Worthington campus welcomed Vanessa Julye on Tuesday February 19, 2019 as a guest speaker for Black History Month. She is a graduate of Temple University, a member of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) and serves as the Committee for Ministry on Racism Coordinator with Friends General Conference, based in Philadelphia. She has published numerous articles on Quakers and racism and travels throughout the United States and abroad speaking and leading workshops on related issues. Vanessa lectured to an audience of students, faculty and staff. She was very informative as she spoke to the racial injustice in the Quaker African American community. The Religious Society of Friends has been reputed to have opposed enslavement and later racial injustices. Many members, however, enslaved people of African descent, and Quaker attitudes toward African Americans since have generally reflected the culture at large. To some extent, then, the Quaker story has lessons for us all.
The student audience received Vanessa’s book “Fit for Freedom, Not for Friendship” which she co-authored with Donna McDaniel. The book documented three centuries of Quakers who were committed to ending racial injustices yet, with few exceptions, hesitated to invite African Americans into their Society. Addressing the insidious and complex racism among Quakers of yesterday and today, the authors believe, is the path toward a racially inclusive community. Vanessa was excited to personally autography her book as students lined up to greet her after her presentation.
Thank you to Dr. Nancy Purcell and Afton Koontz, for allowing their English classes to support this event: and SGA for the purchase of the books and light refreshments.
Vita Stovall, Advisor & Social Science Instructor