This Fall, FGC welcomed Olivia Pandolfi as its Ministry on Racism Program Fellow. Olivia (pronouns they/them) will participate in the Ministry on Racism Program Fellowship between now and July 2020 in FGC's main office in Philadelphia. They will work with Ministry on Racism Program Coordinator Vanessa Julye and the Committee on Nurturing Ministries to support our organization's anti-racism ministry, including participation on the Anti-Racism Implementation Group. They will also help coordinate Quaker attendance at the 2020 White Privilege Conference (WPC) in Mesa, AZ and will assist with the upcoming Fall Retreat for Friends of Color and their Families, as well as the Pre-Gathering Retreat for Friends of Color at the 2020 FGC Gathering at Radford University in Radford, VA. They will also reach out to Yearly Meetings in the United States and Canada to share the work of the Ministry on Racism and the work of the Anti-Racism Implementation Group.
"I am excited to join the ongoing anti-racism work within FGC because I feel urgently about ending institutional racism and helping resource other white people to do that work," Olivia said. "I also am excited to learn from the liberatory tools that faith communities can offer to anti-racist work, including intergenerational relationships and shared moral commitments."
Before coming to FGC, Olivia worked with the Network in Solidarity with the People of Guatemala (NISGUA) as an international human rights accompanier. This work entailed building deep relationship with Indigenous water protectors in the Western regions of the country (Huehuetenango, San Marcos, and Quiche), as well as accompanying survivors of the genocide that took place during Guatemala’s internal armed conflict. Olivia continues to be involved in NISGUA’s work and sees their experience as a life-long commitment to cross-border solidarity, immigration, and climate justice.
Olivia was born and raised in Pittsburgh. They studied history and religion at Oberlin College in Ohio. While at Oberlin, they were an editor-in-chief of Wilder Voice, a long-form creative nonfiction magazine. Olivia also worked as an English to Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) assistant in writing courses and was a part of the book co-op, a student-run free resource for textbook access.
"Music gives me a lot of life, and I enjoy playing and listening to all sorts by myself and in community with other people," they said. "I also like biking, documentaries, and being near big lakes."
Please join us in welcoming Olivia to FGC!