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News of the Yearly Meeting
November 16, 2020
Announcements, News, and Events
21-day Racial Justice Challenge Returns!
Please join members of STRIDE and RAWG for round two of the BYM 21-day Racial Justice Challenge! The content will be similar to round one. However, it will have a focus on Holidays and Heroes. If you missed round one, started late, or just want to dig deeper than you did before, sign up here to join us. Anyone is welcome and this can be shared with non-BYM folks too.
The challenge will start on Sunday, November 29th with an opening Zoom call to welcome everyone, and the emails will go from Monday, November 30th to December, 21st. We will host zoom calls for reflection every Sunday.
Claudia Rankine, Just Us
Thinking about Race (November 2020)
In “Claudia Rankine’s Quest for Racial Dialogue,” in the October Atlantic magazine, Ismail Muhammad reflects on Claudia Rankine’s new book, Just Us – An American Conversation.
“Rankine’s intent is not simply to expose or chastise whiteness. She has something more nuanced in mind: using conversation as a way to invite white people to consider how contingent their lives are upon the racial order—every bit as contingent as Black people’s are. ‘I was always aware that my value in our culture’s eyes is determined by my skin color first and foremost,’ she says. The same is true for white people, of course, however unaware of that reality they may be.”
This may prompt some queries for Quakers:
  • Am I aware that my value is, in our culture’s eyes, determined by my skin color first and foremost? If so, how, when, or where am I aware of this?
  • Am I aware that the value of a person of a different skin color than mine, is, in our culture’s eyes, determined by that skin color first and foremost? If so, how, when, or where am I aware of this?
  • What (if any) is the difference between these two awarenesses?
This column is prepared by the BYM Working Group on Racism (WGR) and sent to the designated liaisons at each Monthly and Preparative Meeting for publication in their newsletter or other means of dissemination. The WGR meets most months on the third Saturday from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm, at various Meetings. If you would like to attend, on a regular or a drop-in basis, contact clerk David Etheridge.
Reparations Working Group Black Caucus Healing Space
The Reparations Working Group will be hosting two age cohort Black Caucus healing spaces for the BYM community. These events are specifically designed to create a respite, space to share thoughts, ideas, and experiences with one another, and a safe space to heal. This caucus will provide a space to understand each of our unique experiences and will help ensure that the Reparations Action Working Group centers Black voices and does our work in an anti-racist way.
Dates for the events: Please only sign up for one! Ideally, these groups would be divided by age, however if only one date works for you and it does not correspond to your age group, please do still sign up.
  • Thursday, Dec 10, 6-8pm (Born after 1980)
  • Saturday, Dec 12, 1-3pm (Born before 1980)
Who is this for? Anti-racist work is about making space for marginzalized groups. Creating this space will ensure that there is room for Friends to speak who are not always in the room. This group is closed for Black Friends and People of Color only. White people may not join this conversation. We will allow all BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) to join us, however we will center the stories and experiences of Black People while on the call.
We look forward to building a space together to talk about what it means to be Black inside the BYM community. For more details, click here. Or contact Nikki Richards.
Women's Retreat News
The BYM Women's Retreat will not be in person this year. Although this comes as no surprise, we will greatly miss our annual winter opportunity to gather in fellowship. Friends Meeting of Washington, which was lined up to plan the 2021 retreat, has graciously agreed to plan 2022 with the hope that we will be able to meet in person by then. In lieu of a retreat in 2021, the Women's Retreat Working Group will offer an online Meeting for Worship and time for connection on Saturday, February 6th, from 10am-noon. Mark your calendars! The Zoom link will be sent out closer to the date. The Working Group consists of Inga Erickson, Dana Mitra, and Yuri Plowden. Click here to send a message to the Women's Retreat Working Group.
Perspective Means A Lot!
We on Nominating Committee Would Like to Hear Yours
Baltimore Yearly Meeting has declared our settled intention to become an anti-racist faith community. The queries below appear in our written declaration, and are being widely used in committees and Meetings around the Yearly Meeting.
  1. How could this decision affect those who have been harmed by racist behavior?
  2. To what degree have privilege, class, stereotypes, assumptions, and our ability to include other perspectives affected this decision? Will this decision promote equity, diversity, and inclusiveness? Will it enable us to be more friendly and whole?
  3. How will we provide opportunities for those most likely to be directly affected by our deision to influence that decision?
  4. How does this decision support the declaration of our Yearly Meeting that we are an anti-racist faith community?
Nominating Committee believes that the declaration and these queries touch on our work directly. The committees for which we nominate make many decisions that affect the Yearly Meeting, our camping programs, our other programs, and our representation in other Quaker organizations.
Perspective means a lot. We on Nominating Committee would like to hear yours no matter who you are, but especially if you identify as a Person of Color.
Are you a camper or former camper? Someone who attends a local Meeting, Annual Session or Interim Meeting? Someone who is curious about how our committees support the Yearly Meeting? Maybe you are wondering where your gifts, interests and skills fit in. Should we talk?
Nominating Committee wants to explore those questions with you. We need your help. Replying to this message won’t create an obligation for you to join a committee, but it will provide a way to share information and start a dialogue.
Please email us at, and one of our members will be in touch.
Kevin Caughlan (Sandy Spring), Janet Eaby (Nottingham), Karie Firoozmand (Stony Run), Becca Gardner Rhudy (Deer Creek/Patapsco), Deborah Haines (Co-Clerk; Alexandria), Melissa Merideth (Bethesda), Ollie Moles (Langley Hill), Jolee Robinson (Co-Clerk; Adelphi), Marilyn Rothstein (Gunpowder), Debbi Sudduth (Goose Creek), Gene Throwe (Friends Meeting of Washington), Chip Tucker (Charlottesville)
See the 2019

Please note that the 2020 Firecircle will be an electronic document only.
Young Friends Conference Calendar
November 27 - 29, 2020
Virtual Event

February 26 - 28, 2021
Charlottesville Friends Meeting

April 16 - 18, 2021
Gunpowder Friends Meeting

May 28 - 30, 2021
Location to be announced
Junior Young Friends Conference Calendar
November 21 - 22, 20200
Virtual Event

January 9 - 10, 2021
Homewood Friends Meeting (if possible)

March 13 - 14, 2021
Location to be announced

April 30 - May 2, 2021
Location to be announced
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Baltimore Yearly Meeting
17100 Quaker Lane | Sandy Spring, MD | 20860 US

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