Multiple Strategies

Yesterday was another episode in the saga of not only carbon pipelines but Indigenous rights more broadly.

There is increasing pressure from many places to use the idea of carbon capture and storage to meet the goals of reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The Biden administration is supporting this unproven technology, which even if it worked would not impact global greenhouse gas concentrations. This is something I’ve written about extensively.
(See: )


Yesterday and today public meetings are being held in Des Moines by the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration’s (PHMSA) Technical Safety Panel (See: )

Carbon dioxide (CO2) pipelines are classified as carrying hazardous materials because they pose significant safety risks in case of a rupture. CO2 is a colorless, odorless gas that can displace oxygen and cause asphyxiation at high concentrations. It can also travel long distances from the pipeline after a leak, creating a large danger zone for people and animals. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), CO2 pipelines require special safety measures such as corrosion control, leak detection, emergency response plans, and public awareness programs.

There is environmental racism in building pipelines and storage facilities near Indigenous lands. This occurred when the route of the Dakota Access Pipeline was moved away from Bismark, to Standing Rock, when Bismark residents feared contamination of their water.

This environmental racism also facilitates the epidemic of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Relatives because of the “man camps” of pipeline/storage construction workers.

Now there is a similar situation, where landowners, developers, and politicians in Bismark are opposing a proposed carbon dioxide storage project near them.

Not in my backyard

They are showing up in earnest in opposition to the Midwest Carbon Express pipeline, a plan of Summit Carbon Solutions to gather up 12 million tons of CO2 from 31 ethanol plants in five states and send it through pipelines to be sequestered at an underground storage facility in western North Dakota.

The project is well underway, but an apparently well-funded and vocal group of folks, many of them who no doubt appreciate the jobs and tax revenues provided by fossil fuels, are fighting the proposed pipeline tooth and nail.

To be fair, these developers, home builders, politicians and homeowners don’t seem to oppose the pipeline in general, they just don’t want it to be close to places where they live or where they might enrich their businesses with new housing development and construction.

In other words, they don’t mind if the pipeline impacts someone else, they just don’t want it to impact them.

Speaking out: Liking the upside means accepting the downside by Steve Andrist, The Bismark Tribune, 5/31/2023

Great Plains Action Society

My friends at the Great Plains Action Society continue to teach us about Indigenous views and rights. My friend Sikowis Nobiss worked to have a panel discussion related to Indigenous peoples as part of this PHMSA gathering. You can hear her, and others’ remarks here:

Sikowis spoke about most tribal nations not being consulted about these pipelines.

And spoke about the safety equipment that is required for first responders wherever the pipeline is built. Such as oxygen supplies and electric vehicles. Leaked carbon dioxide can spread quickly and stays near the ground, potentially causing asphyxia. Sikowis asks, where is the money going to come from for tribal nations to purchase such safety equipment?

She also spoke about the biome below ground and how we don’t know how pipelines and carbon storage affect that.

Sikowis concluded by pointing out how these are unproven technologies. And asks for a moratorium on these projects until more research is done.

Our Executive Director, Sikowis Nobiss, is speaking today on the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration’s (PHMSA) Technical Safety Panel regarding safety concerns in light of several proposed projects slated for Iowa and the Great Plains region after a recent incident in 2021 at Satartia, Mississippi. Earlier this year PHMSA has stated updated safety regulations tailored specifically for carbon dioxide pipelines are needed and will take 1-3 years to establish—the same timeframe these proposed projects aim for completion.

As such, we call for a federal moratorium until regulations are complete and moreover don’t believe they should be actualized at all! Rather, re-Matriation of Prairie can safely, effectively and efficiently sequester carbon dioxide just as good or better than any of these techno-solutions.

(See video here:


Multiple Strategies

It was very important that Sikowis was able to speak during the PHMSA meeting.

We had also planned to hold a rally outside the Marriott Hotel the meetings were held at. Unfortunately our efforts were thwarted by police who were working for the hotel. So we gathered across the street with our signs, and people spoke about these issues.

Spiritual Transition

Writing these blog posts can be difficult. It can be hard to discern what to write. To listen to the silence is a spiritual practice. And I most often write about spiritual matters, which are difficult to put into words.

Then publish what is written on the Internet for anyone in the world to read. That was intimidating at first. But after a while, you find you don’t usually get much response, positive or negative.

Perhaps the most difficult is writing things likely to upset or hurt people you care about. But I try to discern/speak/write the truth as I understand it to the best of my ability.

Religious and faith groups that have existed for a long time have often done things and/or held beliefs that resulted in injustice. For example, there is the doctrine of a “just war.” Of the Christian Crusades. Or the Doctrine of Discovery (1452) that specifically sanctioned and promoted the conquest, colonization, and exploitation of non-Christian territories and peoples.

These and many other injustices occurred because White Christians had significant political influence. And were involved in the theft of land from and subjugation of many Indigenous peoples. These injustices persist because White supremacy and oppression continue.

It is common to be most critical of those we look to be examples of our beliefs. I was raised in Quaker communities, where there is great emphasis on living our lives consistent with our beliefs. I’ve been led to see most White Quakers are failing to achieve that.

One way Quakers work for justice is to refuse to participate in organizations that are involved in unjust work. That sometimes involves boycotting products or services from such companies. Or refusing to invest in or work for such organizations.

It is much more difficult to divorce oneself from systems of injustice we live in. For example, it is difficult to live without a car in today’s sprawling cities and towns, or in rural areas. These assaults on Mother Earth are environmental injustice. I refused to have a car because of this. That began in 1970. Yet, in all the time since, I was unable to convince other Quakers to give up their cars. This was a source of ongoing tension with Quakers. It is haunting to know that if our society had embraced mass transit systems instead of the car culture, we would not be dealing with environmental devastation that will only worsen, probably to the point of extinction.

For over three years I’ve been part of a Mutual Aid community, where I’ve been learning more about these injustices, and an alternative to White supremacy and capitalism. I’ve been sharing what I’ve been learning with my Quaker communities, but similar to the car situation, I’m making little progress in convincing Quakers to embrace Mutual Aid. (See: Quakers and Mutual Aid)

Spending time in marginalized communities has given me different perspectives on White supremacy, colonialism, and capitalism. I am now struggling because these new perspectives convince me those systems of oppression must be abolished.

When working for change, the choices are:

  • Incremental changes to existing systems, or
  • Replacing unjust systems

Incremental changes to unjust systems perpetuate the injustices.

