Participants will learn from leaders of the AFSC community about specific moments, campaigns, and achievements in Quaker history centered on themes of movement building, addressing root causes of conflict, and the power of everyday people to create change.

Voters line up outside a polling station in Yangon, Myanmar, Nov. 8, 2015. Photo Courtesy of The New York Times/Adam Dean
Voters line up outside a polling station in Yangon, Myanmar, Nov. 8, 2015. Photo Courtesy of The New York Times/Adam Dean

Course Overview

Over the last 100 years AFSC has worked throughout the United States on domestic issues including protection of civil and political rights, nonviolence resistance to war, and advocating for a just immigration policy. AFSC international efforts range from people-to-people exchanges with North Korea to youth engagement in Guatemala, and beyond. Whether the focus has been domestic or international, AFSC’s commitment to peace and justice has remained constant. This collection provides an in-depth look at 100 years of experience.

The American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) and the U.S. Institute of Peace (USIP) partnered to create this collection of stories and perspectives from AFSC’s 100 years of experience working for peace. The collection highlights for online learners how many of the same peacebuilding skills that USIP seeks to advance, such as mediation, nonviolent resistance, and dialogue are key to AFSC’s efforts around the globe. While AFSC and USIP work in similar global contexts, the experiences and opinions shared in this collection are unique to AFSC and do not necessarily reflect those of USIP. 

Please note this course does not offer a certificate.

Agenda

Chapter 1 - The Quakers, the Early Years, and the Origins of AFSC

Chapter 1 introduces Quakerism, a religion that emerged from a time of social upheaval in England in the 1600s, and shares examples of how Quakers put their belief into actions.

Chapter 2 - From Protest to Politics

This chapter describes the origins of AFSC and its long legacy of peacefully resisting violence and war.

Chapter 3 - The Power of Nonviolent Resistance

This chapter highlights a range of nonviolent resistance undertaken to oppose unjust laws in the United States and beyond, including in the face of racial and structural inequality.

Chapter 4 - Building Mass Movements for Change

This chapter looks at powerful movements in the United States and across borders between the 1970s and the 1990s, that built on lessons from previous movements.

Chapter 5 - Meeting the Challenge of Post-Cold War Conflicts (1995-2015)

This chapter provides context for the conflicts and uncertainty facing the world after the Cold War, describes what peacebuilding looks like in conflict affected areas, and details the human costs of war.

Chapter 6 - The Way Forward: Shared Security

This chapter puts forward a vision for shared security, providing examples of what this means in practice and policy.

Guest Experts

  • Kerri Kennedy, Associate General Secretary for International Programs at American Friends Service Committee
  • Max Carter, Retired Campus Ministry Coordinator at Gilford College  
  • Shan Cretin, General Secretary at American Friends Service Committee  
  • Ed Nakawatase, Former Representative for Native American Affairs at American Friends Service Committee  
  • Betty Medsger, Author, The Burglary: The Discovery of J. Edgar Hoover’s Secret FBI  
  • Jerry Herman, Former Africa Peacebuilding Director at American Friends Service Committee  
  • Robin Aura Kengis, Director, Office of Public Policy and Advocacy at American Friends Service Committee  
  • Jacqui Chagnon, Former Representative, Laos at American Friends Service Committee 
  • Arnie Alpert, New Hampshire Program Coordinator at American Friends Service Committee  
  • Phil Berryman, Quaker International Affairs Representatives, (Central America) 1976 – 81  
  • Angie Berryman, Quaker International Affairs Representatives, (Central America) 1976 - 80  
  • Sonia Tuma, West Regional Director at American Friends Service Committee  
  • Raed Jarrar, Government Relations Manager at American Friends Service Committee 
  • Miriam Camas, Project Coordinator, Guatemala at American Friends Service Committee  
  • Monica Portilla, Regional Program Officer, Guatemala at American Friends Service Committee  
  • Bridget Moix, U.S Senior Representative at Peace Direct  
  • Andrew Tomlinson, Director at Quaker United Nations Office

Related Publications

What Guatemala’s Anti-Corruption Movement Can Learn from the Past

What Guatemala’s Anti-Corruption Movement Can Learn from the Past

Thursday, January 21, 2021

By: Miranda Rivers; Carlos Mendoza

Guatemalans have once again risen up by the thousands to demand major changes in how their country is governed. Their demands are intended to usher in reforms that will improve quality of life for citizens reeling from the impacts of two deadly hurricanes, as well as health and economic crises that have only been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. The demonstrations are reminiscent of the 2015 protests that prompted the resignations of top officials, including the country’s president. However, that movement fell short of broader, structural change. This time around, protesters can draw on lessons learned from the past to achieve long-term reform and target Guatemala’s persistent systems of corruption.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Nonviolent Action; Democracy & Governance

2021 Will See More Global Protest: Can It Remain Peaceful?

2021 Will See More Global Protest: Can It Remain Peaceful?

Thursday, January 21, 2021

By: Jonathan Pinckney; Emmanuel Davalillo Hidalgo

After years of steadily rising nonviolent action movements from 2009 to 2019, the eruption of the coronavirus 10 months ago forced an initial lull. But movements in virtually every region of the world soon rebounded—and while destructive riots periodically seized headlines, data show that public demonstrations in 2020 remained overwhelmingly peaceful. Evidence suggests that 2021 will continue to see high levels of mass mobilization. If anything, pandemic-driven economic recession and deepening inequalities are likely to spur increased demonstrations. It will be up to governments to respond in ways that can keep mass action peaceful and engage movements to redress their grievances.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Nonviolent Action

Combatting Corruption Amid the Pandemic

Combatting Corruption Amid the Pandemic

Thursday, December 10, 2020

By: Anthony Navone

As the world deploys unprecedented measures to stem the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic, the assistance that many struggling people see as a beacon of hope also raises the risk for unchecked corruption. Without a strong counterbalance demanding transparency and accountability, built at the grassroots level, anti-corruption agendas could face a debilitating blow as the pandemic wears on. However, despite the acute vulnerability of the current moment, there is emerging hope that the urgency of the pandemic could also help jumpstart solutions to perennial problems in the anti-corruption space.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Nonviolent Action; Global Health

View All Publications