Many Friends will have already seen this year’s Swarthmore Lecture, but for those who haven’t it is availble as a video. There will be a chance to watch together at Cotteridge Meeting on Fri 2nd September.
The Swarthmore Lecture takes place each year during Britain Yearly Meeting, funded for and organised by Woodbrooke. The lecture has two key purposes: to interpret to Quakers their message and mission and to make the wider public aware of the spirit, the aims, and fundamental principles of Friends.
This year’s lecture was given by Helen Minnis of Glasgow Meeting. Helen spoke from her experience as a scientist and a Quaker, addressing issues of white privilege within the Quaker movement and scientific community. Woodbrooke and Helen see the lecture as part of the ongoing conversation within Britain Yearly Meeting, and Quakers worldwide, about becoming an anti-racist church and what that means.
Some further context to help Friends start exploring these issues:
Video: Quakers & Slavery
Helen and her daughter, Ellie, talk about Quakers and Slavery – includes discussion of George Fox’s travels in Jamaica and what he said about slavery there:
A Quaker Take podcast
In a collaboration between Woodbrooke and Quakers in Britain, Edwina Peart talks about reparations:
Woodbrooke are running two upcoming sessions relevant to the issues raised in the lecture:
10th September – Food for the Journey: a diversity and inclusion retreat
A day of refreshment for Quakers working on diversity and inclusion in their local Quaker communities. Enjoy conversation and worship, the grounds of the Woodbrooke Centre, and inspiring words from guest speaker Robert Beckford.
18th October – Discomforting Quaker History
Quakers look to their history for inspiration and ideas – but history is not simple and it is important to understand unethical Quaker actions as well.