Listen to Amanda Kemp’s Guilford College Talk

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Dr. Amanda Kemp was this year’s Judith Weller Harvey Quaker Scholar at Guilford and she was wonderful. Her talk was titled:

How to Have a Difficult Conversation about Racism without Losing Your Voice or Your Cool

Amanda Kemp is the author of Say the Wrong Thing and creator of the Racial Justice from the H.E.A.R.T. model.

She believes that in these polarized times, every one of us is needed. Your specific story, perspective and gifts can transform our community and nation. Come get the tools you need to be a strong, compassionate voice for racial diversity and justice.

You can listen and download Amanda’s talk here.

Download Kody Hersh’s Talk at Guilford College

1c1b2fa3e95e9ed5abad0779645c9a0dKody Gabriel Hersh was this year’s J.M. Ward Distinguished Quaker Visitor. Kody is well-known among Friends but this is how he describes himself: is a queer, trans Quaker youth worker who writes, agitates, and geeks out about sexuality, religion, and radical peace and justice work. He is a member of Christian Peacemaker Teams, and lives in Philadelphia on occupied Lenape land.

When he was here he gave a public talk called, “Tea-Time in the Apocalypse: Spiritual Grounding in a World of Chaos.”

You can listen and download the MP3 here.

Deborah Shaw ’84 Retiring – A Fond Farewell

As some of you may have heard by now, Deborah Shaw, the Director of the Quaker Leadership Scholars Program and Assistant Director of the Friends Center, will be retiring after this semester. Deborah, her loving presence and hard work at Guilford College, working with every single QLSP student since the inception of the program, is synonymous with the program itself. It is hard to imagine QLSP without Deborah Shaw and yet I know that she is eager to see it continue to grow, change and pursue its goal of apprenticing young adults to the Quaker tradition. I personally am grateful for the ways she has helped my transition into my role in Friends Center. Her patience, institutional knowledge and care, willingness to offer prayers, hugs, and a quiet listening presence, not to mention her colleagueship have done so much to help sustain me in my early work here at Guilford. I know that there are many others feel the same way as well.

When Deborah, Guilford Class of 1984, retires, how will she be remembered, ever so fondly, for her 25 years in Friends Center?

It will be for:

  • Welcoming each QLSP student who ever entered the program, through 2017
  • Her loving presence with students and staff, through a litany of joys and sorrows, and counseling from a deep well
  • Sharing the value of QLSP’s unique and rigorous experience for Young Friends with Friends everywhere
  • Spiritually refreshing vocal and sung ministry at Friends gatherings
  • Leading retreats, especially for women
  • Leadership in multiple Friends organizations
  • Times as Friend in Residence at Woodbrooke Quaker Study Centre in Birmingham, England
  • Sharing tea in her cozy office
  • Singing with the Lumina Choir

We lovingly celebrate Deborah for all these accomplishments in the spring of 2018, her final months of unmatched devotion and exceptional service to the College. We will miss her spiritual guidance, listening ears and heart, radical hospitality and commitment to each student as they travel their own path.

In the coming months, we are working to prepare QLSP for a transition in leadership as we search far and wide for a new director for the program and think about how to build on the legacy of those who have carried it this far.

With Deep Gratitude,

Wess Daniels – Director of Friends Center

P.S. Contributions to Friends Center really matter. Please consider supporting our ongoing work, perhaps in honor of Deborah! Here is a link to make contributions online. We are happy to accept gifts in non-digital forms as well. Checks should be made out to Guilford College, with Friends Center in the memo line and sent to Guilford College Advancement Office, 5800 W. Friendly Ave., Greensboro, NC  27410. Thank you!

Trans Resilience Week 2017

Trans Week of Resilience 2017

Organized by the Friends Center with co-sponsors the Counseling Center, Art Department, and Multicultural Education Department (MED).

