To the Editors:
A multi-part public banner exhibit and program celebrating the centennial of the American Friends Service Committee will be held in the Community Room of the Oberlin Public Library throughout the day of Wednesday, Dec. 6.
It is part of a year-long observance of the 1917 founding of the American Friends Service Committee, a Quaker organization including people of various faiths and backgrounds that is committed to social justice, peace, and humanitarian service. The group received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1947. Their work is “based on the belief in the worth of every person and faith in the power of love to overcome violence and injustice.”
A set of large banners entitled “Waging Peace: 100 Years of Action” will be displayed all day. These illustrate AFSC’s work on the themes of building peace, ending discrimination, addressing prisons, promoting just economics, and reforming immigration policies.
The public is invited free of charge to several component events. At noon, a “Brown Bag Lunch” — beverages provided — features personal stories and a panel discussion among those who have participated in any AFSC programs during a 75-year period. This includes volunteers, staff, committee members, and those receiving AFSC’s services. From 1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m., the “AFSC in Action” program features video showings of many of the organization’s projects. From 3 p.m. to 5 p.m., “Peace Art” will feature community members making a peace banner, sharing messages of how we wage peace.
The theme “Immigrant Rights: Education and Action” will be addressed in two parts. “The DREAM Act: Legislation and Action,” is a short workshop from 5:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. presented by Lynn Tramonte of Ohio’s Voice and America’s Voice. “Sanctuary: What Does it Mean? What Can You Do?” is a panel from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., featuring Oberlin College Professors Gina Pérez and Steve Volk, Oberlin City Councilmember Bryan Burgess, Oberlin City Manager Rob Hillard, Unitarian Universalist Minister Mary Grigolia, and members of the Executive Committee of the Lorain Ohio Immigrants’ Rights Association, among others.
Sponsors of the day’s events are the Oberlin Friends Meeting, Community Peace Builders, and LOIRA. We hope that you can join us.
– David Finke