But replacing unjust systems takes time. The concept of Dual Power refers to transitioning from an unjust system to a just one. My Mutual Aid community is building just alternatives to capitalism.

I just wrote Social and Economic Justice which was critical of Quakers today. “The capitalist economic system only works if you have money. It’s so frustrating to me that I can’t make my White friends, Quaker friends see how incredibly unjust this is. They don’t see a problem with capitalism because they have a source of income.”

I call capitalism Economic Slavery.

As mentioned, Quakers have a practice of refusing to be associated with unjust organizations and systems. So what do I do when Quakers are part of the unjust systems of capitalism and White supremacy?

Spending time in marginalized communities shows me the depth of the consequences of White supremacy and capitalism. Seeing the families coming to our Mutual Aid food giveaway is heartbreaking. Making me viscerally aware of the failure of capitalism and the need for Mutual Aid.

My friend Jed Walsh recently shared this with me:

For me, there’s a lot of grief around thinking about moving away from Quakerism, as Quakers have really significantly shaped the person I try to be and the ways I want to be part of social movements. But my fear/pessimism right now has been telling me for some time that Quakers as a whole can’t let go of our collective attachments to white supremacy and capitalism. I’m tired of being in the margins of a Quakerism that’s clinging to the status quo, and hoping to find other places to practice faith and spirituality where I can feel more aligned with others.

Jed Walsh

I, too, am tired of being in the margins of a Quakerism that’s clinging to the status quo. I’m exhausted from fifty years of work against environmental devastation, which included Quakers and their cars.

From my years in oppressed communities, I understand how people in these communities view White people. I know they see no distinction between White Quakers and other White people. I feel the unspoken questions of my Mutual Aid friends. Wondering, now that I’ve seen the injustices of capitalism and White supremacy, am I going to do anything more than help give away food? Because Mutual Aid is about abolishing unjust systems and replacing them by building Beloved communities.

I have talked with some Mutual Aid friends about Quakers and spirituality. I plan to continue to look for opportunities to explore spirituality with them.

There is an urgency to make changes now because White supremacy and capitalism continue their oppression today.

I am in a spiritual dual power mode (defined above), remaining with Friends until I might be led to a different spiritual community. I hope, instead, Quakers might seek how we can replace systems of capitalism and White superiority.

And I’ve been exploring what Spiritual Mutual Aid might look like.

Seeking a People

I used to call myself a Quaker. I never joined a meeting, and honestly, I had suspicions from the beginning that it just wasn’t going to work. But I was desperate for people, and I really wanted the Quakerism I’d read about.

I couldn’t find it, though, and now I’m not sure it exists.

In the meantime, I’ve been talking, and writing, and a number of Friends say my critical observations about Quaker institutions and culture are illegitimate, either because of my lack of membership or because of my newness. I don’t have a right to point out classism and white supremacy, they say.

It’s been hard finding my place and voice in the Religious Society of Friends. And honestly, I’ve given up. I don’t see the point.

When I read what early Friends wrote, I’m drawn to their vision. Friends lived out of step with the world. Their yielding to Christ demanded deep listening, joy in suffering for the truth, abandonment to the movement of Love. They declared the end of days and rejected the idolatry of nationalism. They were living into a new Society of Friends.

George Fox wrote about the Kingdom of God breaking into this world – and it came from within – this was the gospel I knew, the gospel I needed. Quakers were holy fools, apocalyptic evangelists, soldiers of prophecy. They were about liberation and creating the age-to-come. That was the Spirit I knew. This was the church I longed for.

Then I found Quakers. They weren’t exactly what I’d read about, and it was kind of confusing. But I decided to stick around for a while. After all, maybe God could use existing Quaker institutions to renew the Society of Friends. I believed and hoped that some of these institutions might lead Friends of all branches into convergence, and then that the Spirit might dissolve our dependence on institutions. I thought that as we yielded to the Spirit, she would return us to that apostolic and anarchic ecclesiology of early Friends.

What I’ve found, instead, is that Friends have converged on a shared history and a handful of practices.

But if the Society of Friends is to ever again carry the anointing of early Quakers, if it is to ever embody the vision of Margaret Fell, going “hand in hand in the unity and fellowship of this eternal Spirit,” it must do more than embrace a convoluted historical connection and some shared practices.

If we are converging on history and practice, we are missing the point. If we are depending on institutions to create a new society or usher in the Kingdom, then we are deceived. These will not bring the radically egalitarian and Spirit-filled communities that God fostered among early Friends. These are forms, and Friends must follow the Spirit.

I’ve met others who need a Spirit-led Society. We share this vision, and we share the disappointment of being drowned out in meeting by classism, ageism, and racism. Some of us wonder if Quakerism isn’t all that different from the rest of liberal religion. From what we’ve seen, it isn’t apocalyptic. It isn’t radical. It doesn’t sound like Fox or look like Jesus. It works at incremental transformation while simultaneously shushing those who need the system overthrown.

I’ve moved on.

But even as I’ve stopped attending meeting – even as institutional Quakerism has, for the most part, become irrelevant to me – I cannot deny that I am a Friend. Quaker conceptions of Christ’s gospel have led me closer to Jesus and it’s integral to what I believe and how I live. At the end of the day, though, if tables aren’t being turned, if people aren’t being healed and set free, if the prophets aren’t marching naked, I’ll have to follow Jesus elsewhere.

I hear early Friend Sarah Blackborow’s words ringing in my heart: “Christ is trying to make a dwelling place within you but he is left rejected and homeless.”

Jesus is still seeking his people, people who see the Spirit of God in the suffering and offer refuge. I’m seeking those people, too.

This River has Rights

Walk for River Rights

Event by Native American Coalition of the Quad CitiesRiver Action Quad Cities and 8 others

May 13, 2023 AT 11:30 AM – 12:30 PM

Schwiebert Riverfront Park

On Saturday, May 13th, the Walk for River Rights begins at Schwiebert Park (101 17th St, Rock Island, IL 61201) at 11:30AM and closes at 12:30PM at the Figge Entrance Plaza (225 W 2nd St, Davenport, IA 52801). There is a map of the walk on the discussion page.

***There will be a bus that can drive folks back to their cars after we are done the walk.***

Join leading BIPOC organizers who have converged in the Quad Cities to begin working towards reclaiming Rights of Nature for the Mississippi River. We will walk across the Centennial Bridge in solidarity as one River community advocating for the Rights of the Mississippi River, from the headwaters to the Gulf, and for the rights of all communities whose lives are supported by the waters. All are welcomed and encouraged to attend! A brief introduction and explanation of our convergence will begin at 11:30AM at Schwiebert Park.

