Hold fast to dreams,
For if dreams die,
Life is a broken-winged bird
That cannot fly.

---- Langston Hughes


This year’s event celebrating the life of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., focused on taking personal responsibility --- not only in meeting the goals of Martin Luther King but also your own life’s goals.

“There’s a difference between ‘believers of dreams’ and ‘makers of dreams,’” said guest speaker Rev. Dr. Kevin Johnson, senior pastor of the Bright Hope Baptist Church, who quoted the Hughes poem.  “When Dr. King said, ‘I have a dream,’ he took ownership of the dream.”

A dream may be free but the journey to reach it isn’t, he said. “A price must be paid for dreams. Coming to fruition comes with a cost. Martin Luther King paid with his life.”

Rev-JohnsonAccording to Johnson, King was not the smartest student at Morehouse College “but he moved beyond his B and C grades. Never look at where great leaders started … but where they ended.”

To meet your own goals, “keep moving. Look at your future, not your past,” he said. “Believe in yourself. God wants to take you to a higher level.”

Johnson then told the story of a young boy called Cheerio by kids at his school because he had holes in his shoes. But Cheerio’s mom refused to let him think less of himself. To demonstrate a point, she told him to put some milk and a single Cheerio in a bowl. ‘Press down the Cheerio and see what happens when you let go,’ she told him.  The Cheerio rose to the top.  Again and again she had him repeat this process until he saw the point.  “No matter what life brings you, keep rising, rising to the top,” Johnson said.

Mistress of Ceremonies Sheinelle Jones, of Fox 29 Good Day Philadelphia, encouraged people to “make a commitment to be a better person. As we get older we tend to become more cynical.  Today is a chance to push the pause button and re-energize.  Think about being kind, and the importance of love and life.”

Entertainment for the celebration came from the young members of the Philadelphia Performing Arts Charter School concert choir. Accompanying them were members of the Dave Stevens Band

Many thanks to Tamika Patton of Administration for once again taking the lead in pulling together this inspiring program!