The Time is Now:  JJOA Goes Orange for Gun Violence Prevention (Virtual Rally)

The Time is Now: JJOA Goes Orange for Gun Violence Prevention (Virtual Rally)


>>EVERYBODY GET ON YOUR FEET
AND OFF THE PHONE, LET’S GO, WE’RE GOING TO HAVE A GOOD TIME
TODAY BABY. CAN I GET SOME VOLUME ON THAT MUSIC PLEASE? PUT YOUR HANDS UP, PUT YOUR
HANDS UP, PUT YOUR HANDS UP, PUT YOUR HANDS UP, PUT YOUR HANDS UP! PUT YOUR HANDS UP, PUT
THEM UP, PUT THEM UP! RIGHT HAND, RIGHT HAND,
LEFT HAND, LEFT HAND, COME ON! PUT THEM UP, PUT THEM UP, PUT THEM UP! HERE WE GO. HERE WE GO CAN WE TURN THE MUSIC UP
JUST A LITTLE BIT BACK THERE CAN WE GET THE MUSIC A LITTLE LOUDER RIGHT THERE A LITTLE LOUDER,,! EVERYBODY GET
YOUR SIGNS OUT, HOLD THEM UP, HOLD THEM UP, HOLD THEM UP, COME
ON! WHERE YOU AT? COME ON HOLD THEM UP! HEY, HEY ESTIMATION POINT LET ME SEE THOSE SIGNS I CAN’T HEAR YOU, I CAN’T HEAR
YOU OVER HERE! WHERE YOU AT, WHERE YOU AT OVER HERE, WHERE YOU AT? OH THAT SIGN LOOKS GOOD,
I LIKE THAT ONE! DON’T SHOOT., COME ON! I DON’T KNOW ABOUT THIS SIDE,
THIS SITE IS TURNED UP, WHAT ARE Y’ALL DOING OVER HERE? I SEE THE SIGN THAT
SAYS HANDS UP, DON’T SHOOT! THIS SITE IS WAY
MORE TURNED OUT THAN THIS SIDE, I DON’T KNOW WHAT IS GOING ON
OVER THERE BUT THIS IS THE SIDE RIGHT HERE, WHERE YOU WET, WHERE
ARE YOU AT? COME ON! HOLD THOSE SIGNS UP HIGH ACCLAMATION POINT TIME THAT
MUSIC UP Y’ALL, TURN THAT MUSIC UP! COME ON Y’ALL WHERE YOU AT?! COME ON Y’ALL! LET ME HEAR IT! LET’S GO, KEEP GOING L,
KEEP IT GOING L Y’ALL! WE HAVE GOT SOME EXTRA SIGNS SO GRAB ONE. IF YOUR CHAPTER MADE A SIGN AND
YOU DON’T HAVE A SIGN COME ON UP AND GET ONE. SAYING LET ME HEAR IT IN
THE BACK! WHAT? COME ON! HEY! LET’S GO! LET’S GO! C’MON! WHAT, WHAT, WHAT! HEY! HEY! OH MY GOODNESS! MUSIC AND WE ARE GOING LIVE 25 SECONDS! C’MON! C’MON! LET ME GIVE YOU SOMETHING THAT
YOU MIGHT KNOW. WELCOME TO THE JACK AND JILL ON
THE HILL GUN VIOLENCE PREVENTION VIRTUAL REALITY, WE ARE LIVE ON
FACEBOOK EVERYBODY, MAKE SOME NOISE! I SAID MAKE SOME NOISE. HEY! HEY! HEY! HEY! REPEAT AFTER ME, WE ARE GOING TO SAY
THIS, NO MORE SILENCE, AND GUN VIOLENCE. NO MORE SILENCE
END AND GUN VIOLENCE. NO MORE SILENCE! END GUN
VIOLENCE!! NO MORE SILENCE! END GUN VIOLENCE!! C’MON! NO MORE
SILENCE! END GUN VIOLENCE!! NO MORE SILENCE! END GUN VIOLENCE!!
NO MORE SILENCE! END GUN VIOLENCE!! NO MORE SILENCE! END
GUN VIOLENCE!! MAKE SOME NOISE!>>JUST AFTER 10 PM LOCAL TIME A
HAIL OF GUNFIRE RAINED DOWN FROM THE 32nd FLOOR OF THE MANDALAY BAY HOTEL.
>>COREY MOGEN PLAYED BASKETBALL WITH THE BOY IN DAWES PARK BEFORE DURING HIM
INTO A NEARBY ALLEY AND SHOOTING HIM IN THE HEAD.>>SWAN WAS KILLED LAST NIGHT
WHILE WALKING WITH TWO OLDER FRIENDS THROUGH AN APARTMENT
COMPLEX, INVESTIGATORS ARRESTING AN 18-YEAR-OLD. WHEN THE BULLETS ARE SHOULD THEY DO
NOT KNOW IF YOU ARE REPUBLICAN OR DEMOCRAT, YOU ONLY KNOW THEY
ARE LIKELY TO KILL YOU.>>THEY SAY AS MANY AS 30 PEOPLE
HAVE BEEN SHOT AT OFFICIALS SAY THE SHOOTING BEGAN IN MIDLAND
AND MOVED TO ODESSA AND OUR ODESSA AFFILIATE IS URGING
PEOPLE TO STAY INSIDE THEIR HOME.>>A LONE GUNMAN SHOT AND KILLED
TWO PEOPLE.>>OUR INALIENABLE RIGHT TO LIFE
AND LIBERTY AND THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS, THOSE RIGHTS WERE
STRIPPED FROM COLLEGE KIDS IN BLACKSBURG AND
SANTA BARBARA AND FROM HIGH SCHOOLERS AT COLUMBINE. AND FROM
FIRST-GRADERS IN NEWTOWN FIRST-GRADERS. AND FOR
EVERY FAMILY WHO NEVER IMAGINED THEIR LOVED ONE WOULD BE TAKEN
FROM OUR LIVES BY A BULLET FROM A GUN THEM EVERY TIME I THINK
ABOUT THOSE KIDS IT GETS ME MAD. AND BY THE WAY IT
HAPPENS ON THE STREETS OF CHICAGO EVERY DAY. SO ALL OF US NEED TO DEMAND A
CONGRESS BRAVE ENOUGH TO STAND UP TO THE GUN LOBBY’S LIES, ALL
OF US NEED TO STAND UP AND PROTECT ITS CITIZENS. ALL OF US
NEED TO DEMAND GOVERNORS AND
LEGISLATORS AND BUSINESSES DO THEIR PART TO MAKE OUR COMMUNITY
SAFER. WE NEED THE WIDE MAJORITY OF RESPONSIBLE GUN OWNERS WHO
GRIEVE WITH US EVERY TIME THIS HAPPENS AND FEEL LIKE YOUR
VIEWS ARE NOT BEEN PROPERLY REPRESENTED TO JOIN WITH US TO
DEMAND SOMETHING BETTER.
>>THANK YOU FOR INVITING ME HERE TODAY. THIS IS AN IMPORTANT
CONVERSATION FOR OUR CHILDREN, FOR OUR COMMUNITIES, FOR DEMOCRATS AND REPUBLICANS, SPEAKING IS
DIFFICULT BUT I NEED TO SAY SOMETHING IMPORTANT. VIOLENCE IS
A BIG PROBLEM. TOO MANY CHILDREN
ARE DYING. TOO MANY CHILDREN. WE MUST DO SOMETHING. IT WILL BE HARD BUT THE TIME IS NOW.
>>WHEN I AM PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES I AM TAKING A
FLIGHT TO THIS ISSUE LIKE PEOPLE NEVER SEEN BEFORE BECAUSE WE ARE BETTER THAN THIS IS A
COUNTRY AND THIS IS A UNIQUELY AMERICAN PROBLEM AND NO OTHER
COUNTRIES HAD THIS KIND OF CARNAGE, OR PEOPLE HAVE DIED IN
THIS NATION DUE TO GUN VIOLENCE THAN ALL OF THE WARS UNTIL NOW
AND WE WILL NOT JUST GIVE OUR THOUGHTS AND PRAYERS WHICH TO ME IS GARBAGE, FAITH WITHOUT WORKS
IS DEAD, WE WILL BRING A FIGHT WITH EVERYTHING I HAVE TO SOLVE
THIS PROBLEM BECAUSE IT IS SOLVABLE AND WE KNOW IT.
>>LADIES AND GENTLEMEN AND TEENAGERS WELCOME NATIONAL
PRESIDENT DANIELLE BROWN.>>ALL I CAN SAY BEFORE I EVEN
SAY GOOD AFTERNOON THAT THE TIME IS NOW! GOOD AFTERNOON AND
WELCOME TO THE JACK AND JILL OF AMERICA GUN VIOLENCE PREVENTION
RALLY I AM DANIELLE AROUND THE NATIONAL PRESIDENT OF JJOA AND IT IS MY
PLEASURE TO WELCOME NOT JUST THE 1000 TEENS AND MEMBERS GATHERED
IN THE ROOM BUT TO ALL THE VIEWING AUDIENCE. THIS IS
HISTORIC FOR JACK AND JILL THIS IS OUR SEVENTH BIANNUAL ON THE
HILL SUMMIT AND IT IS OUR FIRST YEAR STREAMING TO THE NATION. WE HAVE JACK AND
JILL WATCH PARTIES ALL AROUND THE COUNTRY, WELCOMING ALL OF
OUR CHAPTERS ACROSS OUR SEVEN REGIONS TO THIS HISTORIC EVENT.
