Merion Friends Meeting News Feed

Confronting Systemic Violence in Our Prison System

Merion Friends Meeting and Bryn Mawr Presbyterian Church will be hosting a series of lectures in March, 2014 to discuss specific problems in the US prison system. Please save the dates!

March 9, 2014: Solitary Confinement
March 16, 2014: Re-Entry
March 23, 2014: Prison Privatization
March 30, 2014: Children of Incarcerated Parents

Each lecture will be held at Bryn Mawr Presbyterian Church from 12:30 pm to 2:00 pm and will include a buffet lunch. RSVP to Carol Schmidt, Bryn Mawr Presbyterian Church’s Administrative Assistant for Adult Education, Outreach, and Worldwide Ministries, at 610-525-2821, or  email

In conjunction with this series, we will be hosting the following events:

Broken On All Sides:

Broken On All Sides is a compelling documentary addressing racial inequities within our criminal justice system and its devastating collateral consequences. It is an excellent resource to use in educating, motivating, and empowering your group, organization, or community on this critical issue. – James E. Williams, Jr.

There will be a screening of this award-winning film Monday, March 17, 2014 at 7:00 pm at the Bryn Mawr Film Institute followed by a discussion with producer Alan Matthew Pil­lis­cher.

Family Concert with FuturMaMa
Futurmama, an acoustic/folk/hip hop fusion band, will be holding a fundraising concert for Decarcerate PA, a grassroots campaign working to end mass incarceration in Pennsylvania. on March 21, 2014 at 7:00 pm at Merion Friends Meeting Activity Building. There will be snacks and room to dance, and it will be a kid-friendly event.

Visit Eastern State Penitentiary

Early Quakers spent a lot of time in prison, so they had a few ideas on how to reform the criminal justice system. One idea was to eliminate torture and capital punishment and to replace them with solitary confinement, during which a prisoner would be exposed to divine guidance instead of the influence of his criminal companions. That last part didn’t work out so well, but Eastern State Penitentiary was built according to those ideas.  Rev. Dr. Nicole Duran, a pastor at Bryn Mawr Prebyterian Church, will be leading a tour discussing the prison design and its faith implications (date/time TBA).


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