Ayesha Imani, Ph.D., is a Quaker educator who serves as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Sankofa Freedom Academy. She is also one of the founders. This is part two of a two-part interview with Ayesha about community energy, spiritual focus, Quaker educational ideas, and the creation of the Sankofa Freedom Academy Charter school. [Read more…] about Quaker Educators: Ayesha Imani, PhD, and Sankofa Freedom Academy Charter School – Part 2
When a visitor arrives at Sankofa Freedom Academy, a Philadelphia charter school, the first feeling is one of love. A second feeling is calm – Sankofa students and teachers are full of intention and purpose. The third is respect and joy.
These school walls may hold moments of stress or success, but either way, no one is going to be left unsupported or un-loved, and the community is there to value and lift each soul, and all minds, up.
Ayesha Imani, PhD, is the Quaker educator who serves as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Sankofa Freedom Academy. She is also one of the founders. The kindergarten to grade 12 school – which opened in 2009 and is currently the only Freedom School in Philadelphia – was inspired by Ayesha’s children’s positive experiences in Quaker schools, the Quaker faith, the need for a culturally African-centric instructional model, and the charter school movement.
This is a story of Quaker energy and spiritual focus.
There are not many people who know George Schaefer and do not turn to him for wisdom, or for a much-needed and deft delivery of just-in-time Quaker advice and knowledge. This has been true on PYM staff, at every Annual Sessions, in crisis situations, and for those moments of song, fellowship, and joy that come our way as Friends in community.
[Read more…] about George Schaefer: On the Practice of Pastoral Care
John Cadbury (1801 – 1889) was born into a prominent Quaker family in Birmingham, England. A businessman who capitalized on the fashion for chocolate drinks, John parlayed a specialized coffee and tea shop on Bull Street into the Cadbury chocolate business.
The Cadbury family joined the Quaker Faith in 1725. John’s father Richard Tapper Cadbury was Chairman of Birmingham City for 15 years and his career as a successful merchant is explored in John Crosfield’s book, A History of the Cadbury Family, Vol 1. The Cadbury family’s legacy was felt beyond the chocolate business.
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 and is the newly appointed President of Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Ohio. 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