Writing Opp: Quaker Utopias

Fast Facts:

Quakers have always been an idealistic group, with a strong communitarian ethic. They created colonies and founded cities in which people could live to higher ethical standards in religious freedom (so the story goes, see also: Quaker slavery).

Friends have often experimented with utopian-inspired communities. In the 1890s the Cadbury family in the UK created Bournville, a model village for the workers at their chocolate factories. In the 1940s a group of Quaker families started Bryn Gweled outside Philadelphia, Pa., a community that ran on consensus and strove for racial diversity. In the ’70s, many Friends were involved in various intentional communities and cohousing schemes.

Quaker decision-making processes have been adapted for all sorts of community structures, from individual collective households to larger social movements. Modern initiatives such as Quaker Voluntary Service, Pendle Hill, and Beacon Friends House intentionally work to build community, as do Quaker-inspired communities like Friends schools, retirement communities, and summer camps.

Our June/July issue will explore Quaker utopias. We certainly hope to have articles that look back at historical examples, but are just as eager to hear from Friends sharing contemporary examples or future visions. Communities can be messy, and visionaries can often be mysteriously unaware of who they’re leaving out, so the stories don’t need to be rosy. Sometimes communities or movements have a specific duration and then get reabsorbed, and we’d love to hear about those other dynamics and stories too.

Submit: Quaker Utopias

Other upcoming issues:

  • Open/Non-Themed (next one Aug 2021, due May 17 )
  • Policing and Mass Incarceration (Sept 2021, due June 21)

Learn more general information at Friendsjournal.org/submissions.

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