Keeping “I Have a Dream” Alive

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One of Pierce College’s core themes is centered around equity, diversity and inclusion. All students are given the opportunity to be apart of a community of people who are here to grow their knowledge and create relationships.

As a mixed person, I have experienced not feeling like I fit into any group. I am not “light enough” to relate to a white person and I am not “dark enough” to relate to a person of color. Even though I have felt unsure where I fit in, Pierce made me feel a sense of belonging. Pierce would not be able to provide this security without the constant work of Civil Rights leaders.

During the 1960s, Martin Luther King Jr. was a well-known activist and leader in the Civil Rights Movement. 

The fight for equal rights for black citizens was a difficult road. Black citizens had very few rights to community services, recreational activities and quality education. His work and other black leaders alike paved the way for the society we live in now.

Today, black citizens face some of the same difficulties on a slightly smaller scale. 22.72% of black citizens in Washington state live in poverty, while only 9.83% of white citizens live below the average means. Communities are separated by income and success, so in turn most white citizens live in better neighborhoods. No one’s housing, job opportunity or education should be affected by race.  This is evident in more luxurious parts of Tacoma-Lakewood area.

Although segregation isn’t as severe as it used to be, there is still a divide between a person of color and a white citizen. This is based on personal prejudices and discrimination. Because race is a socially constructed system created by the individuals living in it, people are judged based on what they look like and even how they talk.

This is what King stood for; equality among all people, according to his “I Have A Dream” speech. He said he wanted his four children to be judged by their character and not by the color of their skin.

Progress has been made, but there is more work to be done. Every person has the right to respect, freedom and equal opportunity. As a community, we must work together to keep this city and campus a welcoming place for everyone.

We must do away with biased views of a race and realize we all have something in common.

We are human.