WE ARE ON FACEBOOK, YOUTUBE, AND TWITTER! WE ENCOURAGE ALL OF
YOU TO SHARE THE LINK AND INVITE OTHERS TO STREAM THE GUN VIOLENCE RALLY, A TOPIC THAT
DISPROPORTIONATELY IMPACTS OUR COMMUNITY. IN FACT LET’S GIVE
OURSELVES A ROUND OF APPLAUSE AND CELEBRATE THIS MOMENT IN A
BLESSING THAT IS TO HAVE ACCESS TO THE INFORMATION THAT WE NEED
NOT ONLY TO HELP OURSELVES BUT OUR FAMILIES, OUR COMMUNITY AND
THIS COUNTRY. IF YOUR SELVES A ROUND OF APPLAUSE. THIS WEEK WE
CAME, WE GATHERED TO ENCOURAGE ON OUR
NATION’S CAPITAL AND WE WALKED DOWN THOSE HALLWAYS BUILT BY OUR
ANCESTORS AND WE KNOCKED ON DOORS, HELD MEETINGS WITH
MEMBERS OF CONGRESS AND EXPRESSED OUR CONCERNS MOREOVER
WE MADE OUR DEMANDS REGARDING EQUITY IN
EDUCATION, VOTER REGISTRATION AND GUN VIOLENCE PREVENTION. OUR
PRESENCE WAS SEEN AND FELT GOOD ELEANOR ROOSEVELT SAID YOU HAVE
TO ACCEPT WHATEVER COMES AND THE ONLY IMPORTANT THING IS YOU MEET
IT WITH COURAGE AND THE BEST YOU HAVE TO GIVE THE WEB ASSEMBLED BLACK
EXCELLENCE IN THIS ROOM AND HERE TODAY TO SPEAK TO THE NATION I
AM CONVINCED THAT YOU WILL LEAVE THIS PLACE, AND YOU WATCHING
WILL LEAVE, DOING BETTER BECAUSE YOU WILL KNOW MORE. IN THE WORDS
OF MAIA ANGELI, WHEN WE KNOW BETTER WE DO BETTER AND TODAY WE
WILL. THANK YOU ALL.>>PLEASE WELCOME TO THE STAGE
YOUR EMCEES, THE PRESIDENT OF BLACK LIVES MATTER NEW YORK AND
MISS LIBERIA 2019 AND 2020, AND ALSO TO THE STAGE
THE SOCIAL MEDIA INFLUENCER JOLY WILSON.>>HOW IS EVERYONE DOING? I NEED EVERYONE
TO GET UP, WE NEED THE ENERGY UP IN THIS ROOM. I AM SO EXCITED TO BE HERE AND
SO BLESSED TO STAND IN FRONT OF YOU GUYS, ALL OF YOUR BEAUTIFUL
BLACK FACES ARE SO INSPIRING TO ME. WE ARE THE FUTURE OF THIS
COUNTRY AND I AM HONORED TO BE AMONGST YOU TODAY AND ONCE AGAIN MY NAME IS NUPOL KIAZOLU. I AM A
SECOND-YEAR POLITICAL SCIENCE MAJOR ON A PRELAW TRACK AT HAMPTON UNIVERSITY.! I KNOW IT
IS ALL FUN AT THE END OF THE DAY, LIKE I SAID I AM SO EXCITED TO BE
HERE. ON A MORE SERIOUS NOTE, YOU GUYS MAY TAKE YOUR SEATS. SO I HAVE BEEN AN ACTIVIST SINCE THE AGE OF 12
YEARS OLD. AND TRAEVON MARTIN’S CASE CATAPULTED
ME INTO ACTIVISM AND EVER SINCE 12 YEARS OLD I HAVE COMMITTED
MYSELF TO THE MOVEMENT AND HAVEN’T STOPPED SINCE AND WE ARE
HERE TODAY TO TALK ABOUT GUN VIOLENCE WHICH IS A VERY
IMPORTANT ISSUE TO ME AND I LOST MY FATHER TO GUN
VIOLENCE AT THE AGE OF EIGHT YEARS OLD AND WHEN HE DIED IT
COMPLETELY SHATTERED MY FAMILY AND HE LEFT BEHIND A MOTHER AND
CHILDREN AND AT THE TIME IT WAS ME AND MY TWO BROTHERS AND MY
MOTHER WAS PREGNANT WITH THE FOURTH CHILD. MY NOW 10-YEAR-OLD
BROTHER NEVER GOT TO MEET OUR FATHER BECAUSE OF GUN VIOLENCE.
SINCE HIS DEATH, INSTEAD OF CHANNELING
THE EMOTIONS THAT I FELT INTO A NEGATIVE PLACE I DECIDED TO GET
ACTIVE AND CHANGE THESE ISSUES AROUND ME I AM FROM BROOKLYN NEW
YORK, DO WE HAVE ANY NEW YORKERS IN HERE? ARE YOU GOING? OKAY YEAH. SO I AM FROM BROOKLYN
NEW YORK AND I AM FROM ONE OF THE WORST COMMUNITIES IN
BROOKLYN NEW YORK WHICH IS BROWNSVILLE AND IT IS AFFLICTED
WITH GUN VIOLENCE AND POVERTY AND OTHER VIOLENCE AND THIS IS
MY EVERYDAY REALITY. WHEN WE TALK ABOUT THIS ISSUE CONCERNING
GUN VIOLENCE THERE IS ONE IMPORTANT THING THAT I WANT YOU
GUYS TO REMEMBER. WORDS AND CONTEXT ARE
EVERYTHING. SO YES WE SEE MASS SHOOTINGS ON THE TV, CNN AND
FOX, WE SEE IT EVERY SINGLE DAY BUT WE ALSO HAVE TO REMEMBER
THAT EVERY DAY GUN VIOLENCE THAT DISPROPORTIONATELY AFFECTS OUR
COMMUNITIES, ESPECIALLY LACK COMMUNITIES AND PEOPLE OF COLOR.
WHEN WE TALK ABOUT THESE ISSUES INSTEAD OF SAYING BLACK ON BLACK
CRIME YOU CAN USE THE TERM TERMINOLOGY INTRO RACIAL
VIOLENCE AND I WANT TO HEAR EVERYBODY REPEAT AFTER ME. INTRO
RACIAL VIOLENCE. BECAUSE WHEN YOU USE THE TERM BLACK ON BLACK
CRIME IT INSINUATES THAT CRIME IS EXCLUSIVE TO BLACK PEOPLE AND
WE KNOW THAT IS NOT THE TRUTH. WHEN I GO ON CNN AND
I SEE WHITE MEN SHOOT UP BUILDINGS DID YOU GUYS EVER SEE
THEM SAY WHITE ON WHITE CRIME? I HAVE NEVER HEARD IT. THAT IS WHY IT IS SO
IMPORTANT TO BE MINDFUL OF THE WORDS WE USE WHEN WE TALK ABOUT
EVERY DAY GUN VIOLENCE AND ALSO ADDRESSING THE SYSTEMIC
BARRIERS BEHIND THIS AND THE REAL SYSTEMIC ISSUES. THESE
COMMUNITIES THAT ARE DISPROPORTIONATELY AFFECTED BY
GUN VIOLENCE HAVE NO RESOURCES. I HAVE LIVED IN A COMMUNITY THAT
IS IMPOVERISHED FOR ALL OF MY LIFE SO I KNOW WHAT IT IS LIKE
WHEN I SPEAK TO THESE GANG MEMBERS THEY SAY IF I HAD A JOB
WITH SUSTAINABLE WAGES, IF I HAD ACCESS TO RESOURCES, YOUNG PEOPLE THAT
ARE IN GANGS TRYING TO SURVIVE, THEY SAY IF I HAD ACCESS TO THE
MOST ASIC RESOURCES I WOULD NOT BE OUT HERE. SO WHEN I HEAR PEOPLE SAY TO
BLACK PEOPLE, ESPECIALLY AND IMPOVERISHED COMMUNITIES, JUST
PICK YOURSELF UP BY THE BOOTSTRAPS AND WORK HARD, MY
RESPONSE TO THEM IS ALWAYS HOW WILL I PICK MYSELF UP BY THE
BOOTSTRAPS IF I DO NOT HAVE THE FOUNDATION FOR BOOTS? IT IS A TRAVESTY. GUN VIOLENCE SHOULD
NOT BE A PARTISAN ISSUE OR A POLITICAL PARTY ISSUE RATHER. IT
IS A HUMAN RIGHTS ISSUE. WE SHOULD NOT BE
OUT HERE AS YOUNG PEOPLE FIGHTING EVERY SINGLE DAY FOR
ANOTHER DAY TO LIVE, WE SHOULD BE IN SCHOOL, WE SHOULD BE
PURSUING EVERYTHING THAT WE ASPIRE TO BE. BUT THE WORLD THAT
WE LIVE IN HAS LEFT US NO CHOICE. I URGE EVERY SINGLE
ONE OF YOU TO HOLD OURSELVES ACCOUNTABLE AND BE THE CHANGE
THAT YOU WANT TO SEE IN THIS WORLD. DO NOT JUST COMPLAIN
ABOUT IT AND GET ACTIVE. WE ARE ALL THAT WE
HAVE AT THE END OF THE DAY. I WILL CLOSE WITH DESPITE THE
COLOR OF OUR SKIN AND ALL THE BARRIERS THAT WE HAVE STACKED AGAINST US, IF WE FIGHT HARD
ENOUGH AND WE BELIEVE IN OURSELVES WE WILL OVERCOME EVERY
SINGLE OBSTACLE. OUR TIME IS NOW. YOUNG PEOPLE WILL WIN. THANK YOU.>>HELLO, MY NAME IS JOLY WILSON
AND I AM SO EXCITED TO COHOST THIS EVENT WITH MY CLASSMATE AND
MY FRIEND NUPOL KIAZOLU . I SHARED WITH YOU MANY YESTERDAY I
HAVE WATCHED A MOVEMENT WITH THE PURPOSE OF BEING THE CHANGE TO
LEAVE THOSE LOOKING UP TO US AND ONE THAT HITS CLOSE TO HOME. I
SAY TO YOU TODAY TO LIFT EVERY VOICE AND GUN VIOLENCE, CHANGES WITH
CONSISTENT AND DEVOTED SOCIAL ACTIVISM. GUN VIOLENCE IS AN
ECONOMIC CONTROVERSY THAT DOES NOT DISCRIMINATE AND YET
PERSONALLY HAS AFFECTED ALL OF OUR LIVES. WE ARE THE
CHANGEMAKERS AND THE DREAM CHANGERS, RAISING OUR COLLECTIVE VOICES WITH MARCH FOR OUR LIVES
AND BLACK LIVES MATTER. IT MUST END NOW BUT THIS IS A CALL TO
ACTION. WE MUST PROCLAIM OUR ADVOCACY WILL NOT END TODAY AND
WE WILL PROGRESS AND NEVER STOP. THE TIME IS NOW. THANK YOU.>> OKAY GUYS, I AM SO EXCITED TO
INTRODUCE MY ROLE MODEL, I DON’T KNOW IF HE KNOWS THIS OR NOT, BUT YOU ARE ONE OF THE
BIGGEST ROLE MODELS IN MY LIFE BECAUSE I AM A FUTURE CIVIL
RIGHTS ATTORNEY AS WELL. I AM SO HONORED TO BRING TO THIS STAGE ATTORNEY BENJAMIM CRUMP.>>JACK AND JILL ON THE HILL! JACK AND JILL ON THE HILL! JACK AND JILL ON THE HILL AND THE DJ HE IS TAKING A PICTURE SO WE WILL
GIVE HIM A MINUTE TO GET IT TOGETHER. JACK AND JILL ON THE HILL!
