It’s MLK Day. Happy Birthday, Dr. King!
I think we can all agree that Dr. King was ahead of his time, and his messages of peace still resonate today. He had many dreams—some are still deferred and are yet to be realized.
Our Justin Carr Wants World Peace foundation is a 501 (c) (3) organization. evolved from a story that my husband Darrell told at Justin’s “Celebration for Life” 10 years ago. It was on that day that I heard it for the first time. Justin Carr was a young Renaissance man who wanted world peace and who loved the visual and performing arts. On February 22, 2013, at the age of 16, he died suddenly during swim practice at his school. Justin had an undiagnosed heart condition (cardiomyopathy), which resulted in his Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA).
As Darrell stood at the podium speaking with infinite love and unspeakable strength at an unimaginable time at an over-capacity filled church and hundreds streaming online, he said: “Justin was 4 when he asked Justin to bless the food at a family gathering. Justin began by blessing and naming everyone in our family. Finally, he said, God, help us achieve World Peace.”
Justin Age 4
When Justin was nine, he wrote a letter to Santa
When he was 13, he wrote Peace in the sand on the shores of Australia.
Darrell ended Justin’s service by saying:
“Go out, text, tweet, or shout, “Justin Carr Wants World Peace,” and so it began.
Inspired by the blueprints he left to follow, JCWWP promotes Justin’s plans for Art, Heart & Peace through various education programs, mentorships, scholarships, heart screenings, and heart health awareness platforms.
Darrell taught Justin to work using his hands and build something that lasts generations. He instilled in Justin racial pride and the importance of preparation. Leading by example, Darrell and I prioritized honesty, resiliency, and purpose. The lessons Justin learned from us were his first source of inspiration. He couldn’t help but go out in the community and teach others and be willing to learn.
HOW JUSTIN LIVED HIS DREAMS
Justin smiled often and wanted to make sure others enjoyed life too. He was kind and a steadfast supporter of the underdog, regardless of the social consequences. Justin stood up for what was right and helped his friends. He was the connector—full of compassion and empathy, understanding people, and lived by a code of values unseen in others his age. Those values would become his moral code.
Start of “Me and My Papa”
See more of Justin’s Art at https://justincarrwantsworldpeace.org/store/
Justin loved the visual and performing arts. He loved the words of Dr. King and the renowned poet Langston Hughes. Justin wrote this poem for an English class assignment three weeks before he died. It speaks volumes and is profound. It was his dream.
Justin’s Poem “Theme for English III”
After Langston Hughes
By Justin Carr
The Instructor said,
“Go home and write a page tonight.
And let that page come out of you
Then, it will be true.”
I am an only child.
Not one of three,
I go to a school where I feel like a fly in a bowl of milk. Alone.
Walking down halls where I am one of three…
or at least one of the few with dark skin like me.
The kinks in my hair and the dark skin I wear connects me to the trailblazers
Who struggled to clear paths in order to make my journey easier.
As I walk through the white halls with the white walls,
I see the footsteps of Martin, Malcolm, and Coretta before me.
Their pain and suffering endured just so I can be me. Free.
In my classroom,
I don’t sit in the back waiting to be called on
Because the sea of seats are all available to me.
It’s hard for me to Imagine
Being stationed in the back just like my mother and father were,
Where they couldn’t even see,
That they were lacking opportunity.
I turn on the TV to see faces with brown tones
Sing through microphones,
Not of yesterday’s sorrows,
As the wounds have healed leaving scars of remembrance.
Then I look back at me and what do I see? Not a rapper or a ball player,
But a boy with dreams,
Written By Justin Carr for English III homework © 2013
Justin’s Blueprint in his Own Words from a 2013 Summer Program Application
“One goal that I am certain I want to achieve is to be able to give back and share my talents with those less fortunate than me. I see many kids in my neighborhood that lack an outlet to be successful or a place where they can seek the help that they can’t get in school or at home. I have lived a very fulfilling life so far, and I thank my family and friends for consistently supporting me throughout my journey. Though my life experiences are different in many ways from other people my age, I feel that all kids and teens should be able to grow up in a supportive and healthy environment…
Remember: We are all teachers. We are the mirrors for our children and others who are watching us—
At the store
Don’t let your dreams or anyone else’s dream get deferred.
Let Peace Start with you and your actions. The world will be a better place for us all.
So, as you move about your day in remembering Dr. King, try and Teach Peace and the importance of Character—it counts.
Justin Carr Wants World Peace and We Will Make it Happen!
Susan and Darrell,
Justin never ceases to amaze me, all of these years later. He lives on in me, as a teen with a deeply ingrained desire to see a world that embraces each other–a world not divided by differences but by love. Perhaps his physical presence did not live long enough to continue this mission, but through you it will never die. In today’s climate, Justin’s message of world peace, and just a sense of peace everywhere, sings out across the globe. Let it be, dear Justin. We hear you!