Each month we consider queries or questions related to a certain topic. This month’s query relates to education. Those of us who live away from Bear Creek meeting send in our responses:
Education provides the tools we use to make sense of the world and our place in it. A poor education makes life more of a struggle. Friends Schools have usually been leaders in providing excellent education because they focus on providing students with the tools they will need to tackle the future, stressing critical thinking, community building and practical experience. Changes in technology, political and social movements, relationships and our spiritual life mean we will have to be able to evaluate changes and make decisions in totally new situations. I especially appreciate this now as I try to see what the future looks like if the current political system is abandoned—a huge unknown, a huge opportunity.
In order to be an effective activist, a thorough education in the subject at hand is crucial to understand the factors involved, identify the root causes and potential solutions, and how to address them. Crucial to the success of the Keystone Pledge of Resistance was the nation-wide training of 400 trainers, who then returned to their homes and trained over 4,000 people in nonviolent civil disobedience. Native Americans and others have trained hundreds of others. From recent readings of the civil rights movement of the 1960’s I learned how much effort was spent on similar nonviolence training then. Many groups have provided similar training related to police abuse and the Black Lives Matter campaign—we actually trained people from that campaign using our Keystone Pledge of Resistance curriculum.
We have recently become involved with a cultural educational endeavor with the Quaker Story Project. I have recently been the beneficiary of wonderful cultural educational experience with the community at the KI Eco Center. One of the great things they provide the community are open discussions (education) about matters directly affecting our lives.