>>JACK AND JILL ON THE HILL.>>JACK AND JILL ON THE HILL!
>>JACK AND JILL ON THE HILL!
>>JACK AND JILL ON THE HILL!
>>ONE MORE TIME! JACK AND JILL ON THE HILL!>>JACK AND JILL ON THE HILL!!!
>>ONE MORE TIME IN THE BACK WE
CANNOT HEAR YOU. JACK AND JILL ON THE HILL!!!
>>JACK AND JILL ON THE HILL!!! >> JACK AND JILL ON THE HILL!!!
>>HAVE YOURSELVES A HAND AND TO PRES. BROWN AND EXECUTIVES SO
HONORED TO BE HERE AND MISS LIBERIA SO HONORED, WE HAVE THE
REPRESENTATION OF ALL THE BEST WE HAVE TO OFFER TO THE FUTURE AND YOU
ARE A CREDIT TO THE LEGAL PROFESSION. YOU KNOW I HAVE ONE
OF MY DEAR FRIENDS HERE, A JACK AND JILL ALUMNUS, ATTORNEY HENRY
HUNTER WHO IS A BIG DC LOBBYIST AND STAND UP. HE JUST HAD HIS
FIRST CHILD. I THINK YOU ARE A MAN NOW. I POINT HENRY OUT JACK AND JILL, BECAUSE
HENRY AND ALL OF MY OTHER FRIENDS WHO ARE LOBBYISTS ALWAYS TELL ME
THAT PEOPLE THINK THEY HAVE THE POWER, BUT WHAT THEY ARE REALLY
TRYING TO DO IS INFLUENCE THE PEOPLE WHO REALLY HAVE THE POWER
AND THAT IS YOU ALL. YOUNG PEOPLE YOU ALL REPRESENT
THE POWER TO CHANGE AMERICA. YOU REPRESENT
THE POWER TO CHANGE AMERICA. IF YOU REMEMBER
NOTHING ELSE THAT I SAY THIS AFTERNOON, PLEASE REMEMBER THAT
YOU HAVE THE POWER. BEFORE I BEGIN MY BRIEF REMARKS I JUST WANT TO ASK
FOR YOU ALL TO ENGAGE ME AS A MINUTE AS A CIVIL RIGHTS LAWYER
AND A TRIAL LAWYER, ONE OF THE MAIN THINGS WE DO IS TRY TO HAVE
EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATIONS. SO WHAT I WANT TO DO, AND THE COURT ROOM THE
JURY CANNOT TALK BACK TO YOU SO YOU READ THE BODY LANGUAGE, AND I AM READING
YOUR BODY LANGUAGE AND I DON’T KNOW IF YOU ALL BELIEVE THAT YOU
HAVE THE POWER BUT YOU DO. I AM GOING TO ASK YOU TO STAND ON
YOUR FEET AND I AM GOING TO ASK YOU TO TALK BACK TO ME. IT IS
VERY SIMPLE BECAUSE ALL OF THE LOBBYISTS, SPECIAL INTEREST IN
ALL THE POLITICIANS NEED TO KNOW THAT WHEN JACK AND JILL CAME ON
THE HILL THAT THEY GOT TO SEE WHAT DEMOCRACY LOOKS LIKE. SO I AM GOING TO SAY
TELL ME WHAT DEMOCRACY LOOKS LIKE AND I WANT YOU TO RESPOND
THIS IS WHAT DEMOCRACY LOOKS LIKE! Y’ALL GOT IT? HERE WE GO.
TELL ME WHAT DEMOCRACY LOOKS LIKE.
>>THIS IS WHAT DEMOCRACY LOOKS LIKE.
>>TELL ME WHAT DEMOCRACY LOOKS LIKE.
>>THIS IS WHAT DEMOCRACY LOOKS LIKE.
>>TELL ME WHAT DEMOCRACY LOOKS LIKE.
>>THIS IS WHAT DEMOCRACY LOOKS LIKE.
>>TELL ME WHAT DEMOCRACY LOOKS LIKE.
>>THIS IS WHAT DEMOCRACY LOOKS LIKE.
>>TELL ME WHAT DEMOCRACY LOOKS LIKE.
>>THIS IS WHAT DEMOCRACY LOOKS LIKE.
>>TELL ME WHAT DEMOCRACY LOOKS LIKE.
>>THIS IS WHAT DEMOCRACY LOOKS LIKE.
>>TELL ME WHAT DEMOCRACY LOOKS LIKE.
>>THIS IS WHAT DEMOCRACY LOOKS LIKE.
>>THANK YOU. I SAY THAT BECAUSE I KNOW THAT THROUGH PRES. BROWN
AND ALL OF THE LEADERS YOU CAME TO WASHINGTON DC TO TRY TO
IMPACT AMERICA AND YOU ALL ARE DOING THAT IN A VERY MEANINGFUL
WAY TO ATTACK ALL OF YOUR RACIST JIM CROW LAWS THAT HAVE YOUR
TARGET FROM THE SCHOOL TO PRISON PIPELINE OR WORSE HAVE YOU
TARGETED FOR AN EARLY GRAVE. I SAY THAT KNOWING
THAT WE ALL PRAY EVERY DAY THAT YOU ALL WILL LIVE OUT THE
FULFILLMENT OF THE DESTINY THAT GOD HAS FOR YOU
ALL AND THAT IS WHAT YOUR PARENTS PRAY FOR AND THAT IS
WHAT ALL OF THOSE IT JACK AND JILL PRAY FOR SO WE HAVE TO TAKE
IT HEAD ON, WHEN WE TALK ABOUT VOTER SUPPRESSION, EDUCATION
INEQUALITY, ENVIRONMENTAL RACISM, WHETHER IT IS RACIST JIM
CROW LAWS LIKE STAND YOUR GROUND, WE HAVE TO SPEAK TRUTH TO POWER. I GRANDMOTHER ALWAYS
TAUGHT ME AND SHE SAID BABY IF YOU EVER GET A CHANCE TO SPEAK
TRUTH TO POWER YOU DO IT AND Y’ALL ARE POWER AND I AM GOING
TO SPEAK THE TRUTH. OKAY? YOU KNOW I KNOW A LOT OF YOU ARE
YOUNGSTERS BUT I WANT TO BRIEFLY TELL YOU THE STORY OF TRAYVON
MARTIN AND THE RACIST JIM CROW LAW CALLED STAND YOUR GROUND
THAT WILL ALLOW OTHERS TO KILL OUR CHILDREN, OUR PEOPLE AND GET
TO GO HOME AND SLEEP IN THEIR BED AT NIGHT AS IF THAT LIFE DID
NOT MATTER AT ALL. EVEN THOUGH IT HAS BEEN
OVER SEVEN YEARS NOW I STILL REMEMBER LIKE IT WAS YESTERDAY
REPRESENTATIVE HOBSON, I WAS IN COURT FIGHTING FOR A
LITTLE BLACK BOY WHO HAD BEEN KILLED IN JACKSONVILLE FLORIDA.
