Peace and Social Concerns Committee, 3/25/2013


Present: Andy G.,  Roger C.,  Daniel G.,  George M., Beth A., Ann L., Peggy A.,  Adele S-P.


We opened with a time of silence.


Adele visited Haiti recently and told us of her time there. She was very moved by her visit and has decided to go back yearly to work in the school.


Roger will do the letter-writing in April since Susan did it for him in March.


Adele’s packet regarding race and class issues was passed out to those who had not already received one.  However it lacked the cover letter which should be distributed also to introduce the packet and which Adele will send us  by email.  We believe that an 11:40 on this subject could be useful, to complement Care and Counsel’s 11:40 hour on the subject oriented to individuals, while ours could be oriented to our society and culture.  Andy will facilitate a meeting at 8:45 am on April 7 to convene Friends wanting to participate in a conversation on the topic of race and class at Mount Toby and the wider Quaker community.  Ann will get a notice about this into the current newsletter.


Roger spoke of the work of Quaker Bolivia Link, and the committee will recommend it for funding from the budget’s “Friends Concerns: Other Organizations” section.


Jeff Napolitano gave an 11:40 on Sunday, telling of the activities of the Western Massachusetts office of the AFSC and inviting a closer connection between our meeting and that office.  Adele reported on ways that Friends could cooperate with and participate in AFSC events and serve on its Program Committee. We were encouraged to think about Friends who might serve on that committee, and of other ways we might strengthen the connection.


Adele has offered to join the AFSC Program Committee immediately, and we hope that her connection as liaison between AFSC and Mount Toby can be made official since having that connection made official and recorded is important for the continuity of the relation.


Daniel reported that the second film in the series, “How to Start a Revolution,” about Gene Sharp’s work promoting nonviolence, was shown at Hampshire College with a small attendance and no Hampshire students.  Roger suggested the PBS documentary “Joan Baez: How Sweet the Sound” be the April 11 film, to be shown at Mount Toby, and he will put a notice in the newsletter about it.  Andy suggested “Amandla, as another  film for the series, and he believes that some singers from the Amandla chorus might come to it when it is shown.  George thought that his DVD about The Abolitionists, a PBS documentary series, might work for the series. 


Beth announced vigils, fasts,  and other gatherings drawing attention to the continuing injustice of the Guantanamo prison, and to the long lasting hunger strike current among the prisoners there.  She is on a sympathetic fast and asked for our prayers in support of those opposing the prison. We encouraged her to put a note into the newsletter about her witness.


Roger read a document describing the meeting recently held to discuss updating FCNL priorities.  He will recommend it to Nina for reading in the next Meeting for Business.


Peg announced that in Brattleboro on March 30 there will be a rally in support of closing  the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant.


Andy reminded us that “deadline” is a phrase originating in the Civil War with violent origins and asked us to avoid using the word.


We closed with a time of silence.