Actions We Have Taken


Welcome . . .

. . . to our page highlighting the "minutes of conscience" or formal statements of conscience that New York Yearly Meeting has taken on matters of social concern, including links to pages dedicated to issue for which we have a sustained concern.

Issues of Sustained Concern

  • The Doctrine of Christian Discovery
  • Racial Justice (under development)
  • Prisons and Solitary Confinement (under development)
  • Earthcare
  • Hydrofracking (under development)
  • Peace (under development)

Recent Minutes of Conscience from New York Yearly Meeting

Organized in reverse chronological order

  • 2017  Interim Actions
  • 2016  Standing Rock Sioux Protest against the Dakota Access Pipeline
  • 2016  Interim actions:
  • 2015  Global Frackdown Sign-on Letter—At Fall Sessions, the meeting directed the clerk and general secretary to sign on to a letter written by Global Frackdown to Paris, to be sent to the the participants in the upcoming UN Framework Convention on Climate Change to be held in Paris this November and December.
  • 2015  Doctrine of Discovery—Letter to Pope Francis asking him to repudicate the Doctrine and rescind the papal bulls upon which it is based, plus the associated press release and 2012 NYYM minute on the Doctrine of Discovery. See, also, the 2012 entry below.
  • 2015  Against Solitary Confinement—Friends asked Governor Cuomo of New York State to support the Humane Alternatives to Long Term (HALT) Solitary Confinement Act, Bill #A4401/S2659, an effort to reform the practice.
  • 2015  Support of the 2016 White Privilege Conference—New York Yearly Meeting approved sending Friends to serve on the Conference's host committee and providing some funding. The 2016 Conference will be held in Philadelphia, PA.
  • 2015  Endorsement of Peace & Planet: Mobilization for a Nuclear-Free, Peaceful, Just, and Sustainable World, to be held in New York City on April 24 - 26, 2015.
  • 2015  Interim action: The Clerk and the General Secretary issued a statement entitled “Black Lives Matter,“ which was widely distributed and is available on the NYYM website under the heading Social Witness.
  • 2014  Letter for Leonard Peltier's release from prison—A letter to President Obama and cc'ing others asking the Presidetn to allow Peltier "to rejoin his family and live his last days in peace."
  • 2014  Black Lives Matter . . . All Lives Matter—A message from the clerk and general secretary responding to the failure in December 2014 of grand juries to indict the police officers involved in the homicides of unarmed African American men in Ferguson, Missouri, and New York City.
  • 2014  People's Climate March—New York Yearly Meeting is a participating organization in the March.
  • 2014  Interim Actions
    • February—Signed an amicus curiae brief filed on behalf of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting and New York Yearly Meeting by the Religious Liberty Clinic of the Stanford Law School on the appeal of a case regarding an Orthodox Jewish community in Teaneck, New Jersey.
    • September—Signed a shared statement by Quaker groups titled “Facing the Challenge of Climate Change.” 
  • 2013  Apology to Afro-Descendants—A public apology to the descendants of African American slaves for Quaker participation in and profit from slavery.
  • 2013  Interim Action
    • January—Signed onto letter to Governor Cuomo from many organizations applauding his commitment to address climate change after hurricane Sandy, and challenging his ongoing support for hydrofracking as being inconsistent with that stance, due to its large impact of greenhouse gas emissions.
  • 2012  Summary of Peace and Social Concerns Activities
  • 2012  Minute on Hydrofracking in New York State and Beyond
  • 2012   Minute on the Doctrine of Discovery
  • 2012  Interim Actions
    • June—Subscribed to New Yorkers Against Fracking coalition’s endorsement of a ban on hydraulic fracturing in NY.
    • August—signed an Interfaith Resolution Concerning the Dangers of High-Volume Hydraulic Fracturing in advance of an interfaith service “Blessing of the Waters” held on September 6 at Cooperstown.
    • November—signed onto a statement from Britain Yearly Meeting and AFSC calling for the end of the use of force in Gaza.
    • December—signed on at the request of the NYYM COPW Committee as official co-sponsors of the next International Conference of War Tax Resisters and Peace Tax Campaigns.
    • December—signed onto a letter from FCNL for The Climate Summit 2013 coalition, of which FCNL is a charter member, supporting President Obama in following through on his commitment in hosting a national summit on climate change. The President was particularly looking for religious groups to show support for this initiative.
  • 2011   Minute on 10th Anniversary of 9/11
  • 2011  Interim Actions
    • March—Sent letter of sympathy and support to Japan Yearly Meeting after the earthquake and tsunami.
    • Summer—Signed a letter from Food & Water Watch to New York governor Andrew Cuomo urging rejection of the recommendations from the Department of Environmental Conservation to allow hydraulic fracturing outside the watersheds for New York City and Syracuse.
    • Summer—Signed a letter from a group of human rights defenders to the World Council of Churches thanking them for taking up the conscientious objection to paying taxes for war.
    • Summer—Signed a letter from heads of U.S.-based religious institutions and faith- based organizations to US President Barack Obama opposing prospective federal budget cuts affecting the poor and most vulnerable in our country.
    • October—signed a statement from Occupy Faith NYC in support of Occupy Wall Street.
    • November—signed an Interfaith Network letter to Janet Napolitano, secretary of Homeland Security.
    • December—signed an Occupy Faith letter to Governor Cuomo urging the extension of the “millionaires tax”.
  • 2010  (August) Issued a joint statement with American Friends Service Committee (AFSC), “A Call to Understanding and Peace,” in response to the proposed Islamic Center in Lower Manhattan. It was sent by AFSC to the White House in September, in response to a request for statements on the proposed mass burning of the Qur’an in Florida.
  • 2009  Minute on Healthcare
  • 2009  Minute on Race & Racism
  • 2008  Minute on Torture
  • 2007  Minute on Refraining from War with Iran
  • 2007  Eco-Spirituality and Action Minute
  • 2006  Minute on Conscientious Objection to Paying for War
  • 2002  Gospel of Peace Minute