WE WERE IN THE CIVIL COURTHOUSE AND GET THIS, HE HAD BEEN KILLED
BY HIS WHITE FRIEND WHOSE MOTHER HAD 27 GUNS IN HER HOUSE. LONG STORY SHORT THEY SAID THAT IT
WAS NOT INTENTIONAL, IT WAS AN ACCIDENTAL DEATH IN THE CRIMINAL
PROCEEDINGS, SO THEY WERE NOT GOING TO CHARGE THE BOY OR HIS
MOTHER WITH A CRIME. SO THEN WE ARE AT THE
CIVIL PROCEEDING TRYING TO HELP THIS SINGLE MOTHER WHO LOST HER
17-YEAR-OLD SON WHO WAS JUST LIKE YOU ALL, HE WAS A GOOD ATHLETE, HE HAD OKAY GRADES
AND WAS PROBABLY GOING TO BE THE FIRST ONE IN HIS FAMILY TO GO TO
COLLEGE BUT THIS KID HAD ACCESS TO ONE OF HIS MOTHER’S 27 GUNS
AND THEN HORSEPLAY SHOT HIM THROUGH THE WINDOW AND SO NOW WE
ARE IN THE CIVIL COURT TRYING TO GET THE HOMEOWNERS INSURANCE FOR
HIS MOTHER AND HER OTHER CHILDREN. AND PRES. PRESIDENT BROWN IT IS
THIS HUGE OBSTACLE ANYTIME WE TRY TO GET
JUSTICE AND IN THE CRIMINAL CASES THAT IT WAS NOT
INTENTIONAL BUT ACCIDENTAL AND WHEN YOU TRY TO GET INSURANCE
MONEY AND THEN BECOMES YOU HAVE TO SHOW THAT IT WAS NEGLIGENT
AND NOT INTENTIONAL BUT NOW INSURANCE COMPANIES ARE ARGUING
IT WAS UNINTENTIONAL AT AND SO NOW
WE’RE DEALING WITH THAT AND MY PHONE IS GOING OFF AND I AM IN
THE COURTROOM WITH MY ASSOCIATE AND THE BLACK MAMA, WE HAVE FIVE
OF THESE LAWYERS WHO REPRESENT INSURANCE COMPANIES EVERY DAY
AND ANYTIME YOU MAKE A CLAIM THEY SAY WE ARE NOT GIVING YOU A
DIME, I AM BATTLING THEM IN MY PHONE KEEPS BUZZING AND BUZZING
AND I SUBSCRIBED TO THE POLICY THAT IF YOU CALL ME AND I DO NOT
PICK UP THAN OBVIOUSLY I AM BUSY, I WILL GET BACK WITH YOU
WHEN I AM NOT BUSY. AT THE PHONE KEEPS GOING OFF ON AND ON AND
OVER AND OVER AND WHEN WE FINALLY WHEN THE MOTION AND HAVE TO GIVE THE
MONEY TO THE POOR BLACK MOTHER WHO LOST HER BABY, I GO OUT OF
THE COURTROOM AND I SAID HAVE 18 MISSED CALLS FROM ATTORNEY TYRONE WILLIAMS DOWN IN MIAMI
AND I AM LIKE WHAT IS IT? I AM A LITTLE PERTURBED AT THAT POINT.
AND THEY START SAYING CRUMP WE HAVE GOT TO GET
YOU ON THIS CASE AND IT IS IMPORTANT AND I SAY WHAT CASE?
THEY SAY YOU KNOW WHAT? I THINK IT WOULD BE BETTER IF
YOU TALK TO HIS FATHER AND LET HIM TELL YOU WHAT HAPPENED. AND
THE FATHER OF TRAYVON MARTIN , HIS NAME IS TRACY
MARTIN AND TRACY IS A MANLY MAN AND A TRUCK DRIVER AND REALLY
BUILT, HE IS BALD HEAD WITH THE BEARD AND THE WOMEN SEEM TO LIKE
HOW HE LOOKED WHEN HE CAME ON TV AND EVERYTHING BUT THIS MANLY
MAN GOT ON THE PHONE WHO I HAD NOT MET YET AND IT WAS ALMOST AS
IF HE WAS WHINING. I STILL CANNOT DESCRIBE THAT SOUND OF
HOPELESSNESS, HEART BROKENNESS, ABSOLUTE DEVASTATION. AND HE
SAYS ATTORNEY CRUMP MY 17-YEAR-OLD SON, TRAYVON MARTIN
, WAS WALKING HOME FROM THE 711 AND THE NEIGHBORHOOD WATCH
VOLUNTEER WITH A 9 MM GUN SHOT AND KILLED HIM. THE POLICE SAY THEY
ARE NOT GOING TO ARREST HIM. I STOPPED AND I SAID HOLD ON, LET
ME MAKE SURE I AM UNDERSTANDING YOU. YOUR
17-YEAR-OLD SON WAS WALKING HOME FROM THE SEVEN FROM THE 7/11 AND
DID HE HAVE A WEAPON? HE SAID NO HE WAS UNARMED. HE WAS ON THE
PHONE WALKING HOME AND HE HAD A BAG OF SKITTLES AND A CAN OF
ICED TEA AND THE NEIGHBORHOOD WATCH VOLUNTEER SHOT HIM IN THE HEART. THE POLICE SAID THEY
ARE NOT GOING TO ARREST HIM. I LITERALLY TOLD MR. MARTIN, NO, I
AM A LAWYER. I AM AN OFFICER OF THE
COURT AND I HAVE TO BELIEVE THE SYSTEM WORKS EQUALLY FOR
EVERYBODY AND THEY WILL ARREST HIM, GIVE IT A COUPLE OF DAYS,
THEY’VE GOT TO ARREST HIM BECAUSE OF THE
SELF-CONFESSED KILLER WITH THE PROVERBIAL SMOKING GUN IN HIS
HAND AND YOU HAVE AN UNARMED, DEAD TEENAGER LYING ON THE
GROUND. I SAY THEY WILL ARREST HIM BECAUSE IN OUR NEIGHBORHOOD, IN OUR
COMMUNITY, THEY ARREST PEOPLE ON A HUNCH, ON IN ANY WINDOW,
SOMEBODY SAID YOU FIT THE PROFILE. THEY HAVE NO
EVIDENCE AT ALL ON THE ARREST AND CONVICT US AND I SET THEY
WILL ARREST HIM, THEY HAVE GOT TO ARREST HIM, GIVE IT A COUPLE
OF DAYS. SO COUPLE OF DAYS WENT BY AND THE PHONE AND I HEARD
THAT SAME WHINING SOUND OF MR. TRACY MARTIN TELLING ME ATTORNEY
CRUMP THEY HAVEN’T DONE ANYTHING BECAUSE LIKE I
TOLD YOU THEY SAID THEY WERE NOT GOING TO ARREST HIM BECAUSE OF
THIS THING CALLED STAND YOUR GROUND. IT WAS THAT THAT POINT,
BEFORE TRAYVON MARTIN BECAME BOLD, BEFORE THE TRAYVON MARTIN
CASE BECAME ONE WHERE EVERYBODY STARTED SAYING I AM TRAYVON AND THIS WAS BEFORE
LeBRON JAMES AND THE MIAMI HEAT PUT ON THE HOODIES AND TOOK THE
PHOTOGRAPHS AND SAID WE ARE ALL TRAYVON, THIS IS BEFORE THE
CHANGE.ORG PETITION WAS STARTED SAYING THE KILLER OF TRAYVON
MARTIN SHOULD AT LEAST BE ARRESTED AND BROUGHT TO COURT TO
FACE THE WITNESSES AND THE EVIDENCE AGAINST HIM AND A COURT
OF LAW AND 5 MILLION SIGNED THAT PETITION MAKING IT THE LARGEST
PETITION ON CHANGE.ORG HISTORY THIS WAS BEFORE UP IN NEW YORK
CITY WENT THE PARENTS OF TRAYVON MARTIN AND I WENT UP AND DID
INTERVIEWS AND HAD 1 MILLION HOODIE RALLY ALL ON TWITTER AND FACEBOOK, THE PEOPLE IN
TIMES SQUARE DID NOT KNOW WHAT WAS GOING ON WHEN ALL OF THESE
YOUNG PEOPLE TOOK OVER TIME SQUARE WITH HOODIES ON SAYING WE
ARE TRAYVON MARTIN . THIS IS BEFORE PRESIDENT OBAMA WHEN INTO THE
WHITE HOUSE GUARDS IS THAT IF I HAD A SON TRAYVONHE WOULD LOOK LIKE TRAYVON THIS IS BEFORE IT
WAS THE NUMBER ONE STORE ALL OVER THE WORLD, THIS WAS JUST
HIS FATHER AND THIS CIVIL RIGHTS LAWYER ON THE PHONE WITH HIM
SAYING OKAY WE HAVE GOT TO DO SOMETHING, WE HAVE GOT TO ANSWER THE BELL. IT WAS AT THAT POINT
THEN THAT YOU STEP OUT AND DO THE RIGHT THING JACK AND JILL
AND GOD TAKES OVER FROM THERE. NOBODY COULD HAVE TOLD ME THAT
TRAYVON MARTIN WOULD HAVE BECOME AS BIG AS IT
WAS AN EVEN THOUGH THEY MIGHT SAY YOU CANNOT DO ANYTHING ABOUT
GUN VIOLENCE AND GET GUN REFORM, YOU DO WHAT YOU HAVE
GOT TO DO, YOU STEP OUT ON FAITH AND GOD WILL TAKE OVER FROM
THERE AND YOU JUST HAVE TO HAVE THE COURAGE TO SAY I AM FIGHTING
FOR WHAT I BELIEVE AND LIKE ANGELA DAVIS SAID I WILL NO
LONGER ACCEPT THE THINGS I CANNOT CHANGE. I AM GOING TO
