31 May 2017
Since its founding in 1968 by Frances Crowe, the Western Massachusetts branch of the AFSC has endeavored to resist the military-industrial complex, preserve the civil liberties of all people, push back against oppression, and cultivate youth leadership in the movement for social change. Unfortunately, because of major budgetary shortfalls at the AFSC’s national level, our program in Western Massachusetts will officially end its work on September 30, 2017, after nearly 50 years of tireless commitment to nonviolence and justice.
Our office’s closure is part of a wave of cuts to AFSC staff and programs across the country. Unfortunately, the circumstances in the national organization are beyond our control. Contributions of money to the AFSC at this point will not keep our office open, and we were not allowed to fundraise to prevent the closure of our office.
However, we wholeheartedly hope to maintain the work we have been doing through a new peace and social justice organization. As you know, fundraising hasn’t been an objective of our program for the last several years, as it was moved into the jurisdiction of the national office of the AFSC. Therefore, we need to identify the financial support that would come from our community in order to plan for future work. We are not accepting donations, but pledges that indicates the capacity of Western Massachusetts to sustain an organization to do this work. You can make such a pledge online (at http://pvpeacecenter.org), email us at email@example.com, or send us a mail at Peace Center, P.O. Box 1451, Northampton, MA 01061-1451.
In the waning months of the program, we hope to work with our community partners to continue the crucial work of our current campaigns, including (but not limited to!) military counter-recruitment, establishing local sanctuary cities, training high school and college interns, and supporting local organizing and events with logistical support and through our Social Justice Calendar. We are incredibly grateful to all of the past program directors at the AFSC: Frances Crowe, Anna Megyesi, Jo Comerford, Doug Renick, Maya Winfrey, and Jeff Napolitano. Along with the Western Massachusetts AFSC’s community partners, interns, volunteers, and supporters, their work has made our world a more just and peaceful place.
It has been our honor to serve Western Massachusetts, and we are deeply hopeful that our work will continue to effect change in the community for generations to come.
The Program Support Committee of Western Massachusetts AFSC:
Myra Lam (Clerk)