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U.S. Combat Drones – Immoral and Illegal Leah Bolger is a former National Board President of Veterans For Peace and continues to serve on the VFP board.  She is currently touring the U.S. to promote the work of VFP’s “Drones, Robots, and Future Weapons Working Group.”  Leah has worked with Quakers on many common causes over the years, and she spoke with Western Friend by phone on January 25, 2013.

On War (January 2013)

Borders and Migrations An interview with Adriana Jasso by Greg Elliott

On Countries (January 2016)

A Different Gender Story Numerous people around the world do not identify with the gender that they were assigned at birth, yet the media tend to focus on one story: There is a teenager who always knew that something was off in their life from a young age. They came to realize that they are transgender (only ever falling under the gender binary of male or female) and then come out to their parents, who either accept them or take some time to do so. This story is told again and again; there’s nothing invalid about it. But it is important to look at other stories as well, to see the full picture of what it is to not be cisgender. Since I am currently in the middle of my own personal journey towards finding my gender, I am sharing my story here as one that does not fit the stereotype.

On Insight (March 2017)

Resistance, Resilience, and Restoration The following article was excerpted from the text of a presentation that Bill Durland made to the Colorado Regional Society of Friends, April 23, 2017. To read the full text of this presentation, see: westernfriend.org/media/resistance-resilience-and-restoration-unabridged.

On Politics (July 2017)

Race and Quakerism The first time I was confronted with my identity as a “Brown Woman” was my first trip to North Pacific Yearly Meeting (NPYM). I had never experienced such a direct external approach to my skin color before. My family celebrated my adoption day as a family holiday. We went back to India to see my heritage history, and I was raised with some Indian cultural education, but my racial background wasn’t ever the first characteristic that came to mind when examining my personal identity. The welcome I received because of my brown skin from the Quakers was both amazingly compassionate and entirely unsettling. At that time, I had only just begun to explore this part of my identity. As an extension of this experience, I began to pay more attention to race relations within the Quaker community, and the struggles of different races around the U.S.

On Expansion (May 2018)

A Personal History with Korea Like many Friends, I was a Peace Corps volunteer in my youth. The Peace Corps Act includes three goals for volunteers: do a job, introduce host country locals to a U.S. young person (usually young), and bring an awareness of the host country’s culture and history back to the U.S. Of those three goals, far and away the most difficult has been that last one. Family and friends typically enjoy hearing a few stories, seeing a few pictures (even a slide show back in the day), but any in-depth thinking about the volunteer’s host country is rare. I’ve used a number of venues to talk about my host country, Korea. Now, with the current political situation, I feel again the need to share my thoughts and what I’ve learned over the years. This is a task made much more difficult by the strongly negative portrayal of the northern part of Korea today. [pullquote]Please notice that I will not use the terms “North Korea” and “South Korea,” as no countries exist with those names.[/pullquote]

On Puzzles (April 2019)

Rules of Engagement Some rules are written down, like those in law books. Others are unwritten rules, which can be even more stringent and unforgiving than statute, like the unwritten rules that whisper to dictate which emotions each gender is supposed to feel and show, or not. Lately, various new and somewhat inconsistent rules have arisen concerning speech that some people experience as offensive, and these rules have been causing occasional havoc.

On Rules (November 2020)

Vision for the Day to Be Peace I ask of thee of river, Peace, Peace, Peace. When I learn to live serenely, cares will cease. From the hills I gather courage, vision for the day to be. Strength to lead and faith to follow, All are given unto me. Peace I ask of thee of river, Peace, Peace, Peace.                     by Gwyneth Walker

On Vision (January 2021)