Fellowship of Reconciliation

Fellowship of Reconciliation

Working for peace & justice through nonviolence since 1915.

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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.

Feb 09, 2016

May justice prevail in Rev. Sekou's trial for praying in Ferguson

By Keiller MacDuff

Rev. Osagefyo SekouAs the trial of prominent St. Louis-based activist, author and theologian Reverend Osagyefo Sekou enters its second day, the corrupt and stagnant state of the Ferguson municipal court system is once again under a national spotlight.

A verdict is expected this afternoon, some 500 days after the Rev. Sekou, FOR’s Bayard Rustin Fellow, was snatched off South Florissant Avenue after he knelt in prayer in front of a group of peaceful protesters and clergy as a phalanx of armed police advanced towards them. The Reverend faces jail time of three months and a possible fine of up to $1,000.

 

WHAT: ‘Praying While Black’ trial of Rev. Osagyefo Sekou due to conclude

WHEN: 9am CST, Tuesday 9th February

WHERE: Division 43, 3rd Floor, St. Louis County Justice Center, 100 South Central Ave, Clayton, Missouri

 

Monday’s proceedings began with the prosecution successfully petitioning Judge Joseph Dueker to prevent any references to the Department of Justice Civil Rights Division report that details so many of the unconstitutional practices of the courts, even singling out the misconduct of Ferguson Prosecutor Stephanie Karr.

Rev. Sekou and other clergy kneel at a protest

“Forbidding any reference to the damning Department of Justice report merely underscores what folk here have long said - the DOJ reports make horrifying reading, inspiring many indignant articles and speeches, but have made no difference to the lived experience of people. Today we saw that they are not even worth the paper they are written on,” the Rev. Sekou said.

The only witness appearing for the prosecution was former Ferguson Police Officer Justin Cosma, who was behind a number of highly questionable arrests during the Ferguson unrest including that of reporters Ryan Reilly and Wesley Lowery, as well as the subject of a civil rights lawsuit for allegedly choking and hog-tying a 12-year-old boy. Judge Joseph Dueker refused to allow this information to be told to the jury.

“It was clear from the rhetoric in court that the entire movement is on trial. Ferguson officials have learnt nothing, and are determined to fight tooth and nail to avoid any shift in the unequal and inherently racist system that governs every aspect of civic life. This interwoven Hydra of unconstitutional practices and highly punitive systematic abuse is not unique to Ferguson. As with lethally racist policing, Ferguson is everywhere,” said the Rev. Sekou.

“Clergy have a responsibility to stand alongside the community in this struggle. Just as the people of Ferguson would not bow down in the face of tanks and tear gas, reigniting the flame of the black liberation struggle across this nation, I will not bow to a system that is designed to crush us. I pray justice will prevail,” said the Rev. Sekou.

Photo credits: Reverend Osagyefo Sekou before speaking at 2015 Peace and Planet rally courtesy of photographer Kyle Depew; Rev Sekou and  interfaith clergy kneel to pray before armed police in Ferguson in September 2014.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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