Friends General Conference

Nurturing faith and Quaker practice

Shared Security: A Quaker Vision for US Policy

Workshop Number: 
Jim Cason, Olivia Henry
Who may register?: 
Open to All (adult & high school)
Experiential Activities: 
part time-attenders welcome
half gathering attenders welcome
First half (Monday-Wednesday)
Second half (Wednesday/Thursday-Friday)

AFSC and FCNL staff will engage Friends in discussions to further develop the Shared Security platform, a tool that can be used by Friends to articulate a more constructive and peaceful future approach for the US in the world.

Workshop Description

Leading Quaker policy professionals invite Friends to explore the vital role that our community can play in promoting a vision for a more compassionate U.S. foreign policy.

The American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) and the Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL) have long advocated for concrete alternatives to the militarism that dominates U.S. foreign and domestic policy. From proposing creative conflict prevention strategies to advocating for cuts in Pentagon spending, Quaker organizations are at the forefront of a movement challenging the fear-based policy paradigm – and working to move toward loving relationship with the world.

Over decades of advocacy, FCNL and AFSC staff members have learned that One of the  biggest obstacles to moving toward a compassionate policy is neither bureaucracy nor intransigent policymakers, but rather the widespread conviction that violent force keeps us safe. 

Quakers have a special role to play in challenging this belief by proposing an alternative vision: thatur national security depends on the well-being of people all over the world.

In 2013, AFSC’s Aura Kanegis and FCNL’s Bridget Moix launched joint initiative to articulate a contemporary, positive vision of what Friends would like to see U.S. foreign policy evolve.  A consultation with foreign policy professionals at Pendle Hill produced a document summarizing some of these ideas, and created a website to continue the discussion at Dozens of Quaker meetings and churches across the country have ordered bulk copies of the document, and we are hearing exciting feedback from these discussions.

This five-day workshop is an opportunity to join the conversation with FCNL and AFSC staff to continue building the framework of this document, and to imagine a world of shared security, away from fear, toward love. The workshop will provide a venue for in-depth conversation on the core principles of the Shared Security vision:

1) Peaceful Ends through Peaceful Means

2) The Planetary Imperative

3) Global Cooperation and Rule of Law

4) Restorative Approaches to Heal a Broken World.

We will invite ourselves to dream big about what this could mean for our future, and brainstorm compelling new ideas for sharing the concept both within Quaker circles and with the wider world: through educational institutions, social media, and more.

Participants are encouraged to read the Shared Security document and blog: They should arrive with questions and comments.

Leader Experience

Aura has 18 years of experience facilitating workshops to help Friends, youth, tribal leaders, and others effectively engage in the political process. Sandy has led several lobby trainings throughout the country, including a plenary at Iowa Yearly Meeting (conservative) in 2012.