February is Black History Month. One of my favorite people was the late Rosa Parks. She was criticized because of the color of her skin and because she was sitting in a white seat on the bus that she should not have had to give up. She was being discriminated against by a bus driver and by white people. I had the opportunity to meet Rosa Parks. She became a great influence to me. She made a difference by not giving up her seat on the bus and by showing other people her dignity. She made a difference for a lot of people who are in the minority. There are other people who were just like her; she reminds me of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Nelson Mandela. They acted as true role models by showing the world that we are all extraordinary people who can do extraordinary things.
We all have different backgrounds, but we are all more similar than different. Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King, Jr. and Nelson Mandela had to deal with white people’s prejudice simply because they were different. Their goal was to advocate for other people’s rights. They fought for justice, truly the American way. Now self-advocates with Down syndrome fight for justice.
It’s all about leadership. It is very important to be aware of famous leaders who have taught us what we believe in. We believe in other people who inspired us; we believe in what they accomplished. It’s great to be a leader because it gives you the opportunity to speak out and stand up for people’s rights. My advice to all the self-advocates: believe in yourself, work hard and never give up. Also, do a little research. Learn about the civil rights leaders and what gave them the determination to make a difference.