Fort Myers Monthly Meeting Peace and Social Concerns Committee Report May, 2021
The Peace and Social Concerns Committee of Fort Myers Friends Meeting is grateful for the leadings of the Spirit that have helped us deepen our understanding of social justice issues and take principled action over the past year.
· We have educated ourselves about racial and economic justice, recommended books, videos, and actions to the Meeting, and held thoughtful discussions with others in the Meeting on these topics.
· In response to the continued police shootings of unarmed African Americans we wrote a “Statement on Police Violence,” which we sent to other Monthly Meetings, the Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL), and 35 local religious institutions.
· We learned how to approach legislators and their aides who may not agree with our positions, and how to write letters to the editor that persuade with personal stories rather than arguments
· After the January 6th insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, we wrote a “Statement in the Light of Recent Public Violence” that affirms Quaker conscience in the face of injustice.
· We have supported charitable and activist organizations that support people who live in poverty, including farm workers in Immokalee.
· And we have worked to ensure a strong Quaker presence at meetings of Lee Interfaith For Empowerment (LIFE) that have resulted in improvements in affordable housing, the issuance of civil citations, rather than felony charges, to youthful offenders and the promise of more peaceful interaction between police and people in crisis. The July 2021 update from LIFE says that the sheriff has now trained a significant number of officers in mental health response.