Lead the Parade

The title of the film, "Lead the Parade," comes from a 1968 speech by
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.: "There is deep down within all of us an
instinct. It's a kind of drum major instinct—a desire to be out front,
a desire to lead the parade, a desire to be first." Dr. King uses this
analogy to argue that love is a more powerful force in the world than
fear, that nurturing and caring relationships are the antidote to the
crippling stress of growing up in poverty.

Drawing heavily from interviews with neuroscientists, social workers
and others, "Lead the Parade" explores the impact that a child’s early
environment has on his or her cognitive, social and emotional
development. That growing up in poverty, without nurturing, positive
relationships, impacts more than just a child's day-to-day life. It
makes it nearly impossible to get a good education, build a personal
support network or grow into a prosperous, productive adult.

Debuting on Martin Luther King Day, "Lead the Parade" argues that
making public education effective for all children is more than just
good policy, it is a civil rights issue.