Friends General Conference

Together we nurture the spiritual vitality of Friends

FULL - Class & Status in OUR Egalitarian Religious Society?!

Workshop Number: 
Carol Anne Ferlauto
Who may register?: 
Open to All
Experiential Activities: 
part-time attenders welcome (can come any session)

Workshop timeslot: Saturday (July 3) - three 90-minute sessions
Audio-only participation?: Yes

Despite our egalitarian structure, classism and “status-ism” prevail among Friends. This interactive workshop will emphasize cultural differences connected to class, status, and educational background. Reflect, explore, and discuss often misunderstood class differences. Reenvision our communities to be more inclusive, and co-create rough blueprints for the renovations!

Workshop Description

This workshop will primarily use interactive exercises and discussions to explore and deepen awareness of how cultures related to social class, status, and educational backgrounds impact the Religious Society of Friends. We will focus on cultures and communication styles more so than finances. Although economics clearly plays a major role in social class, this workshop intends to illuminate the pieces of class and status that are often misunderstood- if noticed at all.  

After exploring the nuanced impact of class, status, and educational levels in Quakerism, we will discuss how related prejudice and tensions are often expressed more subtly in the Religious Society of Friends, which was intentionally structured to be an egalitarian community. We will also discuss how classism and "status-ism" intersect with other forms of oppression, and allow time for participants to process their experiences of class and status culture in their own meetings or other Friends communities. Finally, we will brainstorm and reenvision ways our Quaker communities could work towards becoming more inclusive of different cultures specific to class, status, and varying educational backgrounds.  

Due to the virtual format, we will shift our time between the full workshop group and smaller group breakout rooms to maximize active participation.