Friends Council on Education

Friends Council on Education celebrates its 90th anniversary with Sources of Light QuakerEd Talks. In September, Friends Council presented “An Evening of Poetry, Music, and Thought” featuring Darryl J. Ford, the head of William Penn Charter School; Keisha Hutchins, an award-winning singer-songwriter; and Cydney Brown, the 2020 Philadelphia Youth Poet Laureate. In February, they convened climate activists Ingrid Lakey and Eileen Flanagan, environmental experts Eric Toensmeier and Laura Jackson, and Friends school student leaders Elson Bankoff and Corey Becker for “Climate Activists: Letting Their Lives Speak.” Community Conversations on Race is in year five continuing Friends Council’s focus on antiracism work. A highlight this year was award-winning film producer/director André Robert Lee’s discussion of his recent documentary The Road to Justice. Friends Council issued a statement, “Diversity, Equity, and Justice Belong in Friends Schools,” along with tips and considerations for responding to inquiries about the statement. Workshops such as Educators New to Quakerism have resumed in person, with executive director Drew Smith taking the program to individual school communities. Peer network professional development continues in virtual format, enabling Friends Council to meet the needs of small Friends schools and those at a distance from Philadelphia. Friends Council continues to administer and fundraise for the National Friends Education Fund. This year, tuition aid grants were distributed to 184 Friends students in 33 Friends schools across the country. 

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