CHANGE THE THINGS I CANNOT ACCEPT AND WE CANNOT
ACCEPT GUN VIOLENCE AND WE CANNOT CONTINUE TO ACCEPT THESE SCHOOL SHOOTINGS. I REMEMBER
SABRINA FULTON, THE MOTHER OF TRAYVON SAID AT NEW YORK, SHE SAID PRESIDENT BROWN , AND IT WAS SO DEEP AND
SHE WAS BATTLING A COLD AND WE HAD DONE EIGHT INTERVIEWS FROM
EVERYTHING LIKE THE GOOD MORNING AMERICA, TODAY SHOW, ANDERSON
COOPER, WE DID INTERVIEW AFTER INTERVIEW
AND IT WAS SO PROFOUND AND SO TRAGIC AND SO SAD BECAUSE AS A
PARENT YOU THINK ABOUT YOUR CHILD AND TRAYVON WAS RIGHT
THERE AND THEY HAD NURTURED HIM AND RAISED HIM AND HE WAS 17 ON
THE CUSP OF MANHOOD, JUST TO HAVE HIM
TAKEN FROM THEM AND WE HAVE TO SEE THEM DO THESE INTERVIEWS
JUST TO GET JUSTICE. AT THE END OF EVERY INTERVIEW THEY KNEW HOW
IT WOULD END THEIR SON TRAYVON WOULD HAVE A HOLE IN
HIS HEART AND HE WAS NEVER COMING HOME AND THEY DID ALL OF
THOSE INTERVIEWS WE WERE LITERALLY GOING TO THE AIRPORT,
WE HAD DONE POLITICS NATION THE LAST
INTERVIEW OF THE DAY AND WE WERE GOING TO JFK TO GET ON A PLANE
AND FLY BACK TO SELF ORDER AND OR SELF OR SOUTH FLORIDA AND YOU
KNOW THEY SET ALL OF THESE YOUNG PEOPLE WERE
HAVING A HOODIE RALLY AND WE DO NOT KNOW WHAT THEY WERE TALKING ABOUT AND THEY WERE LIKE YES
EVERYBODY IN NEW YORK HAS BEEN TALKING ABOUT AND IF YOU ALL CAN
GO BY AND THANK THEM FOR CARING. CENTRAL FLORIDA THOUSANDS OF
MILES AWAY AND WHAT DID THESE NEW YORKERS CARE ABOUT THIS
LITTLE BLACK BOY BEING KILLED DOWN IN FLORIDA? I WAS LIKE YES
WE’VE GOT TO THANK THESE PEOPLE AND IT IS THE APPROPRIATE THING
TO DO SO I WAS WE WILL DO IT AND TRACY SAID WE WILL DO IT BUT
SABRINA IS LIKE CRUMP I CANNOT DO ANYMORE. I HAVE PUT MY HEART
OUT ON EVERY TV INTERVIEW THAT YOU HAVE ASKED ME FOR SO SABRINA
PLEASE COME WITH US BUT YEAH BOSS ME AND TRACY AND REV. AL
JUST SAID SO AND IT WAS DEEP. ME AND TRACY WILL DO
MOST OF THE TALKING AND WE JUST WANT YOU TO SAY A WORD SABRINA
AND WE WERE LITERALLY GOING IN THE CAR TO WHAT WE THOUGHT WAS A
COUPLE OF HUNDRED KIDS. WE SAW THE STREETS LOCKED OFF AND
EVERYTHING AND WE WERE LIKE WOW. WHAT IS GOING ON? THEN MY MOTHER
CALLED ME, I DON’T KNOW IF YOU HAVE GOT MOTHERS LIKE MINE BUT
SHE SAID HEY BABY Y’ALL ARE ABOUT TO BE ON TV. ALL ARE ABOUT
TO BE ON A RALLY, THEY INTERRUPTED OUR
JEOPARDY OR WHATEVER TO SAY Y’ALL ARE ABOUT TO COME ON. I AM
LIKE OH MAN THIS IS DEEP. THERE WERE 1000 CAMERAS AND PEOPLE
EVERYWHERE. LONG STORY SHORT WE WENT UP AND WE SAID WHAT WE HAD
TO SANDED MOST OF THE TALKING AND HE SAID SABRINA CAN YOU SAY
SOMETHING TO THE PEOPLE? WHAT SHE SAID WAS SO PROFOUND BECAUSE IT
FRAMED THE WHOLE ARGUMENT AN ISSUE FOR WHY
WE’RE HERE TODAY AND SHE SAID I WANT TO THANK YOU ALL FOR
STANDING UP FOR MY SON TRAYVON . BUT SHE SAID IT IS NOT ABOUT JUST MY CHILD BUT ALSO
ABOUT YOUR CHILD. BECAUSE IF IT CAN
HAPPEN TO MY CHILD IT CAN HAPPEN TO YOURS. SO WE ALL HAVE GOT TO
STAND UP FOR TRAYVON , WE HAVE ALL GOT TO STAND UP FOR JUSTICE
AND THE CROWD WENT CRAZY. AND SHE SAID ATTORNEY CRUMP WAS THAT
OKAY? I SAID SABRINA THAT IS IT, THAT IS THE ARGUMENT AND NOBODY
CAN SAY IT BETTER THAN THAT. MY FLIGHT IS LEAVING IN 30 MINUTES
OR SO I’M GOING TO FINISH UP HERE. I WILL SAY THIS JACK AND
JILL ON THE HILL, DR. KING SAID THAT THE COWARD ASKS THE
QUESTION IS IT SAFE? DR. KING THEN SAID
EXPEDIENCY ASKS THE QUESTION IS IT POLITICALLY CORRECT? AND THEN HE
SAID OLD VANITY COMES ALONG AND ASKS THE QUESTION IS IT POPULAR?
BUT PRESIDENT BROWN , THEN DR. KING SAID CONSCIENCE COMES ALONG
AND ASKS THE QUESTION IS IT RIGHT? DR. KING SAID THERE WAS A
TIME WHEN ONE MUST TAKE A POSITION THAT IS NEITHER POPULAR, NOR POLITICALLY
CORRECT AND NOT EVEN SAFE BUT ONE MUST TAKE A POSITION BECAUSE
THEIR CONSCIENCE TELLS THEM IT IS THE RIGHT THING TO DO. IT IS
THE RIGHT THING TO DO TO STAND UP FOR OUR CHILDREN. IT IS THE
RIGHT THING TO DO TO SPEAK UP FOR OUR CHILDREN. IT IS THE
RIGHT THING TO DO TO FIGHT FOR OUR CHILDREN. YOU ALL ARE OUR
CHILDREN AND IF WE DO NOT STAND UP FOR YOU WE CANNOT EXPECT
NOBODY ELSE TO STAND UP FOR YOU. THANK YOU. LET’S STAND UP FOR
OUR CHILDREN. THANK YOU JACK AND JILL. GOD BLESS YOU.>>WOW! THAT WAS ABSOLUTELY AMAZING. I JUST GOT
TO STAND WITH ONE OF MY ICONS AND I AM STILL SHOOK GUYS. ALL RIGHT. NOW WE ARE GOING TO
BRING TO THE STAGE A VERY SPECIAL PERSON AND ACTIVIST. SHERMICHAEL SINGLETON.
>>THANK YOU GUYS, YOU KNOW I HAVE ONLY SPOKE ABOUT THIS TWICE
AND IT WAS A FEW WEEKS AGO DURING THE CONGRESSIONAL BLACK
CAUCUS WEEKS AND THEN AGAIN A DAY OR TWO LATER ON MSNBC WHERE
I PROVIDE COMMENTARY AND ANALYSIS. IT TOOK ME A VERY LONG
TIME TO GET TO A PLACE WHERE I ACTUALLY FELT COMFORTABLE
TALKING ABOUT THIS. SO I GUESS I WANT TO
PREFERENCE MY REMARKS BY SAYING NUMBER ONE THANK YOU TO YOU GUYS
BECAUSE YOU GUYS HAVE A LEVEL OF FORTITUDE THAT MANY OF OUR
ELECTED OFFICIALS DO NOT HAVE, AND BY FORTITUDE I MEAN IN THE
CLASSICAL SENSE, I MEAN THE FUSION OF COURAGE AND THE
FUSION OF MAGNANIMITY AND THESE WORDS MAY NOT MEAN A LOT TO YOU
GUYS NOW BUT I CAN ASSURE YOU AS YOU GET OLDER THEY CERTAINLY
WILL AND SO AS I BEGAN TO THINK ABOUT RYAN REMARKS OR MY REMARKS
AND WHAT I WANTED TO SET I HAD A LENGTHY SPEECH
AND I THOUGHT THIS IS TOO LONG OF THESE ARE YOUNG PEOPLE AND
THEY ARE NOT GOING TO WANT TO HEAR THIS SO I FOUND MYSELF
WONDERING WHAT CAN I SAY TO YOU GUYS THAT WOULD HOPEFULLY
INSPIRE? I REMEMBER WHEN I WAS YOUR AGE LISTENING TO PEOPLE AND
TO THIS DAY THERE ARE SOME INDIVIDUALS WHO LEFT SUCH A MARK
ON ME THEN THAT I STILL TRY TO FIND MYSELF TRYING TO ADHERE TO
THE ADVICE THEY GAVE ME. I HAVE ALWAYS BELIEVED ONE OF LIFE’S
GREATEST GIFTS, ONE OF THE GREATEST GIFTS IN THE WORLD I
WOULD ARGUE IS BEING ABLE TO SHARE WHAT ONE HAS LEARNED FOR KNOWLEDGE IS
INSEPARABLE FROM LIFE’S JOURNEY AND THAT IS SOMETHING THAT YOU
WILL LEARN AS YOU CONTINUE TO GROW. WHAT I KNEW THAT EVEN IN
THINKING ABOUT THAT YOU HAVE TO SHARE A PIECE OF YOURSELF.
