BeFriending Creation

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by Jocelyn Sawyer

Last semester, REInvestment was contacted by Quaker Earthcare Witness (QEW), an environmental Friends group, about featuring us in a divestment-focused issue of their publication, BeFriending Creation.  A few weeks later, I was thrilled to receive a stack of copies of the Nov-Dec 2013 publication in my mailbox – and, sure enough, there is a shout-out to REInvestment.  But more than that, there are many compelling arguments for a Friends’-eye view of divestment, as well as stories about Quakers from New England to England who are taking the steps to rid their Meeting endowments of fossil fuel investments.  Inspiring work, which only strengthens the case for Earlham to follow suit.

Quaker Earthcare Witness even has a new section of their website devoted to divestment, Fossil Free Friends.

The journal has many fabulous articles I could quote, but here are a few of my favorite tidbits:

“Many Friends have wondered how we can free ourselves of our dependence on fossil fuels. While making practical changes in one’s daily life is a good starting point, many Friends have found it very difficult to make changes because of costs involved and our dependence on fossil fuels of various types for decades. A starting point, though clearly not the end point, is for Quaker-related organizations to look closely at the investments they have made, and divest accordingly. We look now to investing in the future, rather than in the past. We cannot afford, morally or financially, to keep investing in the assured destruction of our civilization. Two hundred and fifty years ago, John Woolman exhorted us to stop enslaving men and women; today we need to stop enslaving nature.”

— from the Dover Friends Meeting statement on divestment

“Divestment alone will not turn the tide of over-consumption of carbon fuels, yet it can be a valuable piece of the puzzle. …One of the strongest reasons to get involved int he movement for divestment is that it has captured the passion and imagination of the next generation of young leaders. It’s great to back them up as they learn how to be powerful activists – we’ll need all their passion and skills in the decades to come.”

— Nancy Sleator, Landsdowne Monthly Meeting

“Many are the Vanities and Luxuries of the present Age, an din labouring to support a Way of living conformable to the present World, the Departure from that Wisdom that is pure and peaceable, hath been great.”

— John Woolman, from “On the Slave Trade”

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