The Walk for River Rights is part of The Mississippi River Summit (May 11th-14th, 2023, Quad Cities, IA-IL), a summit centering and advancing the leadership of 40 organizers of historically racially marginalized communities working to protect water, natural places, and sacred spaces. The goal is to build a BIPOC-led coalition from the Mississippi Headwaters to the Gulf of Mexico, and eventually claim the rights of nature for the entire river system and develop an organized frontline group working to protect the Mississippi watershed and all living beings that rely on it as their home.

Organized by Great Plains Action Society. For questions

*We have modified the route to accommodate for the effects of flooding on downtown Davenport and will now end at the Figge plaza 

May 11-14, 2023 (Davenport, IA) The Mississippi River Summit is a BIPOC led event where folks from the headwaters to the Gulf of Mexico are converging to talk about the health of the river basin and all that rely on it and to work towards rights of nature for our river relative.

Why are we meeting in Iowa? The state of Iowa has the unique designation of being bordered by the Nation’s two largest rivers, the Mississippi and Missouri. However, water does not adhere to colonial borders and unfortunately, Iowa is the number one contributor to the ‘Dead Zone’ in the Gulf of Mexico. Iowa is also the most biologically colonized state in the country because of Big-Ag, CAFOs (concentrated animal feed operations), meatpacking plants, ethanol production, etc.


This beautiful art was made by Moselle Singh. Learn more about our Mississippi River Summit at

Indigenous leadership

My friends at the Great Plains Action Society (GPAS) continue their years of work providing Indigenous leadership on a number of fronts.

Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls

First, we want to recognize that today (5/5/2023) is National Day of Awareness for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. On May 2, the City of Iowa City declared its first Day of Awareness for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women. The proclamation was accepted by Sikowis Nobiss, our Executive Director. It was through her work on the Iowa City Truth and Reconciliation Commission that she was empowered to advocate for this proclamation. It was inspired by the first MMIW proclamation in Iowa made last year by the City of Sioux City, which was influenced by the work of Trisha Etringer, our Siouxland Project Director. This year, Trisha accepted the second proclamation made by the City of Sioux City on May 1 and is currently working towards a state wide proclamation for 2024.

Great Plains Action Society

Berkshire Hathaway/MidAmerican coal power plants

Several environmental organizations have been working to get MidAmerican to shut down their coal burning power plants in Iowa. Today there will be a protest and round dance during the Berkshire Hathaway shareholder meeting today. MidAmerican is a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway.

See other actions against MidAmerican energy’s coal power plants here:

Next, we want all our friends and relatives to know that we are fighting for the health and well-being of the nation’s two mightiest rivers–the Missouri and the Mississippi. Iowa is the only state bordered completely on the East and West borders by these rivers, making it a special place and one that needs to be protected. Over the next week, we will be on both banks carrying out important events to fight for what is right. 

Two of the nation’s oldest and dirtiest coal plants, owned by the subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway–MidAmerican, sit on the Missouri River and are situated in the largely Indigenous corridor between Sioux City, Winnebago, and Omaha reservations. They have already been polluting our air, water, and soil and now one of the plants is lobbying to release their toxic coal ash into the Missouri, which is directly north of the Winnebago and Omaha reservations. So we have partnered with Project Beacon and the Clean Up MidAm Coalition for a protest and round dance during the Berkshire Hathaway shareholder meeting in Omaha to demand that they shut down these coal plants! Please join us tomorrow, May 6th at 11:45am, on the Corner of Cass Street and 10th Street. Great Plains Action Society

You can find out more about this event here.

Round Dance for the Missouri River

Relatives in Omaha, Lincoln, Sioux City, Omaha Nation, and Winnebago Nation–Join Great Plains Action Society and Project Beacon for a Round Dance in Omaha during the Berkshire Hathaway shareholder meeting to demand that they shut down their MidAmerican coal plants! We will be joined by Douglas Esau, who will bring his hand drum. The larger rally is being organized by the Clean Up MidAm Coalition.

The event is taking place on the SE corner of the Big Lot Parking B of the CHI Health Care Event center. On the Corner of Cass Street and 10th Street. There is a map in the discussion of this event page.

PARKING WILL NOT BE EASY AS THERE WILL BE A LOT OF FOLKS IN THE AREA THAT DAY! You will need to find parking in lots or ramps in the downtown area OR if you feel like taking a scenic walk you can park on the Council Bluffs side of the river at Tom Hanafan River’s Edge Park and and walk across the Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge to the event site–it’s about a 20 minute walk.

Two of the nation’s oldest and dirtiest coal plants are situated in the corridor between Sioux City, Winnebago, and Omaha reservations, polluting our air, water, and soil. Now, they want to start releasing their toxic coal ash directly into the sacred waters of the Missouri River and we are here to say NO!

We are offering $50 gas cards to the first 25 Indigenous folks driving from over an hour away–such as Lincoln, Sioux City, and the reservations. We encourage carpooling! Sign up here for a gas card;…/1FAIpQLSdCje8fXwYHgl…/viewform

There will also be lunch available for everyone! Email for questions. 

Round Dance for the Missouri River

Walk for River Rights

Next week, May 11-14, in the Quad Cities of IA and IL, we are hosting the first Mississippi River Summit with 40 BIPOC leaders and specialists joining us to talk about their respective fights to keep the water safe and healthy and to work towards Rights of Nature.Great Plains Action Society has ties to BIPOC folks at the headwaters all the way to the Gulf of Mexico and we have invited them to Iowa for an important reason! Iowa is the number one contributor to the ‘Dead Zone’ in the Gulf of Mexico and the most biologically colonized state in the country because of Big-Ag, CAFOs (concentrated animal feed operations), meatpacking plants, ethanol production, and general disregard for the land. The time will be utilized for grassroots assessments, specialist lectures, a tour of the Mississippi, and community-building exercises. On May 13th, at 11:30 AM at the Schwiebert Riverfront Park, Summit attendees will join the Quad Cities community for a  Walk for River Rights in solidarity as One River community advocating for Rights of Nature for the Mississippi River and for the rights of all communities whose lives are supported by the waters.
If you’d like to learn more, visit our event page linked here.

We truly appreciate your participation in our advocacy and frontline efforts and need your support to continue. Please consider making a donation to help support Great Plains Action Society and allow us to continue organizing for the health and safety of Indigenous communities and our lands.

