On June 5, American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) called “on cities and states to invest money in schools, health care, and transformative justice approaches, rather than funding the police.” By the middle of June over 10,000 people had followed AFSC’s call to action by contacting their state governors telling them to invest in communities and not policing.
“This isn’t a political question. This isn’t a budgetary question. This is a moral question,” said Joyce Ajlouny, general secretary of AFSC. “The soul of our nation is deeply wounded, and this moment begs us to take courageous action. Our faith tells us that there is ‘that of God’ in everyone, and calls us to speak truth to power and challenge culpable institutions until the lives of our Black, Brown, and Indigenous sisters and brothers are equally valued.”
The day before, AFSC issued a statement in support of protests against police violence:
George Floyd should be alive today. So should Eric Garner, Sandra Bland, Philando Castile, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, and many other people killed by police in the United States of America. The fact that they are not alive now is a testament to the deep need for change. . . . AFSC stands with those who have taken to the streets to lift up the cry for justice.
Founded in 1917, AFSC is a Quaker organization that promotes lasting peace with justice, as a practical expression of faith in action. Among the key issues they work on are creating inclusive communities and ending mass incarceration. In 2016, AFSC signed on to the Movement for Black Lives Platform.
Top image: A 2015 demonstration in Baltimore, Md., following the death of Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old Black man who died from neck injuries sustained while in police custody. (Credit: Bryan Vana/AFSC)