Author Archives: Michelle D

Issue 16: October 2016 – Quaker Inclusion Issue

One of the most striking points to come out of the 2017 Yearly Meeting Gathering was a statement made by Tim Gee in the Gorman lecture on the lack of inclusion and diversity within British Quakerism. Tim said that UKIP candidates were more ethnically diverse then British Friends. We asked for the figures he based this statement on. He provided us with academic work from 2013 that showed that our Society of Friends is 99% white, 61% retired and with only 28% placing themselves in the lower income bracket, not due to poverty wages but mostly the fact they are retired. The light of Friendship it seems is not truly open to all within our Society of Friends.
In this issue we will explore both the exclusion and isolation of many Friends or potential Friends due to their race, class, sexuality, age, gender and disability both within meetings and in wider society. We also look at potential ways we can struggle against the exclusionary privileges operating within our Society of Friends and how we can begin to build the truly inclusive Quakerism that our equality testimony demands of all of us.

In this issue:

  • Seeing the light in everyone – a challenge for British Quakers to reflect on their privilege
  • An interview with Tim Gee on the 2017 Gorman Lecture – Movement Building from Stillness
  • Precarious Friends – the reality of being a Quaker in Low Pay Britain
  • What makes silence beautiful?
  • Quakers: the vanguard of transformation or part of the problem? – a Young Friend reflects on how understanding the social model of disability changed her life
  • Seeds of a New Quakerism – links between Young Adult Friends communities and contemporary social movements

TYQ October 2017 Quaker Inclusion

Issue 15: May 2017 – Building Bridges Issue

With Brexit, the rise of the far-right across Europe, Trump’s election, escalating inequality and the continuing refugee crisis, we are now in a world where walls are being built between peoples, both metaphorically and literally. The politics of division, embodied in nationalism and isolationism, are the path many governments, including our own, are heading down. In the face of this, ‘that of god in everyone’, that central egalitarian foundation of Quakerism, compels us to keep dialogue open with all – including people we disagree with. Without dialogue, walls will just keep growing.

This issue is dedicated to building bridges, not walls. Every person on this earth has a story, has a perspective, has something to give. We touch upon the potential barriers that separate people, including those within our own community, and how we may overcome them. Our testimony must not be restricted to the meeting house, but must be lived.

In this issue:

  • Bridging the Divide – a reflection on a visit to a refugee project in Italy
  • Young Friends reflect on interfaith experience and what it means to them
  • An interview with two Young Friends on conscience and compromise in working life
  • Can storytelling heal society?

TYQ MAY 2017 Building Bridges