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American Friends Service Committee

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NEWS
November 3, 1997 | By Barbara Boyer, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Eighty years ago, at the height of World War I, a small group of Quakers met to discuss the devastation and suffering the war had brought to Europe. The 12 Quakers decided that they wanted to help those who were suffering. They also decided that young men who opposed war should be allowed to provide humanitarian relief instead of being forced to fight. Yesterday, Lou Schneider, a member of the Downingtown Friends Meeting, spoke to 40 others about the history of the American Friends Service Committee, the organization the group eventually formed to provide humanitarian services.
NEWS
April 12, 2006 | By Kristin E. Holmes INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Lyle E Tatum, 87, a former regional director for the American Friends Service Committee who was jailed during World War II for refusing to fight, died of complications from Alzheimer's disease April 3 at the Friends House retirement community in Sandy Spring, Md. He was a longtime resident of Philadelphia and then South Jersey before moving to Maryland last year. Mr. Tatum, born into a Quaker family in Iowa, was given a draft exemption while a student at Iowa State College.
NEWS
December 6, 1998 | By Dominic Sama, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
George B. Mathues, 82, who worked for more than 35 years helping others through the American Friends Service Committee and CARE Inc., died of heart failure Wednesday at his home in Drexel Hill. Mr. Mathues served with the two organizations "because he believed in helping others and showing compassion for the poor," said his wife of 47 years, Theodora Sirninger Mathues. Most of his service was overseas. He graduated from Haverford College in 1938 with a bachelor of science degree and from Harvard University in 1940 with a master's degree in business administration.
NEWS
November 28, 2010 | By Claudia Vargas, Inquirer Staff Writer
As a recent graduate of the University of California, Berkeley, in the early 1940s, Takashi Moriuchi was eager to make a business out of farming in his native San Joaquin Valley in California. But in 1942, he was one of thousands of Japanese Americans who were forced into World War II internment camps. Farmer Lewis Barton, like many other Quakers at the time, did not agree with the camps and through the American Friends Service Committee hired Japanese Americans to work on his 700 acres in what is now Cherry Hill.
NEWS
November 20, 2000 | by William C. Kashatus
Once again, the Quakers have given Philadelphians a gift, this one just in time for the Thanksgiving holiday. Visitors to the Arch Street Friends Meeting House will be treated to a poignant exhibit called "Quiet Helpers: Quaker Service in Postwar Germany. " Through rare photographs and personal artifacts, the exhibit tells the story of Quaker humanitarianism and the American Friends Service Committee after both world wars and during the Nazi era. It is a moving - and somewhat controversial - story that earned the Society of Friends the respect and admiration of countless refugees in war-torn Europe and, in 1947, the Nobel Peace Prize itself.
NEWS
April 19, 2010 | By Claudia Vargas INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Robert W. Gray, 91, of Medford, a Quaker who served as associate executive secretary at the national headquarters of the American Friends Service Committee in Philadelphia for several years, died of kidney failure Thursday, April 1, at home. For almost 40 years, Mr. Gray worked for the Friends committee in various capacities and places. He started in California and had stints in Korea and India before being promoted in 1974 to a headquarters position in Philadelphia. While at the Cherry Street office, Mr. Gray handled many of the committee's finances and projects.
NEWS
August 31, 1996 | By William C. Kashatus
The late E. Digby Baltzell made a career out of scorning Philadelphia's Quakers. In a succession of scholarly works on the city's upper class, he maintained that the Friends were too "egalitarian," too "content to rest on their inherited wealth and privileges" to provide effective leadership. In comparison to Boston's Brahmins, whom he felt exemplified the Protestant work ethic, Baltzell saw the Quakers as inferior, failing to instill "a strong desire and capacity to take the lead in both community building and community reform.
NEWS
July 26, 1991 | by Penelope M. Carrington, Daily News Staff Writer
Erik Larsen, a conscientious objector awaiting trial for desertion, could face life in prison. He could also be labeled a coward by others. But the latter is the least of his worries, he said. "Whatever discharge I get, I will wear it as a badge of honor because I didn't desert my conscience," said Larsen, 24, a Marine reservist from Hayward, Calif. During a news conference yesterday at the Friends Center at 15th and Cherry streets, Larsen and three other conscientious objectors who refused to fight in Operation Desert Storm spoke of what they considered harsh sentences received because of their CO status, and of abusive treatment while in detention.
NEWS
September 18, 1989
Some Quakers are having a terrible time reconciling their pacifist beliefs and humanitarian concern for the dispossessed of this city against what they must know, in their heads if not their hearts, needs to be done about the increasingly offensive vagrant who refuses to move from their front porch in Center City. The summer-long encampment at the Quakers' world headquarters of a scripture-quoting man calling himself Jealous T. Street has started to cause problems that reach beyond the grounds of the Friends Center at 15th and Cherry Streets.
NEWS
December 27, 2014 | By Jason Laughlin, Inquirer Staff Writer
Warren A. Witte, 74, of Newtown, who worked throughout the country to offer aid and social assistance through Quaker organizations, died Wednesday, Dec. 17, at Temple University Hospital of an acute respiratory infection. Born in Wauwatosa, Wis., Mr. Witte spent much of his life in social service through the American Friends Service Committee and Friends Services for the Aging. After retiring in 2006, he remained involved in service through a committee he established to assist Bosnians and the Friends Board Training and Support Project, Chandler Hall and George School.
