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  • thank you very much thank you so much well

  • I am I'm so grateful a to be

  • a recipient this award to be keeping such extraordinary company

  • I first of all wanna thank

  • All of you were involved in making this possible

  • but the main thing that I want to do here is to just say I'm inspired

  • by young people who are representative because I think that's the purpose

  • ultimately this foundation and I want to tell just a brief story because

  • archbishop 22 is here one of my heroes

  • and let you know where I was when I was about your age

  • I'm really dating myself now although I'm

  • also betting their expression because a

  • back in nineteen 79

  • I was a freshman in college

  • at Occidental College and California and

  • I had had a somewhat rocky youth and and

  • teenage years my father was not home I

  • was growing up partly with my grandparents in high school

  • I got in trouble occasionally was what my mother called a good time Charlie

  • a meaning I wasn't really serious in terms of my

  • studies in terms my work had some awareness of the world around me

  • had some sense of injustice in on fairness

  • but it wasn't finally home that was well developed

  • and I remember in 1979 arriving as a freshman and doing what

  • freshman do your trying to figure out what courses

  • are in tryna changes study habits and try and identify about food in the

  • cafeteria what it is

  • %uh and a

  • we were visited on campus by a couple of gentleman from South Africa who

  • were represented as the ANC

  • in 1979 1980 and

  • they spoke about their efforts to overcome apartheid

  • and for up

  • an hour myself in a group of students

  • listened to these young men who were not

  • much older than we were describe the

  • extraordinary struggles they were going through the sacrifices that were being

  • made

  • people who it were in during jail and torture and beatings

  • because they had a sense that somehow

  • some way a justice would prevail and

  • that brief meeting I think in some ways changed my life

  • because why did told me first of all was that ordinary people can do

  • extraordinary things when they're given an opportunity

  • we sometimes think that our leaders have to be

  • have fancy degrees are well educated or some public office somewhere

  • these young men had not none of those things

  • about what they possessed was a

  • anger over injustice that they were able to channel in a constructive positive

  • way

  • and I thought to myself that

  • Bay gave me some sense the direction that my life

  • might go and so I became active

  • in the anti-apartheid movement on campuses and I'm

  • not sure we were particularly effective as I recall Occidental College

  • continued to refuse to divest despite the various protests that we organize

  • the students I transferred to Columbia

  • there was similar resistance on Columbia's campus but over time I like

  • to think that

  • I was part love that mosaic bat

  • apply pressure and ultimately helped

  • those in South Africa achieve the extraordinary liberation

  • that I would witness almost ten years later

  • night as a as a loss to

  • and I remember the image Nelson Mandela walking out of prison and

  • understanding that a seminal moment in history had occurred

  • and that mandela's long march towards freedom

  • was not his alone but was part

  • love thousands the footsteps love millions of footsteps of people

  • around the world and i trace back

  • me getting involved in politics to that mall

  • because I as a consequence is that organizing on a college campus I became

  • a community organizer as a consequence welcome your organizer a

  • after going back to law school became a civil rights attorney

  • as consequence a being a civil rights attorney I

  • entered the state legislature and I now stand before you as a

  • United States Senator and as a candidate for president

  • and so the primary message I guess I am

  • in receiving this award is that

  • all love you represent

  • enormous potential enormous possibility for change

  • because we all know that injustice still exists just

  • exists here in the United States in every

  • for neighborhood and every inner city and every rural community

  • all across the country there is quiet desperation

  • young people's lives are filled with

  • sadness and desperation anarchy and chaos

  • and obviously all around the world we see

  • those same symptoms hopelessness

  • made manifest in places like Darfur

  • places like the Middle East

  • in places that too often forgotten about another written about until the flare-up

  • in

  • tragedy so I hope that all %uh view

  • who are on the brink of doing extraordinary things

  • decide the channel that talent in that energy

  • and that imagination to figuring out how do you

  • move the process along for better history

  • you know how do you put your shoulder against the wheelman move that boulder

  • up the hill

  • and I'm absolutely confident that if I love you take up the challenge

  • the world is waiting for you ready to be changed

  • because I think we live in this moment in history right now where

  • better the hunger for change the hunger for something new

  • the desire to break out above the

  • ordinary the self-interested the pedi the trivial

  • is is everywhere and

  • the waiting for you and so I hope for that as you see the recipients of this

  • award

  • you recognize that

  • it's actually more VA towards a

  • give you a little spark and drive you

  • im the wonderful directions that I hope your lights take

  • in the years to come so thank you very much

thank you very much thank you so much well

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B1 US extraordinary injustice freshman consequence college award

Barack Obama Inspirational Speech

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    Keyan Jiang posted on 2015/10/24
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