Maggie Fogarty co-directs the New Hampshire program of the American Friends Service Committee. The Quaker organization works on urgent, often contentious issues — organized around one theme: “The essential dignity of the human person.”
“A fundamental Quaker principle is that there is that of God in everyone,” Fogarty says. “That we are all bearers of divine light and goodness. If we live as if that were true, what does that say about state budgets and what we should be investing in? What does it say about the death penalty? About policies that demean or exclude immigrants? About the treatment of people who are incarcerated? About racism and inequality?”
Fogarty sees her role as being present with and elevating the voices and leadership of people whose essential dignity is threatened.
That means standing with immigrants and refugees, visiting ICE detainees in prison, standing with people experiencing homelessness and against policies that deepen poverty.
Fogarty is soft-spoken, her style far from confrontational. But she recognizes these truths: “When we avoid conflict, we avoid working for social justice,” she says.
“There is no way we are going to get where we are going without standing for and standing against.”