Benjamin Banneker (1731-1806) was a self-educated African American mathematician, astronomer, surveyor, compiler of almanacs, and writer. He was also a regular attender at Quaker meetings and an abolitionist who gained fame and recognition for his contributions to science and his prescient correspondence on multiple subjects, including race, with key intellectuals of the time.
With many thanks to Norval Reece of Newtown Monthly Meeting who wrote the following piece about his experience climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro following a Quaker assignment in India. Norval was at the Friends Centre in Delhi, sponsored by the AFSC and British Friends Service Council. He is a member of Newtown Meeting and previously published a version of this story in the Courier Times of Bucks County (PA).
The story below was previously published in the Merion Friends Meeting June 2021 Newsletter. The article was written by Janet Frazer. We publish it here with thanks to Janet and Merion meeting.
Charles E. Hires was a pharmacist, an active member of Merion Meeting in the early twentieth century and an amateur historian.
Hires started his root beer business in the 1870s, at a time when beer or hard cider was the typical drink at mealtime and alcohol consumption was increasing rapidly (it expanded more than five times over the last 35 years of the nineteenth century). Taverns/saloons were important venues for social and political gatherings and there were more of these institutions than churches, schools, libraries, hospitals, parks and theaters combined. At about the same time that drinking was increasing, the temperance movement took off for the second time, often calling for equal rights for women as well as reduced alcohol consumption. Under its well-known president, Frances Willard, the WCTU sponsored parades, speeches and demonstrations. The end of the 19th century witnessed both more drinking and more protests against it. [Read more…] about Merion Member Charles E. Hires: a Manufacturer of Root Beer
Dr. Sa’ed Atshan offered the closing keynote to 106 Friends at Philadelphia Yearly Meeting’s 341st Annual Sessions with a talk on managing conflict within the Religious Society of Friends. He spoke of the powerful healing force of a humble, empathetic approach to difficult conversations. In his personal work across the Palestinian-Israeli divide, he has forwarded a shared understanding of the facts, avoidance of social media, and an approach that recognizes the humanity of each person even when disagreeing. Dr. Atshan began the talk by sketching his Quaker schooling at Ramallah Friends School and credited Quakerism with shaping his thinking on constructive conflict.
This interview with Jane Fernandes is a part of our Quakers in Education series. It follows our earlier conversations with Terry Nance I & II, Sa’ed Atshan, Maurice Eldridge, and Sarah Willie-LeBreton.
Jane Fernandes served as the president of Guilford College for seven years. She is the first deaf woman to lead an American college or university. She continues her role as a professor of English at Guilford.
Before joining Guilford College, Jane was a part of the University of North Carolina at Asheville, where she had been provost and vice-chancellor of academic affairs for six years. In addition, she served as vice president and later provost of Gallaudet University for a total of eleven years. Gallaudet University is a Washington, D.C., school that educates people who are deaf or hard of hearing.
A recorded Friends minister of North Carolina Yearly Meeting, Jay Marshall graduated from Guilford College in 1985. He earned his M.Div. in 1988 and a Ph.D. in 1992 from Duke University. He served as a Dean of the Earlham School of Religion, retiring in 2018 after 20 years of tenure. He continues to serve the Earlham religious community as Dean Emeritus. [Read more…] about Quaker Educator: Interview with Jay Marshall, Dean Emeritus of Earlham School of Religion
This interview with Terry Nance is the second in a two-part series. It follows our earlier conversations with Sa’ed Atshan, Maurice Eldridge, and Sarah Willie-LeBreton. We suggest also reading part 1.
A Quaker who attends at Swarthmore and Central Philadelphia Monthly Meetings, Terry Nance, Ph.D., has been a part of Villanova University’s faculty for over four decades, working actively to build diversity, equity, and inclusion among students and within the University’s systems. In July 2020, she was named the Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI), while continuing to serve the institution as Chief Diversity Officer.
A Quaker who attends at Swarthmore and Central Philadelphia Monthly Meetings, Terry Nance, Ph.D., has been a part of Villanova University’s faculty for over four decades, working actively to build diversity, equity, and inclusion among students and within the University’s systems. In July 2020, she was named the Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI), while continuing to serve the institution as Chief Diversity Officer. [Read more…] about Quakers in Education: Terry Nance, Part I
This profile is the third in a series of Q&A articles on Quakers in higher education.
A Palestinian Quaker, a published author, and a thoughtful, deeply compassionate person, Sa’ed Atshan has a doctorate in Anthropology and Middle Eastern Studies from Harvard University. He is an Associate Professor of Peace and Conflict Studies at Swarthmore College and a member of Central Philadelphia Monthly Meeting.
To meet Sarah Willie-LeBreton, Ph.D. is to encounter an exceptionally grounded Friend with a deep knowledge of human societies. Currently Swarthmore College’s Provost and Dean of the Faculty since 2018, Sarah was appointed after having chaired the Department of Sociology & Anthropology (2009-2018), chaired the President’s Task Force on Sexual Misconduct (2013-14), served as Associate Provost (2005-8), and coordinated the Black Studies Program on and off for more than a decade beginning in 1998. Somehow, as she does all this, she has still found time to be present in leading PYM towards growth in important areas. [Read more…] about Quakers in Education: Sarah Willie-LeBreton, Sociologist and Swarthmore Dean