Quakers and Welcome

Quakers Today

May 14 2024 • 27 mins

In this episode of Quakers Today, we ask, “What does it mean to be welcomed in a space?”

Peterson Toscano (he/him) and Miche McCall (they/them) discuss the concept of feeling welcome. Miche describes their sense of safety under a blanket while podcasting from Logrono, Spain, during their Camino de Santiago pilgrimage. They explore how welcoming spaces can be challenging for individuals with unique identities, especially in religious settings, and emphasize that genuine inclusivity often differs from mere proclamations of welcome.

To see our full show notes and transcript visit www.quakerstoday.org

Rhiannon Grant

"If the Quaker community were a household, who would be the owners and who would be the guests?"

Peterson Toscano chats with Rhiannon Grant (she/her) from Woodbrooke Quaker Learning and Research Centre about her article, “A Family of Friends,” which explores the importance of creating welcoming spaces within Quaker communities. Rhiannon, a lifelong Quaker and member of various faith communities, uses the metaphor of a household to explore the roles and feelings of welcome within Quaker meetings. She also discusses how implicit signals can create exclusion and emphasizes the significance of creating spaces where diverse theological beliefs are openly discussed and valued.

Learn more about Rhiannon Grant

Rhiannon Grant is Woodbrooke’s Deputy Programme Leader for Research and Programme Coordinator for Modern Quaker Thought. Rhiannon’s work at Woodbrooke spans academic and practice-based approaches to Quakerism. She teaches in Woodbrooke’s short course program, supervises research, and teaches postgraduate students within the Centre for Research in Quaker Studies. Outside Woodbrooke, she researches and writes about Quakers for both academic and general audiences, as well as writing fiction and poetry.

Her interests center on British Quakerism in the 20th and 21st centuries, especially Quaker theology, ways of speaking about God, and the developments in practice and religious diversity.

You can follow Rhiannon as @bookgeekrelng on X and on Facebook. Watch a YouTube video of her keynote address about Deep Hospitality. Read her Pendle Hill pamphlet Telling the Truth About God: Quaker Approaches to Theology, and look out for a new one entitled Deep Hospitality.

Lisa Graustein on What is a Welcoming Space?

Lisa Graustein (she/her), a diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) facilitator, discusses creating truly welcoming spaces in Quaker meetings by ensuring physical accessibility and accommodating diverse needs. She emphasizes the importance of inclusivity, recognizing varied contributions, and continually evaluating if all voices are being heard and needs met. This approach requires ongoing effort and reflection to foster genuine inclusivity.

This is a short excerpt from a QuakerSpeak video featuring a variety of voices. The video is entitled What’s the Difference Between a Welcoming and an Inclusive Space? See more videos like this on the QuakerSpeak YouTube channel or at QuakerSpeak.org.

Learn more about Lisa Graustein.

Lisa Graustein is a teacher, facilitator, and artist who holds an MEd in racial justice education. For 20 years, she taught in public middle and high schools. Currently, Lisa works as a DEI facilitator and trainer with schools and nonprofits throughout the northeast. She has been a facilitator for Beyond Diversity 101. A Univeralist Friend, she is part of a group of Quakers founding Three Rivers Meeting, a Queer, Christian Quaker meeting. A solo mom and potter, Lisa lives in an intentional community on the unceded Neponset Band of the Massachusetts land.


More than a Dream: The Radical March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom by Yohuru Williams and Michael G. Long provides an in-depth look at the 1963 March on Washington, highlighting the crucial roles of activists like Bayard Rustin. This makes it ideal for middle school students. The book has been longlisted for the 2023 National Book Awards in the category of Young People's Literature.

The First Day of Peace by Todd Schuster and Maya Soetoro-Ng, illustrated by Tatiana Gardel, tells the story of two communities coming together to help each other, illustrating the concept of peace and welcome for children.

    • More than a Dream: The Radical March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom reviewed by Gwen Gosney Erickson

See all of the May 2024 Reviews on Friends Journal


Peterson and McCall discuss their upcoming participation in the 2024 Friends General Conference at Haverford College, where Miche will lead earth-centered worship with Quaker Earth Witness and Peterson will conduct interviews for the podcast.

You can now follow Quakers Today on Instagram, TikTok, and the platform now known as X.

Question for next month

Who is a historical figure whom you admire but whose actions and words also trouble you?

Historians, activists, and content creators help us gain a fuller, more balanced view of often revered historical figures. We learn that the heroes of old were not perfect.

Leave a text or voice memo with your name and the town where you live. The number to call is 317-QUAKERS, that's 317-782-5377. +1 if calling from outside the U.S. You can also comment on our social media or email us podcast@friendsjournal.org.

Quakers Today is the companion podcast to Friends Journal and other Friends Publishing Corporation (FPC) content online. It is written, hosted, and produced by Peterson Toscano and Miche McCall with assistance from Christopher Cuthrell.

Season Three of Quakers Today is sponsored by American Friends Service Committee.

Do you want to challenge unjust systems and promote lasting peace? The American Friends Service Committee, or AFSC, works with communities worldwide to drive social change. Their website features meaningful steps you can take to make a difference. Through their Friends Liaison Program, you can connect your meeting or church with AFSC and their justice campaigns. Find out how you can become part of AFSC’s global community of changemakers. Visit AFSC.org.

Feel free to send comments, questions, and requests. Email us at podcast@friendsjournal.org. Call our listener voicemail line: 317-QUAKERS.Music from this episode comes from Epidemic Sound.