David Prosper

David Prosper

I can’t help but think about how many of our colors have been dulled by others’ oppression. Dreams that have died inside us and visions that we have lost sight of. The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream of a world as it should be is still very possible, but it will only become reality if all hands are on deck. I encourage you today, my friends, brothers and sisters; even though we face the generational trauma of today and tomorrow, I am still dreaming. 

It is the dream of my immigrant mother who came to America from Haiti; it is the dream of our ancestors who fought and died; it is the dream deeply rooted in America as a nation. 

Everyone has dreams, but very few people remember those dreams. The most significant difference between having a dream and recalling it is whether it’s memorable. In 1963, King gave his “I have a dream” speech at the March on Washington to thousands of people who gathered to listen to him share his vision.

King saw the world for what it was but also saw the world as it should be — a place where people of all backgrounds would work together, pray together, struggle together and stand up for the freedom of all together. King saw little Black boys and Black girls joining hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers. 

As we look back on our history, we have made incredible progress as a nation, but more work remains to be done. I believe that there are extraordinary leaders in our local and national communities who consistently pursue unity over division, love over indifference, and inclusivity over exclusion. In the movie The Greatest Showman, P.T. Barnum grows up in a poor family and watches his father struggle to meet their family’s needs. Then one particular day changed the course of Barnum’s life forever. On this day, he was exposed to what life could be like past his current situation.

Education is the great equalizer that enlightens us to learn what we never knew, reveals our beliefs so we can discover where they originated and empowers us to live purposefully. I don’t know about you, but I’m still dreaming. 

I am still dreaming today! 

I am still dreaming that we will release our control of competition to embrace the ecosystem of collaboration one day, where communities will no longer live in silos or islands but create bridges that connect families of all backgrounds. 

I am still dreaming today! 

I am still dreaming that we will separate the problems from the people to offer compassion and empathy one day. Imagine the day when our culture makes time to love our neighbors as ourselves because, if we are loving, we will have no time to judge. 

I am still dreaming today! 

I am still dreaming that one day we’ll no longer be bystanders to injustice but uphold a new standard of equality, dignity and unity. In this place, our grandchildren will use the language of curiosity and not condemnation. 

I am still dreaming today! 

I am still dreaming that one day educators will join hands with parents to nurture the whole student and not just academically. They will prepare students to engage in a world where people will think and act differently than they do. 

I am still dreaming today! 

I am still dreaming that one day fathers will no longer be separated from their children. I dream of a truly reformed prison system that rehabilitates individuals back to health and wholeness. 

I believe that we all have individual and collective dreams. I hope that we will find the courage to share them unapologetically because we can create the world that Martin Luther King Jr. dreamed about.