Christina, the invited speaker for commencement in May, set about creating similar opportunities for Friends.
She started her career working for a Christian social justice magazine in Philadelphia and as a staff member of the American Friends Service Committee. One of her jobs was coordinating the Mexico Summer Project – one of AFSC’s last remaining work camps for young adults.
“For older generations of Quakers, when asked what was the most important event in their lives, or what caused them to become or remain a Quaker, or what gave rise to their long standing work for justice, the answer was more often than not an AFSC work camp,” she wrote.
She earned a master of divinity degree from Emory University’s Candler School of Theology in 2011 and later served as program coordinator for a foundation serving a national network of faith-based service programs.
Building on years of discernment, research and consultation, she and other dedicated Friends in 2012 launched a pilot Quaker Voluntary Service house in Atlanta. Volunteers, who are young adult Quakers or those interested in exploring their spiritual lives, commit to a year of service and accept placements with organizations addressing a range of issues such as community development, education, food justice and issues of mass incarceration.
Christina serves as founding executive director. Houses in Philadelphia and Portland, Ore., were added in August 2013, and there are currently 21 QVS volunteers serving across the three-city network, with Guilford alums among them.
“QVS is young and in formation, yet I have never felt so clearly led in any endeavor I have been a part of,” she wrote. “As work camps and other similar experiences did for previous generations of Friends, this yearlong experience offers the opportunity to orient participants to lives committed to service and justice, grounded and sustained by their Quaker faith – lives that speak.”