Author Archives: Laura Rediehs

About Laura Rediehs

I teach philosophy and peace studies at St. Lawrence University, and play flutes.

CfP: Quakers and Encounters

The 2022 annual conference of the Centre for Research in Quaker Studies (CRQS) and the Quaker Studies Research Association (QSRA) is exploring the theme of Quakers and Encounters in a series of five short online sessions spread across the year.

The online events will be held on 7 April, 12 May, 9 June, 8 September, and 13 October 2022.

The deadline for proposals (200 words) is 21 February 2022.

Click on the link below for more information:

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The Black Quaker Lives Matter Film Festival

We sometimes post about upcoming events of potential interest to our members. One such upcoming event is The Black Quaker Lives Matter Film Festival.

From the website:

We are thrilled to announce the Black Quaker Lives Matter Film Festival, a first-of-its-kind film festival that endeavors to educate all about the importance of Quakers of Color who for too long have remained within the margins of the Society of Friends and the wider world. From 12 February 2022, during Black History Month, until Paul Robeson’s birthday on 9 April 2022 we will screen a film centered on a Quaker of Color with an introduction from a guest expert and a follow up discussion facilitated by BQP Director Dr. Harold D. (Hal) Weaver. Screenings will take place every other Saturday on Zoom at 1pm ET.  

For more information and a registration link:

https://www.theblackquakerproject.org/black-quaker-lives-matter-film-festival

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QLHE: Supporting Vocation

Supporting Vocation: Helping Students Navigate a Neoliberal Culture
Tuesday, January 25, 2022
7:30-9 pm, eastern

To register: tinyurl.com/FAHE-01-25-22

Jen and Greg have been developing a vocational discernment curriculum for college students and young adults rooted in Quaker practices for Quakers and non-Quakers alike. In this presentation, they will share key concepts and practical tools and activities from that work, which can help students engage their own inner teacher and values, and continue to grapple with questions of vocation in a changing world.

Their work is being supported by the Forum for Theological Exploration and the Lyman Fund.

Presenters:

Jennifer Higgins-Newman
Program Director
Beacon Hill Friends House
Master of Theological Studies
Vanderbilt Divinity School

Greg Woods
Program Consultant
Beacon Hill Friends House
Master of Divinity
Princeton Theological Seminary

Moderator:
Walter Hjelt Sullivan
Director of Quaker Affairs
Haverford College

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Klamath Falls Friends Church Seeks Pastor

Klamath Falls Friends Church, an open and affirming semi-programmed Meeting of the Society of Friends (Quakers), in beautiful southern Oregon, is currently seeking a part- to full-time interim pastor to guide us along our journey. KFFC is a Christ-centered and seeker-friendly Meeting. We are a small but diverse group, with a wide array of spiritual paths. Our desired pastor will be able to hold that diversity, plan and present messages/meditations to guide our Meetings for Worship, be available for pastoral care, and provide the structure and guidance necessary to help us discern our long-term way forward.

Please send your resume, NLT January 31, 2022, to: KFFC Pastor Search Committee, klamathfallsfriendschurch@gmail.com

For more information about us please visit: klamathfallsfriendschurch.org

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ESR: Quaker Professional Scholarship

Excellent news for Quaker professionals and organizations.

Earlham School of Religion has upgraded the Quaker Professional Scholarship, from 50% tuition to 100% tuition coverage, for up to 5 years of part-time (2+ courses/semester), distance, degree-seeking study.

Degree options include the Master of Divinity, the Master of Arts in Religion, and the Master of Arts: Theopoetics & Writing. The MDiv and MA require 4 residential courses that can be completed during 2-week intensives.

To learn more about our programs and scholarships, visit esr.earlham.edu/admissions. Or email admissions@esr.earlham.edu.

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QLHE: Freedom from Harm: Resisting Incarceration for All

Friends Association for Higher Education’s Quaker Leadings in Higher Education series presented our November event:

Freedom from Harm: Resisting Incarceration for All
Tuesday, November 23, 2021

Panelists:
Nekeisha Alayna Alexis, Liberationist
Intercultural Competence and Undoing Racism (ICUR) coordinator
Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary

Johnny Perez
Director of U.S. Prisons Program
National Religious Campaign Against Torture

Moderator:
Ursula C. McTaggart
Professor of English
Wilmington College

Here is a link to a recording of this event plus other materials.