Support Our Work

Ay Hai Kitatamihin,

Sikowis Nobiss, She/Her
Nêhiyaw/Saulteaux, George Gordon First Nation
Executive Director, Great Plains Action Society

End Police Violence

Art by Moselle Singh, Drawn From Water

Although the daily news is flooded with stories of police violence toward Black people, the incidence of police violence against Indigenous peoples is higher.

When I began to spend time with Indigenous people, I was surprised to find out about the epidemic of missing and murdered Indigenous relatives (MMIR). And how that is related to oil pipelines and capitalism. That became easy to understand as I learned about the environmental racism of building pipelines near Indigenous reservations. The man camps, construction worker camps, were thus near Indigenous communities.

One of the first actions I was involved with after retiring to Iowa was to rally against USBank’s funding of fossil fuel projects. But besides demonstrating against the Dakota Access Pipeline, a number of people held signs, and spoke about MMIR.

Our heart goes out to Bemi (Shyla Wolf) – Meskwaki – who was assaulted on March 30, 2023 by Officer Kyle Howe while three of her young children watched from the car and screamed in fear. She ended up with contusions on her lip, neck, arms, and full body soreness. Officer Howe is known for targeting Meskwaki folks in Tama and represents the continuation of a long history of police violence and injustice perpetrated on Indigenous Peoples across Turtle Island. Though Indigenous Peoples are targeted at alarming rates by cops, these disturbing statistics are not being heard by the rest of society due to the intense efforts to erase us and our place in the US.

Maggie Koerth from FiveThirtyEight, reports that “depending on the year, either Native Americans or African-Americans have the highest rate of deaths by law enforcement. The fact that Indigenous Peoples have such high police murder rates is not a well-known statistic because the population is smaller and because violence to Indigenous folx is not of particular interest to mainstream media. According to a CNN review of the Center for Diseases Control, “for every 1 million Native Americans, an average of 2.9 of them died annually from 1999 to 2015 as a result of a legal intervention”. For the Black population the number is 2.6, for Latinx it is 1.7, for Whites it is 0.9 and for Asians it is 0.6.”

This is a startling statistic because Native Americans only make up 0.9% (2.9 million people) of the population. Furthermore, these deaths are most likely under-reported just like the other epidemics that Native Americans face, such as missing and murdered women, abuse, rape, stalking, runaway children and violence committed by non-tribal members. In fact, the deadliest mass shooting in US history, known as the Wounded Knee Massacre, occurred in 1890 when United States Army troops murdered up to 300 Lakota, including women and children. According to Matthew Fletcher, director of the Indigenous Law and Policy Center, “The data available likely does not capture all Native American deaths in police encounters due to people of mixed race and a relatively large homeless population that is not on the grid.” (CNN) In a paper written by B Perry in 2006 titled, “Nobody trusts them! Under- and over-policing Native American communities”, they presented evidence from 278 individual interviews with eight separate Native Nations that police action toward Native people ranged from ignoring victims to outright brutality against suspects. (Fatal Encounters Between Native Americans and the Police)

Collective Action Will End Police Violence to Indigenous Peoples by Sikowis Nobiss, Great Plains Action Society

Policing in this country began in the 1700’s with “slave patrols” to capture and return those fleeing their enslavement or planning uprisings. Policing has always been about protecting capitalists and their property.

The only way to end police violence and abolish this inherently white supremacist institution built on colonization and the greed of capitalism is for communities to take collective action. Centering mutual aid and radical healing in our communities will take back power and end erasure of us, our history and our culture. Taking back power builds strength and increases resources, which we need to oust violent cops and create our own culturally appropriate systems of accountability and wellness programs. Great Plains Action Society remains committed to this goal and will continue to work diligently towards abolition of systems set up to eradicate us.

Collective Action Will End Police Violence to Indigenous Peoples by Sikowis Nobiss, Great Plains Action Society

Mutual Aid

It is by building mutual aid communities that we take back our power from “inherently white supremacist institution built on colonization and the greed of capitalism”.

I’m of the firm opinion that a system that was built by stolen bodies on stolen land for the benefit of a few is a system that is not repairable. It is operating as designed, and small changes (which are the result of huge efforts) to lessen the blow on those it was not designed for are merely half measures that can’t ever fully succeed.

So, the question is now, where do we go from here? Do we continue to make incremental changes while the wealthy hoard more wealth and the climate crisis deepens, or do we do something drastic that has never been done before? Can we envision and create a world where a class war from above isn’t a reality anymore?”

Ronnie James, Des Moines Mutual Aid

mutual aid is the new economy. mutual aid is community. it is making sure your elderly neighbor down the street has a ride to their doctor’s appointment. mutual aid is making sure the children in your neighborhood have dinner, or a warm coat for the upcoming winter. mutual aid is planting community gardens.

capitalism has violated the communities of marginalized folks. capitalism is about the value of people, property and the people who own property. those who have wealth and property control the decisions that are made. the government comes second to capitalism when it comes to power.

in the name of liberation, capitalism must be reversed and dismantled. meaning that capitalistic practices must be reprogrammed with mutual aid practices.

Des Moines Black Liberation

I belong to the Quakers for Abolition Network, described in this excerpt from Western Friend.

Mackenzie: Let’s start with: What does being a police and prison abolitionist mean to you?

Jed: The way I think about abolition is first, rejecting the idea that anyone belongs in prison and that police make us safe. The second, and larger, part of abolition is the process of figuring out how to build a society that doesn’t require police or prisons.

M: Yes! The next layer of complexity, in my opinion, is looking at systems of control and oppression. Who ends up in jail and prison? Under what circumstances do the police use violence?

As you start exploring these questions, it becomes painfully clear that police and prisons exist to maintain the white supremacist, heteronormative, capitalist status quo. The racial dynamics of police violence are being highlighted by the recent uprisings and the Black Lives Matter movement.

We are in the same place, with a call to imagine a culture radically different than the one in which we live. Abolishing police and prisons, like abolishing slavery, would change the structure of our society: dramatically decreasing violence and undoing one set of power relationships that create domination and marginalization. And in place of this violence, we could, instead, have care.

Abolish the Police by Mackenzie Barton-Rowledge and Jed Walsh, Western Friend, Nov 2020

Des Moines Mutual Aid

Des Moines Mutual Aid

Support for Atlanta Forest Defenders, Des Moines, Iowa, 2023

Transforming justice strategies

Is working for justice important to you? Are you satisfied with your justice work?

