The AFSC is a Quaker social justice organization that works to transform the viability of communities faced with violence, oppression, and coercion, as well as from the results of natural disasters. Its most successful work is conducted at the community level in 24 countries around the world and throughout the United States, in partnership with local civil society organizations.
Founded in 1917 to provide an alternative, non-military way for young Quakers to serve humanity and their country in the depths of World War I, the organization remained behind to feed the emaciated populations of France and Germany, without regard to nationality. During the Depression of the 1930s, the AFSC worked to build more diverse economic opportunities for ordinary people in various parts of the United States including Appalachia. Prior to World War II, the AFSC leadership sent delegations to convince the Nazi regime in Germany to allow Jews to emigrate; and during World War II, the AFSC worked in support of interned Japanese-American citizens.
The organization is dedicated to restructuring the way in which societies define 'security' toward a broader, shared concept in which the security of all people and all nations becomes interdependent rather that narrowly based on the assumption that violent force and coercion can provide lasting security.
Fullest disclosure: I am a volunteer and Board member, and years ago (1970s) was a volunteer and on staff.
I have continued to support the AFSC since I first volunteered in 1970...not through inertia but through an increasing appreciation for the work of the organization.
Review from Guidestar
The American Friends Service Committee is unique in working for peace and social justice both in the United States and abroad. It adheres to Quaker testimonies of equality, peace, simplicity and integrity in all of its programs as well as its management. With its focus on youth, AFSC invests in the world's future. With its emphasis on the root causes of war, it acknowledges that there is no peace without justice. With its commitment to the working with the grassroots and working with both sides of a conflict, AFSC takes a multi-level approach. The impact of this organization extends far beyond what would be expected of an agency this size.