30 Minutes spoke with Rebecca Fealk, Program Coordinator for American Friends Service Committee in Tucson to learn more about their work and their upcoming event. 2017 marks the 100th Anniversary of the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC), an international non-profit peace and justice organization. Founded in 1917 by pacifist Quakers as an alternative to military service, the Service Committee has grown to an international organization with programs in 15 countries around the world and 37 offices in the US.
The AFSC office based in Tucson is a national leader in the movement to end mass incarceration. The program works to reduce the prison population, challenge for-profit incarceration, and improve conditions for incarcerated people.
The program is marking its Centennial with a celebration at La Cocina Restaurant in the historic Presidio district of downtown Tucson. Live music, poetry readings, and a silent auction will be the main events of the evening to raise funds for the program’s ongoing work of advocating against mass incarceration and immigration detention while working to improve prison conditions and reduce the number of people incarcerated in Arizona.
The event is free and open to the public. La Cocina is hosting the event as part of their “Tuesdays for Tucson” series, and will donate 10% of all sales from the evening to AFSC.
The event will feature:
- Live music performance by Billy Sedlmayr, Tucson desert rock icon https://www.yabyumwest.com/2014/10/tucson-portraits-billy-sedlmayr.html
- Live inside/outside poetry readings and storytelling from the North Star Collective, an activist group that includes people who have been charged, convicted and branded with an arrest and/or conviction history.
- Silent auction featuring items donated from local artists and businesses, including the Rialto Theater, Antigone Books, and Arizona breweries, as well as a signed copy of Orange is the New Black, by Piper Kerman—the book that inspired the Netflix series.
Recorded and produced by Amanda Shauger