PEOPLE GIVE YOU ADVICE ALL THE TIME, DO THIS, DO NOT DO THAT,
YOU LISTEN AND SOMETIMES YOU DO NOT, BUT WHEN IT COMES TO SOMETHING WHO
HAS BEEN DIRECTLY IMPACTED BY SOMETHING THAT IS WHAT CHANGES THE DYNAMICS. SO I FIGURED I
GUESS I WILL SHARE MY PERSONAL STORY. WHEN I WAS A KID, ABOUT
SIX YEARS OLD I BELIEVE, I LIVED IN NEW ORLEANS, I LOST MY FATHER TO
GUN VIOLENCE. THIS STORY IS VERY INTERESTING JUST LIKE SO MANY
BLACK MEN MY FATHER LOST HIS BROTHER TO GUN VIOLENCE. A DAY OR TWO AFTER
THE MIDDLE BROTHER WAS MURDERED, THE YOUNGER BROTHER KILLED
SOMEONE. DO YOU SEE THE PATTERN? ALL THREE ESSENTIALLY GONE. I REMEMBER
RECENTLY REFLECTING ON THIS AND TRYING TO UNDERSTAND
THIS VERY ODD DICHOTOMY OF HOW SO MANY OF US FIND OURSELVES IN
THIS KIND OF SITUATION. AND THEN IT DAWNED
ON ME THAT SO MANY OTHERS HAVE ADDED OR TAKEN VALUE AWAY FROM
US THAT WE HAVE NOT PLACED VALUE ON OUR OWN LIVES. YOU SEE WHEN
YOU VALUE SOMETHING YOU ARE CAREFUL WITH IT. YOU DO NOT WANT
TO BREAK IT, YOU DO NOT WANT TO DAMAGE IT. YOU WANT TO PRESERVE
IT. WHEN YOU DO NOT VALUE YOUR SELF HOW CAN YOU VALUE THE LIFE
OF ANOTHER? IT BECOMES A CHALLENGE. IT BECOMES A
CHALLENGE ALMOST IMPOSSIBLE TO OVERCOME. AS WE THINK ABOUT
GUN VIOLENCE I WANTED TO ADD A PERSPECTIVE OF HOW IT IMPACTS
ME, HOW IT IMPACTS SO MANY FAMILIES, SOME IN THIS AUDIENCE
OF LOST A FAMILY MEMBER OR A FRIEND OR KNOW SOMEONE WHO HAS. AND AT 29 NOW, THE PAIN
AND TORMENT OF LOSING MY DAD IS SOMETHING I HAVE NEVER OVERCOME,
IT IS SOMETHING THAT YOU NEVER GET OVER. IT IS ALMOST LIKE THIS
CONSTANT CRUSHING FORCE BECAUSE YOU ARE ALWAYS WONDERING WHAT IF? WHAT IF YOU WERE STILL
HERE I WONDER WHAT HE WOULD THINK ABOUT THIS AND I WONDER
WHAT ADVICE HE WOULD GIVE ME? YOU NEVER GET THOSE MOMENTS. SO
THIS ISSUE OF GUN VIOLENCE NOT ONLY IMPACTS THOSE IMMEDIATELY
AROUND US, THE IMPACT THE ENTIRE COMMUNITY. THE PERSON WHO
TAKES A LIFE OF THEIR FAMILY ALSO LOSES SOMETHING SO WHILE IT
IS DIFFERENT IN SO MANY DIFFERENT WAYS, I LOST MY DAD,
MY DAD LOST HIS BROTHER, ANOTHER BROTHER IS ESSENTIALLY GONE AND
HE IS IN PRISON FOR LIFE NOW, I THINK ABOUT THE FAMILIES OF
THOSE OTHER PEOPLE. BECAUSE THEY LOST SOMEONE, IN A DIFFERENT
WAY, AND THOSE MEMORIES WE MAKE AS WE GET OLDER AND OLDER
THROUGH LIFE EXPERIENCES, THEY WILL NEVER HAVE AN OPPORTUNITY
TO GROW AND EXPERIENCE AND THEY WILL NEVER GET TO SHARE
BIRTHDAYS OR VARIOUS HOLIDAYS WITH THESE INDIVIDUALS, MY DAD
WAS DECEASED BUT ALSO THAN THE PERSON WHO MURDERED HIM BUT IT
TOOK ME SUCH A LONG TIME TO FINALLY GET TO THE POINT OF
FORGIVENESS BECAUSE IT DAWNED ON ME, WHAT I AM FEELING THEY
ARE ALSO EXPERIENCING BUT IN A VERY UNIQUE AND DIFFERENT WAY. I
REALIZED IT IS NOT JUST ME AND MY FAMILY IMPACTED, IT IS ALL OF
US, IT IS ALMOST LIKE A DOMINO EFFECT. YOU KNOCK ONE
OVER AND THAT ALL OF THE OTHERS FOLLOW YOU DO NOT REALLY SEE THE
IMMEDIATE HARM BECAUSE IT IS RATHER DIFFICULT TO SEE BEYOND
WHAT IS IMMEDIATELY IN FRONT OF US. BUT THERE CERTAINLY IS. I HAVE TRIED TO COMMIT SO MUCH
OF MY TIME AND MY ENERGY AND I GUESS IN SOME LEVEL OF SUCCESS I
HAVE HAD, TO TRY TO TALK TO PEOPLE LIKE YOU GUYS TO SAY THAT
THERE IS VALUE IN YOU. YOU HAVE TO REALIZE THAT. I THINK ABOUT MY
GRANDMOTHER A WELL-EDUCATED WOMAN WITH MULTIPLE DEGREES AND
A PHD AND AN EDUCATOR, SHE LOST THREE SONS AND YOU DO NOT THINK
THAT WOULD TYPICALLY HAPPEN FOR SOMEONE WITH HER PEDIGREE BUT IT
DID. AND I THINK ABOUT GROWING UP AS A KID WHY I DID NOT GET TO
EXPERIENCE SO MUCH OF MY TIME WITH HER AS SHE SPENT SO MUCH OF
HER TIME EDUCATING OTHER PEOPLE’S KIDS. FOR HER THAT WAS
THE AVENUE BY WHICH SHE THOUGHT SHE COULD CHANGE
THINGS FOR OTHER PEOPLE SO NO ONE ELSE HAD TO EXPERIENCE WHAT
SHE EXPERIENCED. I THINK ABOUT MY GRANDFATHER, A BRILLIANT GUY,
A SERIAL ENTREPRENEUR, HE ALWAYS SAYS I WAS A HORRIBLE FATHER
BECAUSE I LOST ALL OF MY SONS. BUT I’M GOING TO BE A
GREAT GRANDDAD AND I SAID WHAT DO YOU MEAN? HE SAID ALL OF YOU
GUYS ARE STILL HERE. TAKE ABOUT THAT. THAT IS WHAT IT IS BEEN
REDUCED TO FOR SO MANY PEOPLE WHO LOOK LIKE US ALL ACROSS THIS
COUNTRY. SO FOR ME, AND I AM PRETTY
CONFIDENT WHEN I SAY THIS, SO MANY PEOPLE IMPACTED BY THIS,
THE VOID THAT I FEEL SINCE LOSING MY DAD, AVOID SO MANY OTHERS
FEEL FROM LOSING A BROTHER, COUSIN OR A BEST FRIEND, THAT
PAIN AND CONFLICTION NEVER GOES AWAY. YOU TRY TO FIND WAYS
TO BE CONSTRUCTIVE AND DIRECT YOUR ENERGY AS I STATED TO
TRYING TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE. TRYING TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE FOR
OTHER BLACK BOYS AND BLACK SONS AND BLACK NEPHEWS AND BLACK
FRIENDS SO THEY NEVER HAVE TO EXPERIENCE THIS TYPE OF PAIN. HE REALIZES YOU GET
OLDER AND THIS IS SOMETHING THAT MY GRANDMOTHER ALWAYS SAYS, WIFE
IS NOTHING BUT A COLLECTION OF MOMENTS IN TIME AND HOPE AND
EXPECTATION IS WEAK GROW RIGHT WISER FROM THE LESSONS LEARNED.
