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CHICAGO – One rarely hears of the American Dream these days. The belief that anyone can move upward and achieve their own version of success regardless of what class or zip code they were born into has taken a beating in recent years.
In speeches, politicians often point out how the American Dream is only for the privileged class, seldomly evoking the unifying qualities of the dream. In many middle- to upper-class K-12 schools, educators continue to dismantle the honors track and other ladders of upward mobility, giving the goal of achieving racial equity a higher value than the dream. From universities to corporations, many elites, seeking innocence from America’s history of racial crimes in this post-George Floyd era, pour millions upon millions of dollars into racially engineering diversity, a practice that belittles the dream. Within this national culture where power is to be found in the external markers of one’s identity, why pursue the difficult and often lonely path of the American Dream?
Far from this privileged and racialized world, one might be surprised to learn that the heart of the American Dream beats in one of our nation’s most ravaged, deprived and