Rev. Mariama White-Hammond was born in Boston, MA in 1979. The child of two preacher-doctors, Mariama grew up with an understanding that God calls us all to serve our fellow man. Mariama’s activism began in high school and continued at Stanford University where Mariama was involved in campus politics and in the arts. She majored in International Relations, studied abroad in Chile, and focused on the political and economic development in Latin America and the Caribbean in the aftermath of dictatorships and/or civil wars.
In September 2001 Mariama became the Executive Director of Project HIP-HOP (Highways Into the Past – History, Organizing and Power), an organization she had been involved with the organization since high school. Project HIP-HOP is a youth-led that engages young people in critical thinking, artistic production and community organizing. At PHH, Mariama used the arts as a tool to raise awareness about social issues and help young people to find their voice and share their ideas with the world. She taught young people to draw on the history of their ancestors for wisdom and strength. During her time there, the organization performed for Mayor Walsh, Governor Patrick as well as in the streets of Roxbury, Chinatown, East Boston and throughout the city.
For her work in the non-profit sector Mariama has received numerous awards including the Barr Fellowship, the Celtics Heroes Among Us, The Roxbury Founders Day Award and the Boston NAACP Image award. In June 2014, Mariama stepped down as Executive Director to focus on her work within the church. She continues to serve the Boston community as a board member of FOCUS, Inc. (affordable housing) and UP Academy in South Boston & Dorchester (elementary and middle school). She serves in an Advisory role to ArtsEmerson, Green The Church, and Right to the City Boston VOTE!
Mariama is ordained in the African Methodist Episcopal Church. She serves on the ministerial staff at Bethel AME Church in Boston and is a Masters of Divinity Candidates at Boston University School of Theology. She serves as a Ecological Justice Minister at Bethel AME Church and as a member of the leadership team of Mass Interfaith Coalition for Climate Action. Her goal is to challenge the Christian church to embrace a more radical understanding of the life and mission of Jesus Christ. She believes that the church must be responsive to issues like street violence, mass incarceration, climate change, AIDS, food security, and human rights.
Boston Hip Hop Peace + Unity Fest ’07
With De La Soul + Slick Rick at City Hall Plaza, 2007