Editor, The Messenger,

We stand with all people of color who are suffering the injustice and pain of racism.

Quakers (The Religious Society of Friends) have a long history of standing for peace, equity and social justice. Our collective experience has taught us we cannot help to bring about a more peaceful world without addressing systemic injustice. Over the years, Athens Friends have participated in many activities that put these values into action. We are now experiencing a time in which action is critically needed.

We call for an unprecedented effort to dismantle racism, particularly at this moment. We recognize that without disruption, oppression will not end. As such, we support strategic actions to bring about systemic change. We unite with those who say, “No Justice, No Peace!”

Working with others accelerates the change process. We encourage the support of Black leadership and the amplification of Black voices. We support raising money to support Black causes and dismantle racism and white supremacy. We urge all to learn how to be an ally/accomplice in anti-racist work and to actively protect Black people from attack and arrest.

Historically referred to as a “Peace Church,” we, as Quakers, seek peace on our streets and in our communities. But the true peace we seek will only come when the systems of violence and oppression that resulted in the deaths of George Floyd, Eric Garner, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and so many others, are abolished. We stand with our brothers and sisters who are working for equality.

DeeDee Dransfield,

Clerk Athens Friends Meeting

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