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Call for Proposals: 2022 FAHE Conference

Call for Proposals: 2022 FAHE Annual Conference
43rd Annual Meeting of the Friends Association for Higher Education
June 14-17, 2022
Earlham College and Earlham School of Religion
Richmond, Indiana

Conference Theme: Quakers and Racial Justice

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 14-17, 2022, FAHE will hold its annual conference at Earlham College and Earlham School of Religion, in Richmond Indiana. The FAHE Program Committee invites proposals from faculty, staff and administrators for presentations related to the conference theme of Quakers and Racial Justice, 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:

How have we, as educators, incorporated, or might incorporate, racial justice more fully into the curricula and co-curricular life of our schools?

What can Black Quakers tell us about exemplary models of ministry toward others?

What should be done to make Friends meetings, schools, and other institutions more racially inclusive?

What contributions might FAHE members and attenders have to make to discussions around the need for reparations for past racial injustices?

What lessons have you or f/Friends of your acquaintance learned, in attending Racial Justice Protests, from the Civil Rights movements of the mid-twentieth century to the Black Lives Matter protests following the unjust killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and many, many others.

How have Quakers impacted racial justice efforts from the 17th century onwards?
(Papers may address the lives of Black Quakers, or Black friends of Friends, such as William Boen, Benjamin Banneker, Sarah Mapps Douglass, Sojourner Truth, Howard Thurman, Jean Toomer, Mahala Ashley Dickerson, Bayard Rustin, Barrington Dunbar, or Black Friends still living such as Harold D. Weaver Jr., Vanessa Julye, Dwight Wilson, Niyonu Spann.)

How should we encourage Friends in Africa and address the effects of policies of empire and race on Friends in Kenya, Uganda, South Africa, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, and other African countries?

What can we learn from the lives and witness of Quakers in any of these African countries?

How do Friends in Britain, other parts of Europe, the Middle East or Asia and the Pacific address (or how should they address) issues of racial justice?

Who were the Quaker slaveholders, enslavers? What can we learn from their lives?

Who were the people enslaved by Quakers? What can we learn from their lives?

What can we learn from White Quaker Anti-Slavery Activists, such as Benjamin Lay, John Woolman, Anthony Benezet, Warner Mifflin, Elizabeth Heyrick, Lucretia Mott? How did they model (or not) White Allyship?

What can we learn from the struggles to desegregate Quaker schools at all levels (colleges, secondary schools)?

What reflections do you have on the 1619 Project? On the current anti-racism movement?

How might we respond appropriately to the movements that abuse or use such terms as “Critical Race Theory”?

How have Quakers supported Voting Rights for all in the past? How might we do so in the present, and future?

What is your Quaker response to works of literature by Black authors and BIPOC authors, such as Zora Neale Hurston, Toni Morrison, or Colson Whitehead?

The FAHE Program Committee requests your submissions by January 24, 2022. In accordance with Earlham College and Earlham School of Religion campus policy, Covid-19 vaccination is mandatory for all campus visitors.

Please submit your proposal here:

https://forms.gle/FboxHvtKiSuMaz5U6

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QLHE Returns! The Promise of Liberatory Reading/Teaching/Research

Friends Association for Higher Education is very excited to bring back the Quaker Leadings in Higher Education (QLHE) series for the 2021-22 academic year.

Our first event of the year was:

Rethinking the Canon:
The Promise of Liberatory Reading/Teaching/Research

Tuesday, October 26, 2021
 
Panelists:
Ada Jaarsma,
Professor of Philosophy
Mount Royal University

Sarah Willie LeBreton,
Provost and Dean of the Faculty
Professor of Sociology
Swarthmore College

Namrata Mitra,
Associate Professor of English
Iona College

Moderator:
David R. Ross
Research Professor
Department of Economics
Bryn Mawr College

Here is a link to the video and other materials for this event.

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Faculty Positions at Earlham School of Religion

We occasionally post announcements of potential interest to our members. Here are faculty position openings at the Earlham School of Religion.

EARLHAM SCHOOL OF RELIGION

Assistant Professor of Old Testament/Hebrew Bible
Full-Time Faculty of Peace & Justice Studies (Open Rank)

Earlham School of Religion, Richmond, Indiana, a seminary in the Quaker tradition, is hiring two full-time faculty positions: an Assistant Professor of Old Testament (Hebrew Bible) and an open rank position in Peace and Justice Studies, both to start July 1, 2022. The full descriptions may be found here: https://bit.ly/2WnLjOu

These scholars in Old Testament and Peace and Justice Studies will also contribute to other parts of the curriculum, such as theopoetics, theology and culture, spirituality, ethics, writing, and interfaith dialogue.

Review of applications will begin Nov. 15, 2021, with on campus interviews scheduled in February, 2022. No applications will be accepted after Dec. 31, 2021. Send application letter, CV, writing sample, sample course syllabus, statement of diversity, and names of four professional references to: ESROldTestamentSearch@gmail.com or ESRPeaceandJusticeSearch@gmail.com.

