South Side YMCA Chicago - Black History Month and MLK Day
Jan 24, 2022

South Side YMCA Honors Martin Luther King Jr.’s Legacy By Reflecting On What It Means To Dream

All of last week and culminating this past Monday, the South Side YMCA commemorated the life and legacy of civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. by inviting visitors to write their dreams down on paper hands posted proudly on the center’s bulletin board.

Community members of all ages reflected on their dreams for themselves, their families, and their communities.

"My dream is to love fully, encourage freely, and walk boldly," one dreamer wrote.

Another, speaking directly to the strides Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. made for racial justice, proclaimed, "My dream is to live unapologetically Black without consequence."

Connecting King’s work to the Y’s role as a vital community asset, one visitor shared, "My dream is to ensure all people of color learn how to swim."

Meanwhile, students enrolled in the center’s Out of School Time program discussed this quote from King: "If you can’t fly, run; if you can’t run, walk; if you can’t walk, crawl; but by all means keep moving." By sharing with one another what this wisdom means to them, youth engaged in a healing, generative dialogue about how best to "keep moving" as positive change agents in the world.

Every day, we at the YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago endeavor to live out Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream by imagining a brighter, more equitable future for and beyond Chicagoland. To that end, we ask you: What are your dreams for yourself, your family, and your Y community?