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  COMMITTEE REPORT
 Peace and Social Concerns

The members of the Peace and Social Concerns Committee strive to keep Meeting informed of local peace and social justice issues and activities, as well as keep the community aware of our own works. They have also focused on giving modest financial support to the peace and social justice activities of Meeting members and attenders, which include many local organizations.

Downingtown Friends Meeting chose the following priorities for the P&SC:

—Ensure humane detention facilities and eliminate profit-making prisons.
—Support efforts to reduce gun violence through gun control legislation.
—Oppose policies that endorse institutional racism, suppress voting rights.
—Support universal access to affordable, effective and comprehensive health care.
—Support policies to reduce the emissions of greenhouse gases, promote energy
       conservation, reduce fuel consumption and increase fuel efficiency in the use
       of all energy sources.
—Promote the development of science-based sustainable energy technologies.
—Adopt laws, agreements, policies, and programs to protect and restore natural ecosystems,
       farmlands, and air and water resources.

As part of its ongoing work, the Committee sponsors Opening Exercise presentations and Brown Bag Discussions on selected charitable events and causes, such as:

Gun Sense
Los Amigos del Casa de Niño
Thanksgiving food drive for Chester County Food Bank
Interfaith Groups on Social Justice
Christians Caring for Creation

The P&SC donates funds on behalf of the Meeting from our Friends Fall Festival proceeds to support the following local organizations:

1)  Historic Fair Hill, a 300 year-old Quaker burial ground in Northeast
     Philadelphia,
2)  Chester County Food Bank which provides access to real and healthy food,
3)  Good Works, a local organization that makes existing homes warmer, safer and dryer,
4)  Los Amigos de Casa del Nino, a children’s school in Jocotenango, Guatemala,
5)  The Center for Returning Citizens, which assists in the transition from incarceration to society,
6)  Ujima Friends Peace Center, a worship community of Friends of African descent,
7)  EMIR Healing Center, a support system for families dealing with the murder of a family member,
8)  Gun Sense, a Chester County group that lobbies lawmakers in support of gun violence prevention,
9)  Friends Committee for National Legislation (FCNL), which lobbies Congress and the administration to advance peace,
     opportunity, justice and environmental stewardship,
10) Interfaith Action Community, an assemblage of religious communities including Christians, Jews and Muslims who
     address common social justice causes.
11) POWER Metro, a nonpartisan, interfaith group comprised of more than 40 faith communities who focus on employment,
     education, housing, health care, public safety and the environment.

The Peace and Social Concerns Committee also sponsors half-hour peace vigils along Route 30 on the third Sunday of each month from September through June. April’s vigil honors Earth Day. It also initiates Postcard Sundays to lobby our legislators through our Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL) representative. Committee members also deliver children’s books for the Laundromat Library League to the Rainbow Laundromat in Coatesville, and inspire participation in Gun Sense and our membership in POWER Metro. They also collect food donations for the Chester County Food Bank at Easter.

Read about how we help those less fortunate in the Downingtown community.

Learn about our work rebuilding homes after hurricanes in Louisiana.

 

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