Photo of a tree wrapped in an I Have A Dream reibbon in front of white classical building with columns; photo of a several trees in a row wrapped in I Have A Dream ribbons down a DC street - a Metrobus is driving down the street.
The I Have A Dream ribbons wrapped around trees in D.C. Courtesy of Leo Senai (left) and Omolara Williams McCallister (right)

On Feb. 5, community artist Omolara Williams McCallister visited the Street Sense offices to ask our vendors about their experiences and their dreams.

McCallister asked each person to write their “dream for a future with without race-based privilege or race-based oppression” onto a continuous ribbon, with each entry separated by the hashtag #IHaveADream.

She has been collecting dreams from across the city, and visited Street Sense to incorporate more voices from her homeless or formerly homeless neighbors. McCallister has been creating public art projects under the labels #SolidariTrees and #BlackLivesMatter since returning from the riots in response to Michael Brown being killed by police in Ferguson, Missouri.

On Monday, Feb. 9, the ribbons began appearing wrapped around trees lining city streets.


Photo of a person with their back to the camera, holding up a ribbion with handwriting on it after the phrase "I have a dream...". The back of their shirt says "ghetto insanity."

“To be able to live free in a society where I can reach my career goals successfully by actually being compensated for my ideas, thoughts and God-given talents; instead of being swindled out of them unrighteously transformed into a bum in life and society – preventing you from supporting your family; basic rights and freedoms due exist.”

Levester Green, Artist/Vendor

Photo of a person wearing a hat and coat holding up a ribbon with handwriting on it next to the large phrase "I have a dream..."

“For parents to be better role models for there kids; to stop the killing; to educate more; to house the homeless. For people to look at life better: not just 20/20 on the outside but on the inside as well – so life can be a much better place in heaven and not hell. God Bless.”

Lawrence Rogers, Artist/Vendor

Photo of a person wearing a yellow t-shirt that says "People for Fairness Coalition" on it above a symbol of balanced scales. He's holding up a ribbon with handwriting on it next to the large phrase "I have a dream..."

“To see my people living as one with the reflection of the land shining in there eyes.”

Robert Warren, Artist/Vendor

Photo of a person wearing a denim shirt and smiling. He's holding up a ribbon with handwriting on it next to the large phrase "I have a dream..."

“Better economies; more respect; better lives.”

Jermale McKnight, Artist/Vendor

Photo of a person wearing a hat and coat holding up a ribbon with handwriting on it next to the large phrase "I have a dream..."

“That one day all will have a safe place to live. Housing is a human right!”

Reginald Black, Artist/Vendor


Photos by Omolara Williams McCallister