Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Beautiful Justice

By Marisa Geitner, president & C.E.O. of Heritage Christian Services

I’m honored to share this space with Dr. Beth Mount, who teaches we all have gifts – and that those gifts can and should be used in community. She is an activist and an artist, a quilter who uses fabric and stitches as a metaphor for weaving people together. May you find beauty in her words.


My life's work of 40 years is devoted to the possibility that all people, particularly those with disabilities, are seen in the light of their capacities and possible vision. My community of friends and colleagues work steadily on many aspects of personal, neighborhood, organizational, and cultural change so that the hopes expressed by people and families have some concrete impact on the structures of society. This work has affirmed in me the belief that all people have gifts to bring, and that the fabric of community is strengthened when we incorporate the capacities of all people

I grew up in Atlanta during the civil rights movement and consequently had the privilege of living with the voice of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. calling us all to remember that, “We are all tied together in the single garment of destiny, caught in an inescapable network of mutuality.”

Dr. King’s beloved community is a global vision, in which all people can share in the wealth of the earth. Racism and all forms of discrimination, bigotry and prejudice will be replaced by an all-inclusive spirit of sisterhood and brotherhood and this will be accomplished thru the attainment of civil rights and mutually respectful relationships. Legal rights create the foundation for equal opportunity, however the vision of the beloved community invites personal and social relationships that are created by love—and these cannot be legislated. Dr. King describes this agape love as an “overflowing love seeking to preserve and create community.”  Undoubtedly, the people I know best benefit from and contribute to this art of relationship building and belonging.

The TEDx talk “Beautiful Justice” expresses the vision that people can work and belong to community regardless of their intellectual limitations and other constraints. We are all better together when we create new worlds for people that bring forth the best in all of us.