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What's Ahead in 2018 for Congress

The government is shut down. What does that mean for efforts to protect immigrants, help the most vulnerable people in our country, and advance peace and justice this year? Join a conference call this Tuesday to find out.

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Western Yearly Meeting Minute on Incarceration

Meeting on incarceration passed by Western Yearly Meeting in 2016

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New York Yearly Meeting Indian Affairs Committee Minute on Standing Rock

Minute on Standing Rock passed by the Indian Affairs Committee of New York Yearly Meeting in 2016

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Albuquerque Monthly Meeting Minute on Standing Rock

Minute on Stand Rock passed by Albuquerque Monthly Meeting in 2016

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Miami Quarterly Meeting on Gun Violence

Minute on gun violence passed by Miami quarterly meeting in 2016

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Chena Ridge Friends Meeting Minute on domestic terrorism

Minute on Domestic Terrorism passed by Chena Ridge Friends Meeting in 2017

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Baltimore Yearly Meeting Minute on North Korea

Meeting on tensions with North Korea passed by Baltimore Yearly Meeting in 2017

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Baltimore Yearly Meeting Minute on the Doctrine of Discovery

Minute on the Doctrine of Discovery passed by Baltimore Yearly Meeting in 2012

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Adelphi Monthly Meeting Minute on Violence

Minute passed by Adelphi Monthly Meeting on violence, hate crimes, and racism in 2016

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Bombs, the blockade, and the humanitarian crisis in Yemen

The UN describes Yemen as having one of the worst humanitarian crises in the world today.

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Dreamer Protection: State of Play and How You Can Engage

There has been a flurry of activity over the past few weeks as members of Congress are faced with a narrowing window of time to address the fate of undocumented youth. A critical juncture is today, January 19, when two-thirds of Congress must sign off on a bill to keep the government funded through midnight.

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FCNL’s Yasmine Taeb to Speak at Poligon’s First Anniversary Bash

On January 26, FCNL Lobbyist for Human Rights and Civil Liberties Yasmine Taeb will speak at the first anniversary celebration of the Poligon Education Fund.

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Considering Colonization: 5 things I learned from Denise Altvater

Building peace Ending discrimination DecolonizationNative Lives Matter

On November 16th I had the privilege of getting to talk with Denise Altvater, Coordinator as the Wabanaki Youth Program in Maine. She had a lot to offer in ourconversation that covered the importance of decolonization, anti-racism, faith, truth-telling, the impacts of colonization among those who were victim to it and those who were perpretrators, and a lot more. We posted the conversation as a series of 5 blog posts. All of the posts are worth reading in their entirety, but here is a recap and guide to that conversation with links to each post. - Christina

1. Thinking about decolonization as Thanksgiving approaches: A conversation with Denise Altvater part 1: Colonization has been built into America’s infrastructure since 1492. Denise recognizes that decolonization practices coupled with anti-racism work can only be successful if practiced together and daily. If we want to commit to healing and liberating ourselves, decolonization isn’t something that we should only be thinking about during holidays like Thanksgiving or Columbus Day. Daily and conscious practices are how we can resist and break through the very real blockages that colonization in the self and in the system presents. 

2. Decolonizing our hearts and minds as people of faith: A conversation with Denise Altvater, part 2: There is a real disconnect with the early colonization of the land called the United States that actually took place and with what people of faith teach. There are many myths that uphold colonial mindsets. It is possible to bridge that gap with videos, presentations, handouts, and workshops that focus on truth-telling. Thought-provoking practices that counter the dominant narrative have proven to open up the hearts and minds of people of faith, awakening them not only to the impacts of colonization on indigenous people, but, as a result, on the settlers, too. This is a progressive next step to getting decolonized: talking and acknowledging the truth of the past – to accept the truth of the present.  

3. Healing does not require forgiveness: A conversation with Denise Altvater, part 3:  Healing from colonization is possible, and forgiveness doesn’t have to be in the equation in order to attain it. Without healing from the genocide, theft, abuse and victimization of those oppressed, these wounds of trauma gets passed down to children and grandchildren and festers in our dearest relationships. Truth-telling needs to happen to open up the valve for healing. The process of healing will enable us to not just speak the truth of our past, but to listen to it, learn from it, share it and practice actively in the act of decolonization. In order to heal, oppressed people are not required to forgive those who oppress them. 

4. Colonialism and late stage genocide: A conversation with Denise Altvater, part 4: The aftermath of colonization has ongoing ripple effects in indigenous communities, on the reservations, in people’s communities, and within their hearts and minds. It can leave both the perpetrator and the victim stripped of their humanity and left with feelings of self-hatred (or self-aggrandizement). The genocide of indigenous people still persists in the form of inadequate health care, high poverty rates, and in many other ways. The disconnect that people feel from the earth and thus themselves keeps them from acknowledging both their humanity and their victimhood in colonization to take the next step towards decolonization.

5. Acknowledging the full truth of our past: A conversation with Denise Altvater, part 5: The history of the past is connected to colonization and its current impact that still takes a toll on each of us now. Actively facing the truth of colonization and how it still benefits privileged members of society at the expense of marginalized communities, acknowledging this truth, and taking accountability permits us to move forward toward decolonization. If we start on the path to respecting and taking care of planet earth and one another, then the nature of our relationship with ourselves and with each other will change.  


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