Watertown High School students (from left) Catherine Fabian, Eva Henry and Claire Fabian led the effort to bring the Kingian Nonviolence Principles and Reconciliation Circles to WHS. A group of Watertown High School students took what they learned about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s principles of non-violence at the middle school and created a program to be used with all students at WHS. The efforts have been recognized by district leaders, and education officials at the state level. Those interested in the effort can take part in upcoming events, including Community Introduction to Restorative Justice Circles on Wednesday, Dec. 11, in the WHS Lecture Hall, from 6-8 p.m.
The following piece was provided by those involved in the effort at Watertown High School:
Background and Context
The Kingian Principles of Nonviolent Conflict Reconciliation were the basis for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s work in the Civil Rights Movement.
A closeup of the section of Watertown’s Kingian Nonviolence Mural featuring Martin Luther King. An effort to teach students and teachers about Dr. Martin Luther King’s nonviolence teachings that began four years ago at Watertown Middle School has now spread to all the Watertown Public Schools. Organizers hope that the program can get regular financial support to keep it going. Over the years, the Kingian Nonviolence teaching has spread from a small group of students at Watertown Middle School to include more teachers, Watertown Police officers and town residents. Now WMS offers a class focusing on the subject, and students from the middle school have sought to spread it to the other schools in town.
This spring there will be many ways for community residents, both young and old, to get involved with Watertown’s Kingian Nonviolence initiative, said local organizers. Kingian nonviolence is a train- the-trainer model created by civil rights leader, Dr. Bernard Lafayette, that applies Dr. Martin Luther King’s philosophy and methods to current conflicts. Community Mural Project: One way to get involved is through a mixed media mural to be created on the back wall of the Watertown Boys & Girls Club. On March 3rd, 17th, and 31st project organizers will host a series of free tile painting/making and mosaic-building workshops at HATCH Makers’ Space (20 Summer St.), to create pieces of the mural. There will also be a free tile painting/making workshop at the Mosesian Center for the Arts on March 10th as part of a Spring Festival.
The Watertown Kingian Nonviolence Coordinating Committee announced a new community training course on “Kingian Nonviolent Conflict Reconciliation.”
The 16-hour course will be held on two Saturdays, August 19 and 26, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., in the Community Room of the Watertown Police Department, 552 Main Street. The course is co-sponsored by World in Watertown with support from the Watertown Police Department, and has been made possible by a significant grant from the Watertown Community Foundation. The Kingian Nonviolence Coordinating Committee is excited to share this fun and interactive curriculum with the community. It was co-authored by Dr. Bernard LaFayette and David Jehnsen to teach how Dr. Martin Luther King’s philosophy and methodology can be applied to present-day conflicts, both personal and societal. The course will be taught by youth and faculty trainers from the Watertown Public Schools, as well as officers from the Watertown Police Department.
A mural created by Watertown High School students for the 20th annual Unity Breakfast. The Watertown Unity Breakfast celebrated the life and legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. for the 20th time on Monday with a record crowd. World in Watertown hosted the first Unity Breakfast in 2001 at the then Phillips Congregational Church (now the Redeemer Fellowship Church) and about 150 people attended, said Susan Kuder, chair of World in Watertown. The idea for Watertown having an event to honor Dr. King came from the Rev. Mark Harris, who recently retired as minister of the First Parish Church of Watertown. The Unity Breakfast reminded retired Watertown Police Officer Tony Physic of MLK Day celebrations he attended growing up in Boston.
The Watertown High six students who received the Unity Award for their work spreading Kingian Non-violence teachings to WHS. Pictured from left, Fred Laboissiere, Tino Themelis, Eva Henry, Claire abian, Catherine Fabian and Shivani Sharma. The people who brought the teachings of Martin Luther King Jr. to the Watertown schools and the community came together, and were honored during the the 20th annual Watertown Unity Breakfast on Monday. The annual celebration on Martin Luther King Jr. Day has been put on by the World in Watertown for two decades, and at the 2020 breakfast the local efforts to teach the principles of Kingian Non-violence in town were at the forefront. The keynote speaker was one of those who trained Watertown teachers, students and police about applying King’s non-violence teachings today, and the Unity Award went to six students who spread MLK’s teachings to Watertown High School.
Artwork created by Lowell School students. Ms. Jaclyn Zywocinski & Ms. Christine Talamas and their kindergarten & 1st grade students at the J.R. Lowell Elementary School created the centerpiece art for the annual Unity Breakfast while learning about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Students talked about how it doesn’t matter what the color your skin is… we are all so special, different and kind. And all hands, even small ones, can help the world! The Unity Breakfast will take place on Monday, Jan. 20.
The following information was provided by World in Watertown:
Watertown will celebrate its 20th Unity Breakfast to remember Martin Luther King Jr. at 8:30 a.m., Jan. 20 at the Hellenic Cultural Center, 25 Bigelow Ave., Watertown. The breakfast has become a Watertown tradition, drawing over 400 guests. This year’s honorary host will be Deanne Galdston, superintendent of the Watertown Public Schools. The keynote speaker is Jonathan Lewis, senior level Kingian Nonviolence trainer, Positive Peace Warrior Network.