Every year, White Mountain observes Martin Luther King Jr. Day through a series of workshops, films, speakers and initiatives. This year, throughout the weekend, Emani Gonzalez asked the probing question, “Why does community matter?” To answer her question, she interviewed White Mountain students and faculty to gain their perspective on the importance of community within The White Mountain School and beyond.
“It felt right to make this our MLK Day project because the one common theme among all workshops, was that we have power in numbers. To this community, there is nothing more important than knowing what’s going on in the world and having hard, courageous conversations. Our diverse community at White Mountain represents many different places and experiences. What better way to share it than our #CommunityMatters project.” – Emani ’19
Below are a few interviews from her research.
Name: Angel Chukwuma
When did you come to White Mountain? I came to White Mountain in the fall of 2018. This is my freshman year.
What do you love about White Mountain? I love the tight-knit community here at White Mountain. Everybody knows each other so it feels very welcoming and friendly.
How do you define community? My idea of a community is a group of people that share similar ideas, experiences, and/or interests. They should support and lift up one another. There can be smaller communities within an overall larger community. If someone belongs to a community, they should feel included and welcomed. A community definitely does not involve exclusion and ostracism.
Community Matters because…Everyone deserves to belong to some kind of community they identify with. I believe everyone wants to have a group of people they can connect with and relate to. Otherwise, people would feel lonely and like an outcast.
Name: Ethan Bernstein
When did you come to White Mountain? I came to White Mountain for my freshman year in 2017.
What do you bring from your community at home to the White Mountain community? I bring an open mind. For most of my early life, I grew up in a bubble and I never really much time to learn about other cultures. I bring a brain of someone who wants to learn how the world works.
How do you define community? People say home is where the heart is. I believe community is where the heart is. I say community is a bunch of people who collaborate to reach the same goal.
Community Matters because…Without community you don’t have a purpose. I feel like life’s purpose is to be part of something greater because nothing great has ever happened with one person alone. It takes a lot of people.
Name: Zoë Simon
When did you come to White Mountain?
I came to White Mountain two years ago (my freshman year)
What do you love about White Mountain?
My favorite part of White mountain is the community! I love the people here and the support we all give to each-other.
How do you define community?
Community = A sense of togetherness and fellowship between people; these people lift each other up and work as one team to reach a shared goal
Community Matters because…A person’s community is their home, family, and support network. We are here to support each other, care for each other, and love each other unconditionally. The unity felt between people effects how comfortable someone feels in any given situation. Therefore, as a community, it is crucial that we support, encourage, include, and care for each other in a way that fosters feelings of peace and unity.
Read more about White Mountain’s MLK Day here.