People standing around, with hands on the Civil Rights Memorial

"It is precisely in a period of great spiritual and societal hunger like our own that we most need to open minds, hearts, and memories to those times when women and men actually dreamed of new possibilities for our nation, for our world, and for their own lives. It is now that we may be able to convey the stunning idea that dreams, imagination, vision, and hope are actually powerful mechanisms in the creation of new realities—especially when the dreams go beyond speeches and songs to become embodied; to take on flesh, in real, hard places."

In acknowledgment of the civil rights challenges we continue to face, we share this quote from the late civil rights veteran, Vincent Harding’s essay, “Is America Possible?” part of our Deepening the American Dream series. In the essay, he recalls a pilgrimage he took in 2005 to trace the roads travelled and honor the events that shaped the Civil Rights Movement.

Harding suggests that America's most important role in the world is not to dominate, threaten, or compete, but to help each other in a search for common ground. He offers that when we simply attempt to replicate our free-market materialism, we miss our most vital connections. From this, he suggests that a new conversation may begin—one that might initiate a deeper journey concerning the possibilities of human community across all geographical lines.

During this uncertain time, it is helpful to reach out and back to those who traversed difficult territory for wisdom, inspiration, and encouragement​. We offer this essay as fuel for this practice, to help us open to, dream, and imagine a world with greater equity, justice, humanity, kindness, and compassion.

​In the spirit of buoying one another, we invite you to share what or who gives you hope or where you see possibility.