Monday, November 13

(Trans) Gender Radicals in the Bible: The Ethiopian Eunuch in Acts 81e39a17c71bde2ed26e9a26a32af6455--acts--black-art

Greenleaf Coffee Co-op (Milner Hall, Lower Level), 5:00pm – 6:30pm

This isn’t your usual “bible study”! Using a queer theology lens, Interfaith Community Coordinator Asher Kolieboi (he/him/his) will discuss the literary and theological significance of the Ethiopian Treasurer in Acts 8, a (trans)gender radical and first converted to Christianity in the New Testament.

Tuesday, November 14

Transgender Faith and Resilience Panel

Greenleaf Coffee Co-op (Milner Hall, Lower Level), 5:00pm – 6:30pm

Join community activists, faith leaders, and Guilford College students for an interfaith panel about the role of religion as a tool for resilience and hope in the face of adversity and violence.  Panelists will discuss how they have used faith to build resilience,  and respond to anti-transgender oppression.
Continue reading “Trans Resilience Week 2017”

Summer Service Fellows Pre-Orientation Work Project

This fall as athletes hit the fields and campus buzzed to life we got the amazing chance to work on and take part in an excellent QLSP pre-orientation! This year the focus of the QLSP pre-orientation included intentional work around better understanding the history and circumstances of Greensboro as well as taking part in trainings and service alongside the Bonner Center on and off campus. This played out in numerous ways, including an amazing tour led by James Shields downtown of all of the Bonner service sites, opportunities for growth and training, and visits to historic sites relating to Quakerism and justice work in Greensboro. At the culmination of the orientation, all of the students involved throughout the week participated in a day of service, focused on improving resources within in our food system. Working primarily on sites across campus students got to take a tour of the farm and be a part of the interconnected food system we have operating at Guilford.

The service day brought the Bonner and QLSP first years to the farm to enjoy some breakfast and then we were able to split our big group into several smaller tour groups to acclimate the students to hopefully a place they will get to see a lot more of in their four years to come. The tour showcased the three farm fields, the community garden, honey bees, a new chicken coop and even the beloved compost piles (plus so much more). Even being gone for just the two weeks in August, we were excited to see how the various crops have changed and how much is always happening on the farm!

After the tour, we were able to tackle the project of the Pines Garden and the raised bed by the Hut which were both in need of some loving after a summer of lots of non-organized growth if you catch our drift. This was a project that we were somewhat worried would be too big however, we couldn’t have asked for a better team and the willingness to get in there and get their hands dirty and finished the job in no time. It was so great to see these two groups join together through sweat, mud and lots of laughs. We’ve attached a short video of the day and we once again would like to thank Friends Center, Bonner Center and the Greensboro community for making every experience we’ve had this summer and beyond possible. Looking forward to Fall harvests and building community with the QLSP first years!

Signing off as 2017’s summer service fellows!

-Jake and Amelia

Looking Back: QLSP Summer Service Fellows

Hello from Pennsylvania!

We finished our time in Greensboro (for now) early last week and we’re already missing it! If you haven’t caught one of our other posts, this summer we had the amazing opportunity to be Friends Center’s first Summer Service Fellows, and work alongside Bonner scholars and other community members on issues of food justice. The work we had a chance to do, and the amazing sites we visited gave us an incredible look at the ongoing work to establish food sovereignty and justice within Greensboro. The issue of food justice is one that as Quakers we see directly pertaining to the values we hold and the work we seek to do in the world.

Food scarcity is an issue that encompasses varying layers of oppression, inequality, and violence against those who are already marginalized within our society and one that needs to be challenged and fought everywhere across this country. 

The goals of establishing food sovereignty and food justice, are also deeply linked to the Quaker values of service and community, about nurturing one another as well as the earth and all life on it. To strive and work with one another for food sovereignty is not only an act of love and care for one another but an act of resistance against systems that perpetuate violence and inequality across America. While many Quakers are environmental advocates, our work needs to be focused within our communities as well as on a global scale. The adage “Living simply so that others may simply live” is not possible if others very sovereignty is restricted by systems of oppression that would keep them starved. 

