Living Dr. King’s dream

Published 12:09 am Monday, January 15, 2018

Natchez United shares the visions of many Americans who have provided shining examples of the America that offers the coveted “American Dream” to every citizen. Slightly over a half century ago, one of our nation’s greatest leaders proclaimed,

“I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice. 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. I have a dream …

I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low. The rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight. And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together. And if America is to be a great nation, this must become true.”

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We share Dr. King’s dream and remember his example today. As we began our journey in July, we asked the faith-based communities to join us in a prayer of healing — healing for our community that would result in the landscape described by Dr. King in his life and mission. We prayed for the wisdom and guidance of our leaders — wisdom that would guide them to come together in one accord to promote significant improvements for our community. Our prayers are being answered, and for this we are sincerely grateful.

Natchez United and the Natchez-Adams County Educational Foundation invite you to participate in a very exciting opportunity! As you are probably aware, we have initiated community conversations with an initial goal of improving the ECONOMY of Natchez. Our priorities quickly expanded to include EDUCATION and ENGAGEMENT because of the close connection of these three areas.

We are now partnering with the Natchez Chamber of Commerce and the Natchez-Adams County School District’s P-16 Committee in a new and exciting venture. Research suggests that students in middle and high school are more likely to develop motivation in school that leads to higher levels of achievement when they begin to explore potential careers. This new motivation is mainly because these aspiring students — our future workforce — begin to see the opportunities available in the community around them and begin to dream of becoming active members of those local professions.

Of course, all of us would like to see more successful schools in Natchez, and we must “be the change [we] want to see in this world.” Therefore, we need you to join with us. At 7 p.m. Tuesday, we will be hosting a meeting in the ballrooms at the Natchez Grand Hotel to collaborate and develop plans for presenting the professional landscape of Natchez to our local middle school students.

Many local professionals have volunteered or recommended as experts in their “career cluster;” however, we need everyone! Please tell your friends and colleagues — any additional people who you believe would participate and add value to our program.

It is our hope that we can put together some brief, 20-25 minute presentations on each career cluster and possibly some displays to present to our middle school students in February. Since February is the month for Valentine’s Day, a Career Day of sorts with a theme along the lines of “Natchez-Adams County ‘Showing the Love’ for Our Children” It will be a day for our children to “Find [Their] Passion/Commitment in February.” We believe that this will be a good start to introducing careers and helping students connect with the ones that they really like. We look forward to your recommendations and participation!
Dr. Marvin Jeter is an education consultant and a member of Natchez United.