Participants will learn from leaders of the American Friends Service Committee 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 AFSC and 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 action, 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.

Featured Experts

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

Related Publications

New Evidence: How Religion Aids Peaceful Change

New Evidence: How Religion Aids Peaceful Change

Thursday, September 30, 2021

By: Miranda Rivers; Jason Klocek, Ph.D.; Sandra Tombe

The pullback in 2021 of international military operations in Afghanistan, Iraq and Africa’s Sahel region not only shows the limits of such foreign interventions. It forces policymakers to more urgently examine other ways to support the sustainable social changes that can stabilize violence-stricken nations. New USIP research sharpens an insight about one powerful method to achieve such changes—nonviolent, citizens’ movements that improve governance and justice. Effectively, the research shows, religion helps more often than we may think. Of more than 180 nonviolent campaigns for major political change since World War II, a majority have involved religion in some way.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Religion; Nonviolent Action

Precarity and Power: Reflections on Women and Youth in Nonviolent Action

Precarity and Power: Reflections on Women and Youth in Nonviolent Action

Wednesday, September 29, 2021

By: Jonathan Pinckney, Ph.D.; Miranda Rivers

Examples abound of women and youth on the front lines of recent nonviolent action campaigns—from Alaa Salah leading demonstrators in Sudan in 2019 to the thousands of young people marching against the coup in Myanmar in early 2021. Yet significant social, cultural, and economic barriers can prevent both women and youth from participating in nonviolent action. This report, based in part on firsthand reports from activists in seven diverse countries, sheds light on these barriers and makes concrete recommendations for maximizing the impact of women and youth in nonviolent action.

Type: Peaceworks

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Comment—et quand—le pouvoir populaire peut faire avancer la paix dans un contexte de guerre civile

Comment—et quand—le pouvoir populaire peut faire avancer la paix dans un contexte de guerre civile

Thursday, August 19, 2021

By: Luke Abbs; Marina G. Petrova

Malgré une brève accalmie due aux restrictions liées à la COVID-19, ces dernières années ont été témoins de l'une des plus grandes vagues de résistance non-violente mondiale de l'histoire récente, 2019 étant largement surnommée “l'année de la protestation.” Ces mouvements – du Myanmar à la Colombie en passant par l'Inde – sont largement axés sur la lutte contre l'autoritarisme ou la réparation des injustices sociales. Moins annoncé et discuté est le rôle de l'action non-violente dans les contextes de guerres civiles et des processus de paix. La non-violence stratégique peut également favoriser la paix dans ces contextes, mais le timing et les tactiques sont la clé du succès.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

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¿Cómo y cuándo puede el poder popular promover la paz durante guerras civiles?

¿Cómo y cuándo puede el poder popular promover la paz durante guerras civiles?

Thursday, August 19, 2021

By: Luke Abbs; Marina G. Petrova

A pesar de una breve pausa debida a las restricciones de la COVID-19, en los últimos años hemos visto una de las mayores olas de resistencia no violenta a nivel mundial y 2019 fue catalogado como "el año de la protesta". Estos movimientos – desde Myanmar hasta Colombia y la India – se centran en gran medida en la lucha contra el autoritarismo o en subsanar injusticias sociales. Menos difundido y discutido es el papel de la acción no violenta en medio de las guerras civiles y los procesos de paz. La no violencia estratégica puede fomentar la paz también en estos contextos, pero el momento y la táctica son la clave del éxito.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

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