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
The Quaker Traditions Series is a set of articles on the Quaker faith. In his role as Associate Secretary for Religious Life, Zachary Dutton has listened deeply to Friends in the community. Working with the PYM staff community engagement team he has provided answers to framing questions for this four-part series. The answers are reflective as opposed to definitive.
The gift of the Quaker faith is that it is one of continuing revelation, so the article speaks to the ‘here and now’ of our faith even as it is tied to, and reflects, our history and tradition. If you have thoughts on these questions, please share them with Zachary – his email is at the end of this article. He is always looking for new ways to be in relationship with our wider Quaker community.
Haverford College Quaker & Special Collections is now accepting applications for its 2021-2022 fellowship program. Fellowships are available to scholars at any stage of their careers; projects funded by these fellowships should engage with our collections in unique and creative ways.
We are pleased to offer two fellowships this year
- Gest Fellowship, for research on religion, historical religious practices, history, literature, material culture, Quakerism, or other topics supported by collections material
- Scattergood Fellowship, for research in the history of mental health
We recognize that there is still great uncertainty about travel and collections accessibility in the coming months due to COVID-19. Quaker & Special Collections offers virtual appointments and extensive reproductions, which will be available to all Fellows.
- Applications are due February 8, 2021.
- Full information on the fellowships and application process
The Johnson House is Philadelphia’s only documented, accessible, and intact Germantown stop on the Underground Railroad. It is open to the public as a place of historic importance. Johnson House was built in 1768 and owned by a family of Quaker abolitionists who worked with free and enslaved people to secure a safe passage to freedom for numerous African Americans.
In conjunction with its story on Quakers involved in the suffragist movement, Merion Meeting researched the commitment and leadership provided by the African American women’s club.
During the Saturday, October 3rd, virtual event event hosted by Merion Meeting’s History and Archives Committee, a slide show was devoted to the important story of African-American activists’ involvement in securing women’s right to vote.
The presentation was researched and created by Janet Frazer for Merion Friends Meeting with technical aid from Susanna Frazer.
This is part II of our story about a Quaker farm and Meetinghouse in Quakertown, NJ. We share this with thanks to Quakertown attender and farm owner, Marty Campanelli. Marty is writing about the farm she inhabits and the Meeting she attends.
Marty begins where she left off last week, with the Allen and Laing family farm on the outskirts of Quakertown, NJ.
Think back to the first part of the 19th century. It was a time of horse drawn carriages, coal-fired factories, steam engines, and the birth of the railroads…
This is the second in a series of articles about Quakers who’ve impacted the fields of education and contributed to global scientific, medical, political, or economic leadership. The first article was published on September 23 and covered Elise Goulding, Ezra Cornell, and Johns Hopkins.
Nitobe Inazo (1862-1933) was a Japanese Quaker who became the first Under Secretary General for the League of Nations. Nitobe was born into a samurai family on Honshu, the main island of Japan. While in college, he became a Christian and later a Friend. In 1884, He moved to the US for post-graduate studies at Johns Hopkins University. There he began attending Quaker meetings, telling friends, “I very much like their simplicity and earnestness.”
Last summer we promised to share additional stories about Quaker farms and farmers. We never quite got them underway due to the pressure of reporting on Annual Sessions, but now remedy that with thanks to Quakertown attender and farm owner, Marty Campanelli. Marty is sharing a three part series on the farm she inhabits and the Meeting she attends. A researcher of fun Quaker facts and a farmer herself (raising sheep and vegetables), Marty is also a knitter of scarves for Mercer Street Friends and a regular attender at Quakertown Meeting today. [Read more…] about Interconnected History: Quaker Farm + Quaker Meeting + Quakertown NJ
Quaker education has always been grounded in basic principles of the Religious Society of Friends. Each child has that of God within, and Friends’ education is centered in truth, practical learning, scientific inquiry, simplicity, and concern for civic society.
Quakers have a long history of questioning power and engaging in social action for human rights and peace. Today, many Quaker schools or Quaker affiliated institutions of higher education frame their learning environments with social or civic responsibilities and define community expectations through the lens of Friends’ values while still honoring the individual.
As the United States grew from colony to nation, the Quakers advocated for and delivered universal pubic education in Pennsylvania, built colleges, and created private Quaker secondary and elementary schools. The motto of the William Penn Charter School; “Good Instruction is Better than Riches” dates back to its founding in 1689 and still serves to describe Friends’ fundamental belief that knowledge outperforms wealth over time.
In the United States, Quakers were key to the founding of Haverford College (Pennsylvania), Guilford College (North Carolina,) Earlham College (Indiana), Swarthmore College (Pennsylvania), Johns Hopkins University (Maryland), Cornell University (New York), and the Wharton School of University of Pennsylvania (Pennsylvania). All that does not mean that Quakers were perfect. As we see in the stories below, the were human and also strongly influenced by their own time and place.
18th century manumissions and 17th century burial records are among tens of thousands of early Quaker documents recently added to a major digitization project spearheaded by Christ Church Preservation Trust. Contributed by Haverford and Swarthmore Colleges, these records will be available to free online access for the first time.
The “Digitizing Philadelphia’s Historic Congregational Records” project began two years ago, when the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) awarded a Hidden Collections grant to Christ Church Preservation Trust. The $385,000 award — funded by the Andrew Mellon Foundation — allowed the Trust to digitize the records of eleven of Philadelphia’s historic congregations, including the African Episcopal Church of St. Thomas, Gloria Dei, Christ Church, Mikveh Israel, the First, Second and Third Presbyterian Churches, St. Paul’s and St. Peter’s Episcopal Churches, St. George’s Methodist Church and the First Baptist Church. [Read more…] about Historic Quaker Treasures Added to Unprecedented Digital Archival Effort