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Dreams To Reality Take Determination

Source: Dreams To Reality Take Determination

The Jesse Owens movie that is coming out is a reminder of the importance of dreams and a person’s determination to follow those dreams. We often forget his story and how he helped break down race barriers in a quiet way with his dreams and determination.

He attended Ohio State University without a scholarship, working several jobs, married, and found time to practice and compete. All this in an era when it would have been unusual and challenging for an African-American to attend an NCAA school like Ohio State.

Kathy worked with one of his grandchildren who told her that Jessie Owens was a quiet and humble man. He worked as a playground supervisor giving back to children and providing a positive role model for young people to follow. Jimmy Carter suggested Jessie Owens did more to break down racial barriers through his determination and his efforts were “a prelude to helping others.”


About ivonprefontaine

In keeping with bell hooks and Noam Chomsky, I consider myself a public and dissident intellectual. Part of my work is to move beyond (transcend) institutional dogmas that bind me to defend freedom, raising my voice to be heard on behalf of those who seek equity and justice in all their forms. I completed my PhD in Philosophy of Leadership Studies at Gonzaga University, Spokane, WA. My dissertation and research was how teachers experience becoming teachers and their role as leaders. I focus on leading, communicating, and innovating in organizations. This includes mindfuful servant-leadership, World Cafe events, Appreciative Inquiry, and expressing one's self through creativity. I offer retreats, workshops, and presentations that can be tailored to your organzations specific needs. I published peer reviewed articles about schools as learning organizations, currere as an ethical pursuit, and hope as an essential element of adult eductaion. I published three poems and am currently preparing my poetry to publish as an anthology of poetry. I present on mindful leadership, servant leadership, schools as learning organizations, how teachers experience becoming teachers, assessement, and critical thinking. I facilitate mindfulness, hospitality retreats. and World Cafe Events using Appreciative Inquiry. I am writing and researching about various forms of leadership, how teachers inform and form their identity as a particular teacher, schools as learning organizations, hope and its anticipatory relationship with the future, and hope as an essential element in learning.

6 responses »

  1. Jesse Owens was quite simply an inspiration to so many young people irrespective of colour. His determination brought glory to America and his quiet dignity in the face of so much hatred both at home and in Germany was a lesson to all.

  2. For a country founded on freedom, we have a checkered past. Jim Thorpe preceded Jesse Owens and Jackie Robinson followed his footsteps in the 1950’s. Thorpe an American Indian was shipped off to asegregated school. Babe Ruth or Jim Thorpe were considered the greatest athletes of the 20th century or at least the first 50 years.

    These brave men paid a heavy price to integrate sports. Jackie died early, aged so quickly for the burden he shouldered.

    Sports seems to always be ahead our society. The racial barriers were crossed in sport first then society followed later.

    • As you say Marty, sports seems to always be ahead of society and provides many heros for us. In Canada, we have Willie O’Ree who crossed the racial barrier in the NHL when he played for the Boston Bruins. He continues to be a spokesman and ambassador speaking to young hockey players and families.

  3. Many years ago I visited the replica of his childhood home in Alabama,and heard about the crowded life of ten children in a very small house where they slept on the floor. He really is a great example of what can be done with sheer determination since he was so frail and sick as a child. We all need examples of that kind of hope.


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