Marika Whitaker

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Group 3 Black History Month Projects

By Marika Whitaker on 02/28/2023

February is Black History Month! Group 3 (10th Grade) Art students read and discussed Race and Representation by bell hooks and watched the documentary Black Art in the Absence of Light, a contemporary survey of Black achievements in American art. Students selected an artist to research, and spent two weeks getting to know their visual syntax as well as the context around their work, how and if they address race, representation, and visibility in American society. Students wrote a notecard, created several studies of their artist's work, and gave short presentations in class.  

Please stop by the Forum to view this excellent student exhibition or view the work online on the Waring Smugmug Page.

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4 min read

Cultivating a Beloved Community Mindset: MLK Mural 2023

By Marika Whitaker on 01/20/2023

"In his 1959 Sermon on Gandhi, Dr. King elaborated on the after-effects of choosing nonviolence over violence: “The aftermath of nonviolence is the creation of the beloved community, so that when the battle’s over, a new relationship comes into being between the oppressed and the oppressor.” In the same sermon, he contrasted violent versus nonviolent resistance to oppression. “The way of acquiescence leads to moral and spiritual suicide. The way of violence leads to bitterness in the survivors and brutality in the destroyers. But, the way of non-violence leads to redemption and the creation of the beloved community.” Source:

On Friday, Jan 13, the Waring community gathered for an extended ASM time to honor the life and work of Martin Luther King Jr. and Coretta Scott King. We reflected on several passages of King’s where he discusses Beloved Community and then we listened to a portion of Bernice King’s talk on the King Center’s 2023 MLK Day Theme: It Starts With Me: Building A Beloved Community Mindset to Transform Unjust Systems. In her talk, Bernice outlines some aspects of cultivating a beloved community mindset, which, when practiced alongside courageous direct action toward transforming unjust systems, is a powerful tool of love and social change. Below are the tenets of beloved community mindset that she highlights:

  • Understanding that we are interconnected and interdependent
  • The ability to disagree without demeaning each other
  • Employing peaceful means in our quest for peaceful ends
  • Mental and spiritual conditioning to correct injustice and inequity without canceling, wishing destruction upon or seeking to destroy the person who propagated the injustice or inequity
  • Evolving from mere pity and apathy to compassionate action
  • Collaborating without compromising on justice
  • Embracing the philosophy and methodology of nonviolence as the pathway to the Beloved Community

After our all school discussion and collective visioning of what it means- looks like, feels like- to cultivate beloved community, we broke out into tutorial groups and reflected on the following questions, which students then inscribed on panels of a community art project designed by Marika Whitaker. Tutorials also worked on several different local service projects, creating dog toys for the Northeast Animal Shelter, decorating bags for Ellis Square Friends, and assembling snack bags for Beverly Bootstraps’ After School Programs. 


We invite you to come by the ASM space to see the completed mural and to join us in reflecting on beloved community: holding and building King's vision and practice for a loving and just world. For more information and resources, please visit the King Center for Nonviolent Social Change. (

  • Take a minute to allow yourself to dream and envision Beloved Community. What is the shape of the word beloved ? what is the shape of the word community ?When you imagine being in the midst of beloved community what does it feel like, look like, sound like to you?
  • What conditions are necessary for cultivating a beloved community? What do we need more of, what habits do we need to release in order to build beloved community? 
    • How does cancel culture and wokeness relate align or contradict with the idea of beloved community? 
    • How is the idea of beloved community co-opted by white people who want to skip over the work of reconciliation?
  • What is one commitment you can make individually toward cultivating a mindset of beloved community?
    • What is one commitment (or one word) that your tutorial can make in order to cultivate a beloved community mindset here at Waring?
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