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Fellowship of Reconciliation

From Academic Kids

The United States Fellowship of Reconciliation (FORUSA) was founded in 1915 by sixty-eight pacifists, including Norman Thomas, A. J. Muste, and Jane Addams, and claims to be the "largest, oldest interfaith peace and justice organization in the United States." [1] (http://www.forusa.org/) Its programs and projects involve domestic as well as international issues, and generally emphasize nonviolent alternatives to conflict and the rights of conscience.

FOR was formed initially in opposition to the entry of the United States into World War I.

The American Civil Liberties Union developed out of FOR's conscientious objectors program and the Emergency Committee for Civil Liberties.

In 1918, FOR and the American Federation of Labor formed Brookwood Labor College, which lasted until 1937.

In 1947, FOR and the Congress of Racial Equality, or CORE, which had been founded by FOR staffers James Farmer and George Houser, along with Berniece Fisher, sponsored the Journey of Reconciliation, the first Freedom Ride against southern segregation in the wake of the Supreme Court's 1946 Irene Morgan decision.

In 1954, China was facing famine and the United States was enjoying surplus harvests, so the FOR organized the Surplus Food for China campaign to convince the government to send food to the Chinese, instead of bombing them.

In 1955 and 1956, Glen Smiley, a white Methodist minister, was assigned by the FOR to assist the Rev. Martin Luther King in the Montgomery Bus Boycott. The two, sitting behind the Rev. Ralph Abernathy, were seatmates on the first interracial bus ride in Montgomery.

The Fellowship of Reconciliation is an organizational member of the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, which advocates gun control.

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