We as Quakers within Guilford College, and as a college that claims the values of the Quaker faith, must be working intentionally and acting compassionately to support the food justice movement and establish food sovereignty within our communities. This summer has provided us with an amazing chance to see the dedication, the love, and the compassion that those who are actively fighting for food justice demonstrate in their communities every day and we are overwhelmingly grateful. Thank you to the communities who welcomed us, our team, Bonner and of course Friends Center.

We will be back at Guilford in a few short weeks to help with the incoming first year QLSP students pre-orientation and are excited to teach some of what we have learned this summer on the Saturday work day at the Farm that we helped plan!

Jake and Amelia

Photo Credit: Sophia Perlmutter ’18

QLSP Summer 2017 Update – Deborah Shaw

In less than two weeks the new QLSPers will be coming to campus for the pre-term orientation!  Eight of these are first-year students and two are transfers.  To learn a little bit more about this group – see at the bottom of this post. 

We are excited to anticipate welcoming them – with the help of four returning students, one of whom is Leanna Kantt, co-clerk for QLSP for the coming year.  As happened last year, QLSP students will be spending some of the three-day orientation with new Bonner Scholars – enjoying the “Alternate Tour of Greensboro” and an outing to Snow Camp, NC, to see the outdoor drama “Pathway to Freedom” featuring James Shields ‘00, Guilford’s Bonner Center Director.

Another activity will be a work morning at Guilford’s Farm – organized by QLSPer’s Amelia Hall and Jake Fetzer, whose summer was spent as Friends Center’s first “Summer Service Fellows” working on a new project Guilford is taking on, the Mobile Oasis – a program that was started by Guilford County Health Department to bring produce to food insecure areas in Greensboro.  For more on this exciting work – check out the following link.

Looking forward to welcoming our newcomers – creating a space for them to get to know each other – and imagining how each of their unique presences will add to the wonderful QLSP community!

Speaking of that wonderful QLSP community – well over 300 people have been a part of the QLSP program!  This year we are celebrating 25 years of existence for this amazing program – throughout the year of course – but with a special event in connection with Guilford’s Homecoming.  A special celebratory dinner, meeting for worship and program will take place Thursday, November 2, 2017!        

Plan to come – stay tuned for more details!

-Deborah Shaw
Director of Quaker Leadership Scholars Program & Assistant Director of Friends Center


 

Welcome to our New 2017 QLSP Students! 

Allison Andrade – Hillsborough NC – Community Church of Chapel Hill (Unitarian Universalist).  Allison is deeply involved with her church community and has attended camps and retreats and through this has volunteered at organizations that help sustain ethical and fair society.   She looks forward to learning about Quakerism and being able to discover her spiritual beliefs further in an open environment, in the company of others.

Asa Bell – Philadelphia PA – attended Friends’ Central School.  Asa is a soccer player and much of his volunteer service has been working at summer soccer camps.  While not a Friend, Asa has learned much about Quakerism from his time at Friends’ Central and incorporates the testimonies into his life.  Acknowledging how much he has learned about himself already from being at Friends’ Central, Asa is anticipating deeper, broader learning through QLSP.

Berit Beck – Baltimore MD – Concord Friends Meeting, Philadelphia Yearly Meeting.  Berit has been a regular participant in PYM’s Young Friends Group, serving as recording clerk for the Group for one year. Through this community, Berit has shared service in a variety of ways within the meeting and in the wider community.  Not able to attend her distant home meeting very often, Berit is looking forward to reclaiming the central place that worship plays in her life.

Trey Kawugule – Richmond VA – raised in the Episcopalian Church.  For the past two years Trey has been drawn to Quakerism as he explored his beliefs and began reading about Quakerism in books and journals.  Trey grew up in a spiritually/religiously diverse home and has sought to find his own path through studying theology and practice of many faiths. Trey hopes to live out his favorite leadership quote in the coming year, “no one cares what you know until they know that you care.”

