“We are committed to this Spirit-led journey, undertaken to see what love can do.”
The American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) is a Quaker organization that includes people of various faiths who are committed to social justice, peace and humanitarian service.
AFSC’s work is based on our belief in the worth of every person, and faith in the power of love to overcome violence and injustice. These principles animate our work for peace and justice in scores of communities in the United States and in our international programs in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East.
AFSC was founded in 1917 during World War I. In accordance with their Quaker faith, the new organization gave young conscientious objectors ways to serve without enlisting in the military or taking lives. They drove ambulances, ministered to the wounded, and stayed on in Europe after the armistice to rebuild war-ravaged communities.
In 1947, the American Friends Service Committee and British Friends Service Council accepted the Nobel Peace Prize for the work done during and after the two World Wars to feed starving children and help Europe rebuild itself.
Committed to the principles of nonviolence and justice, the American Friends Service Committee seeks in its work and witness to draw on the transforming power of love, human and divine.
We seek to understand and address the root causes of poverty, injustice, and war. We hope to act with courage and vision in taking initiatives that may not be popular.
We are called to confront, nonviolently, powerful institutions of violence, evil, oppression, and injustice. Such actions may engage us in creative tumult and tension in the process of basic change. We seek opportunities to help reconcile enemies and to facilitate a peaceful and just resolution of conflict.
We work to relieve and prevent suffering through both immediate aid and long-term development and seek to serve the needs of people on all sides of violent strife.
We ground our work at the community level both at home and abroad in partnership with those who suffer the conditions we seek to change and informed by their strength and vision.
We cherish the belief that there is that of God in each person, leading us to respect the worth and dignity of all. We are guided and empowered by the Spirit in following the radical thrust of the early Christian witness.
We regard no person as our enemy. While we often oppose specific actions and abuses of power, we seek to address the goodness and truth in each individual.
We assert the transforming power of love and nonviolence as a challenge to injustice and violence and as a force for reconciliation.
We find in our life of service a great adventure. “We are committed to this Spirit-led journey, undertaken to see what love can do,” and we are ever renewed by it.