WE KNOW WHAT THE PROBLEMS ARE IN OUR COMMUNITIES BUT WHAT HAVE WE LEARNED? I DO NOT DISAGREE. GIVE HER APPLAUSE,
THAT IS FINE. SO FOR MANY OF US I
THINK AS WE THINK ABOUT THIS, THESE DYNAMICS, WELL I DON’T
WANT TO GET INTO POLITICS AND I WANT TO SHOW SOMETHING PERSONAL
BUT I THINK EVERYONE IN THIS ROOM HAS AN IDEA OF WHAT THE
ISSUES ARE POLITICALLY RIGHT? EXACTLY. I THINK ABOUT
THE IMPORTANCE FOR US TO UNIFY AND DO SO IN A WAY TO BRING SUSTAINED CHANGE, CHANGE THAT IS
MEANINGFUL AND CHANGE THAT WILL MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN PEOPLE’S
LIVES. POLITICS IS ONE SUCH WAY TO DO THAT. NOT EVERYONE IN HERE
IS GOING TO BE A POLITICIAN AND NOT EVERYONE IN HERE IS GOING TO
BE A LAWYER OR AN ACTIVIST. THE QUESTION BECOMES WHERE YOU ARE
WHAT CAN YOU DO TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN COMMUNITIES LIKE
OURS ACROSS THE COUNTRY? I THINK FOR SO MANY
OF US THE IMAGES OF OURSELVES BEING AFFECTED IN
SUCH A NEGATIVE WAY THAT WE ALMOST BUY INTO IT. AND THE UNFORTUNATE THING ABOUT OUR
REALITY OF THIS COUNTRY IS THAT A WHOLE LOT OF PEOPLE HAVE MADE
A DARN GOOD JOB OF MAKING US SEE OUR OWN SELVES AS OUR OWN ENEMY
AND WE HAVE TO CHANGE THAT. POLITICS IS ONE AVENUE. MENTOR
SHIP IS ANOTHER AVENUE. SHARING YOUR EXPERIENCES A DIFFERENT AVENUE. THERE ARE SO
MANY DIFFERENT DYNAMICS TO THIS PUZZLE THAT WE MUST FIGURE OUT A
WAY TO CONNECT. THERE IS NOT JUST ONE SIMPLE WAY AND THERE
ARE MULTIPLE WAYS. I HAVE FIGURED OUT MY WAY IS POLITICS
IN MY CHALLENGE EACH AND EVERY ONE OF YOU GUYS AS YOUNG PEOPLE
IS TO TRY TO FIGURE OUT WHAT IS THAT WAY THAT I CAN PRESERVE AND
CHANGE AND SAVE A LIFE IN MY COMMUNITY? I DO NOT GO TO NEW
ORLEANS AS OFTEN AS I USED TO FOR A LOT OF REASONS AND IT IS A
PLACE I HAVE A LOT OF NEGATIVE MEMORIES BUT I HAVE TRIED TO
FIND OTHER PLACES LIKE IN DC WHERE I LIVE OR I CAN TALK TO
YOUNG BLACK MEN AND FOR REGULAR AND FIGURE OUT CONSTRUCTIVE WAYS
TO HELP THEM FIGURE OUT BETTER WAYS TO CHANNEL WHATEVER IT IS
THAT WE ARE EXPERIENCING. GUNS ARE A PROBLEM. WE HAVE TO ACCEPT
THAT REALITY. THE QUESTION IS WHAT ARE WE GOING TO DO TO
CHANGE IT? WHAT TYPE OF A PRESSURE ARE WE GOING TO
APPLY ON THOSE WHO REALLY HAVE THE POWER AND INFLUENCE TO MAKE A DIFFERENT? THAT IS ONE AVENUE SO AGAIN MY
PUSH TO YOU GUYS IS SIMPLY THIS, HEY GUYS, IT IS OKAY. EVERYONE
HAS A RIGHT TO SHARE THEIR OPINIONS, I HEAR A LOT OF
OPINIONS I MAY NOT AGREE WITH, I LISTEN AND EMBRACE THEM AND THAT
IS SOMETHING THAT YOU GUYS HAVE TO DO AS YOU GET OLDER. SO IN
CLOSING I WILL SAY THIS. I HAVE REITERATED THIS A COUPLE
TIMES NOW BUT IT IS JUST SO IMPORTANT. WHEN I THINK ABOUT MY
FAMILY AND OUR DYNAMICS, I THINK THEY HAD
EVERYTHING RIGHT AND YET THIS WAS TILL OUR REALITY, WHAT WENT
WRONG? I POSED THIS QUESTION TO MY GRANDMOTHER, IS THAT HOW IS
THIS EVEN POSSIBLE? IF I WERE TO LOOK
AT YOU ON PAPER I WOULD THINK YOU HAD THE PERFECT FAMILY. IT
DID NOT MAKE A DIFFERENT WHAT IT FURTHER
VALIDATED IN MY MIND IS YOU CAN BE FAR REMOVED FROM SOMETHING,
YOU CAN HAVE ALL THE SUCCESS AND ACCOLADES AND STILL BE IMPACTED.
YOU MAY SEE SOMEONE IN ONE COMMUNITY
THAT IS BLACK AND YOU SAY THAT IS NOT MY PROBLEM, I AM
PRIVILEGED. YOU ARE NEVER FAR REMOVED FROM THOSE THINGS.
IMAGERY MAY EXIST AND MAY FEEL THAT YOU
ARE BUT I CAN TELL YOU THAT YOU ARE NOT. THAT MEANS ALL OF US
HAVE TO PLAY A CRITICAL ROLE IN TRYING TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN
OUR COMMUNITIES AND IT COULD BE POLITICS OR ACTIVISM BUT YOU
HAVE TO FIGURE OUT WHAT THAT THING IS FOR YOU AND MOVE
FORWARD TRYING TO SEE WHAT YOU CAN DO TO PRESERVE THE LIFE. I GUARANTEE YOU ALL IT
TAKES IS ONE PERSON TALKING TO ANOTHER PERSON, ANOTHER PERSON
TALKING TO ANOTHER PERSON, AND WE GO BACK TO THE DOMINO EFFECT
AGAIN. THEN YOU HAVE SAVED A LOT OF LIVES. THANK YOU.
>> CLAPP MAC [ APPLAUSE ]
>>THANK YOU FOR THAT WONDERFUL SPEECH.. SO NOW WE’RE
GOING TO DO A TRIBUTE AND WE’RE SHOWING THIS FROM JACK AND JILL
CHAPTERS FROM ACROSS THE COUNTRY.>>SORRY ABOUT THAT, CAN I GET
SOME MICROPHONE PLEASE? LET’S SEE WHO
WAS IN THE HOUSE AND LET’S HAVE SOME FUN SHALL WE? CAN WE MAKE SOME NOISE?
>>BE SURE THAT WHEN YOU’RE DURING THE HASHTAG OF YOUR
PICTURES THAT YOU USE #JJGOESORANGE .
>>ALL RIGHT, MAKE SOME NOISE! WHERE IS MY FAR WEST
REGION, MAKE SOME NOISE! WHERE IS MY
MID-ATLANTIC REGION, MAKE SOME NOISE! WHERE IS MY
MIDWESTERN REGION, MAKE SOME NOISE! WHERE IS MY
SOUTH-CENTRAL REGION, MAKE SOME NOISE!. WHERE IS MY
SOUTHEASTERN REGION MAKE SOME NOISE! I KNOW WHAT TO SAY GIRL. AWARE IS MY EASTERN
REGION? MAKE SOME NOISE! THAT IS MY FAVORITE
REGION Y’ALL. SOUTH OF BROOKLYN!
>>BACK TO SCHEDULED PROGRAMMING.>>15 MINUTES HE HAS NOT ARRIVED
HOME AND I GO LOOKING FOR HIM AND I CANNOT FIND THEM.
>>WHEN I CAME HOME I FOUND MY SON DECEASED LAYING ON MY FLOOR
IN MY DINING ROOM>>COME TO FIND OUT MY SON WAS
AT THE MORGUE AND HE HAD BEEN SHOT THREE TIMES
>>THEY SHOT HIM AND HIS FACE THAT IT WAS NOTHING BUT HATRED.
>>MY GRANDSON WAS KILLED GETTING SHOT IN THE
HEAD THREE TIMES AND HIS LIFE WAS TAKEN FROM HIM.
>>WE ARE IN A STATE OF EMERGENCY AND SOMETHING’S GOT TO
GIVE. I WANT THE VIOLENCE TO STOP BUT I TRULY WISH PEOPLE
WOULD THINK ABOUT THE FAMILY MEMBERS THAT THEY ARE DOING THE DAMAGE TO.
>>IF THE PEOPLE HAVE GOTTEN TOGETHER AND TRIED TO COME UP
WITH A BETTER SOLUTION MY GRANDSON WOULD STILL BE LIVING.>>SINCE 2014 ST. LOUIS HAS HAD
THE HIGHEST MURDER RATE OF ANY MAJOR AMERICAN CITY AND NEW
RESEARCH FROM THE UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI SHOWS THE VAST MAJORITY
OF THESE DEATHS HAVE INVOLVED A GUN SHARON CROSSLAND, PHYLLIS
CURRY HAVE ALL LOST A LOVED ONE TO GUN VIOLENCE IN THE PAST FOUR
YEARS.>>MY GRANDSON WOULD SWIM WHEN
HE WAS LITTLE AND THESE ARE THE MEMORIES AND THE THINGS YOU HAVE
BUT THERE IS NOTHING LIKE THE HUMAN BEING IN THE FLESH TO BE
THERE YOU KNOW? WHEN YOU MAKE THE DECISION TO PULL
THAT GUN OUT YOU ARE CHANGING LIVES. YOU ARE CHANGING LIVES.
WHEN IT HAPPENED TO ME IT WAS A HORRIFIC THING IT TOOK AT LEAST
3 TO 4 MONTHS, I WOULD CRY CONSTANTLY AND I WAS A LOT OF
PAIN. THE MAIN THING WAS WHY?
>>SOMETIMES I CANNOT THINK ABOUT MY SON AND I CANNOT
BREATHE AND I HAVE PANIC ATTACKS. BUT SOME DAYS I CAN
LAUGH, THEN CRY AND THEN LAUGH AGAIN AND MORE
THAN ANYTHING ELSE I DON’T WANT ANY OTHER MOTHER TO HAVE TO
EXPERIENCE WHAT WE EXPERIENCE EVERY DAY AND HAVE TO LIVE WITH
THE THOUGHT OF HAVING LOST YOUR CHILD.
