Manual of Procedure IX. Representatives to Other Organizations
Representatives to organizations not part of the Yearly Meeting but to which the Yearly Meeting regularly nominates, appoints, or sends representatives, are nominated by the Nominating Committee and appointed by the Yearly Meeting in accordance with the procedures of the organizations to which they are named.
The American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) carries out service, development, social justice, and peace programs throughout the world. It was founded by Quakers in 1917 to provide conscientious objectors with an opportunity to aid civilian war victims. Attracting the support and partnership of people of many races, religions, and cultures, AFSC’s work is based on the Quaker belief in the worth of every person and faith in the power of love to overcome violence and injustice.
AFSC is directed by the American Friends Service Committee Corporation, through a Board of Directors elected by the Corporation from among its members. Corporation members all must be members of the Religious Society of Friends.
Baltimore Yearly Meeting may appoint five persons to the Corporation. These persons, nominated by the Nominating Committee and appointed by the Yearly Meeting in staggered three-year terms, are expected to participate in the annual meeting of the Corporation, usually held in Philadelphia.
These representatives are selected from those interested in projects of the American Friends Service Committee. They attempt to interest other persons in contributing to, working for, and being concerned about the American Friends Service Committee.
The Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL) is a public interest lobby founded in 1943 by members of the Religious Society of Friends. FCNL seeks to bring the concerns, experiences, and testimonies of Friends to bear on policy decisions in the nation’s capital. People of many religious backgrounds participate in this work. FCNL’s staff and volunteers work with a nationwide network of thousands to advocate social and economic justice, peace, and good government.
FCNL is governed by a General Committee of 240 Friends, two-thirds of whom are appointed by 26 of the U.S. Yearly Meetings and seven national Friends organizations; the other third is appointed by the General Committee itself. All members of the General Committee must be members of the Religious Society of Friends and U. S. citizens. The General Committee meets each November to conduct business that includes establishing legislative policy and priorities. Between these Annual Meetings an Executive Committee and several other Committees guide the program and administration of FCNL. Further information is available at the FCNL web site, https://fcnl.org.
The six Baltimore Yearly Meeting representatives to the FCNL are nominated by the Nominating Committee and appointed by the Yearly Meeting, two each year for three-year terms.
These representatives are selected from those interested in the work of the Friends Committee on National Legislation and are expected to participate in its meetings. They attempt to educate other persons concerning the purposes of the Friends Committee on National Legislation in the area of civic action in matters of concern to Friends and to interest others in contributing to and working for this organization.
Friends Peace Teams, Inc. (FPT), is a not-for-profit corporation initiated in 1995 by Friends from several U.S. Yearly Meetings. It seeks to promote social welfare, peacebuilding, healing, and reconciliation through its work to develop long-term relationships with communities in conflict around the world.
FPT activities overall are conducted under the auspices of the FPT Council, a governing board of representatives appointed by Friends Yearly Meetings and other interested members appointed at large. For more information on FPT staffing and peace work initiatives around the world, see their website, www.FriendsPeaceTeams.org. The Council meets annually at one in-person business meeting (called “Face to Face”) and monthly by phone and internet.
Baltimore Yearly Meeting may appoint one representative and one alternate to the FPT Council, each for three-year terms, upon nomination by the Nominating Committee and appointment by the Yearly Meeting.
The Friends Wilderness Center provides a place for meditation and spiritual nourishment in a rustic environment within Rolling Ridge Foundation property in Jefferson County, West Virginia. Its mission includes preserving this natural sanctuary and hosting a variety of events. The Board of Directors consists of six to fifteen members, a majority of whom must be members of the Society of Friends. Unity with Nature recommends to Nominating Committee one person for a three-year, once renewable, appointment by the Yearly Meeting, to serve on the Board of Directors.
Interfaith Action for Human Rights (IAHR) is composed of persons in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C., for the purpose of educating, advocating, and lobbying to end human rights abuses within their states. There is action towards eliminating solitary confinement, as well as improving prison conditions and supporting those affected. Quakers are involved at all levels.
Baltimore Yearly Meeting suggests a person to serve on the board of directors for a three-year term, not to exceed two terms. Persons suggested by Baltimore Yearly Meeting are then interviewed by the board of directors, and nominated to serve. Board members are expected to participate in a committee, attend monthly board meetings, and support IAHR financially.
Prisoner Visitation and Support is an interfaith visitation program that is authorized to visit all federal and military prisons in the U.S. Its visitors are volunteers who meet monthly with prisoners who have requested visits. Priority is given to those who are in solitary confinement, are on death row, are serving long sentences, or who do not receive other visits. The organization is nonprofit and separate from official prison structures.
The Peace and Social Concerns Committee recommends to Nominating Committee, as appropriate, one person to be approved by the Board of Directors of Prisoner Visitation and Support for a three-year, once renewable term. The Board meets in Philadelphia two or three times a year.
The Quaker Earthcare Witness is an organization of North American Quakers seeking ways to integrate their concern for environment with Friends long-standing testimonies for simplicity, peace and equality. It has a policy-making Steering Committee to which Yearly Meetings name representatives.
The Unity with Nature Committee suggests names, as appropriate, to the Nominating Committee for appointment by the Yearly Meeting of a representative and an alternate representative for a three-year, once renewable appointment to the Steering Committee of Quaker Earthcare Witness.
Established in 1969, Quaker House is an incorporated organization with representatives appointed by three yearly meetings and about a dozen Monthly Meetings. It provides assistance to military personnel, their families, and those contemplating military service. Quaker House offers information about service-related issues that may involve conscience or unfair treatment, as well as free counseling about domestic violence and sexual assault within the military. They also provide education about topics such as torture and moral injury, and work to promote peace and build relationships between the military and the public. As appropriate, Peace and Social Concerns Committee recommends to Nominating one person for a three-year, once renewable, appointment by the Yearly Meeting, to serve on the Board of Directors of Quaker House, which meets five times a year in various locations in North Carolina.
William Penn House is a Quaker seminar and hospitality center in Washington, District of Columbia. Established in 1966 as a project of Friends Meeting of Washington, it was incorporated as an independent, nonprofit entity in November 1993. Its structure includes a National Consultative Committee of representatives from 20 Friends organizations and Yearly Meetings.
Baltimore Yearly Meeting may appoint one person as representative and one alternate to the National Consultative Committee for a term of three years. Nominations are made by the Nominating Committee and approved by the Yearly Meeting in session.