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NEWS
December 27, 2014 | By Jason Laughlin, Inquirer Staff Writer
Warren A. Witte, 74, of Newtown, who worked throughout the country to offer aid and social assistance through Quaker organizations, died Wednesday, Dec. 17, at Temple University Hospital of an acute respiratory infection. Born in Wauwatosa, Wis., Mr. Witte spent much of his life in social service through the American Friends Service Committee and Friends Services for the Aging. After retiring in 2006, he remained involved in service through a committee he established to assist Bosnians and the Friends Board Training and Support Project, Chandler Hall and George School.
NEWS
March 13, 2014 | By Vernon Clark, Inquirer Staff Writer
PHILADELPHIA It has been used with great effect to challenge those in power and bring about social change, to further the civil rights movement, to end apartheid in South Africa, and to advance the cause of the United Farm Workers in California's San Joaquin Valley. An exhibit opening Wednesday at the offices of the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) titled "Boycott! The Art of Economic Activism" illustrates the power of boycotts in bringing about change around the world over the last 50 years.
NEWS
June 11, 2013
Seeds of redevelopment planted When Inquirer readers hear of the daunting challenges and hopeful future of efforts to revitalize Norristown, they should know something else: Just because the current county commissioners suggest that the Logan Square redevelopment project fizzled out doesn't mean that it did ("Norristown seeks to get itself boiling again," June 3). In fact, the Logan Square project is an economic success and a big job creator. As the lead tenant at Logan Square, USMaintenence was on its way out of town when the prior board of commissioners committed $25 million and county guarantees to improve the shopping center.
NEWS
April 24, 2013 | By Kristin E. Holmes, Inquirer Staff Writer
When the jailed leader of the civil rights era scribbled the first words of what would become a literary touchstone for writings on oppression and protest, Drexel Hill's Jonathan Rieder was forging a suburban kid's path to activism. The student member of the NAACP ditched science class at Friends' Central School in Wynnewood to attend a demonstration. He rose to his feet at Quaker meeting to talk about the turmoil in the South. Decades later, Rieder wrote a book about the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and his famed "Letter From Birmingham Jail," revealing an indignant and angry leader impatient for change.
NEWS
November 28, 2010 | By Claudia Vargas, Inquirer Staff Writer
As a recent graduate of the University of California, Berkeley, in the early 1940s, Takashi Moriuchi was eager to make a business out of farming in his native San Joaquin Valley in California. But in 1942, he was one of thousands of Japanese Americans who were forced into World War II internment camps. Farmer Lewis Barton, like many other Quakers at the time, did not agree with the camps and through the American Friends Service Committee hired Japanese Americans to work on his 700 acres in what is now Cherry Hill.
BUSINESS
June 5, 2010 | By Christopher K. Hepp, Inquirer Staff Writer
God's work is never easy. It gets more difficult when temporal considerations come into play, such as a worldwide economic recession that has wreaked havoc with many a budget. Daniel Seeger knows this all too well. As the interim general secretary of the American Friends Service Committee, the Quaker organization with headquarters in Philadelphia, Seeger is trying to stabilize an internationally renowned organization as it exits its most painful economic stretch in memory.
NEWS
April 19, 2010 | By Claudia Vargas INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Robert W. Gray, 91, of Medford, a Quaker who served as associate executive secretary at the national headquarters of the American Friends Service Committee in Philadelphia for several years, died of kidney failure Thursday, April 1, at home. For almost 40 years, Mr. Gray worked for the Friends committee in various capacities and places. He started in California and had stints in Korea and India before being promoted in 1974 to a headquarters position in Philadelphia. While at the Cherry Street office, Mr. Gray handled many of the committee's finances and projects.
NEWS
October 8, 2007 | By Craig R. McCoy INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Dr. Leo Eloesser planned his legacy down to the last exacting detail. "I direct that my corpse be buried as cheaply as possible in whatever town or place I may happen to die," he wrote in his will on Feb. 14, 1975. A celebrity doctor of his day, a friend of left-wing artists like Pablo Casals and Frida Kahlo, Eloesser insisted on the simplest of send-offs: His casket should be a "plain wooden box. " His grave marker should cost $5 or less. The only extravagance: $500 for "a decent string quartet" to play a Mozart quartet in C major.
NEWS
August 22, 2006 | By David O'Reilly INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Two leading Quakers say the denomination and its agencies are being hobbled by an institutional disdain for leadership. Philadelphia Yearly Meeting - with 104 local congregations and 11,500 members - has become "dysfunctional," according to Thomas Jeavons, the society's former general secretary, who resigned in March after 10 "frustrating" years on the job. The famously liberal sect has become "stuck in its old ways," he said in a recent interview,...
NEWS
April 12, 2006 | By Kristin E. Holmes INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Lyle E Tatum, 87, a former regional director for the American Friends Service Committee who was jailed during World War II for refusing to fight, died of complications from Alzheimer's disease April 3 at the Friends House retirement community in Sandy Spring, Md. He was a longtime resident of Philadelphia and then South Jersey before moving to Maryland last year. Mr. Tatum, born into a Quaker family in Iowa, was given a draft exemption while a student at Iowa State College.
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