Born in Ohio and raised in the Missionary Baptist church, Angela became a Friend in Nzoia, Kenya, where she met Priscilla Makino, pastor of a meeting there. The two traveled extensively in ministry throughout Africa and the US. Through a journey of discernment she returned to join the Friends in the US, were she was released to found the Friends Center for Racial Justice in Ithaca for Friends everywhere.
Convinced Quaker and former clerk of Montclair Monthly Meeting for 4 years, Barbrah serves as clerk for various committees throughout New York Yearly Meeting. Her life has been and continues to be a life of service to others. She continually asks from within, “what would Thou have me do?” Following her leadings, she has made her life one of compassion, pouring fourth Love and Light to those in need of comfort. Certified chaplain in 1998, Barbrah serves as chaplain within many organizations, including the Montclair police department. Last year Barbrah joined the team of FCRJ and is looking forward to being a Light bearing force for these Friends.
Susan worked in the field of deaf education and advocacy for disabled people in New York City. She taught high school, and as a counselor worked with all ages. Outside the school system she collaborated with the Deaf community to establish interpreting programs and initiate interpreting services for Deaf and hard of hearing people. Better access, particularly for Deaf and hard of hearing people, remains an ongoing concern, and she is currently pursuing efforts to provide open captions at commercial movie theaters.
All her growing-up years, her mother maintained that Native Americans were treated terribly in our history. This inspired her to seek out work with Friends that would address Native American concerns. She served on the Indian Affairs Committee in New York Yearly Meeting for 15 years, and led that committee to establish connections and partnerships with various Native efforts throughout the Yearly Meeting area. While living in Ithaca, she participated in talking circles on racism and became active in wider anti-racism work, seeking to expand her knowledge and understanding.
She recently moved to Maryland and now lives in a retirement community. With a group of like-minded people she has formed the Indigenous Awareness Committee which meets monthly. The committee plan events to bring forward Native American history, ongoing issues, and other pertinent information. The committee hopes to establish connections with local Native Nations and work in collaborative and cooperative efforts.
Jeff Hitchcock was born in the middle of the last century and considers himself a lifetime learner. He managed to be born into a Quaker setting, and also, as he learned later in life, to be born on the privileged side of a society structured and divided by race. Coming to grips to this set of facts – a contradiction of seemingly existential proportions – has been a central theme of his life. He continues to adjust and adapt in his search for personal integrity and racial justice for all. He feels compelled to do this since white supremacy, the driver of racial injustice, also continues to adjust and adapt.
Jeff is co-founder of the Center for the Study of White American Culture, and a founding member of White Friends Working to End Racism, a working group in NYYM. In the 1980s he married his current life partner. Together they created themselves as an interracial couple and built a multiracial family by adoption and birth. Their two sons are now young adults. In the 1990s he was active in the multiracial movement that succeeded in creating a “check all that apply” option for the race question on the US Census.
Watching Friends slowly lifting up racial concerns over the last three decades has be an immeasurable pleasure to Jeff, but he believes Quakers still have a lot of work to do. He is doing his best to support this work among Friends and in the world at large. He believes service brings us closer to God’s presence and so he carries on committee work and other roles in general support of the Quaker community.
Judy Meikle is a project manager at Co-Creating Effective and Inclusive Organizations (CEIO) in New Haven, CT. When she first arrived in the United States, Judy helped to co-create the Connecticut Friends School where she served as director of Admissions and Financial Aid. Judy has completed anti-racist training with The People’s Institute of Survival and Beyond (Undoing Racism) and the Center for the Study of White American Culture. She has facilitated AVP (Alternatives to Violence Project) workshops with teams of incarcerated men at Sing Sing Correctional Facility, where they developed the program’s capacity to provide workshops for youth. Judy was actively involved in the successful campaign to end capital punishment in Connecticut and currently organizes for alternatives to solitary confinement. She is a member of Wilton Monthly Meeting, serves on the NYYM Prisons Committee and is a recent graduate of the Radical Faithfulness program at Pendle Hill.
Mary Pugh Clark
Mary Pugh Clark, born in 1942, has been active with Quakers since 1978, becoming a member of Montclair Meeting in the late 80’s. She made a career of teaching history at a public high school. Upon retiring in 2006 she became active first with European America Quakers Working to End Racism and then with the Task Group on Racism. She wrote the official study guide for Deep Denial. Mary has been clerk of ministry and counsel at Montclair Meeting for some years. Through photography and making photo books Mary has been exploring how her search for spiritual meaning and her desire to foster racial justice are joined.