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Everyday Prophets (Review) Recently, I read the wonderful 2016 Backhouse Lecture, Everyday Prophets by Margery Post Abbott. I identified with Abbott’s description of everyday prophets as “. . . people who listen to the voice of all that it Holy and follow its guidance” (p. 3). Yet these everyday prophets face challenges, too. “It takes practice to develop the skill of listening with an inward ear and coming to recognize the taste and color of all that it holy . . . Above all, such a person is one who listens inwardly and has learned to distinguish the voice of the Spirit, the presence of Christ, from their own desires or self-will, the pressures of the surrounding culture and the need to win approval from those around them” (pp. 5-6).

On Home (September 2017)

Prisoners Transforming Prisons Something truly historic has been happening in California regarding solitary confinement. Prisoners and their family members are leading the movement against it, dramatically reducing the number of people held in isolation.

On Captivity (January 2018)

Black. Christian. Anarchist. I am an African American whose encounter with God is more an attitude than belief system, a certain swagger and daring in the face of what black liberation theologian James Cone would refer to as “obvious failure.” By all quantitative standards, the post-Reconstruction experience of African Americans would meet the definition of failure. Today, the median wealth of single Black women is – prepare yourself – five dollars. In San Francisco, African Americans are only five percent of the population. If all religious practice is a response to a set of particular historical circumstances what can speak to this collective misery? The African American religious experience is ultimately about the quest for freedom and self-determination.

On Control (July 2019)

Testimonies of Separation I have litigated divorce, paternity, custody, child support, and Order of Protection cases in Arizona for over three years. My work has largely been funded by a grant for crime victims’ rights. Almost all of the patterns described in this article appeared many times in many cases and do not refer to particular cases or individuals.  I have omitted all identifying information and, where necessary, have changed particularizing details to preserve confidentiality.

On Separation (November 2019)

Organize Dear Editor: Thanks for another great issue of Western Friend. I was inspired/provoked to write this response to a couple of the articles you published in the May/June 2023 issue.

On Dignity (July 2023)

Run for Public Office! Run for public office! It’s the best way a single person can influence the decisions that affect the citizens of your community. You and your opinions will be taken seriously. You will influence public opinion. If you win the election, your vote won’t be just one out of thousands. It will be one out of five-to-nine members on a governing board. More than being taken seriously, your ideas will be sought.

On Politics (July 2017)

Information on Public Education: Ask the Students Dear Editor: I was not surprised to find that my article in the March/ April issue of Western Friend, “My Quest to Change the Education System,” was controversial to some Friends. Regarding Gary Miller’s letter to the editor, I would like to write my own response in my defense.

On Heritage (July 2016)

Quakers, Sport, and Being in the Zone It is surprising to me that so few Friends do sports. For me, doing a sport and going to Quaker meeting are of the same intention and compulsion. If I don’t do something physical for a few days, my body hurts. If I don’t center regularly into meditation, either in a group or by myself, I feel out of sorts. For me, Quaker meeting and sports are both essential parts of an authentic life.

On Pride (July 2014)