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

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Protests Test Nigeria’s Democracy and its Leadership in Africa

Thursday, October 22, 2020

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Nonviolent Action in Myanmar: Challenges and Lessons for Civil Society and Donors

Nonviolent Action in Myanmar: Challenges and Lessons for Civil Society and Donors

Friday, September 18, 2020

By: La Ring; Khin Sandar Nyunt; Nist Pianchupat; Shaazka Beyerle

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Curbing Corruption after Conflict: Anticorruption Mobilization in Guatemala

Curbing Corruption after Conflict: Anticorruption Mobilization in Guatemala

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

By: Walter Flores; Miranda Rivers

This report analyzes the fight against corruption in Guatemala by social movements over the past five years, homing in on their major successes and challenges in working to advance transparency, accountability, and good governance. The lessons drawn from these efforts can be applicable for other movements around the world operating in similar contexts. The work also has a larger bearing for international actors helping states build peace and democratic governance following prolonged violent conflict.

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Nonviolent Action

Mali’s Coup: Harbinger of Hope or Uncertainty

Mali’s Coup: Harbinger of Hope or Uncertainty

Thursday, September 10, 2020

By: Anushka Bose; Jonathan Pinckney

Last year was one of the most dramatic years of nonviolent action in recent memory, with millions taking to the streets to push for greater economic equality, democratic representation, and social justice. Some of the most dramatic uprisings took place in Africa, where longstanding repressive political regimes were forced from power in Sudan and Algeria, and protests over fuel prices in Zimbabwe led to a government crackdown. The recent almost entirely bloodless coup Mali, in which soldiers abducted President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita and forced him to resign capped a similar uprising, but is complicated by the role of the military in the president’s ouster and the COVID-19 pandemic.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

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