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  • Writer's pictureJodi Samuels

I have a dream

Today we celebrate Martin Luther King Jr a civil rights activist and at age 35 the youngest person to receive the Nobel Peace Prize.

I was inspired to take a stand for Caila in January 2010 when Caila then 2 years old, was locked out of her local Jewish day school. Locked out because of her disability. Dr King famously said “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”

It was on Martin Luther King day in 2010 that I decided that I was going to have a voice and take a stand for children with special needs. I wanted to change the world for Caila and all people who suffer prejudices because of their disabilities.

Over the years I have advocated for my daughter, spoken at conferences, addressed medical students, rabbis, high school students and educators. I have written blogs and Caila inspired many of the messages in my book Chutzpah, Wisdom and Wine. Yet I still have a dream....

  • I have a dream that my daughter will be judged for who she is and not for a pre-conceived notion of what children with her disability are and are not able to achieve.

  • I have a dream that my daughter will have friends and feel included.

  • I have a dream that schools will evaluate Caila on her objective abilities and not on her diagnosis.

  • I have a dream that people with different abilities will be celebrated.

  • I have a dream that Caila like all kids will reach for the stars and fulfill her potential.

As Dr King said “In the end we will remember not the words of our enemies but the silence of our friends.”

I thank the many people and organizations who have joined to make the world a better place for people with disabilities. I have a dream that many more individuals and organizations will join this mission.

I have a dream that all man will be considered equal including all the precious Cailas of the world!


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