with media outlets about who we are and the stories that we want to tell. We are #3BillionStrong, and will we make our truths heard.

The Ask:

We are calling on you, as young people and allies—as people who care about and love young people, and who see them in their full humanity—to join us in the Cherry Street room on Tuesday, December 17th, from 11am-1pm to create art, share stories, and learn more about the campaign. Refreshments will be served.


Philadelphia Yearly Meeting has much to report on its news page:

One story is even about one of our tenants, the Tri-College Consortium Philly Program!

Bryn Mawr, Haverford and Swarthmore Colleges team up for Tri-Co City classes

This fall, about 35 students from Bryn Mawr, Haverford and Swarthmore Colleges took courses at the Friends Center in Philadelphia as part of a new Tri-College Philly Program.

                Students present their projects to each other and Friends Center guests.

                The courses focused on the themes of sustainability and environmental justice, from different disciplines: math, environmental studies, political science, education and anthropology.
» Read the full article.


51st Annual Messiah Sing-Along

The annual Messiah sing-along hosted by Ingrid & George Lakey will be Friday, Dec. 20th at 7pm, here in the Cherry Street Room. CPMM encourages all to bring a score, a friend who likes to sing (this is not a performance, but a sing-along), and also goodies to share during break.

Coming in January:

Climate Up Close:
Talk with a climate scientist face-to-face

Saturday, January 4th, 2:30 pm

Hosted by CPMM at Friends Center

Free and open to the public.

How do we know CO2 increases are human-caused?  What are climate scientists highly confident about? What will my children’s generation experience?

Meet a panel of climate scientists and put your questions to them yourself.

Climate Up Close is a group of climate scientists who believe Americans should reach their own judgments about climate science by seeing the evidence themselves and putting their questions directly to climate scientists.  Presenters include scientists from Princeton University, Harvard University and UC Berkeley.


Philadelphia Lawyers for Social Equity

announced in its November newsletter that it has hired Taylor Pacheco and Sarah Coyle as staff attorneys:

According to the organization’s website, Pacheco “is a 2016 graduate of the University of Pennsylvania Law School where she was senior editor of the Journal of Law and Social Change, an Edward V. Sparer Public Interest Summer Fellow, and a volunteer with the UPenn Criminal Records Expungement Clinic run in partnership with PLSE. She also interned with Community Legal Services in the Housing Unit and the Montgomery County Public Defender’s Office. Her career after law school included positions with the New Jersey Office of the Public Defender and the Support Center for Child Advocates.”

Coyle “joined PLSE in September 2019 from Legal Aid of Southeastern Pennsylvania (LASP), where she had been a staff attorney for over two years and ran the Media office. After receiving her JD in 2016 from Savannah Law School, she worked in a private firm concentrating in criminal defense before joining LASP, where she developed a program assisting victims of domestic/sexual violence under a program funded by the Victims Of Crime Act (VOCA).”


QuakerBooks Pop-Up Store
@ Friends General Conference

1216 Arch St # 2B, Philadelphia

Dec 18 @ 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm

Pop-up bookstore with a selection of books and pamphlets of interest to Friends. Many newer publications, some hot off the press! Subjects include Quaker practice, spiritual deepening, anti-racism, environmentalism, and many children’s books. If you are looking for a particular book, it is recommended you call FGC (215) 561-1700 in advance.

November Tenant Newsletter; Flu vaccines, Continuing Sessions, A new executive director, and more!

Issue 54, November 2019

Friends Center Tenant Newsletter


Recently we had a tenant reception specifically scheduled at a time when students and faculty from the Tri-College Philly Program could attend. It was a rich and rewarding opportunity for all present to learn about all the organizations here at Friends Center and the good work they do. And not only did some of the students connect with some of the equity partners and tenant groups about  their work, some of the partners and tenants got to know each other, too!

                To that end, I encourage you to browse the directory of organizations here. We strive to keep the page updated with everyone’s current website, so if your information is out of date, please let me know.

                And if you don’t know what a group does, please click through page to learn more, and maybe even contact them directly. We always love to hear when you all find ways to collaborate with each other!

– Chris Mohr, Executive Director


Spread the word! Beginning January 1, 2020 Friends Center will be increasing its rental rates for event and conference room use.

Encourage your comrades to book their 2020 event, in 2019 to maximize savings!



Border Patrol denies delivery of flu vaccines to detained migrants

Three children have died in recent months at Border Patrol’s detention facilities because of influenza. Border Patrol officials have complained that they lack resources to provide adequate medical care, even to children. Meanwhile, this week Customs and Border Protection (CBP) purchased 33 million rounds of ammunition for its new handguns, and it has $300 million available for more bullets to purchase by 2025. Read more here


Fall Continuing Sessions  

Continuing Sessions reporting is broken into two reports. This web story on the activities of the morning, and the full minutes of Meeting for Business, taken by Recording Clerk, Kri Burkander, with accompanying reports, all in PDF format. 

