Dateline: January 28, 2019
Dear Dr. King:
I have a dream to live in a world where there is no “other,” where there is no hatred. We are all alike in our entitlement for basic human rights regardless of our race, national origin, religion, physical or mental appearance or limitations, gender identity or economic status.
Sadly, we are not all alike in our disdain for bigotry.
I have a dream that people can fall asleep in peace lulled by familiar sounds of birdsong or city clamors and not have to fear sounds of gunshots or bombs exploding.
I have a dream where malnutrition does not exist, where hungry children no longer die of starvation and that there is equal access to health care from preventative medication to treatment for life-threatening illness.
I have a dream that schools are open to all children from early childhood to college and where young learners’ opportunities for advancing are based on merit and affordable.
I have a dream that people can live in countries where the rule of law is based on truths and civil order rather than being governed by self-centered motives, where human rights trump economic and political gain, and where people are able to freely speak up and choose their leaders.
Lastly, I have a dream the world will not be defined by national interests and locked borders and where peace is realized through rational compromising. This can occur through acceptance and adherence to the principles of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, “whereby all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights and that they are endowed with reason and conscience and act towards one another in a spirit of goodwill.”
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Marjorie Niewenhuis has been devoted to helping young adults as a guidance counselor and director of guidance in Connecticut schools, and for 29 years as director of college counseling and student support services at the United Nations International School (UNIS) in New York. She says she feels blessed to work with students, parents, and faculty from all over the world, and has derived immense satisfaction from exposure to unique cultural diversity. She has served on several professional and community boards, authored A Parents Guide to College (Simon & Schuster 2000), and authored and led a program on Peer Counseling for Senior Citizens that is still effective in CT. Her undergraduate degree is in Sociology (Brooklyn College) and has graduate degrees in Counseling (Fairfield University) and Educational Administration (Teachers College Columbia).