Pittsburgh Friends Meeting supports the Retreat for People of Color

Report ‐ 2013 Retreat for Friends of Color and their Families
“The answer for Friends is to deepen and broaden our sense of the presence of God [as you understand God], until we are fully aware that love of God [as you understand God] and love of others cannot be separated. In the measure that we become unsegregated from within, we shall desegregate outwardly.”
Paraphrased from Errol Elliott’s lecture to Indiana Yearly Meeting, 1968
This report presents a summary of the 2013 Retreat for Friends of Color and their Families. We gathered at the William Penn House, Washington, D.C., 11/1/2013 ‐ 11/3/2013. It was a wonderful opportunity to share our experiences, concerns, and hopes as a Friend of Color in a safe and supportive space.
The Weekend exercise strongly bonded the group.
Saturday ‐ After Meeting for Worship and breakfast we explored the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the Native American. The weather was fantastic! The majority of us walked from the William Penn House to the Museum. Upon our return, we talked about our impressions and experiences. After dinner, we gathered and broke into racial/affinity groups.
Sunday ‐ The original plan was to have Meeting for Worship at the William Penn House before departing. It was suggested that we attend Friends Meeting of Washington, D.C. The size of the group was astounding! All were extremely welcoming. One member from the Retreat was unable to join. Following hospitality we went our separate ways.
Discussion
The theme of the Retreat discussion was centered around the question ‐ As a person of color do you feel welcomed and supported by your Meeting?
Attendees
Number of participants: 16
Grouped by Monthly Meeting and the number of attendees from that Meeting:
Schuylkill (1) Green Street (2)
Beacon Hill (1) Central Philadelphia (1)
Lake Forest (1) * Brooklyn (2)
Logan (1) Upper Dublin (1)
Chestnut Hill (2)* Minneapolis (1)
Pittsburgh (2) Washington, D.C. (1)
Not welcomed at all 1
Somewhat welcomed 1
Minimally welcomed 3
Welcomed 9
*2 of the 3 are not People of Color, and therefore not included
Next Steps
 Continue the dialogue as a group to maintain an ongoing connection for support
 Writing our personal stories for submission to Friends Journal ‐ draft deadline February 2014
 Visit other Meetings for support, strength, and growth
 Outreach to expand People of Color Quaker community
Resources/Websites
Reading list may be found at: http://www.quakerbooks.org/racism‐diversity
To find out more about the Retreat, visit: http://www.fgcquaker.org/events/2013‐retreat‐friends‐colorand‐their‐families
Responses/Thoughts/Comments are welcomed and encouraged!
submitted by Yvette Shipman

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