Working for justice has been a lifelong focus of mine. Being a Quaker, I have many examples of how people and organizations have worked for justice. But, no, I am not satisfied with my justice work. I don’t believe we can be as long as there is injustice.

Over the past decade, I have connected with many great activists and organizations. In addition, I’ve been fortunate to have received several types of training for community organizing.

Much of what I’ve learned relates to working with different communities and cultures, which I summarize here:

Significant changes are occurring that add impetus to re-evaluating how we (Quakers) do justice work.

  • Accelerating environmental chaos is increasingly disrupting communities and lives
  • There is rising resistance to political systems based upon White superiority and evolving authoritarianism
  • Economic, food, transportation, energy, education, political, and healthcare systems are failing
  • Indigenous peoples are reclaiming their leadership and ways of protecting and healing Mother Earth

Change is hard

I plan to discuss these things this weekend with my Quaker meeting (Bear Creek Friends). I’ll share my recent experiences with Mutual Aid, Indigenous friends, and the Buffalo Rebellion. Change is hard, and this might involve some challenging discussions. And may involve changes in how we do justice work together.

Mutual Aid

First, there are many ways my Quaker meeting is already working regarding the concepts of mutual aid. Such as connections in the nearby town of Earlham, working to deliver meals, staffing the museum, and the Sunshine sewing circle. Years of work supporting the annual Prairie Awakening/Prairie Awoke ceremony. And connections with the nearby Grade A Gardens.

I believe Friends can add to the spirituality of Mutual Aid.

Needed Changes

From my experiences over the past five years, I have been led to see Mutual Aid as the model for justice work now. (See: )

  • We must replace the current structure of using committees to do justice work. Because Mutual Aid is fundamentally about not having hierarchies.
  • What would a Quaker Mutual Aid community look like?
    • Spirituality?
    • Who would be involved?
    • When and how would the community meet or communicate?
    • How would decisions be made?
    • How do we center the voices of the oppressed? Of Indigenous peoples?
    • How would we interact with Quaker organizations?
    • How would we physically build community structures?


  1. I will continue my involvement with Des Moines Mutual Aid. And would continue to share what I’m learning with my Quaker meeting
  2. Bear Creek could decide to replace the Peace and Social Concerns committee with a Mutual Aid community, OR
  3. Bear Creek could continue its Peace and Social Concerns Committee structure and create a Mutual Aid community for justice work.


Creating a Mutual Aid community at Bear Creek would require:

  • Ways for community members to communicate in real time
    • Des Moines Mutual Aid uses the Signal app, an encrypted real-time messaging system
  • Permission for Bear Creek Mutual Aid to make decisions in real time

As the graphic below shows, Mutual Aid is one of the methods the Great Plains Action Society (GPAS) uses as an engagement mechanism.

GPAS supports Des Moines Mutual Aid (DMMA) by funding the work of Ronnie James. Ronnie has been my Mutual Aid mentor.

GPAS is part of the Buffalo Rebellion, a coalition of environmental justice organizations in Iowa. Continued connections with GPAS and the Buffalo Rebellion are how to center the voices of Indigenous and other oppressed peoples.

The Buffalo Rebellion is a coalition consisting of

  • Des Moines Black Liberation
  • Great Plain Action Society
  • Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement
  • Iowa Migrant Movement for Justice
  • Sierra Club Beyond Coal
  • Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 199, and
  • Cedar Rapids Sunrise Movement

Also below are the Des Moines Points of Unity, which explain what DMMA is about.

Finally, other justice organizations are re-evaluating their strategies. The Climate Mobilization Network describes why they decided to pause and transform their strategy. Mutual Aid is a focus of their new strategy. I’ve been in touch with Climate Mobilization Network about working with them.

Des Moines Mutual Aid
Des Moines Mutual Aid

Why We Decide to Pause and Transform our Strategy

  • Congressional failure to take meaningful action on climate
  • The slow pace of local climate programs where policy change is severely limited by what’s considered politically possible
  • Rising inequality amid continued neoliberalism
  • Escalating climate disasters that are hitting global and US-based frontline communities the hardest and will continue accelerating rapidly!
  • And widespread cultural and generational concern about climate change has not yet been tapped into effectively by a mass movement.

This collective visioning, movement incubation and learning gathering will equip you with space for reflection, new ideas, inspiration, and next steps to participate in this new campaign.

Together we will build relationships and explore:

  • How survival and mutual aid programs can grow the movement
  • New, creative approaches to taking action against fossil fuels
  • Ways to integrate healing into our work
  • And how to create space for reflection, intentionality and strategic clarity

Climate Mobilization Network

Eyes of the Future

How can Friends achieve the 2022 theme of World Quaker Day, “Becoming the Quakers the World Needs,” while functioning in a blatantly and politically corrupt, racialized world?

Black Quaker Project


These are times of upheaval, with greater changes rapidly approaching. Times of uncertainty and fear. These are also times of opportunity. Can we use this collapse to envision and build more just communities?

I believe we can. But first, we need to understand the injustices the capitalist economic system is based upon. And use this understanding to guide the development of mutual aid communities. which reject capitalism.

It is difficult to escape the status quo. But that is the only way we can protect and heal Mother Earth and build communities for future generations. The status quo in this country is about preserving the capitalist economic system and White superiority. Maintaining the status quo will only deepen environmental devastation and collapse. And collapse of the systems built on capitalism.

The eyes of the future are looking back at us, and they are praying for us to see beyond our own time. They are kneeling with hands clasped that we might act with restraint, that we might leave room for the life that is destined to come.

Terry Tempest Williams

The Seventh Generation Principle is based on an ancient Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) philosophy that the decisions we make today should result in a sustainable world seven generations into the future.

Climate Justice March, Des Moines, Iowa



I’ve had my own experiences of looking back and trying to help people “to see beyond our own time“. Over fifty years ago, I moved to Indianapolis, a big change for a farm boy. I was not prepared for the noxious clouds of auto exhaust enshrouding the city. I was led to live without a car. Of course, that was not the status quo.

Looking back to that time, I feel sorrow for what might have been. How different the world would be if we had rejected the car culture in this country. Our cities and towns would have been built to be walkable. Land would not be covered by asphalt and concrete. Most importantly, we would have been able to live in a sustainable manner and would not be on a path toward extinction.

Looking back now, who doesn’t wish we had rejected the car culture in this country? Wish we had not let banks and fossil fuel companies rape the earth?

If those who lived prior to the rise of the car culture could have visited our world today, to see the disastrous consequences we are dealing with now, I believe many people who lived then would have chosen to live a different (sustainable) lifestyle.


