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Archives & Manuscripts

Common Ground Records

 Collection
Identifier: SCPC-DG-243
Common Ground was a community of faith founded by Quakers in Baton Rouge, Louisiana in 1982 to break cycles of poverty, racism, and sexism through nonviolence education and action. Collaborative work with Baton Rouge Friends Meeting, local Clergy and Laity Concerned and Dignity chapters led to founding and shared workspace at Bienville House Center for Peace and Justice. Common Ground developed an educational program for abused residents and ex-residents from the city's domestic violence shelter. Providing sanctuary for Central American refugees led to successful national organizing in opposition to detention of those refugees in remote Oakdale, Louisiana. Eight journals and five newsletters created with and by grassroots women at their request were printed in-house in Lousiana and Indiana. In Georgia, Common Ground organized biannual leadership retreats with women from a diversity of cultures and faiths. The organization was dissolved in 2006

Dates

  • Majority of material found within 1982-2006

Creator

Language of Materials

Materials are in English.

Restrictions on Access

Collection is open for research without restrictions.

Copyright and Rights Information

None.

Extent

2.5 Linear Feet (2.5 linear feet.)

Historical note

Common Ground was a nonprofit organization and faith community founded in Baton Rouge, Louisiana in 1982 by a Quaker couple, Lilith Quinlan and Hoyt Oliver, and a small group of friends from other faith traditions. Common Ground's mission was to break cycles of poverty, racism, and sexism through nonviolence education, organizing, trainings and action. Collaboration with Baton Rouge Friends Meeting, the local Clergy and Laity Concerned and Dignity chapters led to founding and complementary work at Bienville House Center for Peace and Justice. Common Ground's programs included offerings for abused children and providing hospitality for survivors of violence. Offering sanctuary for Central American refugees led to successful national organizing with legal, immigrant rights and religious/Sanctuary organizations in opposing U.S.Justice/INS/Bureau of Prisons' mass detention of refugees in remote Oakdale, Louisiana. National and regional conferences on nonviolence were held. From Indiana, the organization published journals and newsletters with and by grassroots women, including tenant organizers in New Orleans, leaders in India, Indigenous women across North America, and farmworker women in Florida. These journals, printed in-house on donated presses, were used as literacy, organizing, fundraising tools by the groups who requested and raised their voices by producing them. In Georgia, Common Ground sponsored "Women Promoting Wholeness," a group which created and organized biannual women's retreats for grassroots community leaders from diverse spiritual traditions. The organization was dissolved in 2006.

Arrangement

This collection is unprocessed and remains in the order in which it was donated.

Other Finding Aids

For the catalog record for this collection and to find materials on similar topics, search thelibrary's online catalog.

Custodial History

The Swarthmore College Peace Collection is the official repository for these papers/records.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Lilith Quinlan, Jenny Inglis and other Common Ground friends, 2011 [acc. 11A-068].

Separated Materials

Items removed: Photographs, Audiovisual items.

Legal Status

Copyright has been transferred to the Swarthmore College Peace Collection by Common Ground. Copyright to other items in the collection remains with the authors of items in these papers, or their descendents, as stipulated by United States copyright law.

Processing Information

This collection is unprocessed. This finding aid created by Wendy E. Chmielewski, with assistance from SCPC staff.

Creator

Description rules
dacs

Revision Statements

  • 2017: The file list was standardized in Summer 2017 by Mary Olesnavich in preparation for importing into ArchivesSpace. Tessa Chambers added the notes in Fall 2017.

Find It at the Library

Most of the materials in this catalog are not digitized and can only be accessed in person. Please see our website for more information about visiting Swarthmore College Peace Collection Library

Contact:
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