Cover Image for Panel Discussion: Envisioning Quaker Spaces as Racially Welcoming and Affirming

Panel Discussion: Envisioning Quaker Spaces as Racially Welcoming and Affirming

Hosted by New England Quakers & LJ Boswell
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About Event

How could we be deeply guided by our vision of becoming a truly racially welcoming and inclusive community? Where is Spirit/God leading us? What would happen if we acted as if we were already there?

Join panelists Anna Lindo, Angela Hopkins, Ruth Hazzard and Zenaida Peterson for an evening of story-telling, reflection, envisioning and discussion.

What would our Quaker communities look like if we could truly center BIPOC folks? How would that be different? Why is this important? What are some key steps we need to take to decenter whiteness?

Our panelists will touch on these themes as they tell stories and reflect on our condition as Quaker community with regards to race. After our panel presentation there will be opportunity to engage in discussion in small break out groups and then as a whole group


Zenaida Peterson (they/them): Zenaida is a mystic, a poet, an organizer, a gardener and a Black non-binary Quaker and poet from the south currently thriving in Boston, Massachusetts and attending Beacon Hill Friends Meeting and Friends Meeting at Cambridge. They work as the Director of Equity and Empowerment and the Recruitment Coordinator for Quaker Voluntary Service . They also co-founded a poetry slam tournament called FEMS that centers on feminine people. In all of this they are an active voice for transforming our communities into softer, gentler and more equitable spaces.  Zenaida is recovering from 2020 through nature connection, seed keeping, making art with friends and caring for their snake, Puppy, and fish, Kitty.

Angela Hopkins: Angela became a Friend in Nzoia, Kenya; is currently Clerk of Farmington Scipio Regional Meeting in Ithaca NY and just became a member of Christ is the Answer Friends Church, an all Swahili speaking meeting.  Angela is founder and Executive Director of the Friends Center for Racial Justice in Ithaca for Friends everywhere; clerk of New York Yearly Meetings FWCC, on the Board for Right Sharing for World Resources; and was the NY representative for White Privilege Conference in Philadelphia along with Jeff Hitchcock. Her ongoing ministry among Friends is to help the Quaker movement become more faithful and robust by challenging racism and white supremacy. She is also very funny, thoughtful, and gifted.

Anna Lindo (she/her): Anna is Chinese, queer, and was adopted as an infant into a white Quaker family as a child. She grew up in /attended Framingham Monthly Meeting and now lives in Western Mass. Quaker youth programming has been a core part of her life: as a child and teen and now as a Junior Yearly Meeting staffer. Currently serving on NEYM’s Noticing Patterns of Oppression and Faithfulness Working Group, she has a growing awareness of her ministry of talking to white Quakers about race and the racism she experiences in Quaker spaces, which something she has been doing since she was 3 years old. She has worked as a bus driver in inner-city Boston, Quincy and Amherst. She is currently a farmer and produce delivery driver. Also, she loves her chickens and her partner Stefan, not necessarily in that order.

Ruth Hazzard (she/her): Ruth is a white, straight, Buddhist Quaker and an agriculturalist who developed a farmer-centered vegetable program at UMass Extension. A member of Mt Toby Monthly Meeting in Leverett MA since 2003 , she currently clerks their Race and Class Working Group. Ruth has been pulled deeper into the heart-work of racial justice through the mentorship of Dr. Amanda Kemp and from Ruth's F/friends of Color, who have helped her live the query: how do those of us who are white open ourselves to the reality of the BIPOC experience in this county, while staying grounded in self-care and in love, and learn to embody the transformation we’d like to see happen? Ruth and her husband of 22 years thrive on the work and joy of growing their own food year-round and of their joined family.


LJ Boswell (they/them): Spiritual Director and Founding Member of NEYM’s Noticing Patterns of Oppression and Faithfulness Working Group. With funding through the Obediah Brown Benevolent Fund, LJ both facilitates workshops on decolonizing ourselves from White Supremacy and supports New England Quakers in their anti-racist efforts.