Wealth is attended with power, by which bargains and proceedings, contrary to universal righteousness, are supported; and hence oppression, carried on with worldly policy and order, clothes itself with the name of justice and becomes like a seed of discord in the soul.

John Woolman, “A Plea for the Poor.”

As the sign in the photo above says, Colonial Capitalism = 7th Generation Genocide

Despite trying every way I could think of, regardless of my prayers, I was not able to convince others to give up their car. People chose convenience over care for Mother Earth and future generations.

It is the same when I urge others to build alternatives to capitalism. Those who are comfortable economically strongly resist any suggestion to abandon capitalism. Capitalism is the materialism Martin Luther King warned about. “The giant triplets of racism, materialism and militarism”.

How has hunger for millions become acceptable? Houselessness? Lack of access to medical care? Police brutality? Locking people away for years for nonviolent crime? Profligate consumption of nonrenewable fossil fuels? Poisoning water?

As Americans honor King on his birthday, it is important to remember that the civil rights icon was also a democratic socialist, committed to building a broad movement to overcome the failings of capitalism and achieve both racial and economic equality for all people.

Capitalism “has brought about a system that takes necessities from the masses to give luxuries to the classes,” King wrote in his 1952 letter to Scott. He would echo the sentiment 15 years later in his last book, Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community?: “Capitalism has often left a gap of superfluous wealth and abject poverty [and] has created conditions permitting necessities to be taken from the many to give luxuries to the few.”

In his famous 1967 Riverside Church speech, King thundered, “When machines and computers, profit motives and property rights are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, materialism and militarism are incapable of being conquered.”

“What good is having the right to sit at a lunch counter,” King is widely quoted as asking, “if you can’t afford to buy a hamburger?” In King’s view, the Greensboro lunch counter sit-ins, the voter registration drives across the South and the Selma to Montgomery march comprised but the first phase of the civil rights movement. In Where Do We Go From Here, King called the victories of the movement up that point in 1967 “a foothold, no more” in the struggle for freedom. Only a campaign to realize economic as well as racial justice could win true equality for African-Americans. In naming his goal, King was unflinching: the “total, direct, and immediate abolition of poverty.”

THE FORGOTTEN SOCIALIST HISTORY OF MARTIN LUTHER KING JR. By Matthew Miles Goodrich, In These Times, January 16, 2023


What will the eyes of the future see when they look back upon us today? How will they feel about the state of the world we are leaving them?

What are we willing to do now to make the world a better place for ourselves and future generations?

Will we:

  • Radically reduce our fossil fuel consumption?
  • Continue to build renewable energy infrastructure?
  • Resist false solutions such as carbon capture?
  • Reject capitalism?
  • Reject White superiority?
  • Build Mutual Aid communities?

There is an urgent need for reflection on these questions. And to seek and implement ways to answer them.

mutual aid is the new economy. mutual aid is community. it is making sure your elderly neighbor down the street has a ride to their doctor’s appointment. mutual aid is making sure the children in your neighborhood have dinner, or a warm coat for the upcoming winter. mutual aid is planting community gardens.

capitalism has violated the communities of marginalized folks. capitalism is about the value of people, property and the people who own property. those who have wealth and property control the decisions that are made. the government comes second to capitalism when it comes to power.

in the name of liberation, capitalism must be reversed and dismantled. meaning that capitalistic practices must be reprogrammed with mutual aid practices.

Des Moines Black Liberation

“Quakers will only be truly prophetic when they risk a great deal of their accumulated privilege and access to wealth. Prophets cannot have a stake in maintaining the status quo. Any attempt to change a system while benefiting and protecting the benefits received from the system reinforces the system. Quakers as much as anyone not only refuse to reject their white privilege, they fail to reject the benefits they receive from institutionalized racism, trying to make an unjust economy and institutionalized racism and patriarch more fair and equitable in its ability to exploit. One cannot simultaneously attack racist and patriarchal institutions and benefit from them at the same time without becoming more reliant upon the benefits and further entrenching the system. Liberalism at its laziest.”   

Scott Miller

How can Friends achieve the 2022 theme of World Quaker Day, “Becoming the Quakers the World Needs,” while functioning in a blatantly and politically corrupt, racialized world? In engagement with this exciting theme, offered by the Friends World Committee for Consultation (FWCC), the Black Quaker Project would like to remind Friends of the tools at our disposal to challenge those aspects of society which we wish to change and to see changed. Our fractured societies are further divided by enormous gaps of inequality in almost every imaginable category—psychological, social, political, cultural, economic. How might we, as Quakers, achieve justice, equity, and peace under these circumstances? 

Black Quaker Project

New Perspectives

I grew up in Quaker communities, which defined my justice work for much of my life.

Then a decade ago I was led to engage with a number of communities, working outside Quaker meetings. By engagement I mean spending significant time in these communities. These experiences have taught me decidedly different approaches to justice work. These new perspectives convince me that Quakers, particularly White Quakers, need to change how we think about and do justice work.

My perspectives include:

  • The need to advocate for Indigenous leadership to help protect and heal Mother Earth.
  • Black, Indigenous and other people of color (BIPOC) do not see any distinction between White Quakers and other White people in this country.
  • The capitalist economic system is fundamentally unjust.
    • Capitalism transfers great wealth to the wealthy by exploiting and oppressing those who aren’t.
    • Capitalism impoverishes millions of people
    • Capitalism is economic slavery
    • Capitalism treats natural resources as commodities to be exploited for profit
    • Capitalist systems do not feel the need to conserve resources
  • Police and prisons must be abolished.
    • The criminal justice system enforces the policies of the White dominant culture.
    • The criminal justice system violently targets BIPOC people
    • It is inhumane to lock people in cages.
  • White Quakers are settler-colonists. We continue to live on and profit from Indigenous lands.
  • The involvement of some White Quakers in the native boarding schools and how to begin healing related to that, is crucial for authentic relations between White Quakers and native peoples.
    • I have witnessed the multigenerational trauma affecting Indigenous people today.
  • Increasingly, as environmental chaos worsens, responding to the disastrous consequences will consume our attention and resources.
Black, Indigenous and other people of color (BIPOC) do not see any distinction between White Quakers and other White people in this country.

The most significant new perspectives are about the capitalist economic system. I hadn’t been as aware of many of the injustices fueled by capitalism prior to spending time in oppressed communities. Now I have witnessed the devastating effects of capitalism in these communities.

