Tuesday, January 24, 2012

A Bit About The Friends (Quakers) Work for Peace

The Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL) fields the largest team of registered peace lobbyists in Washington, DC. Founded in 1943 by members of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers), FCNL's multi-issue advocacy connects historic Quaker testimonies on peace, equality, simplicity, and truth with peace and social justice issues which the United States government is or should be addressing. FCNL is nonpartisan.

The Friends (Quakers) also began Friends World College which has (or have had) centers in North America, Latin America, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, South Asia and East Asia -- a "university without walls". Much of the work is/has been in the form of independent study projects. The major fuculty activity is one-to one advising. Everyone keeps a journal recording their experience, reading, study summaries, and personal activity in the arts. (Since arts and crafts of various sorts are highly valued at this school, the journal may also have poetry, drawings, photography and samples/records of weaving, performances including theatre, dance, mime and so on.)

The Friends World College was inspired by the poet, visionary and educationist Rabindranath Tagore -- who's theories and practices of education which began when he was a child -- and was eventually embodied in schools where people of many cultures and faiths live, work and learn together. Sometimes Friends say that their World College is the "spiritual descendant of Santiniketan and Visva-Bharati -- Tagore's world learning communities.

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