Quaker Education Society:
National Voice Society:
Reflection and Light Circle:
Friends Council on Education is
CELEBRATING 90 Years!
The Road we are Traveling!
In honor of our 90th Anniversary, we invite you to make a gift with "90" in it -- think $90, $190, $290, $390 and so on.
You get the idea!
Thank you and thank you for helping us celebrate!
Dear Friends of Friends Council,
Friends Council is honored to serve educators in 77 Quaker schools across the country. Your gift enables us to continue to have a positive impact on every Friends school and every Friends school educator as so aptly articulated by Brenda Crawley below:
Brenda C. Crawley
2021-22 marks another year of unknowns for school leaders. The continued global health crisis and ongoing social and political concerns transform headship from the role of school director and “chief visionary” to public health & safety coordinator, spiritual advisor, chief communicator, racial justice authority and community sustainer. All aspects of schools as both educational institutions and businesses came clear, requiring Friends school heads to constantly shift between pastoral and “parental” responsibilities while sustaining their communities. Significantly, multiple crises razed the hierarchy of experience and seniority; and school heads turned to each other for connection, guidance and fellowship. Toni Morrison stated that, “There is no time for despair, no place for self-pity, no need for silence, no room for fear.” Though Morrison was referring specifically to writers, her wisdom reflects the determination demonstrated by Friends school educators. Weekly Friends Council gatherings for school heads offer a space for support, collegiality and fellowship, allowing seasoned and new heads a venue for problem-solving and a shared understanding of the important work of our Quaker schools.
As a woman of color and head of school, the weight of implicit and explicit bias impacts my professional and personal well-being. There is no time at which the issues of race elude me; and I am keenly aware of the need for conversations and continuous learning about equity and justice in our school communities. Articulating the goal of being anti-racist, Friends Council engages Friends school educators and Quaker-based organizations to delve deeper in order to uproot racism. Pushing beyond equality toward equity encourages speaking truth to power and breaking barriers of privilege and entitlement. By establishing affinity spaces—whether based on job position or identity—Friends Council acknowledges and affirms the voices of individuals and groups who need dedicated times to connect. Inside these safe spaces, Friends school heads, heads of color, early childhood directors, and small or large school heads find kinship, advocates, allies and accomplices. These gatherings have proven invaluable to me, since the early days of my headship at Plymouth Meeting Friends School in 2019.
Staying grounded in Quaker faith and practice compels us to utilize the Testimonies as catalysts for change: to examine intentions versus impact. This is eternal work that Friends schools commit to through mission, philosophy and keen focus on equity, justice and belonging. It is work done best in fellowship and partnership in and between our school communities. I am encouraged by a shared willingness to bring this work more explicitly into our classrooms, curriculum and programs, as well as into the policies and practices at the heart of our schools. Making space for a diversity of voices and perspectives pushes us to lean into open discussions and the discomfort that accompanies change. I look forward to stepping into those spaces with Friends Council’s continued support and leadership for years to come.
With great appreciation for Brenda’s reflections, I thank you in advance for your financial support, which enables us to gather educators for continuous learning and fellowship, establish affinity spaces, and serve as accomplices to heads in their multifaceted roles.
Drew Smith, Executive Director
Friends Council on Education