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Dare to Dream

by LeDerick Horne

Dedicated to all the LD students at the New Jersey Department of Education's Dare to Dream Conferences who led workshops and gave inspiring presentations about their struggles and triumphs.

We are gathered here today
to bear witness,
to bear witness to the union
of two beautiful people
Yes, today is the day that we merge
who you are
with who you want to be,
making the vision
and the reality – one
An integration
born of communication
and made tangible
by your commitment to yourself

Now, I know some of you might be afraid
but don’t let cold feet
stop you from jumping the broom,
from taking the first step,
from beginning a journey
that will transform your life

Yes, I know some of you might be afraid,
But see, it’s my job
- to show you that better days are coming

Yes, it’s my job
- to be Harriet Tubman like
with my movements and verse
So if I have to steal a way
just for us to make a way, then Star
I’ll be the first one with his hand in the cookie-jar
of self-advocacy,
I’ll use these sticky fingers
to pick-pocket the pocket of
And if I got to grand-theft-auto
the Mercedes-Benz
of a quality-education,
then they might as well leave the doors unlocked
and the keys in the ignition
‘cause I’m gone in 60 seconds
and ain't NOTHING, and I mean NOTHING
standing in my way
You see, it’s my job
to unlock doors
unshackle minds
break through glass ceilings
motivate, inspire, and challenge you,
-I’m here to challenge you

And so I dare you,
- I dare you to sit in your seat
and not feel moved
by the testimonies of these brave souls,
who come before you as examples of excellence

I dare you,
- I dare you to look in the mirror
without imagining,
see yourself as yourself
A diamond, that might need a little polishing,
but whose beauty has always existed

I dare you,
- I dare you to step
bounce and move to your own rhythm
excite minds
in time
we’ll redefine the system
I write lines
designed to embrace and kiss,
plus supercharge like imports strapped with nitrous,
this is a revolution
a fight for inclusion
segregation is no solution
Brown vs. Ed is how I'm provin'
we deserve the best
nothin’ more and nothin’ less
every child gets left behind
when all we focus on are tests

And so I dare you,
- To judge yourselves by a different standard,
to lift as you climb,
to fight like gladiators
to become master and commander
of your own beautiful minds
And above all else,
I dare you to dream – dare to dream y’all

LeDerick Horne is a guest contributor. He is a graduate of Middlesex County College and New Jersey City University.



Forcina Hall, Room 101

The College of New Jersey

P.O. Box 7718

Ewing, NJ 08628-0718

P) 609.771.2795




Professor Amy G. Dell

Managing Editor

Anne M. Disdier