Applicants must be committed to working within a Quaker ethos that values integrity, consensus decision-making, equality, justice, and peacemaking.

ESR is an Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action Employer. We encourage applications from people of color, people who identify as women, members of the LGBTQ+ community, and other underrepresented groups

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FAHE 2021 Conference Epistle

To Friends and colleagues everywhere:

After a one-year hiatus resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic, Friends Association for Higher Education held its 41st conference June 7-11, 2021 over Zoom on “Peacemaking in the Liberal Arts.” We have been invigorated by plenary sessions with George Lakey (author of How We Win: A Guide to Nonviolent Direct Action Campaigning and Facilitating Group Learning: Strategies for Success with Diverse Learners) and Nozizwe Madlala-Routledge (whose leadership has included terms as Deputy Minister of Defense and of Health for South Africa), 23 workshops, worship and other opportunities for community and emboldened with better understanding of the foundations and history of the Friends Peace Testimony and renewed commitment to supporting our student activists as campaigners for the loving community we seek.

It is natural, Lakey explained, to fear and be repelled by the rising polarization around us. Polarization is an inevitable consequence of the extreme economic inequality and racial injustice of our society. Just as a forge makes metal malleable, so polarization provides the heat that drives societal transformation — for good (as with the Nordic countries in the early 20th century) or ill (Nazi Germany and fascist Italy in the same era). Since today’s polarization is inevitable, we must prepare to engage with it.

Lakey’s plenary and other sessions — by providing us with a better understanding of historical peacemaking that emerges from close study of Quaker origins in the 17th century, case studies of Friends service committees in the 19th and 20th centuries, the 1960s Civil Rights campaign, and the dismantling of Apartheid in South Africa — gave us reasons for optimism.

Oppression and injustice cry out for forceful action and offend a loving God. But, the slave master’s tools cannot break the master’s chains. Successful transformation depends on vision (prophetic witness), inspired strategy and the health of the change community. It may well be that the key gift to us from early Friends is less the reality of our unmediated access to continuing revelation than the acknowledgement of the inner struggle to be faithful to the seed of God within.

Madlala-Routledge reminded us that the “search for Peace is always a collective effort. It starts with truth-telling, incorporates justice tinged with Mercy…and a lot of meeting with other fully-as-flawed human beings.” She gave us a careful accounting of the successes and continuing challenges of South Africa’s experience with Truth and Reconciliation.

We learned in this and other sessions that true dialogue requires the voice, attention to and acknowledgement of the other. Carefully tended dialogue transforms conflict, leading to reconciliation and forgiveness. There was even the suggestion that dialogue paradigms might be the key to ensuring that machine-based artificial-intelligence technologies serve humane needs rather than stunting what it means to be human.

When those administering or benefiting from oppression decline dialogue, we are called to other forms of nonviolent activism. George Lakey and others charged us as educators to support students in their growth as activists and politically engaged citizens. We learned that there is a place for many skills and roles in social movements: helpers, organizers, advocates and rebels. We learned of the ethical foundations and resulting efficacy of protest, noncooperation and nonviolent intervention in confronting injustice. We shared experiences and plans for specific programs on our campuses to promote global understanding, explore activist identities and promote Quaker leadership.

This year’s conference hosted a Campus Executives Panel with the highest participation yet of any of our conferences with six colleges represented. The discussion addressed stresses and challenges in a time of pandemic, with a valuable sharing of perspectives and experiences by all participating. We talked about the challenges of using Quaker decision-making processes on campuses where most of the community members are not from the Religious Society of Friends. Other topics included finding a balance of collaboration opened up by Zoom while people also experience Zoom fatigue; exploring the possibility of deeper relationships with Historically Black Colleges and Universities as well as with Native Americans; recruiting Quaker faculty to the Quaker campuses as well as recruiting Quaker students; the challenge of maintaining integrity and continuity of tradition while dealing with marketplace forces; and perspectives on philanthropy. Because we met virtually, the campus executives were not able to share the traditional conversation with each other over a meal, but we hope that is remedied when we can meet again in-person.

In leaving our conference, we stand ready to share with Friends and our colleagues in higher education a renewed sense of what Quaker education can contribute to transformational peacemaking. For that reason, the vitality of our Quaker colleges and study centers remains a central concern of FAHE.

During FAHE’s annual meeting for business we accepted the invitation of Earlham College and Earlham School of Religion to gather in person in June 2022. Come join us in the continuation of this good work.

With hope for our future work together,

Stephen Potthoff and Donn Weinholtz, Co-Clerks
Friends Association for Higher Education

Epistle committee draft adopted June 11, 2021

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