The nearly universal resistance to my attempts to convince White people to build systems not based upon capitalism is because the system works for them.

Capitalism is an unjust system. A different system is required. Mutual Aid is such a system.

Justice cannot be attained by incremental changes to an unjust system.

Accelerating environmental chaos is increasingly disrupting life as we know it. Which means, among other things, that the current political and economic systems in this country will continue to collapse. Now is the time to envision and build alternatives such as mutual aid.

Justice cannot be attained within an unjust system

Our Quaker Queries recognize the injustices of our capitalist economic system.

‘We are part of an economic system characterized by inequality and exploitation. Such a society is defended and perpetuated by entrenched power. “

The advice also says “we envision a system of social and economic justice that ensures the right of every individual to be loved and cared for…” 

Faith and Practice, Iowa Yearly Meeting (Conservative)

This is well summarized by my friend Ronnie James. We work together at Des Moines Mutual Aid.

I’m of the firm opinion that a system that was built by stolen bodies on stolen land for the benefit of a few is a system that is not repairable. It is operating as designed, and small changes (which are the result of huge efforts) to lessen the blow on those it was not designed for are merely half measures that can’t ever fully succeed.

So the question is now, where do we go from here? Do we continue to make incremental changes while the wealthy hoard more wealth and the climate crisis deepens, or do we do something drastic that has never been done before? Can we envision and create a world where a class war from above isn’t a reality anymore?”

Ronnie James, Des Moines Mutual Aid

This is a simplified schematic of the consequences of White dominance (Red), and the alternatives for a transition to justice and disaster preparedness (Green).

Implementing the transition to a more just society will be impeded by

  • Environmental chaos
  • Corrupt and failing institutions
  • Authoritarianism

This diagram shows the current systems in the column labeled White.
The column under Black, Indigenous and other people of color shows the injustices resulting from the current systems.
The Red/Green New Deal shows how we can address these injustices.
The solid red column indicates the challenges to moving to systems of justice, sustainability, and resilience.

I’ve written about these concepts on my blog:

Three Years Later

Don’t you find there are periods of rapid change interspersed among long plateaus in your life? Although those plateaus are becoming fewer and lasting shorter periods of time.

The last three years have been a time of momentous change, both in my life, and in the world. I’m trying to explain what has been happening to me, because these experiences convince me we must all make similar changes if we are going to make the major adjustments needed to try to mitigate deepening environmental damage. The world has been spiraling out of control these past three years, dramatically impacting all our communities and individual lives. I think of these changes as related to the idea of a house of cards. The cards in this case being dollars of the capitalist economy.

(c)2023 Jeff Kisling

Foundational Stories

I was born into a rural Iowa Quaker community and have been a Quaker all my life. I attended Scattergood Friends School, a Quaker boarding high school on a farm in Eastern Iowa.

Recently I was challenged to consider what my foundational stories are, how they began, how they changed over time, and what they are now. I’ve been writing this series of blog posts about these stories, which are related to the intersections between my Quaker faith, protecting Mother Earth, and photography. You can read my foundational stories here:

I spent my entire adult life in Indianapolis. I arrived in 1970 to spend two years in a Quaker community organizing project, Friends Volunteer Service Mission. To support myself financially, I received on-the-job training to be a respiratory therapy technician. I later obtained a degree in Respiratory Therapy, and a career in neonatal respiratory therapy, and then thirty years doing research in infant lung development and disease in Indianapolis at Riley Hosptial for Children, Indiana University Medical Center. I retired and returned to Iowa in the summer of 2017.

Part of the Mother Earth piece of my foundational stories was “driven” by a spiritual leading that showed me I could not contribute to the pollution from owning a personal automobile, so I didn’t. That had all kinds of repercussions.

Although my leading to try to live without a personal automobile grew over time, the actual decision came about abruptly. I had a couple of used cars but felt increasingly uncomfortable having one. When my car was totaled in an accident, I took the opportunity to see if I could live without a car in the city. It took some time to work out the bus schedules, especially because I was working all kinds of hours and on weekends. And I had to learn how to shop such that I could carry everything home.

But because we derive our sense of identity and socioeconomic status from work embedded in a profit driven economy, transformative day-to-day self-sufficient activities, when they are applied in an urban or suburban setting, give rise to second set of intangible sociocultural barriers that involve taking significant social risks. Peter Lipman the former (founding) chair of Transition Network and Common Cause Foundation encourages us to take these social and cultural risks. But what exactly are the more difficult risks needed to move us in the right direction? It is important to identify intangible socioeconomic challenges in order to side-step them.

In short, our identities are tied up in what we do for a living and how we do what we do for a living must radically change. Because, let’s be honest, living and working, having lifestyles and livelihoods that are truly regenerative and sustainable look nothing like how most of us currently live and work.

Against the Economic Grain: Addressing the Social Challenges of Sustainable Livelihoods by Kim Kendall, originally published by, January 27, 2023

It was difficult for us (environmentalists) to find pressure points, places where we could call attention to the existential threats of environmental chaos from burning fossil fuels. In 2013, activists recognized the application for approval of the Keystone XL Pipeline as such an opportunity. This decision was solely up to President Obama, allowing us a focus for our efforts. I was trained as an Action Lead in the Keystone Pledge of Resistance in 2013. There I learned many skills related to community organizing. Four of us trained about forty people in the Indianapolis community, and organized many demonstrations and actions against fossil fuel companies and the banks that fund them.

We were able to train others in those skills later when the White Pines Wilderness Academy in Indianapolis wanted to bring attention to the dangers of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL).

Wet’suwet’en peoples

I was always looking for news about fossil fuels and our environment. This blog post from 1/14/2020 describes my discovery of the Wet’suwet’en peoples and their struggles against the Coastal GasLink (CGL) liquid natural gas pipeline being constructed through their pristine territory in British Columbia.

I have just begun to learn about the Wet’suwet’en people. A friend of mine from the First Nation-Farmer Climate Unity March traveled to the Unist’ot’en camp about 4 years ago and found it to be a life-changing experience. I also asked other friends I made during the March about this, and they indicated support for these people.

You may wonder why I am trying to learn and write about the Wet’suwet’en people now. The literal answer is I saw this article recently: Hereditary First Nation chiefs issue eviction notice to Coastal GasLink contractors. TC Energy says it signed agreements with all 20 elected First Nations councils along pipeline’s path. Joel Dryden · CBC News · Posted: Jan 05, 2020.

Any efforts to stop pipelines catch my interest.

