October 2021

News from the Friends Committee on North Carolina Legislation (FCNCL).

Annual Meeting NewsThe Annual Meeting was held by zoom on October 2, 2021.

The revised Minute on Racial Justice and Antiracism was approved with appreciation to the Antiracism Working Group and will be used to guide our work going forward. See the full minute and list of working group members at Minute on Racial Justice and Antiracism. The minute calls on us to consider the following in all our decisions: 

a.     “In what ways will this benefit or harm Black people, other People of Color, and Indigenous individuals and communities?”

b.     “In what ways might this disproportionately advantage white communities?”

c.     In what ways will this actively work to promote justice by addressing present and historical racial inequities?”

Prior to consideration and approval of the Minute, the Antiracism Working Group led those present in a matching exercise using terms from the racial justice glossary prepared by the working group.

Worship-sharing during FCNCL Annual Meeting Oct 2nd focused on the query: “Quakers are called to prophetic witness: How does my faith lead me as I lean into my advocacy for legislation and policies that are more just?” Shared messages inspired us to consider 

·      how our faith leads us to bring a spirit of love and optimism that honors the divine light in all persons equally

·      the vision of John Woolman to use imagination to visualize what does not yet exist

·      the history of Quakers working with government to create a more just world and embracing our actions as part of that thread

·      the importance of working together to support and encourage each other

·      the need to recognize our privilege to remove barriers to achieving everyone’s full potential

·      the importance supporting the underprivileged in knowing their needs rather than imposing our help or fix

·      the call to show up, be present, listen deeply, and support and encourage others as they seek justice for themselves and others

We encourage all of us to keep this query in the forefront as we consider how we communicate with our legislators to explain what calls us to advocate for specific legislation and government policies. 

Upcoming Workshop. Stay tuned. The Strategic Advocacy and Education (SAE) committee in conjunction with the Policy Committee is planning a workshop in January to coincide with the start of the Short Session of the state General Assembly in January 2022.

Gratitude. We would like to give a shout out of thanks to the Monthly Meetings, Yearly Meetings, and individuals who contributed financially to FCNCL and to all the volunteers and participants that made this such a successful year for FCNCL.

We are most grateful to Helene Hilger who recently moved to Pennsylvania. She was involved from the beginning when FCNCL was just a dream of a few PFF Friends. Not only did she serve as the first Co-Clerk with Vernie Davis, but she did extensive work on the website, wrote the newsletter, handled the MailChimp mailings, and was active in the work of each of the committees. She has taken on this work with joy and enthusiasm. She will truly be missed, and we wish her many blessings as she moves on with the next phase of her life.

We will be busy over the new months. FCNCL will be looking at expanding our mission to include both legislation and relationship building with North Carolina legislators. This means educating them and building influence over time. We will be engaging Friends in what we expect to be an active NC redistricting effort. With the General Assembly making dangerous decisions that will hurt the most vulnerable among us, its urgent that we amplify our efforts and build our collective power.

Take Action by helping to educate each other. If you have an area of expertise or information about a specific area related to one of our Policy Priorities, consider sharing a draft Fact Sheet to share with the Policy Committee that might be put on our website to share with others. Let us know about your potential interest at info@fcncl.org.

Learn More About FCNCL. Quakers have a long history of letting their lives speak in the political arena to bring a voice of conscience. FCNCL aims to build on that legacy. We advocate for NC policies that support people of all cultural, religious, and racial backgrounds; marriage and gender equality; violence prevention; civil and voting rights for all citizens; access to quality education opportunities; quality healthcare for all; an equitable and humane criminal justice system; environmental stewardship; and opposition to all forms of torture and extreme rendition. Learn more about the organization and sign up for action alerts at the FCNCL website. Encourage your meeting to appoint representatives if they have not done so. Plan to attend a workshop. Ponder the queries raised in our Annual Meeting discernment. We hope you’ll feel led to join us.

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