From Hashtag to Action: Unifying the Dream

Reagan and Deanna hugging and smiling

Reagan is one of our 5th grade youth at Skyline Middle School. She was selected as an award recipient for the Essay & Creative Expression contest as part of JMU’s 30th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Formal Program. The event was held on Monday, January 16th at JMU’s Wilson Hall Auditorium.

​Below is her award winning essay… (Shared with permission.)

Making a hashtag into an action is a real problem we need to take on. We use hashtags, but never actually make them a reality. Now I think we should use them for good! In August 1963, Martin Luther King Jr. gave his ‘I have a dream’ speech. King believed in equality, unity and compassion for others, and I believe we can do that. We have fulfilled lots of his dreams but I believe we have a lot more to do. Today, there are people who don’t believe that immigration should happen. I believe all should be respected and loved. War is happening in many places and people need places to live. Others may not have family and need people to love them. Sometimes, we need to forget about the past and focus on the future. All should be respected and loved. People should not be separated or disrespected because of their race. We all need to show unity and be fair to all.

Now, for solutions to the many problems I have stated before. I think we need to take a moment and think about how diverse our community is and say: we are very lucky to have such a great place to live with no war in our community and men and women who protect us everyday. We need to respect all no matter the past or present and make sure all are welcome and have a second chance in life. It’s absurd that it has taken over 200 years for us to realize everybody is equal and should be shown the same amount of respect and compassion.

Our skin color is not a way to separate people. From 1950 to 1964, segregation took place and everything was separated. For example, water fountains were separated, restaurants and movie theaters too. I believe all are equal and should be treated that way. Martin Luther King Jr. said in his own words, “Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred.” I believe that we all need to honor this quote and use it for good and make sure we don’t drink from the cup of hatred and bitterness. I hope all take Martin Luther King Jrs. message and spread it to many others.

In conclusion, Martin Luther King Jr’s “I have a dream” speech was very iconic. I believe we all need to stand by his words and make his dream a reality. We are so close his goal and need to push a little bit closer. I believe we can make real progress in our community with unity, equality for all and compassion for each other.