Wet’suwt’en People, Jeff Kisling, 1/14/2020

I wrote this booklet about the Wet’suwet’en struggles, including some videos of confrontations with Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP). Assault rifles trained on unarmed youth.

Spirit led connection to Mutual Aid

The title THREE YEARS LATER refers to my introduction to Des Moines Mutual Aid a little over three years ago. I took the photo below on Feb 7, 2020, when a small group of us organized a vigil in support of the Wet’suwet’en. I know the Spirit led Ronnie James, from Des Moines Mutual Aid, to join us. He was surprised that anyone outside his circle knew what was happening to the Wet’suwet’en. Ronnie is an Indigenous organizer working with the Great Plains Action Society (GPAS), and as such was interested to see if these were people who could become allies.

That meeting changed my life in many ways, all stemming from what I was learning from Ronnie and others about Mutual Aid, which has become the focus of my justice work since.

Over the years I’ve enjoyed documenting justice actions photographically. I like the challenge of an ever-moving group of people, the varieties of signs, the reactions of the people and the public. But for the past several years posting photos of demonstrations is discouraged if people’s faces are visible. Which police sometimes later use to bring charges against those people.

Ronnie and I are both part of Des Moines Mutual Aid’s free food project. The Wet’suwet’en being part of our history, we continue to support them. Because of COVID and people wearing masks, we were comfortable taking this photo during one of our Mutual Aid gatherings for the food project.

Des Moines Mutual Aid supports Wet’suwet’en peoples’ struggle again Coastal GasLink natural gas pipeline

Three Years Later

And yet, three years later, the Wet’suwet’en peoples’ struggles continue.

March 29, 2023
Contact: Jennifer Wickham, Media Coordinator, Gidim’ten Checkpoint,, 778-210-0067

URGENT MEDIA ADVISORY: RCMP C-IRG Raid Wet’suwet’en Village Site, Make 5 Arrests 


WET’SUWET’EN TERRITORY (Smithers, BC) – This morning, a large force of RCMP C-IRG raided a Gidimt’en village site and arrested five land and water defenders, mostly Indigenous women, including Gidimt’en Chief Woos’ daughter. The raid accompanied a search warrant for theft under $5000 with no clear relation to the Gidimt’en village site.

This large-scale action by the RCMP’s Community Industry Response Group (C-IRG) involved more than a dozen police vehicles and officers drawn from throughout British Columbia. The arrests come just weeks after the Civilian Review and Complaints Commission (CRCC) announced they have “initiated a systemic investigation into the activities and operations of the RCMP “E” Division Community-Industry Response Group (C-IRG).”

In the days leading to this police action, RCMP C-IRG have been found patrolling Wet’suwet’en traplines and cultural use areas, harassing and intimidating Wet’suwet’en members and disrupting constitutionally protected Wet’suwet’en cultural activities. Members of a private security firm hired by Coastal Gaslink pipeline, Forsythe, have also escalated harassment and surveillance efforts against Wet’suwet’en members in recent days. 

Both the RCMP’s C-IRG unit and Forsythe are named as defendants in an ongoing lawsuit launched by Wet’suwet’en members, which alleges that police and private security have launched a coordinated campaign of harassment and intimidation in an effort to force Wet’suwet’en people to abandon their unceded territories. 

Sleydo’, spokesperson for Gidimt’en Checkpoint, said: 

“This harassment and intimidation is exactly the kind of violence designed to drive us from our homelands. The constant threat of violence and criminalization for merely existing on our own lands must have been what our ancestors felt when Indian agents and RCMP were burning us out of our homes as late as the 50s in our area. The colonial project continues at the hands of industry’s private mercenaries–C-IRG”

The arrests come days before Indigenous delegates are set to arrive at Royal Bank of Canada’s Annual General Meeting to oppose expansion of fossil fuels without consent on their territories, including Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chiefs who oppose RBC’s funding of the Coastal Gaslink pipeline.

Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chief Na’Moks offered the following:

“This is harassment, and exactly what Royal Bank of Canada is funding. Ahead of its shareholder meeting next week, RBC continues to fund corporate colonialism, and displace Indigenous peoples from our lands at gunpoint – all for a fracked gas pipeline we cannot afford now or in the future. In the context of the theft of our ancestral land, alleging stolen saws and clothing is outrageous.”

Yesterday morning at my Quaker meeting, we considered the following set of questions related to our environmental responsibilities.



All of creation is divine and interdependent: air, water, soil, and all that lives and grows. Since human beings are part of this fragile and mysterious web, whenever we pollute or neglect the earth we pollute and neglect our own wellsprings. Developing a keen awareness of our role in the universe is essential if we are to live peacefully within creation.

The way we choose to live each day‑‑as we manufacture, package, purchase and recycle goods, use resources, dispose of water, ‑design homes, plan families and travel‑affects the present and future of life on the planet. The thought and effort we give to replenishing what we receive from the earth, to keeping informed and promoting beneficial legislation on issues which affect the earth, to envisioning community with environmental conscience, are ways in which we contribute to the ongoing health of the planet we inhabit.

Preserving the quality of life on Earth calls forth all of our spiritual resources. Listening to and heeding the leadings of the Holy Spirit can help us develop qualities which enable us to become more sensitive to all life


  • What are we doing about our disproportionate use of the world’s resources?
  • Do we see unreasonable exploitation in our relationship ‑with the rest of creation?
  • How can we nurture reverence and respect for life?  How I can we become more fully aware of our interdependent relationship with the rest of creation?
  • To what extent are we aware of all life and the role we play? What can we do in our own lives and communities to address environmental concerns?

Faith and Practice, Iowa Yearly Meeting (Conservative)

Quakers, abortion, and the white Christian problem

The Policy Committee of the Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL) is asking Quaker meetings for input for a statement about reproductive justice and abortion.

In the interest of time, I have not yet converted this to a blog post. You should be able to read and/or download “Quakers, Abortion, and the White Christian Problem” using the link below. We plan to discuss this at my Quaker meeting this weekend.

I began collecting various statements about abortion from my Yearly Meeting. Reproductive justice has always been a concern of Indigenous people in this country, so I also included some writings from my Indigenous friends. As can be seen in this document, young people, and especially my Indigenous friends see abortion as a problem of White Christians. I’m wondering what my White Quaker Friends think about that. Does that change how White Friends think and act about reproductive justice? Isn’t this an opportunity to build community amongst all of us?

DISCLAIMER: I am the author of this, and it is not an official publication of any group or organization.