Fellowship of Reconciliation

Fellowship of Reconciliation

Working for peace & justice through nonviolence since 1915.

Fellowship Back Issues Sale!

Now is your chance to collect FOR’s historic journal of peacemaking through the last century. All back issues are on sale for $1 for a limited time.

Buy Now!

What We Do Strengthen, build & demilitarize.

Nonviolent direct action in Minneapolis organized by FOR Staff and National Council photo by Rebecca Lawrence

Strategic nonviolent movements are one of the most potent forces in the world. They oust dictators, change policy and realize the hopes of communities. For over 100 years FOR has strengthened the movements that reshape society through our work in Black Lives Matter, training in Nonviolent Civil Disobedience, training in Jail Support and Fiscal Sponsorship.

Building Healthy Communities

Relationships established through strong communities are the glue of our work. We ground ourselves in relationships of accountability and a spirituality that spans faith traditions. We help build communities that reflect our vision of Beloved Community through our Chapters, Networks & Affiliates, Interreligious Engagement & Understanding, Intentional Communities and Retreats for Movement Leaders & Activists.

Demilitarized Tanks

We see nonviolence as a way of life, a moral commitment, and a social tool. As a branch of IFOR's international network we work with partners around the world to end militarism in all of its forms, working through the International Fellowship of Reconciliation, United Nations Advocacy, Demilitarizing Communities, Boycott Divestment and Sanctions, Anti-drone Initiatives and #GiveRefugeesRest.

Mar 10, 2017

Can America Live Up to Its Promise?

By George Cassidy Payne

President Trump and his advisers either purposely or accidentally fail to realize that this country is bound together by the principles of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. These principles apply to all people. To be American means that a person is shaped, guided, represented, and protected by certain inalienable laws. It has nothing to do with geography, language, race, or religious beliefs.

For more than two centuries the hope has been that America can live up to its promise and be a place of openness, trust, and love of diversity. Regardless of age, gender, race, class, sexual orientation, or political ideology, the promise has been that we can be one nation because we are one species. In fact, whenever we have tried to realize this promise our nation has paved the way for groundbreaking achievements in the arts and sciences. (The names of Alexander Graham Bell and Albert Einstein come readily to mind.)

It is the immigrant and refugee who has been our greatest legacy. If for no other justifiable reason, the world admires us because we are a nation of immigrants and refugees. From the first people to trek across the Bering Strait to the next migrant who crosses the Mexico-Texas border, America is America because they are here.

On this subject, I really appreciate the way James Madison spoke when he said: "America was indebted to immigration for her settlement and prosperity. That part of America which had encouraged them most had advanced most rapidly in population, agriculture and the arts."

Even more profoumd for me are the words of Cesar Chavez. The Catholic social justice activist said: "We cannot seek achievement for ourselves and forget about progress and prosperity for our community...Our ambitions must be broad enough to include the aspirations and needs of others, for their sakes and for our own."

With the words of these two remarkable Americans in mind, President Trump's second attempt at a travel ban against Muslims is just as cynical and unconstitutional as the failed version a month ago. Not only does it betray the economic and political interests of the United States as an international power, it dishonors the rich legacy of immigrants and refugees who have given their blood, sweat, and tears to make this country what it is today. If I may speak on behalf of the dead, the statesman Madison and the activist Chavez would have been appalled by Trump's irrational and illegal ban.

George Cassidy Payne, M.A., M.T.S., is adjunct humanities instructor at the State University of New York (SUNY) and founder of Gandhi Earth Keepers International (a FOR affiliate group)

Ed. Note: A revised version of this article, originally published on March 10, 2017, was published on March 14. Photo by Lorie Shaull via Creative Commons.

Back to All Blog Entries

More from our blog

How We Work Using the transformative power of nonviolence.

Organize

We focus on building movements and peace networks by acting as a resource hub for activists, organizers and communities. Through our network of chapters and affiliates we connect movements at the grassroots level.

Train

We provide workshops, educational resources, strategic consulting, and speaking engagements for diverse audiences. We run young adult leadership development programs and nonviolent direct action trainings for front line movements.

Grow

We're part of a global Fellowship growing a vibrant, creative, international and intergenerational peace and justice movement. More than 70,000 consituents in the US participate in our base-building work. Join us!

Standing on the Shoulders of Giants since 1915.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s FOR Membership Application

For over 100 years FOR members have led the strategic application of nonviolence to political and social change movements worldwide. We honor and count among our number Martin Luther and Coretta Scott King, Thich Nhat Hanh, Adolfo Perez Esquivel, Muriel Lester, Sulak Sivaraksa, James Lawson, Jean and Hildegard Goss-Mayr, Andre and Magda Trocme and many more.

FOR Peace Prizes

FOR's Peace Prizes

FOR recognizes individuals and organizations who make exceptional contributions to peace, justice and reconciliation. We honor unsung grassroots activists with the Local Hero Award, US justice leaders with the Martin Luther King, Jr. Award, and international peacemakers with the Pfeffer Peace Award.

Learn More

Furthering the Nonviolent Narrative

FOR's Bookstore

FOR's nonviolent narrative publications

Since 1918 FOR has produced publications and a national journal to shape and reflect learning on the power of nonviolent social change. Since 1934 that award-winning journal has appeared under the title Fellowship, now issued twice yearly in summer and winter. FOR's national newsletter, Witness, is produced in spring and fall and provides highlights of campaigns and projects led by grassroots FOR chapters and affiliates.

Visit our Bookstore