Quaker Meeting Portrait Project

Philadelphia Yearly Meeting is encouraging its 100+ individual local Quaker meetings & other groups to take part in activities showing who they are: Take a selfie, write a poem, tell a story… whatever way they want to express themselves! Early group selfies include Green Street Meeting in Philadelphia, Appoquinimink Worship Group, and Southampton Meeting in Bucks County. See more Quaker Self Portraits here.


How we win

How do people concerned with peace and justice operate in times of intense polarization? According to Quaker author and activist George Lakey in this recent QuakerSpeak video, now is a moment of tremendous opportunity—click to watch and learn How We Win!


Holiday Concert–Philadelphia, An Immigrant City

With Singing City Choir, The Philadelphia Brass, and Teen Voices of the City Ensemble (T-VOCE)

Sunday, December 15, 3 p.m.

Old First Reformed Church of Christ, 151 N. 4th Street, Philadelphia, PA

Philadelphia is made up of people from around the world. This concert will feature seasonal  works that are a reflection of the City’s diverse population and includes pieces by Zachary Moore, Paul Halley, Glen Burleigh, Mark Sirett, and more. Repertoire from Ireland, Poland, Germany, Italy, Russia, and Latin America, along with music for Chanukah and African American traditions.

Phoenicia Wallace becomes only second executive director of Philadelphia Lawyers for Social Equity

Philadelphia Lawyers for Social Equity (PLSE) announced that Phoenicia D.W. Wallace is its new executive director. She is the second to hold the post, following Mike Lee, one of PLSE’s founders, who left to become interim director of legislation and public affairs for District Attorney Larry Krasner.

                Wallace was most recently a deputy attorney general for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, serving in the Bureau of Consumer Protection. A lifelong Philadelphian, currently a resident of Germantown, she took part in the entrepreneurship program at Temple University’s Fox School of Business, the Peace Corps in Kenya, the district office of State Senator Anthony H. Williams and the legislative office of City Councilman Kenyatta Johnson. She also served four years as a staff attorney and law clerk within the Philadelphia Court System. For two years, Wallace hosted “Universally Speaking” on WURD, and she speaks Swahili and Spanish. Welcome, Phoenicia!

New from New Century Trust:

Check out New Century Trust’s new quarterly newsletter!


Friends Journal’s 7th Annual
Student Voices Project
2019–2020 Theme: Creating Change

Positive change in a community is dependent upon individuals speaking up, coming together around a shared goal, and making a plan for action. Quakers have a long history of organizing for change in response to various social, economic, racial, and environmental injustices; most often this change begins with community members working together at the local level. See examples below of Quakers who have helped create change, including a curated list of QuakerSpeak videos about activism. Read more here

Issue 53, October 2019 Friends Center Tenant Newsletter: World Quaker Day, Might Writers town hall & In-house Construction



        At the request of one of our equity partners, the American Friends Service Committee, we will be converting the first floor shower room in the 1501 Cherry Street building into a fully accessible, all-gender restroom.

        The Friends Center board of directors enthusiastically endorsed the idea, as it will increase both our restroom capacity and provide more equitable access for all people.

        Construction starts in mid-October, and will take a few weeks. The contractor plans to cordon off the work area so people can still pass by to use the existing women’s room and access the first floor office suite. Inevitably, there will be noise and disruption. We hope you can live with it for a short while, knowing that a larger benefit is on the way.

        By the way, the existing shower room on the second floor of 1501 will remain. It’s part of our green building practice, for those who walk or bike to work.

        Thank you in advance for your patience with the construction phase of this project. Please let me know if you have any questions.

– Chris Mohr, Executive Director


World Quaker Day is Sunday, October 6!

Please see the last piece in this newsletter for more information.

Mighty Writers hosts Anti-Violence Town Hall here

On Friday, 9/27, in the Rufus Jones Room, Mighty Writers held an Anti-Violence Town Hall for Philadelphia youth impacted by violence, as part of their MightFest. Click here for coverage by NBC10 and WHYY



Bystander Intervention Do’s and Don’ts

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


PYM Families Autumn Community Playdate

We’re excited to invite PYM Families to our next Community Playdate for Apple and pumpkin picking, autumnal FUN at Solebury Orchards in Bucks County.

The Community Playdate is an opportunity for fellowship and learning with our PYM Family community.

                We’ll meet on Saturday, October 12 at 9:00am at Solebury Orchards in New Hope, PA. Kimani Keaton, Children and Families Program Facilitator, will be there to greet and gather our group, and then lead families on wagon rides to pick apples and find the perfect pumpkin in the patch.

