United for Justice
United for Justice Walking Tour
To bring this project to our wider community, all of the project’s sponsors are joined together on Sunday, November 12 from noon-3:00 PM for a Walking/Driving Tour of the Social Justice Trail. Hosts at each site offered visitors many options: provide stories, history, current and past social justice activities, tours, refreshments, open Q&As, and more.
"Media-Providence Friends School students will continue to add to this project, bringing history to light, painful as it may be, in order to educate and to further the healing of past wrongs,” writes Taylor. “The United for Justice Walking Trail allows anyone to meditate and self-reflect at any of the five sites. The plaque’s QR Code provides historical information and video linking our organizations, student art, and short biographies of Black people killed by police, plus a map to follow to reach each site.
The Project's Beginnings
A community collaboration began in the spirit of Black Lives Matter following George Floyd’s murder by police in 2020. The purpose of UNITED FOR JUSTICE is to act on issues of Social Justice. With a strong belief in building and caring for diverse communities, we have installations in four Media locations for those who want to reflect on social justice and peace-building. Plaques in each site honor Black people killed by police. United for Justice aims to build compassion for the families affected.
In 2023, as the number of Black people killed by police officers continued to rise, Eighth Graders at MPFS created art to celebrate and illuminate the lives of some who have been killed. These works of art are shared here. Each comes with a short biography of the person who lost their life. In keeping with Media Fellowship House’s philosophy of treating all people with the respect and dignity they deserve, and in living out this testimony at MPFS, the student artists honor and value these Black individuals and ask that you take a moment to reflect on their lives also. Our shared voices and actions can prevent future gun violence.
“It has been a privilege to bring together four distinct organizations in Media whose missions include working for justice in our community. To connect Media Providence Friends School faculty and students, under the care of two Friends Meetings, with Media Fellowship House has felt deeply rewarding,” writes Laura Taylor, who is one of the project organizers and served as a full-time guidance counselor at Media-Providence Friends School for over twenty years.
In 1937, the Media Friends School Committee enrolled a Black child, Lancess McKnight. A school statement made it clear that the Quakers held strongly to the testimonies of equality and the worth of every individual. There was the expected backlash from the parent community but Media Friends stayed true to their beliefs and justice prevailed.
In 1943, Dorothy Biddle James, a white woman and longtime member of Media Friends Meeting, and a Media Friends School Social Committee Clerk– witnessed another injustice when two Black women, Marie Whitaker and her sister, were not being served at a restaurant on the corner of State & Olive Streets in Media. Dorothy’s grandfather, the courageous abolitionist Thomas Garrett, had passed on his spirit of standing for justice to Dorothy.
She and her friend chose to leave the restaurant and invite the Whitakers to join them for a meal elsewhere. The next year, these four women founded Media Fellowship House, believing that strength comes from diversity, that opposing hate and racism is critical, and that it is imperative to afford each person respect and dignity. Media Fellowship House and Media-Providence Friends School continue to do the work of social justice to build community.