What is AFSC?
The AFSC is a Quaker-related social action organization that works to improve the quality of life for all people. Its work is based on the principle that every person has dignity and worth regardless of race, income, religion, nationality, physical ability or sexual orientation.
AFSC was founded in 1917 by American Quakers and others to initially provide conscientious objectors to war a constructive alternative to military service, i.e. aid to civilian victims during WWII. AFSC was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1947 for its service and development work during and following WWII.
Today, AFSC has international headquarters in Philadelphia, nine regional and more than 40 program offices across the U.S. AFSC also has programs in more than 25 nations.
The Northeast Ohio office of AFSC was founded by local Quaker John Looney in 1971. It is part of the Great Lakes Region of AFSC, which has its regional office in Chicago. The Akron office became a clearinghouse of many like-minded local grassroots groups that started-up in the 70’s. The original work of the Northeast Ohio AFSC was the Alternatives to Violence (ATV) project and stopping the Vietnam War. The ATV work remained a part of AFSC for the next 15 years. It eventually expanded and became a separate organization called Peace Grows.
What is the purpose of AFSC?
Through community education, service, development, advocacy and organizing, AFSC seeks to help individuals and groups realize their own potential to change social condition. AFSC also works to change the social, political and economic structures which cause injustice and militarism.
The Northeast Ohio AFSC has three areas of program work. The Africa Initiative Program, the Economic Justice and Empowerment Program, and Peace Response.
Who is involved in AFSC?
People of all races, religions, nationalities, incomes and backgrounds are involved in the work of AFSC.
Program decisions, done by consensus, are made by volunteer committees composed of those AFSC supports and by socially concerned individuals. Volunteers also assist staff in implementing program committee decisions in various communities throughout Northeast Ohio.
Many people support AFSC by volunteering in the office.
How is AFSC Funded?
AFSC is funded by grants and by generous contributions from supporters in Northeast Ohio, the U.S. and around the world. Contributions to AFSC are tax deductible as allowed by law.