Common Ground Records
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
- Majority of material found within 1982-2006
- Common Ground (Organization : Baton Rouge, La.) (Organization)
Language of Materials
Materials are in English.
Restrictions on Access
Collection is open for research without restrictions.
Copyright and Rights Information
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.
2.5 Linear Feet (2.5 linear feet.)
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.
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].
Items removed: Photographs, Audiovisual items.
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.
This collection is unprocessed. This finding aid created by Wendy E. Chmielewski, with assistance from SCPC staff.
- Central America -- Politics and government -- 1979- -- Sources
- Civil disobedience -- United States -- History -- 20th century -- Sources
- Common Ground (Organization : Baton Rouge, La.)
- Feminism -- United States -- History -- Sources
- Latin America -- Politics and government -- 1980- -- Sources
- Nonviolence -- United States -- History -- Sources
- Oakdale Federal Alien Detention Center (Oakdale, La.)
- Peace movements -- United States -- History -- Sources
- Refugees -- Louisiana -- Oakdale -- History -- Sources
- Smart, Annie Armstead
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description
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 or requesting reproductions from Swarthmore College Peace Collection Library
500 College Avenue
Swarthmore 19081-1399 USA US