Sunday, January 28, 2007

I Have a Dream

Grandma "W" is the Executive Director of the LA, I HAVE A DREAM FOUNDATION and today they had their annual Gospel Brunch at the House of Blues to raise money and awareness for this amazing organization.

Here's a little history (from their website):

The I Have a Dream movement began in 1981. As New York City businessman Eugene Lang prepared to address a group of graduating sixth graders at his alma mater, East Harlem Elementary, he was told that only 25% of the students sitting before him would graduate from high school. The figure was so alarming that he was moved to make an astonishing offer: He would pay the college tuition of each and every student who graduated from high school. The results were truly amazing: 90% of those sixth graders graduated from high school, and 60% went to college. This remarkable accomplishment led to the creation of the I Have a Dream Foundation, which has since expanded to more than sixty chapters across the country and served over 14,000 Dreamers.

The big guests at the event were Jennifer Garner, Rebecca Romijn, Tyra Banks, Alexis Bledel (Gilmore Girls), and Silvio Horta, creator of the show, "Ugly Betty."

And...Larry David was an attendee!!! He was a co-creator of "Seinfeld" and the creator and star of "Curb Your Enthusiasm" on HBO. He's one of the funniest people alive, and I love him. I'm not big on meeting stars, because you ultimately feel like a dork, saying something embarrassing like, "I love your work," or "Remember that episode of Seinfeld where George's fiance Susan licks too many wedding invitation envelopes and dies from glue toxicity? I LOVE that one!" So, I admired from afar.

But it was a great event and the kids and adults who have benefited from the foundation are always the best part. Their charm, confidence, and honesty upstage the big stars every year. It's amazing how children's lives are forever changed by mentoring. All a kid really needs is an adult who believes in them. And that is what makes this foundation so wonderful. Because they don't throw money at the problem, they throw people at the problem. And it works! I'm so amazed by Grandma "W" and her selflessness. She has changed so many lives and like Superman, still has energy to babysit!

FD and his dad photographed the event, and Froggy was photographed by the paparazzi! We were behind the red carpet and she kept peeking out. The photographers "oooohhed and ahhhed" over her cutie-patootieness and snapped some pics of her. So maybe the next time you read US or People, you'll see a little naughty Froggy! She was totally into her little dress and patten-leather shoes. Such a girlie-girl.

If you haven't read Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech, in a while, here it is (condensed). I wish we had leaders like this today:

I say to you today, my friends, that in spite of the difficulties and frustrations of the moment, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal."

I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slaveowners will be able to sit down together at a table of brotherhood.

I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a desert state, sweltering with the heat of injustice and oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.

I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

I have a dream today.

I have a dream that one day the state of Alabama, whose governor's lips are presently dripping with the words of interposition and nullification, will be transformed into a situation where little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls and walk together as sisters and brothers.

I have a dream today.

I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together.

This is our hope. This is the faith with which I return to the South. With this faith we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.

This will be the day when all of God's children will be able to sing with a new meaning, "My country, 'tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing. Land where my fathers died, land of the pilgrim's pride, from every mountainside, let freedom ring."

And if America is to be a great nation this must become true. So let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire. Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York. Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania!
Let freedom ring from the snowcapped Rockies of Colorado!
Let freedom ring from the curvaceous peaks of California!
But not only that; let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia!
Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee!
Let freedom ring from every hill and every molehill of Mississippi. From every mountainside, let freedom ring.

When we let freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, "Free at last! free at last! thank God Almighty, we are free at last!"


froggyaunt said...

FM, I can't help but remembering MLK, Jr. I was in high school geometry class when I heard that he had been assassinated. And I can still remember what one of my classmates said. I won't repeat it. Long ago I read MLK, Jrs book, A Strength To Love. We are all fallen. But there is a Love that transcends it. That isn't a dream. It is the reality. FA

froggyaunt said...

P.S. I am soooo glad you have Grandma W in your life. FA