AFS-USA is deeply saddened by the events and violence that occurred in Washington, D.C. on January 6. For more than 70 years, our organization has drawn its inspiration from the bravery and vision of our founders who returned from the battlefields of two world wars with bold plans for peace. Determined to prevent future conflict, the American Field Service ambulance drivers sought ways to bring the world together by promoting an understanding between peoples that could lead to peaceful resolutions and embracing our differences.

The actions we witnessed on January 6th in Washington, D.C. have brought forth many emotions among all of us who embrace the AFS mission of helping to create a more just and peaceful world.

Throughout this nation and in countries around the world, we are aware that the dominant metaphors of today deal with division, tribalism, and isolation, and that they are in stark contrast from the just and peaceful world we envision. Together, we support and embrace equality, respectful debate, the rule of law, and transparent government.

May the events of January 6th remind us all that there is a deep need for us to work across all political lines and differences with a desire for peace and calm, regardless of our political beliefs.

There remains so much work for us to do and I thank the AFS-USA community and our global AFS friends and family as we support a transition to a new leadership in the United States—one that upholds the values we hold most dear and is guided by our Constitution.

With sincere wishes for healing and unity in 2021,

Tara Boyce-Hofmann

President & CEO