Disability News

"Lead On!" - Poem of Leadership

  • We are gathered here both to shed our tears as the empty chair rolls past, and to celebrate and to dedicate ourselves until the last. For the work he did and the friends he made remain although he's gone: Freedom for all! Justice for all! Lead on! Lead on! Lead on!

    When Justin Dart caught polio, a soldier then was born. For fifty years he marched with us, and we will keep marching on. We'll honor his vision, his legacy, and the work that he passed down. We renew his call for justice for all: Lead on! Lead on! Lead on!

    To Congress Justin made our case, fighting for the Rehab Act. He called for basic civil rights and he laid out all the facts of the vast unyielding federal rule and demanded it be gone: Give us freedom now! Give us justice now! Lead on! Lead on! Lead on!

    To Congress Justin made our case, fighting for the Rehab Act. He called for basic civil rights and he laid out all the facts of the vast unyielding federal rule and demanded it be gone: Give us freedom now! Give us justice now! Lead on! Lead on! Lead on!

Poem Continued...

  1. When students rose, he followed those who said "It's time for Deaf!" To those detained he lent his name to challenge force: "Enough!" With each award, with each success, he turned and passed it on: This belongs to you! I am honored by you! Lead on! Lead on! Lead on!

    In Lincoln's name the ADA was fought for and was won. Now we join to protect what aggressors would wreck and we will fight on and on. Shoulder to shoulder we worked together; together we shoulder on: Life! Empowerment! Solidarity! Love! Lead on! Lead on! Lead on!

    We are gathered here both to shed our tears as the empty chair rolls past, and to vow again that we won't give in, that we'll fight until our last. Now his voice cries out with that final shout that he left us while he's gone: I love you all! I am with you still! Lead on! Lead on! Lead on!

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disabled man in wheelchair
Crowds of activists

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Justin Dart Quotes

"Colleagues, I am the luckiest man in the world, because I am a member of the best movement in the world, with the best people in the world, you. Working with you keeps me alive. I love you so much. I am with you, always. Lead on! Together, we shall overcome." ~Justin Dart, April 17, 2001

"Empowerment is when we say no to the primitive illusion that society, government, the free market, the public media are some sort of paternalistic super gods that can give us truth, equality and prosperity." ~Justin Dart

"Colleagues, we gather tonight to rededicate ourselves to united advocacy." ~Justin Dart