Jordan Keller – Richmond VA – Richmond Friends Meeting, Baltimore Yearly Meeting.  Jordan’s deepening in Quaker worship came about during her time at Shiloh Quaker Camp – her appreciation of Quaker process is a result of her time with BYM Young Friends.  Her Quaker communities have provided her with numerous opportunities for strategic, spirit led activism.  Jordan looks forward to seeing how her understanding of what it means to be a Quaker grows and changes.

Caley Martin Mooney – New Haven CT – New Haven Friends Meeting, New England Yearly Meeting.  Caley has attended meeting for most of his life and feels a strong connection with his yearly meeting’s Young Friends.  Caley has gone twice to D.C. to lobby with Friends Committee on National Legislation. While in Young Friends he served on Ministry and Counsel for two years.  He looks forward to being able to share with others about spiritual beliefs.

Elijah Martin Mooney – New Haven CT – New Haven Friends Meeting, New England Yearly Meeting.  Elijah is active in his home meeting, helping out with child care and potlucks, among other things.  He has served his yearly meeting’s Young Friends group as a member of the Nominating Committee.  While serving on Ministry and Counsel Elijah grew into the roles of being a presence in the community, helping with clearness committees and holding worshipful space during business meetings.

Annika Norris – Silver Spring MD – not raised in a faith community.  Annika is a second-year student at Guilford and has become very interested in Quakerism through interactions with Quaker students, some in QLSP.  Annika has done a great deal of service in the Greensboro community and at the Guilford farm.  She says that the she is “excited to embark on a journey with QLSP that requires self-reflection and meditation and experiencing time with the self.”

Sydney Singleton – Lexington NC – raised in the Baptist Church.  Sydney is a transfer student who has often been able to worship with the QLSP community in the past year.  She carries a concern for the environment, is involved with the Resource Conservation Workshop at which she was a counselor this past summer.  Sydney looks forward to deepening her existing relationship with QLSP, learning more about Quakerism and seeking ways to balance all the demands of life within a spiritual context.

Brownie Southworth – Louisville KY – Chester River Friends Meeting, Baltimore Yearly Meeting. Brownie grew up in a Quaker Meeting – but most recently has been attending Central Presbyterian Church – a welcoming/inclusive congregation with a strong commitment to social justice work and community outreach.  Brownie is looking forward to engaging with QLSP in its work on racism and institutional systems of oppression, appreciating the opportunity to more deeply understand what role he has to play in the world.

Summer Friends Center Updates from Kate Hood

The Friends Association for Higher Education (FAHE) held its annual conference at Guilford in June. The theme was Global Education, Global Quakerism and commemorated the 1967 World Gathering of Friends at the College. Participants were treated to three stimulating plenary sessions on global topics (including memories of the World Gathering) and over 20 workshops designed to assist and inspire Quaker educators in improving their work. Field trips enlightened the group on Guilford’s Farm, Underground Railroad activities in the New Garden area, the International Civil Rights Center and Museum and Quaker Archives. Participants enjoyed the intellectual engagement, spiritual refreshment, and good fellowship during the long weekend.

The Tannenbaum-Sternberger grant Guilford received to educate public school students especially about Underground Railroad activity here in our woods ended its first year, having laid considerable groundwork. A sustainable trail built by volunteers was nearly completed, leading to a viewing platform constructed this year. The platform protects our 300+-year-old Underground Railroad (tulip poplar) Tree from foot damage to its roots and can hold a group of about 25, as they reflect on what this “silent witness” to interracial freedom-seeking actions might have to teach and inspire us to do. Trail signage is being developed, and a curriculum for 4th, 8th and 11th graders written. There is a website as well, which provides additional information: http://library.guilford.edu/undergroundrr

Guilford College’s application to be designated as a site on the Underground Railroad, through the National Park Service’s Network to Freedom program (https://www.nps.gov/subjects/ugrr/index.htm) was accepted in the spring. Visitors to our woods – or to our Friends Historical Collection in the College library, a designated research facility – can now request that we provide them a “passport stamp” on a Network to Freedom brochure.

-Kate Hood ’76 is our Friends Center & Friends Historical Collection Outreach Coordinator