I serve kids on the South Side of Chicago. This is my message about the American Dream

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I believe in the American Dream and always have. Yet sometimes I feel like I’m swimming against the current, even drifting backwards. I spend my days pastoring one of the most notorious blocks on the South Side of Chicago, a block that was named after Odell Perry, a slain gangbanger: the O-Block. 

Youngsters here have every reason to believe they will follow the path of Perry. They’re surrounded by failing schools, violence of every kind, drugs, prostitution, and politicians who routinely disparage the American Dream while deepening my peoples’ dependency upon the government.

That is why I try every day to bring the American Dream into the darkest corners of my neighborhood. When you tell a child, even the most disadvantaged one, that you believe in him or her and their ability to rise however high they wish, their eyes light up. It’s like giving life and when I tell them the rags-to-riches stories of past Americans who achieved their dreams, they begin to feel part of America and her possibilities.


Yet sometimes I wonder if I am the fool here, to pursue good faith in

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