Thursday, January 24, 2008


To remember Dr. Martin Luther King Junior this year there were four options to chose from. Students and faculty members came together for a brunch at 10:30 where everyone chose their afternoon activity.
One group watched the four-hour Malcolm X movie staring Denzel Washington. After the movie, the participants had a discussion that sparked students and staff to think about race in ways we aren't often confronted with. One faculty member said it was, "the deepest conversation about race I've ever had here at The Meeting School."
Another group continued the tradition of baking cookies and delivering them to neighbors with decorated boxes and quotes from Dr. Martin Luther King Junior. The neighbors have written thank you notes in past years, and come to expect Meeting School students at their doors each year.
A group went to the local nursing home to play cards, sing songs, and talk for the afternoon. This trip has become very popular, and we've been asked to come back whenever we have time.
The last group went to Northampton, MA to participate in a program offered by Northampton High School and the American Friends Service Committee. The program included speeches, workshops and musical events. Students were excited to be with people from other schools, and in a group of people with more diversity than we're used to at The Meeting School.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Noah Merrill to Give Forum on Iraqi Refugee Crisis

The Meeting School is pleased to welcome the public to a forum Saturday the 19th from 9:30 to noon. Noah Merrill, a journalist and former American Friends Service Committee member will be speaking and answering questions about his time spent in Ahman, Jordan working with Iraqi Refugees. Noah returned last February from six weeks of intensive work in Jordan among Iraqi refugees displaced as a result of the ongoing Iraq crisis. During this time, he conducted over 40 in-depth formal interviews with Iraqi families, and met informally with many more. Merrill participated in frequent consultations with staff of international humanitarian organizations, UN staff, and representatives of Iraqi civil society and political groups. In addition to interviews with Iraqi families and conducting an assessment of the humanitarian and political situation in Jordan, Iraq, and the region, he was involved in direct advocacy and service work on behalf of Iraqis facing acute needs in Jordan, including working to secure release from detention, ensure access to needed medical care, report abuses by officials, access information about refugee services, and facilitate border passage into Jordan.
Merrill will speak and answer questions with hopes of bringing the realities of the Iraqi refugee crisis closer to home. He will share the stories of Iraqis forced from their country by violence and chaos, and describe their struggles to survive in an increasingly hostile environment. He will address the regional economic, environmental, and political implications of the growing refugee crisis, its roots in Baghdad and Washington, and the gathering threat posed to the world by the continuing creation and portrayal of the "Sunni-Shiite" conflict. Finally, he will highlight prospects for constructive action to move beyond opposition to US military occupation and toward promoting a lasting, healing peace for Iraq through partnership with Iraqis.