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American Friends Service Committee

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Biographical/Historical note:

The American Friends Service Committee is a Quaker organization founded in 1917 to aid conscientious objectors and civilian war victims during World War I. The AFSC has provided aid to refugees and victims of U.S. and foreign wars. The AFSC has also been involved in fighting injustice and inequality stateside, particularly during the civil rights movement.

A branch of the AFSC was located in Greensboro, North Carolina, and headed by Tartt Bell. The group petitioned local businesses to end segregationist practices, and was instrumental in having many “whites only” signs removed from water fountains and restrooms. The branch was also involved in school desegregation efforts, beginning before the Brown v. Board of Education decision in 1954. The group provided information and scholarly research persuading schools and citizens to accept desegregation.