I managed volunteers and paperwork for the Seattle office from 1954-1958. One of the highlights of working for AFSC was the opportunity to interact with a variety of interesting people. In the summer of 1954, AFSC hosted a seminar for International Students on the topic of Human Rights and Responsibilities. Over 40 students representing 18 countries gathered for four weeks on Orcas Island. The seminar recognized the basic factors which must be in harmony if freedom and security for all are to be achieved. The students came both to broaden their base of understanding and to exchange insight and dialogue around how the interplay of social and political forces in their countries and around the world relate to the roots of freedom and security. The seminar director Dr. Ralph Victor, who was born in Germany and was serving as Chief of Medical services of Group Health Cooperative of Puget Sound, who was joined by his wife Polly and a half dozen other leaders working for or connected to AFSC.
In addition to providing planning support and driving supplies to Orcas Island, my husband Ben and I were honored to host some of the students before the seminar. Two people left a lasting impression on me. The first is Cheng Liang a student from China who stayed with us and cooked a most delicious meal, it was so good I still remember it! The second is an Indian woman who had packed 35 saris in her suitcase and one night at the seminar she let all the women dress up in them. My time at AFSC and the work for deeper freedom and security is all about the people!