Quaker Values and Their Relevance Today

Quakers are a small percentage of the U.S. population today—only about 75,000 people in total. Yet Quaker values have greatly influenced our nation’s history and continue to resonate in the 21st century. From large social movements, like civil rights or women’s suffrage, to reaching consensus at a business meeting, Quaker values are part of the fabric of our collective lives.

What are Quaker values? How can you recognize and draw on them, whether you are Quaker or not? In October 2020, the Kendal Corporation and Friends Services Alliance created a series of short videos to explain The Quaker Connection: Perspectives on Living and Working in a Quaker Values-Rooted Environment. A grant from the Friends Foundation for the Aging supported production of the series.

Listen in as David Jones, retired Vice President of Development for Kendal, and Jane Mack, President and CEO of the Friends Services Alliance—both lifelong, committed Quakers—talk about the legacy and enduring role of Quaker values.

Quaker History and Beliefs:
An Overview

David and Jane share their own backgrounds growing up in Quaker farming families and the concepts that guide them and fellow Quakers today. Learn how the well-known Quaker Meeting House provides a gathering place where each person has his or her own personal connection with the Divine.

Quaker Principles S.P.I.C.E.S.

No, we are not talking about Quaker cooking! This acronym—Simplicity, Peace, Integrity, Community, Equality, Stewardship—captures core Quaker principles, called testimonies, and can serve as a guide to a meaningful life.  

Quakers as Change Agents in Society

From the earliest days of the nation to the present, Quakers have stood up for what they believe is right, from prison and mental health reform, to civil and women’s rights, to protecting the rights of older adults.

The Importance of Quaker Values in the Lives of Our Organizations

Residents, employees, volunteers, and others who work or live in Quaker-based organizations can expect an atmosphere of openness, transparency, and mutual concern. How does this translate into how these organizations foster community and respect for diversity?


Frequently Asked Questions

David and Jane answer 20 questions that people often ask them about Quakerism, from what the “spark of the divine” means, to what happens at a Quaker meeting, to the use of the words “thee” and “thou.”

Collaborative Decision-Making

Quakers have always run meetings in a way that encourages listening to everyone because the truth may come from anyone. Find out how such a session may differ from meetings you may be used to—and how a meeting based on Quaker values makes good business sense!

What should you expect when you are at a consensus-based meeting as a board or committee member, or in another participant role? David and Jane explain how you can contribute to the discussion and the eventual decision of the whole.

Serving as chair or facilitator of a collaborative meeting calls for a skillset to lead to a consensus embraced by the group. In this video, David and Jane share tips for success, with a few extra minutes on techniques to deal with disagreements.

Kendal Values

Quaker principles are the foundation of the values that tie the Kendal system of senior living and aging services providers together. Learn more about how Kendal staff and residents live these values everyday.