Committee for Black Concerns


New York Yearly Meeting has had committees in these areas of concern under different names at various times in the past. In December 1965, such a committee was reestablished as the Race Relations Committee, and the initial appointments were made in 1966. The change to the current committee name occurred in 1980.

Purposes & Objectives

  1. to broaden and deepen communication among all ethnic groups
  2. to develop among Friends a keener awareness of the violence of racism
  3. to stimulate involvement of Friends, as individuals and as members of meetings, in today's racial crisis
  4. to stimulate Friends as individuals and as members of meetings to be creative in working with all ethnic groups to overcome the handicaps of the past and to achieve political rights, educational excellence, economic opportunity, and social dignity
  5. to increase awareness among Friends of the history and contributions of Blacks and other ethnic groups both within and outside the Religious Society of Friends
  6. to support, enhance, and deepen the multiracial character of the family of Friends

Functions & Activities

  1. to act as a resource to suggest programs, speakers, and other resources dealing with interracial relations and Black concerns for inclusion in Yearly Meeting programs
  2. to serve as a clearinghouse to collect information concerning projects on interracial relations and Black concerns undertaken by Friends' meetings, committees, and individuals in the Yearly Meeting and to report on these matters to the Yearly Meeting
  3. to serve in a consultative role on interracial relations and Black concerns to Friends' meetings in planning programs and projects
  4. to serve as the administrator of any funds provided by or under the direction of the Yearly Meeting to enable disadvantaged youth
    1. to attend youth programs such as junior and senior high school programs at Yearly Meeting ses-sions, Powell House conferences, national institutes, and work-camp programs
    2. to continue their education in school or college
  5. to serve as the administrator of funds to stimulate adult projects in interracial relations and Black concerns

Organization & Method of Appointment

The committee comprises about thirteen members appointed by the Yearly Meeting for three-year terms on the recommendation of the Nominating Committee, with four or five appointed each year.

The Committee appoints its own clerk and such other officers as seem desirable. It names a representative to the Witness Coordinating Committee.

Meeting Times & Places

Meetings of the committee are held at the call of the clerk or as agreed upon by the committee. The committee attempts to meet eight or ten times a year.


The Friends Committee for Black Concerns is a participant in the Sharing Fund of New York Yearly Meeting, from which it receives substantially all its financial support.