Quakers and Reparations

Quakers Today

Jan 24 2023 • 18 mins

Lucy Duncan and Rob Peagler from Reparation.Works discuss the questions that help guide their work. Lucy has been involved with groundbreaking reparations efforts in Philadelphia's Green Street Friends Meeting. Later this month Lucy and Rob will co-lead an online workshop called Exploring a Quaker Commitment to Reparative Justice. It is sponsored by Pendle Hill Quaker Center in collaboration with the Woodbrooke Centre in Birmingham, England.

We share an edited excerpt of the conversation. Click Here to listen to the complete conversation.


Avis Wanda McClinton talks about Manumissions and her mission to identify the Africans enslaved by Quakers in Philadelphia. The Quaker and Special Collections archive at Haverford College contains documents for 339 enslaved Africans who were freed between 1765 and 1790 by slaveholding families in Philadelphia Yearly Meeting. Avis Wanda McClinton explains that “The goal of the project is to be a restorative, healing force that connects modern descendants with their enslaved ancestors, and to understand the lives of these first generations of ‘freemen.’”

Last year Avis Wanda McClinton had a conversation with Martin Kelley, the senior editor of Friends Journal. You can see the entire conversation at the Friends Journal YouTube page.


Review: Overground Railroad: The Green Book and the Roots of Black Travel in America By Candacy Taylor.

This book is about the Green Book, one annual traveler’s guidebook but so much more. It is the story of a lost civilization: one that deserves to be lost but never forgotten. It tells the story of Black resistance to White repression, harassment, and tyranny. It tells about a subversive project: one that was designed to subvert Jim Crow but also contributed to the subversion of legal segregation and the denial of basic civil rights.

-Paul Buckley, Friends Journal book review

Click Here to read a transcript of this episode.

After this episode concludes we share voicemails from listeners who answered the question, What are your thoughts, feelings, and understandings about reparations?

Question for next month

How has your view of Jesus, God, or religion changed since you were young? This question is raised in Margaret Kelso's article about Lent, which will appear in the February 2023 issue of Friends Journal.

Quakers Today is the companion podcast to Friends Journal and other Friends Publishing Corporation (FPC) content online.

Season One of Quakers Today is sponsored by Quaker Voluntary Service (QVS)

Are you a young adult between 21 and 30 years old? Do you know a young adult who is looking for community and purpose-driven work? QVS is a year-long fellowship for young adults. Fellows work at nonprofits while building community and exploring Quakerism. Visit quakervoluntaryservice.org or find QVS on Instagram @quakervoluntaryservice.

Feel free to send comments, questions, and requests for our new show. Email us at podcast@friendsjournal.org.

Music from this episode comes from Epidemic Sound. Tracks include: Soakin up the Sun (Instrumental Version) by Ludlów, Humbot by Wave Saver, A Dark Road to Nowhere by DEX 1200, Brand New Beginning by Öman,