Keepers of the Dream

by Imari Paris Jeffries

Imari Paris Jeffries is Jumpstart’s former Senior Vice President of Field Management and Policy.

Fifty years ago this past Wednesday, one of our nation’s most beloved leaders, Martin Luther King, Jr., delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech. Dr. King’s moving call to action continued and amplified the stewardship of our country’s growing civil rights movement and helped to define an era. The ideas and inspiration put forth in that speech led Congress to pass momentous legislation.

At a commemoration of the 1963 demonstration for jobs, economic justice and racial equality at the Lincoln Memorial, Presidents Obama, Clinton, Carter, Congressmen John Lewis, and relatives of Martin Luther King, Jr. honored this important milestone in our country’s great history of social change and justice. Today, some fifty years later, the work of these activists, thought leaders, and citizens is not complete. Today, as we look at the state of the education system, we know we still have work to do.

Reflecting on this week, I am inspired because the leaders, activists and organizers at Jumpstart are positioned to continue and build upon the work that was started so many years ago. As we head into the Labor Day weekend, and we commence a new year of service to children, let us remember and show appreciation for the giants upon whose shoulders we stand upon to carry on this work. Let us remember the children and families with whom we work to make good on America’s promissory note of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Let us remember the labor of each and every leader in the realm of early childhood education. With faith and renewed sprits, let us remember that we serve as keepers of the Dream!

Together, we can help all children build the key language and literacy skills they need to take on the world.

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