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On Neighbors

A lamb in a green pasture is like a kid in a candy shop, or a Friend in bookshop, or a teen at the mall, or a trader at the stock exchange. You’ll see agribusiness associates hectoring the lambs: “You’re so thin! You deserve more! Eat! Eat!” Then all the lambs will gambol around the pastures, nibbling on everything, hither and yon. But my shepherd makes me to lie down. So I lie in the grass and realize I don’t want anything.

On Neighbors (September 2019)

Our Racism

Dear Editor: From cover to cover, the September/October 2018 edition of Western Friend made plain the grievous suffering caused by racism. Our racism.

On Mixture (November 2018)

Our Neighborhood

Once there was a broad forest. Once there was a deep field With horses and barbed wire. The grave of a fallen house now just Depression abandoned by settlers. Lilacs bloomed to mark the outhouse.

On Neighbors (September 2019)

Loving Earth Project

Last spring, Cynthia Black from Eugene Friends Meeting published an article in Extra! Extra! – Western Friend’s email newsletter – which described a project being organized by British Friends at Woodbrooke Quaker Study Centre in Birmingham, England. Called “The Loving Earth Project,” it invited Friends to reflect on persons or places they love that are endangered by climate breakdown and then express their love and concern by creating 12” x 12” fabric art panels. Friends from around the world have responded to this call, and the Loving Earth exhibit has grown to include over four hundred panels. This is the story of how the project has inspired Friends in the Sacramento Friends Meeting and how you can help to bring an exhibition of Loving Earth panels to the US in 2023.

On Place (May 2022)

Withdrawing our Support

Dalit Baum is the Director of Economic Activism for the American Friends Service Committee. In the following interview, she describes her involvement with the “Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions” movement -- a campaign of nonviolent actions that seek to transform corporate practices in Palestine and in U.S. prisons. She was interviewed in October 2015 by Greg Elliott, who is the Friends Relations Associate with the AFSC in Philadelphia. Dalit has worked in AFSC’s San Francisco office since 2013. She is a feminist scholar and teacher who co-founded the organizations Who Profits from the Occupation and the Coalition of Women for Peace in Israel. The following text is an edited transcript of portions of Greg’s interview with Dalit.

On Money (November 2015)

“Tell Our Story.”

The stories I have heard told, graphic and heart-rending, by northbound migrants and asylum-seekers along the Arizona-Mexico border and by Latinx and indigenous campesinos in Central America, have transformed me. Where I was once a concerned but passive on-looker, I am now a determined human rights activist, intent upon bringing stories from the southwestern borderlands to the American public.

On Water (March 2019)

Charting Our Way

Tockhwock (AKA Geoffrey Kaiser) produced “The Chart” that hangs as a poster in many Quaker meetinghouses, depicting Quaker history as a tree. Beginning in the late 1960s, he revised and updated The Chart continually until 2010. During that time, he and his husband Bruce traveled widely among Friends in North America and gave lectures about Friends’ 350 years of schisms and associations. Tockhwock is a member of Appleseed Meeting in Sebastopol, CA (PYM), grew up in Gwynedd Meeting in Philadelphia Yearly Meeting, and was a founding member of Friends for Lesbian and Gay Concerns in 1970. He spoke with Western Friend by phone on January 23, 2014. Following are edited excerpts from a transcript of that interview.

On Time (March 2014)