A dream of a lifetime - San Diego, California News Station - KFMB Channel 8 - cbs8.com

A dream of a lifetime

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - When I met 94-year-old lifelong community activist Jewell Hooper at her Valencia Park home, I had one question for her.

If Dr. King was still alive today, did she believe he would be happy about the progress that's been made towards equal rights?

"I think he would be somewhat pleased. I think there's a lot still to be done," Jewell said.

It was a sentiment echoed by local businessmen, and shoppers as well.

"I believe the good doctor would say we need to keep pushing," one shopper said.

From her front yard, Jewell can see the San Diego skyline, a city that used to deny her civil rights.

"I would read the paper and see ads, you know, 'Apartments for Rent' and I would go and they would slam the door in my face," she said.

It's now the land of opportunity that Sudanese refugee Amir has found in her spartan grocery.

"America is a nice country. The best country," she said.

Thanks no small part, she says, to the efforts of Dr. King.

"Because he made something right for the people," Amir said.

Meanwhile, Jewell has a mantra for all people that's at the core of her belief in community service.

"The lord created each and everyone one of us individually. We are put here for a task. If you don't do what the lord put you here to do, it won't get done," she said.

Whether it's irony or destiny, Jewell Hooper lives just down the block from Dream Street, a dream she continues to share.

"Everybody here is somebody. And when we all recognize that and work at that level and learn to respect ourselves and realize that we are important individuals, then I think that the world would be a better place," Jewell said.

And well on the road to making Dr. King's dream a reality.

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