William Penn Quaker Workcamps, a program of William Penn House, are your portal to grassroots service learning and social action. The Quaker Testimonies of Simplicity, Integrity, Community, Equality and Stewardship guide our work, with Peace as the desired outcome. As a pacifist faith, we work to break the cycles of violence by, in the words of George Fox, the founder of Quakerism, “joyfully seeking that of God in everyone”. We adhere to the principle that the first step to violence is classification of “us” and “them”. All of our work seeks to break down classifications and strengthen the relationships across economic and cultural divides, letting true service flow from these often new and transformative relationships. We start where we are, and go out from there. It is in this spirit that much of our environmental work started, literally, in our own backyard and carriage house which are now a rainscape garden and building with a vegetative roof.
People from as near as next door to as far away as Myanmar have been a part of this exciting, challenging, rewarding and transformative “bottom-up” community change work. From helping to prepare breakfast and sharing a meal with people who sleep on the streets, to installing vegetable gardens for DC residents through our Connecting Roots DC program, together we learn what it is to more deeply know our neighbors, and be inspired to continue this in our daily lives no matter where we land, knowing that the larger global issues of economic injustice, nutrition and environmental sustainability are being addressed.
We welcome you to join us as well. We work with groups of all ages to develop unique and wonderful experiences as we explore our own selves - our beliefs, fears, assumptions, hopes, spiritual formation - while working to create a better world. We also offer a programs for individuals, including Quaker Workcamps, yoga classes, and monthly dinner/dialogs. William Penn House also offers comfortable lodging for those coming to DC for any reason. Send us an e-mail, join one of our postal and/or digital mailing lists, or just stop by to find out more and get connected.
Regardless of whether you are exploring DC (and want to see it from a unique perspective), leading a group service/mission trip, seeking meaningful volunteer opportunities, serving a gap year, doing an internship or on a journey of seeking and good fellowship, there is something for you here.