B1 Intermediate US 3006 Folder Collection
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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
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Barack Obama Inspirational Speech

3006 Folder Collection
Keyan Jiang published on October 24, 2015
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