A letter to Dr. King from Nicole Chung, Youth & Cultural Specialist:
"Dear Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.,
I know you will not get to read this letter, but you know our ancestors always encouraged us to write everything down, especially our thoughts and emotions, so here are mine.
I have listened to and read many of your sermons and speeches; and I encourage anyone reading this letter to look up your writings; every single one was transformative. When thinking about how to honor you for your birthday, I realized there is much the world does not know about you. For example, you started college when you were only 15, you were arrested 29 times, you escaped death once before your transition and you were the youngest individual to win a Nobel Peace Prize.
These decisions and memories of you are just a few things I did not personally know about you and all these things place you on a very human level for me. You have always been this superhero of sorts. I mean, you had a dream, and I am living in that dream come true.
I have recently stepped into a new role as a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion coordinator for one of the biggest non-profits in my city who serves homeless youth, former foster youth, specifically serving about 17,000 youth in a year in San Diego I truly believe you would understand this push for diversity, equity, and inclusion as equality worldwide was where you were headed before your transition.
Dr. King, working in the population of youth, when I speak on your name, it is important for me to tell them not only did you have a dream, but you were human just like them. You were once a pre-teen and a teenager, you were once a transitional-aged youth, you had your first child when you were 24 years old, which is the same age as many of the youth we serve. You have a past that is not pretty, and that is ok. You are still a legend. This has me believing Dr. King, our next generation will take your dream, and continue to make it reality.
Thank you. You organized and participated in many marches to give us equal rights. You sat with world leaders, trying to come up with a plan of world peace right before you died, reminding me that the struggle begins in our community, but also is connected to places we have never seen.
This year your birthday, I just want to say thank you, for paving a way, for a former foster, Black girl, from the city of San Diego, to become a woman trailblazing and continuing the purpose behind your dreams.