Author Archives: Kimberly Haas

New book from FAHE: Quakers, Social Work, and Justice Concerns


FAHE is pleased to announce the publication of the seventh volume in our book series Quakers and the Disciplines.

Quakers, Social Work, and Justice Concerns includes ten chapters that survey the theory and history of Quaker work for social change in offering insight into how Friends have approached social work.

This collection of essays is divided into three sections. The first considers theory of social work and change. Christy Randazzo applies the work of John Paul Lederach to a theological understanding of Quaker testimony and social action. Daniel Rhodes shares about his application of Quaker principles in his educational work with social work students. Douglas Bennett describes the history and development of Quaker organizations in addressing social issues.

A second section looks at individual Quakers’ lives and their work. Paul Anderson examines the life of prison reformer Elizabeth Fry, Mark Bredin discusses progressive reformer Lucretia Mott, and Wendy Grab considers the Quaker influences on social work pioneer Jane Addams.

The third section considers collective work of Friends in addressing social issues. Nelson Bingham explores the creation of the first mental hospital, the York Retreat, begun by Friends in England. Max L. Carter describes the work of Friends among Midwestern Indians in the early 1800s. Linda B. Selleck draws from her book Gentle Invaders to share the history of Quaker women’s educational work among African Americans before and after the Civil War. Jennifer Buck details Quaker involvement in the women’s Suffrage movement.

See the full series here

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New discussion series: Quaker Leadings in Higher Education

Please join us for FAHE’s new discussion series Quaker Leadings in Higher Education.

The inaugural event, “Turning on a Quaker Dime: Lessons Learned for Higher Education During the COVID-19 Pandemic” was held via Zoom on Tuesday, May 26, 7:00 to 8:30 pm, EDT.

The panelists were Stephen Angell, Leatherock Professor of Quaker Studies at the Earlham School of Religion; Francisco Burgos, Director of Education and incoming Executive Director at Pendle Hill; and Sarah Willie-LeBreton, Provost & Dean of the Faculty, Professor of Sociology at Swarthmore College. Donn Weinholtz, Professor of Education & Director of Educational Leadership at the University of Hartford and Convener of FAHE’s Advancement and Membership Committee was moderator.

Watch the video of the event.

Read more: Turning on a Quaker Dime

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FAHE Conference Postponed

The Friends Association for Higher Education conference, which was to be held at Earlham College this June, has been postponed. The exact dates are still being determined but it will be held at Earlham College and the Earlham School of Religion, possibly June 8-10, 2021. We will have the same focus planned for this year: Peacemaking and the Liberal Arts. 

As a non-profit membership organization, FAHE relies on conference fees and membership dues for most of its budget. Please stay engaged with FAHE during this year by becoming a member or renewing your membership.

We’ll continue to publish our bimonthly newsletter and are working on finding ways to stay engaged with our members during these challenging times.

“Peacemaking and the Liberal Arts”

The Quaker peace testimony calls us to work actively for the just and peaceful transformation of conflict, and for the removal of causes of violence and injustice. As educators at Quaker and non-Quaker institutions, what roles do peacemaking and social concern play in your context of higher education? Given the changing landscape of higher education when there is pressure to make education focus more intentionally on career-oriented preparation, what is the future of programs (both curricular and co-curricular) specializing in peacemaking and social justice?

When we’re able to determine new dates, please join us as we consider these topics, as well as others that concern Friends testimonies in higher education.

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FAHE’s newest book

FAHE is pleased to announce the sixth volume in our book series Quakers and the Disciplines. Quakers, Creation Care, and Sustainability gathers over two dozen Quaker authors and scholars to address some of today’s pressing concerns in ecology, creation care, and sustainability.

Beginning with historical Quaker themes on the subject, essays also consider developing a Quaker ecotheology, discuss Quaker approaches to the environment within academic disciplines, and share stories of sustainability—both individually and organizationally. The book includes discussion questions at the end of each section and an expansive bibliography.

We hope this volume will prove useful to study groups, classroom teachers and readers concerned about the environment, climate change, and the role of people of faith in caring for the planet.

“Rooted in deep spirituality and practical experience, the chapters canvas the topic from history to theology, from academics to activism. I have never seen the case for a distinctively Quaker call to stewardship presented with this breadth and force before.”
― Philip Clayton, Ingram Professor of Theology at the Claremont School of Theology

Quakers, Creation Care, and Sustainability is available from Amazon.

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2019 Quaker College Fair

Bring the high school students in your life to the 2019 Quaker College Fair!
It’s on Saturday, September 28th from 11:45 am. til 3 pm. and features a panel discussion of the college selection and admission processes, followed by the college fair with Quaker and historically Quaker colleges, including Haverford, Earlham, Bryn Mawr, Guilford and Swarthmore.
Registration for this free event is optional (but helpful for ordering refreshments!).  The Quaker College Fair is a project of FAHE and Philadelphia Yearly Meeting.

