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Reflections from the RFM Peace and Social Concerns Committee

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4/8/18 Reflections and Updates

on RFM Peace and Social Concerns Committee Retreat Notes, April 29/30 2016

 

Mission:  To ensure that Raleigh Friends Meeting makes suitable contributions, both as a corporate body and as individuals, to further the testimonies of the Society of Friends in the important areas of Peace and Social Concerns.

Description: To give life to individual and corporate leadings through a spirit led process:

  1. Being a conduit of information both within the Meeting and externally.
  2. Collaborating with other religious communities, affinity groups and movements.
  3. When appropriate, to speak for and act on behalf of the meeting, and give Quaker witness to, issues of Peace and Social Concerns
  4. Recommend particular actions to individuals and the Meeting.
  5. Assist and support individuals in their genuine leadings that all may not share.
  6. Recommendations concerning the Meeting’s budget.

Issues:

  • Mass Incarceration; AVP, Congregations for Social Justice
  • Militarism and War Focus
  • Racism/Islamaphobia/Xenophobia
  • Gender Equality
  • Environment/Earthcare
  • Economic Justice
  • Family Violence
  • Medicaid/Health Care
  • Gun Violence
  • Sanctuary everywhere
  • Immigrant rights
  • Sexual harassment and assault

Organizations we are involved in:

  • Quaker House
  • FCNL
  • AFSC
  • AVP
  • Congregations for Social Justice
  • Coalition for Peace With Justice

Committee SWOT

Strength: Energy, interest, skills


  • AVP
  • FCNL
  • Quaker House
  • CSJ
  • Militarism Writing Group
  • CPwithJ
  • PFF
  • PFYM
  • PFYM working groups
  • Climate/Energy [John Paul]
  • Lobbying [Jan]
  • Training/Education – Design Process
  • Free of concern about speaking out and losing our job
  • Optimism
  • Beliefs; Quaker faith and values
  • Collaborators
  • Connections
  • Creativity
  • Money
  • Compassion
  • Passion
  • Support system
  • Organized
  • Experience
  • Rich tradition of being out-of-step

 

Weakness


  • Limited numbers
  • Busy schedules – over committed
  • Geography
  • Aging out
  • Money
  • Limited demographic/diversity
  • Out-of-step with dominant culture
  • White privilege
  • Disconnected from poor and minorities
  • Education level disconnects
  • Idealists
  • Quakerdom split reduces our influence and support
  • Lack of Quaker awareness by the at-large community

 

Opportunities


  • State capital – location
  • Many issues
  • Other organizations – allies
  • Strong media presence – open to liberal letters
  • Open prison officials
  • Military presence
  • Campaign Non-Violence
  • FCNL advocacy corps
  • Activisim on social justice issues
    • Movement on sexual assault/harassment
    • Movement on gun violence
    • Movement on women’s rights
    • Wake county commissioners
    • People tiring of war and cost
    • Media and communication technology
    • Higher education in region, e.g. Guilford
    • PFYM
    • Quaker Voluntary Service

 

Threats

  • Education system
  • Political climate and favoritism
  • Quaker lack of unity
  • Military industry in NC
  • Economic instability
  • Apathy
  • Fear of speaking out
  • Technology promotes meaningful connection
  • Demands of employment
  • Centralization of power through wealth distribution
  • Corporate media
  • Corporate funding of higher education
  • Ignorance
  • Higher stress levels

Issues and leadings within PSCC:

Earthcare

                  Decrease use of lights and electricity, e.g. gas stations and car lots

                  Weatherizing homes of the poor, especially the elderly [Triangle Land Conservancy]

Mass Incarceration

                  AVP

Women’s Issues

                  Dealing with existing barriers to increase success of women

Violence

                  Video games and entertainment

FCNL

Government Relations – Lobbying state and national legislators

Socially conscious investment and purchasing – Boycott, Divest, Sanctions Israel CPwJ

Family Violence – Systemic child abuse

Militarism – Peace Media Group

Access to Health Care

Quaker House, Torture

Racism, inequality, abuse of power

Gun Safety 

Social justice opportunities as they arise

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