From Profiles of passion and courage

Latino scholars share American Dreams

And now the road approaches its reward – the completed destiny of the first child to graduate from college. The first child who will become not what they must be, but what they can dream of becoming – a teacher, an artist, a doctor – maybe the President of the United States. If this is a cliché, we need more clichés.

After a LADO dinner I’m farther than ever from understanding America’s anti-immigrant, anti-urban, anti-education anger. America needs these young men and women. We can’t afford for them not to realize their dreams – our dreams – the American Dream.

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Roger and us – start-up lessons from our past

4. Make your own luck. No one could have predicted two game-changing gifts that came to Growth Through Learning, including a $1 million bequest that has essentially solved the problem of paying GTL’s current very lean overhead. But we could easily predict that they would never have come about without Roger’s persistent effort at steps 1, 2 and 3 above.

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Take action for women and girls in the Democratic Republic of Congo

What seems so far away and removed from our lives came to us up close Sunday when Congolese refugee Albert Mulenda Rajabu spoke about his experiences in the DRC at the Write-a-Thon for Human Rights sponsored by Group 49 of Amnesty International USA.

Mr. Rajabu, a former teacher, stoically shared his own story of surviving two civil wars despite arrest and jailing for his human rights work in the DRC. But he wept when he reported incidences of sexual violence perpetrated against women and girls. He shared with the room the following story of a survivor’s account of the sexual violence.

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Listen to the Lion

“Circumstances may change, but the work of compassion must continue. It is surely correct that we cannot solve problems by throwing money at them, but it is also correct that we dare not throw our national problems onto a scrap heap of inattention and indifference. The poor may be out of political fashion, but they are not without human needs. The middle class may be angry, but they have not lost the dream that all Americans can advance together…

“A fair prosperity and a just society are within our vision and our grasp, and we do not have every answer. There are questions not yet asked, waiting for us in the recesses of the future, but of this much we can be certain because it is the lesson of all our history: Together a president and the people can make a difference. I have found that faith still alive wherever I have traveled across this land. So let us reject the counsel of retreat and the call to reaction. Let us go forward in the knowledge that history only helps those who help themselves.

“There will be setbacks and sacrifices in the years ahead but I am convinced that we as a people are ready to give something back to our country in return for all it has given to us.

“Let this be our commitment: Whatever sacrifices must be made will be shared and shared fairly. And let this be our confidence: At the end of our journey and always before us shines that ideal of liberty and justice for all.”

Senator Edward M. Kennedy, Democratic National Convention 1980

Jubilation!

Words seem inadequate to express all that I am feeling today. But this one, Jubilation, comes closest. Def. Jubilation – “a feeling of extreme joy”, “full of high spirited delight”, “a joyful occasion to celebrate a special event.”

Congratulations, President Barack Obama. The hopes and dreams of the world’s people rest with you today and throughout your presidency.  Courage. While there is much to do, there are many who are willing to help if asked.