Today is the 50th anniversary of Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream” speech, which he delivered on August 28, 1963 to more than 200,000 civil rights supporters from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. The speech is considered one of the most powerful of the 20th Century and marked a defining moment in the civil rights movement.
In seeking equal opportunities for African Americans, Martin Luther King, Jr., ignited movements among women, Hispanics, people with disabilities, and other groups. His calls for equal treatment under the law changed and improved the lives of millions of Americans, not just African Americans. He showed us how to seek change by working within the system, while still challenging injustice.
Fifty years after Dr. King blazed the trail, we still haven’t reached our destination. Dr. King’s life, his message, and the changes for which he fought so hard still challenge us today.
In our work in public education, we have a unique opportunity and a particular responsibility for making progress towards realizing Dr. King’s dream of equal access and opportunity for all Americans. Our job is to ensure that every student in AISD receives a quality education, regardless of skin color or zip code.
We have made progress in recognizing inequalities in AISD. But, as Dr. King knew better than anyone, the process of change can be frustrating and slow. We must not listen to those who say that these changes can wait until next year, or the year after that. Because, every year we wait to make a decision, more students will not graduate, and we will have failed to do our job of preparing all students to take advantage of the opportunities before them.
When it comes to opening doors and ensuring a high quality education for each and every one of our students, Dr. King's message from 50 ago still resonates today:
Read Meria Carstarphen's Power of Us blog post.