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Epistle: FAHE Annual Conference, Pendle Hill and Swarthmore College, June 13-15, 2019

To Friends Everywhere:
FAHE gathered for its 40th conference at Pendle Hill and Swarthmore College to explore our theme for this year, “Truth and Inspiration.” In the many stories we heard, speakers spoke of the necessity of courage and risk taking being needed to speak truth to power. In a world of contingent truth, fake news and outright deception seeking truth is not enough. Acting on truth to transform our world is required. We heard many stories of Friends having the courage to act on truth.
The opening plenary address “Looking Inward with Courage: Quaker Organizations Parading Peace & Justice” was presented on Thursday evening, June 13, 2019, at Pendle Hill by Joyce Aljouny, Executive Secretary of the American Friends Service Committee, headquartered in Philadelphia, PA. She began by noting that we advocate for Peace & Justice in our literature, we highlight them in our courses, and center on them in our service work and programming. Then she challenged us with the questions about how courageous should we be when demonstrating peace and justice practices, policies and principles within our Quaker organizations. These questions can be applied not only in our service organizations but also throughout the Quaker world in our faith communities as well as our schools and colleges. As a Palestinian-American she had many moving stories to share from family life, a career as an educator, and most recently in her work with the AFSC. Truth telling and risk taking require courage, openness to taking bold risks. But not taking action has risks, too, and so we need to support each other in creating environments that allow us to be in the sometimes uncomfortable role of truth telling in our communities. Truth requires courage.
The leadership panel of Quaker leaders explored the challenges of institutions to be truthful and courageous. Colleges are concerned about how they are perceived by others, sustainability, continuity, and stasis. These make following the truth difficult and the leaders spoke of the challenges they face in following the truth in the decisions and actions they take.
Friday night’s plenary address “I Must Always Walk in the Light” was presented by Maurice Eldridge at Swarthmore College. Eldridge, former Vice President at Swarthmore College, shared of his life experiences and career, beginning with his early childhood, and ending with projects he continues to be involved with. He spoke of his white neighbor telling him as a young child that “his dark skin was beautiful, and not to let anyone tell him differently.” He shared the importance of education in his family’s life, that “education was a gateway to a successful life.” He also learned the power of vulnerability, and being available and accessible to his students, that he could be a better educator by being true to being a model for them. While he was first exposed to the Religious Society of Friends in high school, and is an alum of Swarthmore College, it was after the death of his first wife that he sought worship with Friends, and found a supportive spiritual space (and also met his current wife). He spoke of the power of being silent together. Through his stories, it was clear that being true to himself, being a model for others, and uplifting various kinds of education, are at the center of his being. We are grateful for his vulnerability in sharing his incredible story
In our third plenary Frances Blase, Provost at Haverford College shared Haverford’s struggle with Academic Freedom and its discernment whether to accept or decline grants from the U.S. Department of Defense. In academia, freedom is necessary for finding truth. It is highly protected in colleges and universities. Haverford has had to grapple with their limits to academic freedom, when that freedom might conflict with a core value of a Quaker institution such as its stance of not supporting the military.
Our final plenary was brought forward by Jon Watts, who told the origin of QuakerSpeak, a Friends Journal project, and a Quaker YouTube channel. Watts weaved examples from the past five years into his story. He answered questions around theological diversity through showing videos, and we are excited to see what the next five years might bring forward.
In 24 presentations during concurrent sessions we learned from each other as we explored truth and inspiration in different contexts. Topics explored seeking truth and inspiration in a wide range of areas of concern to Friends and spoke to complexity of our theme of truth and inspiration.
We expressed deep gratitude for John Kershner and Paul Anderson’s service on FAHE Executive Committee. Appreciation for the Program Committee, and our hosts (Pendle Hill and Swarthmore College) making the conference a great one was expressed.
We were challenged to bring acting in truth through our living testimony home to our institutions. We look forward to meeting for our next conference at Earlham College and Earlham School of Religion in June 2020.
Yours in Friendship
Friends Association for Higher Education
June 15th, 2019

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2019 Conference at Swarthmore College and Pendle Hill

FAHE is pleased to be gathering for our 40th conference at our member institutions Pendle Hill and Swarthmore College, June 13-16.

We’ll be considering our conference of “Truth and Inspiration” through over 25 presentations and workshops.  See the conference schedule and 2019 Conference Program. Read more about our four plenary speakers: Joyce Ajlouny, General Secretary of the American Friends Service Committee; Maurice Eldridge, Vice Chair, The Chester Fund for Education and the Arts and Pendle Hill board member;  Frances Rose Blase, Provost of Haverford College, and Jon Watts, producer of the video series Quaker Speak.

We’ll debut FAHE’s latest volume in our series Quakers and the Disciplines with a book sale and signing by the editors of Quakers, Creation Care, and Sustainability.

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FAHE fundraiser for scholarships

As we look forward to our annual conference in June at Pendle Hill and Swarthmore College, near Philadelphia, FAHE has launched a fundraising campaign to offer scholarships for students, adjunct faculty and independent scholars to attend.

FAHE is committed to promoting the Quaker ideals of equality, social justice and peace in higher education.  The opportunity to share academic interests in a spiritually nourishing environment is unique and precious; and in an era of tightening budgets, we want to welcome the newest generation of post-secondary teachers and scholars into the profession and our FAHE community. 

