Friday, February 7, 2014

Local Leaders Carry on MLK Jr.'s Dream

Last month we celebrated Martin Luther King Jr. Day. It is a day we pay homage to our society’s ability to see past life’s limitations and disappointments and honor the most noble aspirations that live in us both individually and collectively.  Today we remember and pay respect to a world without gross inequality, where all humans are valued for the potential they hold regardless of social status or background.
Lecester Johnson stands with AoH Graduate

We also honor the brave individuals who have made it their life’s purpose to turn these dreams into reality.  Leaders whose actions, words, and examples embody the principles that Martin Luther King, Jr. stood for – equality, justice, and hope.  Leaders like Lecester Johnson, Executive Director of Academy of Hope, recipient of Georgetown University’s Legacy of a Dream Award for 2014.

Academy of Hope provides adult education, employment resources and tutoring. But in fact, its founding vision is building hope in the hearts of those struggling to overcome life’s most obstinate challenges – poverty, underemployment, and disempowerment.  Academy of Hope provides a nurturing environment for dreams to take root and the tools for its learners to actualize them little by little – to find steady work, set a good example for their children, or challenge themselves to live more fulfilling and productive lives.

We honor Lecester Johnson and others who have brought the Washington, DC community one step closer to King’s dream.  Because the purpose of MLK Jr. Day is not to revere a great leader who once gave a great speech, who is now just a black and white figure in our history books and our calendars.  The purpose is to remember the great cause that he stood for – social equality – and to celebrate those who advancing this same cause to this day.

Places like Academy of Hope ensure that dreams like King’s stay alive and build the foundation for a more just and loving society.  We applaud Lecester Johnson, her staff, and the volunteer teachers for the work that they do and honor her alongside those pursuing their dream for a better world.

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