The Dream Pledge

Lesson 1: The History

The idea of "the Dream" is as old as America. People usually dream for those things they don't have and hope to acquire. Martin Luther King Jr. understood that America was essentially a dream, created out of the hopes and aspirations of people wanting to live in a country where everyone, regardless of who they were or what they believed, would be free and equal under the law to pursue their happiness. It was for "the dream" that people left their countries of origin and came to America. The founders of America put their dream, along with some rules and laws in a document we call the United States Constitution.

{ "When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men - yes, black men as well as white men - would be guaranteed the inalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness."—Martin Luther King Jr.


Never stop dreaming and never let someone tell you that your dreams don't matter. Your dreams will inspire and motivate you to do Big Things!


Lesson 2: The Vision

Dr. King's dream made him famous, but his vision gave him power. Have you ever heard someone say, "They could see something in their mind's eye?" Well, that's just another way of saying they could imagine something before they could actually see it. Martin Luther King Jr. had a dream for America, but in his mind's eye, he imaged an America free of discrimination, poverty, hunger and violence. What's your vision for America and the world? Having a dream about something is great, but like Dr. King, your vision is also important. Share your dream with a parent, friend or whoever will listen!

{ "I have a dream that my four little 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."—Martin Luther King Jr.


You can do anything you can imagine as long as you let your vision guide your actions!


Lesson 3: The Purpose

There was a woman named Rosa Parks who went to jail because she refused to give up her seat. Rosa's mother and father instilled in her a strong sense of purpose. While Rosa was not looking to be famous when she refused to give up her seat, she later understood her role and purpose in changing the world. Read more

{ "Number one in your life's blueprint should be a deep belief in your own dignity, your worth and your own somebodiness. Don't allow anybody to make you feel that you're nobody. Always feel that you count. Always feel that you have worth, and always feel that your life has ultimate significance."—Martin Luther King Jr.


You were uniquely created to fulfil a special purpose! Sometimes purpose leads to action, and other times action leads to purpose!


Lesson 4: The Action

The one thing that America's founding fathers, Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks had in common was their commitment to some action. For the chance to be free, the early American colonists left their family and friends in other countries and came to America. Their actions lead to the formation of America. Martin Luther King Jr. sacrificed family, career and his very life to make America and the world a better place. Rosa Parks could have moved to the back of the bus like everybody else, but she weighed the risks and counted the costs and determined that she would go to jail to be free.

{ "Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable... Every step toward the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering, and struggle; the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals."—Martin Luther King Jr.


Without action your dreams, visions and purpose will fade away. Like Rosa Parks, one small act of courage can change the world!


Take the Dream Pledge!

{ "And as we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall always march ahead. We cannot turn back. There are those who are asking the devotees of civil rights, "When will you be satisfied?—Martin Luther King Jr.


Before taking the Dream Pledge, read the following statements and then spend a few minutes thinking about what they mean to you, and then take the pledge!  After you have taken the pledge, share what you have learned with a parent, sibling or a friend.


Dream Pledge

I will think, speak and act until the promises and freedoms

found in the United States Constitution apply to everyone.

Like Martin Luther King Jr.,

I have a dream, and I will think, speak and act until my dream comes true.

I am somebody, and I have a purpose.

Large or small, I will do something to help others every day.

I am the dream, and the dream is now!