William Penn Lecture celebrates Quaker leadership
On the evening of March 19, the Young Adult Friends program of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting (PYM) hosted its annual William Penn Lecture. The speaker was Mary Crauderueff, curator of Quaker Collections at Haverford College and an active Friend in the PYM community. The lecture was titled “Spirit Works: Exploring Quaker Leadership” and was held at Arch Street Meeting House.
The topic and form of the lecture was inspired by Crauderueff’s recent project interviewing Quaker heads of Friends organizations. She spoke about what she had learned from the project and then interviewed a panel of PYM-area Quaker leaders about their experiences of leadership within Quakerism. The panelists were Barry Scott, a member of Central Philadelphia (Pa.) Meeting, and Becca Bubb, a member of Abington (Pa.) Meeting. A third panelist, Jada Jackson of Trenton (N.J.) Meeting and Burlington Worship Group, was unable to attend.
2016 marks 100 years since the first lecture in the series, which was started by young adult Quakers in Philadelphia in 1916. The annual lecture was laid down in 1966 and revived again in 2011. This year also marked a change in form, as the lecture featured live interviews of a panel of individuals.
Crauderueff’s interview project was funded by a grant from the Clarence and Lilly Pickett Endowment. The interviews feature Friends Journal’s executive director Gabriel Ehri and can be found at Quakerspiritworks.com. A video recording of the lecture can be viewed at pym.org/william-penn-lecture.
Edcamp day of training held for Friends school educators
On March 28, 125 educators gathered at Newtown Friends School in Newtown, Pa., for Edcamp Friends, a full day of participant-driven professional development. The attendees primarily came from 11 Quaker schools in the greater Philadelphia area: Delaware Valley Friends School, Fairville Friends School, Friends School Haverford, George School, Greenwood Friends School, Lansdowne Friends School, Newtown Friends School, Plymouth Meeting Friends School, the Quaker School at Horsham, United Friends School, and West Chester Friends School. Representatives from Friends Council on Education and a few public schools were also present.
The day of training was held in the typical style of an Edcamp gathering, with the participants creating their own conference agenda as a group. An Edcamp day begins with attendees suggesting session topics they’d like to discuss with others. Once the schedule is finalized, attendees go to the sessions that interest them and are encouraged to move between sessions as they feel led. At Edcamp Friends, a total of 28 sessions around a wide variety of topics took place throughout the day, with some of the sessions focusing on Quaker values and social justice.
Edcamps represent a growing movement in education. Since the first Edcamp was held in 2010 in Philadelphia, there have been over 700 conferences around the world in 25 countries. Each Edcamp is independently organized and hosted and is free to participants.
The Edcamp held at Newtown Friends School was the first to focus on topics related to Friends education. Some of the session topics included “using your school library to support the Quaker testimonies (SPICES),” “student leadership opportunities in middle and primary grades,” and “current events/social justice incorporated into the classroom.”
Sarah Crofts, the marketing and communications assistant at Newtown Friends School, shared a positive observation of the day: “The collaborative and participant-driven nature of Edcamp Friends was ideal for meaningful and useful discussions to take place, which inspired the educators gathered to return to their respective schools with new ideas, new friends, and renewed commitment.”
More information about Edcamps can be found at edcamp.org.