In case of inclement weather and cancellation, we’ll email those who have registered (see below) and post on the PYM Families Facebook page. No parking, entry or wagon ride fees; apples are $1.50/lb.

Questions? Contact the Youth Engagement Coordinator or


You Are Welcome Here

Join us for worship at 11 AM every Sunday at Friends Center

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

  • We worship by gathering and silently waiting for the Spirit to guide us.
  • 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.


Singing City Fall Concert–The Road Less Traveled Singing City and Lyric Fest together in concert.

Saturday, October 5, 2019, 4 pm: Haddonfield United Methodist Church, 29 Warwick Rd., Haddonfield, NJ 08033

Sunday, October 6, 3 pm: Philadelphia Episcopal Cathedral, 23 S. 38th St., Phila., PA 19104

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

Bartol Foundation (@BartolFdn) Workshop: Introduction to Trauma-Informed Practice for Teaching

Tuesday, October 15, 10:00 AM – 12:30 PM at Friends Center

More information can be found here on the Bartol Foundation website.  

Recap of Living Building Challenge
with Community Ventures

Green Building United recently completed a “Living Building Challenge” for infill affordable housing with our tenant, Community Ventures. Read about it here.


This year’s theme is Sustainability: Planting Seeds of Renewal for the World We Love.

Friends World Committee for Consultation, Section of the Americas (FWCC), invites you to join Quakers around the world for the 6th annual World Quaker Day.

Across our churches, meetings, countries and sections, we feel the power of God connecting us in to a faithful family. We celebrate all expressions of Quaker worship!

Learn more and see photos at

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

Issue 52, September 2019Friends Center Tenant Newsletter


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

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

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

– Chris Mohr, Executive Director



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

Find Us On…

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

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



All migrant children moved from Homestead detention center!

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


Laramie: Travels with Josh

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


Come one, come all to the meeting weekend

October 11-13:  Uncovering Mysteries!

At Friends Center

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

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


Singing City and Lyric Fest together in concert

Fall Concert–The Road Less Traveled

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

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

Sunday, October 6, 3 p.m.

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

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

The Alternative to Violence Project Presents

AVP: Introductory Workshops for Radical Peacemaking

Friends Center

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

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

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

Click to Learn more about AVP.


Peace Day Philly

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

Welcoming Week

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

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

August Newsletter – Podcast, Annual Sessions and New beginnings!

Issue 51, August 2019


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

– Chris Mohr, Executive Director


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

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

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



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


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

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

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

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


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


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


Pardon Workshop with
X-Offenders for Community Empowerment

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

Where: 2227 N. Broad Street Philadelphia PA 19132

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

Hidden Lives Illuminated

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

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

Issue 50, July 2019 Friends Center Tenant Newsletter


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

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

– Chris Mohr, Executive Director


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

Episode 1: Bartol Foundation

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

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


American Friends Service Committee (AFSC)

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

Evening of Saturday, July 13

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

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

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

6:00 pm Dinner

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

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

Register here:

Philadelphia Yearly Meeting (PYM)

Annual Sessions

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

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

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

Register Today!

Central Philadelphia Monthly Meeting (CPMM)

CPMM hosts Philadelphia Quarterly Meeting of Friends

Sunday, July 21

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


Girls Inc. Needs Your Support—Please Vote!

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

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


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

Hosted by Community Ventures at Friends Center:

Lessons Learned: Living Building Challenge Affordable Housing Demonstration Project

Tue, 7/16/2019 – 6:00pm – 8:00pm

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

Rachel Miller becomes PLSE’s Director of Criminal Records Expungement

Via Generocity

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


Decarcerate PA: Fundraiser for Philadelphia Bail Fund

Date: July 11th, 2019

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

Time: 7-9 pm

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

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

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

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

Issue 49, June 2019


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

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

– Chris Mohr, Executive Director


Film Premiere: Elder Voices

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

Philly Vegan Pop: 3rd Birthday

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

Energy Co-op Networking Reception & Annual Meeting

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

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

What: 2019 Networking Reception and Annual Member Meeting

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

Where: The Friends Center, 1501 Cherry Street

Philadelphia, PA 19102

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


American Friends Service Committee (AFSC)

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

Philadelphia Yearly Meeting (PYM)

PYM Families Community Playdate

June 15, 2019 @ 9:30 am – 12:30 pm

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

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

Central Philadelphia Monthly Meeting (CPMM)

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


New Century Trust:

  1. Carey Morgan Leaves New Century Trust

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

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

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

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

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

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


PYM: Friends in Fellowship

Quakers Got Talent Concert

When: June 17, 2019 @ 7:30 pm

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

Contact: Grace Sharples Cooke215-241-7115 Email

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

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