Last year, donations to FAHE for scholarships enabled Stanley Chagala Ngesa, a Kenyan Quaker studying at Earlham School of Religion, to attend our conference at Wilmington College in Ohio.  Here’s a video as he reflects on the benefits that he experienced from attending the conference. 

We would appreciate your gift of any amount! To donate, click here.  Thank you!


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2019 Conference Registration is Open

Registration for FAHE’s 2019 conference at Swarthmore College and Pendle Hill is now open!

FAHE invites you to join teachers, scholars and educational administrators on the beautiful campuses of Swarthmore College and Pendle Hill near Philadelphia, for our annual conference.

We will consider the theme “Truth and Inspiration” and other topics of interest to Friends and educators through presentations, panel discussions, and three plenary speakers: Joyce Ajlouny, General Secretary of the American Friends Service Committee; Maurice Eldridge, Vice Chair, The Chester Fund for Education and the Arts and Pendle Hill board member; and Frances Rose Blase, Provost of Haverford College.

The conference also offers a disciplinary theme, as we prepare the seventh volume in our “Quakers and the Disciplines” book series. Sessions will address the theme of Quakers, Social Work and Justice Concerns. Conference presentations provide an opportunity to draft an article for inclusion in the volume.

Interested in presenting a session? Proposals are being accepted on-line through March 31.

Scholarship support is offered to graduate students and adjunct faculty. Please contact FAHE for details.

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Invitation: Call for Presentations

40th Annual Meeting of the Friends Association for Higher Education
June 13-16, 2019
Swarthmore College and Pendle Hill
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Conference Theme: Truth and Inspiration

The Friends Association for Higher Education was conceived in 1979 by a group of educators seeking to bring together faculty, staff and administrators at historically Quaker colleges and universities, as well as Friends teaching at other institutions. Since its founding, FAHE has met annually at Friends institutions of higher education around the US and beyond, engaging educators and scholars in ongoing dialogue around Quaker concerns in higher education. From the very beginning, Friends have embraced a strong commitment to education, and Friends schools and colleges have attracted and welcomed both Quaker and non-Quaker educators alike who resonate with the historic Friends commitment to educating the whole person, guided by the Quaker testimonies of simplicity, peace, integrity, community, equality, and (especially in recent decades) sustainability.

This coming summer, from June 13-16, 2019, FAHE will hold its annual conference at Swarthmore College and Pendle Hill, near Philadelphia. The FAHE Program Committee invites proposals from faculty, staff and administrators for presentations related to the conference theme of Truth and Inspiration, or other topics reflecting Quaker concerns in higher education. As a tool for seeking truth as part of corporate discernment and decision-making, Quakers offer queries to provide focus, direction, and inspiration. Queries to consider in envisioning and crafting proposals include:

• What are truth and truth-seeking, and how would you define these in your discipline and work?

• In an era where truth is under constant assault, how do we navigate, in and outside the classroom, the dangers posed by lying, information suppression, misrepresentation, and conspiracy theories?

• How do we navigate between apparently conflicting truths, values or stories?

• How has your campus responded to, or been involved in, the free speech controversies that have engulfed campuses around the country?

• In the face of growing threats to human and civil rights, a global environmental crisis, mindless consumption, and opioid addiction, what does it mean to speak truth to power?

• In an era of lies, deception, and abuse of power, how do we prevent ourselves and our students from succumbing to cynicism, hopelessness and despair?

• How do we inspire curiosity, wonder, awe, and a love of learning in our work with students in and outside the classroom?

• What values do we seek to honor in our work as educators and scholars, and what is the basis for these values?

• Wherein do you find inspiration, meaning, or truth?

The conference also offers a publication opportunity: FAHE’s Quakers and the Disciplines book series

Presenters can propose a presentation topic on the theme of the upcoming seventh volume, Quakers, Social Work and Justice Concerns. Conference presentations provide an opportunity to draft an article for inclusion in the volume. Editors Max Carter, Daniel Rhodes, Jennifer Buck, and Erin Johnson offer some ideas for topics:

+ Early Friends and social concerns
+ Concerns for the poor (John Bellers, John Woolman)
+ Concerns for the imprisoned (Elizabeth Fry, etc.)
+ Early concerns regarding slavery (George Keith, Germantown Friends, etc.)
+ Concerns for the mentally ill (the Tukes, Philadelphia Hospital, etc.)
+ Pennsylvania—the “Holy Experiment” as a haven for conscientious refugees
+ Quakers and the abolition of slavery
+ Women’s rights and suffrage
+ Temperance and domestic concerns
+ Reconciliation and peace work
+ Reconstruction and post-war relief work
+ Jane Addams: innovator in the field of social work
+ The AFSC and Quaker Peace & Service
+ Quakers and the United Nations
+ Quaker missions and social concerns
+ Quakers and Gandhi and King
+ Quakers, Ramallah and Palestine

Proposal Guidelines

Suggested Length: 250 words
Information to Include: Name, title, institution, type of presentation (traditional lecture, discussion), title of presentation, technology needs, presentation description
Deadline: January 31, 2019
Please submit proposals online.

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