90 years of peace and social justice work

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Our

Work

We’re the peace and social justice agency of Quakers in Canada. Our work is aligned with the concerns of Quakers from across the country, but we also choose projects based on where we see a need that isn’t already being filled, and where we feel we can effectively support positive changes (read more about how we work).

Our peace and social justice work is always guided by our values and by our strategic plan. You can read a simple summary (PDF).

Learn more on our website quakerservice.ca

Quaker Concern

Seeking justice and peace—the mission of Canadian Friends Service Committee—only seems easy when we’re overly confident that we’re right and have it all figured out. The more we understand the details and challenges of what peace and justice demand of us, the less straightforward our work becomes. Every approach has trade-offs and pitfalls, and striving for a way forward demands that we remain open to new Light; that we keep listening, letting go, and being willing to change.

Such openness is a major challenge. People who care about social justice can particularly struggle with it, because we tend to be so certain that we’re fighting for the right cause or are on “the right side of history.” Our sense of being on the right side can severely limit our readiness to engage “the wrong side” with tenderness and with curiosity.

 Continue Reading 'The Messy Work of Seeking Justice' by Matthew Legge in a recent issue of Quaker Concern here

Read articles written by Friends in older issues of Quaker Concern here

The Canadian Friend

 

May 2011 Issue

“I find the attitude of the army fellows out here toward the Friends Ambulance Unit very interesting. Most of them don’t understand our views as to the methods that should be used in settling international conflicts, but accept us as ‘one of the boys’. It’s rather amusing to find how well we pacifists get along with the army in the field. I’m afraid that some of the civilians at home who are so critical and antagonistic towards our views would be greatly annoyed by it all. I find that the FAU has a great reputation in China and of all the army chaps I have met from GIs to colonels they would go out of their way to help us when they can…in order that we may carry out our jobs.”

Letter home from Al Dorland (provided by Nantan, Kweichew), member of the Friends Ambulance Unit in China. Aug. 20 1945

Read more letters from Friends Ambulance Unit and learn about other CFSC work in CFSC's 80th anniversary edition of The Canadian Friend here

Resources

Quaker work towards penal abolition has been shaped by diverse experiences and an evolved understanding of the root causes of injustice. Early efforts by Quakers focused on reforming prisons to make them more humane and to substitute prisons for capital punishment. However, evidence showed that the social objectives of imprisonment − deterrence and rehabilitation − were not being met through punishment.

 

Quaker activist Ruth Morris noted that reform within prisons often simply “ended up serving the very system that was so destructive.” Now Quakers work with others in creating alternatives to incarceration, such as restorative justice, transformative processes, diversion and trauma-informed systems.

Continue reading in CFSC's 'From Harm to Healing' resource here

See all CFSC resources here

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