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Activism profiles

 

Nick & Inequality

A group of Quakers at Wellington meeting got together over the course of a few months to discuss our concerns about poverty in New Zealand.

Each of us started to investigate different aspects as we felt moved, and in my case I starting checking about social and economic inequality on websites.

In doing so I came across the www.closingthegap.org.nz site, which had been started only 6 weeks before. Following correspondence and a meeting with one of the co-founders, Peter Malcolm, I ended up accepting the role of finding articles for the facebook site.

2 years later I have been included in the committee of the group and “volunteered” to run the blog part of the website, writing my own articles twice or so per month.

In a land of plenty there is enough for all. The inequalities we have today are not caused by technological advances or economic conditions. They are caused by NZ Governments and the people who vote them in!

I see my job to enlighten voters that there is a better way that is more inclusive and allows everyone to reach their full potential.

Nick

Jonathan & Interfaith

After finishing University, I went to a seminar run by the Quaker United Nations Office in New York.  Amongst our international group was a Jordanian in hijab who thought I was avoiding her.  So she walked up to me and said “You are allowed to talk to me you know.”  That was a launching point for my interfaith journey: it’s about clearing away misunderstanding and it’s about conversation. 

 

There are three reasons I keep coming back to interfaith.  First, I see the many ways people reach out to God, so I explore them to learn what they can teach me to bring me closer to God.  Quakers are my home church, but I am an interfaith voyager and explorer.  Second, my vision of a harmonious society has space for all religions in all aspects of society, but has no space for only one  religion to dominate any space.  So let's work together to keep that space open and respected: I am a labourer for harmony and understanding.  Third I feel my calling in this work. 

I became involved with the Wellington Interfaith Council soon after settling in Wellington.  Through that I have been involved in the National Interfaith Forums, most actively as part of organising the First National Youth Interfaith Forum.  After the second National Youth Interfaith Forum, I was part of organising Youth Interfaith Potlucks in Wellington.  In these, youth of each faith took turns hosting a meeting at their community’s centre.  It was quite exciting when I was invited to be part of a delegation of Youth Interfaith Leaders to meet the Dalai Lama.  I have organised several interfaith events for Quakers, and plans for the next one are just beginning.

 

Wellington Quakers 100 Years Ago

With all the militarised centenary celebrations of WWI, here is a snippet of an alternative rememberance.

Wellington Quakers in WWI

Rigg Family Portrait

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