Friends General Conference

Nurturing faith and Quaker practice

Action Matters

Summary
Workshop Number: 
35
Leaders: 
George and Ingrid Lakey, M Schlotterbeck
Who may register?: 
Intergenerational (50% HS and young adults, 50% older)
Worship/Worship-Sharing: 
25%
Lecture: 
5%
Discussion: 
10%
Experiential Activities: 
60%
full-time attenders only

Participants will carry forward the historic legacy of Quaker collective action. Participants will practice new tools and skills for taking action, explore the impacts of social class, and on Thursday afternoon,  lead a nonviolent action sponsored by the Earth Quaker Action Team, and joined by other attenders at the Gathering.

Workshop Description

Quakerism began as a social and religious movement, but recently Friends have been asking if we’ve lost our capacity for collective action.  This experiential workshop offers Friends the chance to re-experience the spiritual vigor, prayerful reflection, and joyful community of Quaker action. 

The goal for the week is to share skills and tools that support you to participate in the historic legacy of Quaker collective action, whether you feel led to work on peace, climate justice, mass incarceration or some other pressing issue back home.

The workshop will be held in awareness of the Gathering’s 2014 location near Appalachia, the scene of enormous damage to nature and people by the extreme extraction practices of fracking and mountaintop removal coal mining. It will also draw on the lessons learned through the Earth Quaker Action Team’s ongoing campaign against mountaintop removal.

Another goal for the week is to increase effectiveness through awareness of social class. We will explore how the social class backgrounds of Friends influence our participation in social action. 

Small groups throughout the week will give participants an intimate community experience. The workshop features a nonviolent action in Pittsburgh on Thursday afternoon, joined by other attenders at the Gathering and sponsored by the Earth Quaker Action Team. Participants are expected to attend the action as an integral part of the workshop experience. Our concluding session on Friday offers the opportunity for deep reflection and next steps for making action matter.

Leader Experience

George Lakey has led over 20 Gathering workshops as well as keynoted at the Gathering plenary and a number of Yearly Meetings.   A member of the Worship and Ministry Committee of Central Philadelphia Monthly Meeting, he has taught at Pendle Hill and Woodbrooke College.  A founder of Earth Quaker Action Team, George is currently a professor at Swarthmore College.

Ingrid Lakey is a founder of Earth Quaker Action Team (EQAT) and consultant to organizations doing justice work. A lifelong Quaker, Ingrid is a member of Central Philadelphia Monthly Meeting and has led workshops for Junior Gathering, Philadelphia Yearly Meeting and Pendle Hill.

M Schlotterbeck is a board member of Earth Quaker Action Team. She also organizes with DecarceratePA (a campaign to end mass incarceration in Pennsylvania) and works at the Mariposa Food Co-op in West Philadelphia. A transgender woman and convinced Quaker, she is a member of Durham Monthly Meeting in Maine. She has led workshops with the West Virginia Fall Gathering and EQAT’s Larry Gibson Memorial Training Weekend.