Quakers have been known historically for social activism. The activism focus of a specific Friends Meeting will depend on the interests and commitment of those involved with that Meeting.
Amesbury Friends Meeting has a strong commitment to the Quaker Testimonies and from that unified interest, we formed the Amesbury Friends Peace Center in 2009.
Activism and Concerns of Amesbury Friends
The Peace Center sponsors community visibility events like our Vigil for National Gun Violence Awareness Day.
We also show relevant films on a variety of topics.
As part of our commitment to helping end racism, we recently hosted a well-attended presentation by Carolyn Moore who worked on the media installation at the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum. She showed and led a discussion about four films that she helped produce. While the content of these films was almost inconsolably devastating, the takeaway message from the Civil Rights Museum is one of hope.
Our hearts are heavy with the recent attacks on immigrants and the rollback of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program that shielded undocumented people from deportation who were brought to the United States illegally as children. This issue is important to us as Quakers and as Americans who are deeply saddened by violence against immigrants and the current policies that are separating families and detaining people who are seeking asylum.
Equality has been important to Quakers from the early years. The term refers to all forms of equality – racial, economic, gender, etc.
Our Peace and Social Concerns Committee that plans the activities and initiatives for the Amesbury Friends Peace Center is taking a fresh look this year at women’s issues and gender equality.
Issues that impact only women sometimes drop into the background when there’s a pressing need to work on ending racial violence, immigration atrocities, and economic inequality.
In significant ways, Quakers have been ahead of our time in regard to gender equality. While we don’t have a hierarchy, Quaker women are in the role of Clerk of Meeting and as Clerk of specific committees as much as men, and we are all equal decision-makers.
But we don’t want to forget that women in the U.S. and abroad still struggle against physical and sexual violence, sexual harassment, domestic violence, wage inequality, and many other forms of oppression and discrimination.
Many Quaker women were Suffragists – Susan B. Anthony, Lucretia Mott, and Alice Paul are among the well-known who fought for years to guarantee women the right to vote.
And now, once again, the Equal Rights Amendment has come to the forefront, with only one more state needed to ratify it. We are committed to that happening before the 100th year anniversary of the 19th Amendment.
Connection and Collaboration with the Local Community
We have collaborated with other local activists and have connected with faith communities in the area. We hope to expand those connections in the future.
Follow our Peace Center Facebook Page to stay informed about our events and social justice information.
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