>>THIS IS SOMETHING THAT A PARENT NEVER THINKS ABOUT AND
YOU NEVER EXPECT YOUR CHILD TO BE TAKEN AWAY FROM YOU THROUGH
SENSELESS VIOLENCE YOU KNOW? WE PROTECT OUR CHILDREN, WE TRY TO
BUT YOU KNOW THERE IS NO PROTECTING YOURSELF.
>>JAMES CLARK AS PART OF A GROWING TEAM IN ST. LOUIS
WORKING TO SAVE AS MANY LIVES AS THEY CAN AND THEY WORK FOR A NONPROFIT CALLED BETTER FAMILY
LIFE WHERE MEMBERS LOOK FOR CONFLICTS IN THE COMMUNITY AND
STEP IN WHEN THE SITUATION COULD TURN DEADLY.
>>PLEASE WELCOME MR. JAMES CLARK.
>>[ APPLAUSE ]
>>ALL RIGHT MAN I NEED SOME TUPAC, I AM OLD SCHOOL, I NEED
SOME ‘PAC, WHEN THUGS CRY. Y’ALL NEED TO LISTEN TO THAT, HAVE
Y’ALL EVER HEARD OF THAT? THERE YOU GO. WASSUP? I SAID WHAT’S UP
JACK AND JILL? MAN Y’ALL LOOK GOOD. DON’T NOBODY ELSE
CARE, WE HAVE GOT TO CARE AND IF DON’T NOBODY ELSE CARE WE HAVE
GOT TO CARE. I FIRST WANT TO GIVE HONOR AND THANKS TO GOD WHO
IS THE GIVER AND SUSTAINER OF OUR LIVES AND I WANT TO BE VERY
INTENTIONAL. GIVE IT UP FOR GOD. IF YOU HAVE GOT TWO HANDS PUT
THOSE TWO CANS TOGETHER FOR THE BEING WHO GAVE YOU THE ACTIVITY
FOR THOSE TWO HANDS. AND I WANT TO THANK GOD FOR JACK AND JILL
FOR PROVIDING LEADERSHIP FOR OUR PEOPLE AT A TIME WHEN WE NEED IT
NOW MORE THAN EVER BEFORE. I THEN WANT TO THANK JACK AND JILL UNDER THE LEADERSHIP OF DR.
BROWN FOR UNDERSTANDING THE IMPORTANCE OF CHALLENGING OUR
YOUNG PEOPLE RIGHT NOW. YOUNG PEOPLE WE ARE AT A TIME WHEN WE
NEED YOUR ACTIVISM. IF NOT FOR THE
YOUNG PEOPLE THE CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT WOULD NOT HAVE HAD
LEGS. IT WOULD HAVE HAD A VISION. AS A YOUNG MEN OLD MEN
FOR COUNCIL AND YOUNG PEOPLE FOR WAR. WE ARE AT A WAR RIGHT NOW
BROTHERS AND SISTERS OF A SCALE THAT WE HAD IT IN THE 1960S. WE
NEED YOUR ACTIVISM RIGHT NOW. JUST AS OUR GRANDPARENTS AND
GREAT GRANDPARENTS STOOD UP AGAINST AN EXTERNAL FORCE. WE
MUST RALLY RIGHT NOW AGAINST SYSTEMIC RACISM AND OPPRESSION FROM EXTERNAL
FORCES BUT YOUNG PEOPLE WE HAVE TO FIND THE COURAGE TO STAND UP
AGAINST THIS INTERNAL CRISIS ON WHAT AFRICAN-AMERICANS DO TO AFRICAN-AMERICANS. YOU SEE WE
ARE SILENT ON THAT I DID NOT EXPECT A BIG HAND CLAP FOR THAT
BECAUSE THAT WAS TAKE A CERTAIN AMOUNT OF BRAVERY. IT IS KIND OF
COMFORTABLE RIGHT NOW TO SAY WHAT THE POLICE DO TO US AND IT
IS COMFORTABLE RIGHT NOW TO SAY WHAT THE GOVERNMENT DOES TO US. BUT BROTHERS AND SISTERS
WE HAVE GOT TO FACE WHAT WE DO TO EACH OTHER! WE HAVE GOT TO FACE THAT. BROTHERS AND SISTERS
WE LIVE IN A RACIST SOCIETY IT IS BUILT ON
RACISM, FOUNDED ON RACISM, THIS SYSTEM DOESN’T EMBRACE ANY
ETHNIC GROUP. BUT EVERY OTHER ETHNIC GROUP THEY KNOW ONE
THING, WE CANNOT FIND OR FIGHT RACISM AND
FIGHT EACH OTHER AT THE SAME TIME, WE HAVE GOT TO LEARN THAT
LESSON. WE DO NOT WANT TO READ THAT BOOK. WE DO NOT WANT TO
STUDY THAT DOCTRINE THE DOCTRINE OF DR. KING RIGHT NOW IS CAUSING
US TO BECOME PEACEFUL WITH EACH OTHER AND IT IS ASKING US RIGHT
NOW TO BEGIN TO EMBRACE EACH OTHER. IT IS ASKING US RIGHT NOW
TO STOP LOOKING AT EACH OTHER THROUGH JEALOUS AND ENVY AND
BEGIN TO UNDERSTAND WE ARE ONE PEOPLE AND HAVE A COMMON DESTINY
AND WE SHOULD GET ON THE SAME PAGE. THE TIME IS NOW. THE TIME
IS NOW. WE NEED YOUR ACTIVISM NOW YOUNG
PEOPLE LIKE NEVER BEFORE. WE CANNOT MOVE FORWARD WITHOUT YOU
NOR CAN WE LEAVE IT TO THE NEXT GENERATION. THIS IS YOUR
MOVEMENT AND WE MUST FIGHT EXTERNALLY THAT WE HAVE GOT TO BECOME INTERNAL. IN ST. LOUIS WE
ARE EXPERIENCING A VERY HIGH CRIME RATE AND WE HOLD THE POLICE ACCOUNTABLE, WE HOLD
ELECTED OFFICIALS ACCOUNTABLE, BUT IN ST. LOUIS WE ARE NOW
BEGINNING TO HOLD US ACCOUNTABLE FOR WHAT WE DO TO EACH OTHER.
HOW MANY OF YOU WHO HAVE LOST SOMEONE TO RACISM? HOW MANY OF
YOU HAVE LOST SOMEONE TO GUN VIOLENCE? COULD YOU STAND? IF
YOU HAVE LOST A FAMILY MEMBER OR A FRIEND TO LOVED ONE ON GUN
VIOLENCE. ACTIVISM MUST BEGIN NOW AND THE TIME FOR US IGNORING
WHAT IS GOING ON HAS COME TO AN END. I HAD THE PLEASURE OF
MEETING A FAMOUS RAPPER. I BELIEVE IT IS
TIME FOR US THAT WE BEGIN TO HOLD ENTERTAINERS ACCOUNTABLE
FOR THE LYRICS IN THEIR MUSIC THE POPULAR RISES GUN VIOLENCE AND FELONIES. AND I SAID TO HIM
WHY IS IT THAT YOU TELL EVERYBODY ELSE’S SON TO TRAP OR
DIE BUT YOU SEND YOUR SON TO COLLEGE TO GET A DEGREE? THAT IS
A QUESTION. THAT TAKES BRAVERY AND I HAD AN
OPPORTUNITY TO MEET COLIN KAEPERNICK AND I SUPPORT CALL
AND WHEN HE TOOK A KNEE AGAINST POLICE BRUTALITY, WE HAVE TO
TAKE A KNEE. BUT I SAID: I AM WAITING FOR AN AFRICAN-AMERICAN ATHLETE, I AM
WAITING FOR AN AFRICAN-AMERICAN ENTERTAINER TO TAKE A KNEE
AGAINST WHAT AFRICAN-AMERICAN BOYS TO AFRICAN-AMERICAN BOYS IN
EVERY MAJOR CITY IN AMERICA EVERY DAY. YOU SEE WE CANNOT
FORGET SANDY HOOK. WE CANNOT FORGET COLUMBINE, BUT WE HAVE
MASS SHOOTINGS IN THE URBAN CORE, EVERY TEAM
THAT HAS A FOOTBALL TEAM AND EVERY BASKETBALL TEAM, YOUNG
BOYS DIE EVERYDAY IN THE STREETS AND WE ARE SILENT ABOUT IT AND
THAT HAS THE END. IN CONCLUSION WE NEED YOUR ACTIVISM Y’ALL. WE
NEED IT TODAY. W.E. DUBOIS WAS CLEAR THAT ONLY
10% OF AMERICAN KIDS WILL GET AN EDUCATION AND
ONLY 10% WILL GO TO COLLEGE AND GET A DEGREE AND IT IS INCUMBENT
ON THAT 10% TO REACH BACK AND PROVIDE GUIDANCE AND A BLUEPRINT
FOR THE 90%. HE SAID BECAUSE IF THE 10% DO NOT REACH BACK AND HELP THE
BROTHERS AND SISTERS IN THE PROJECT AND HELP THE BROTHERS
AND SISTERS LIVING IN POVERTY AND HELP THE BROTHERS AND SISTERS LIVING AROUND THE
TRAP HOUSE AND HELP THE BROTHERS AND SISTERS WHO DO NOT HAVE FOOD
SO THEY GO OUT AND ROB PEOPLE, HE SAID IF THE 10% DOES NOT
REACH BACK, A SUBCULTURE WILL EMERGE. THAT SUBCULTURE WILL BE
VERY DIABOLICAL. SO I AM SPEAKING TO THE CHILDREN OF
THE TALENTED 10 AND I AM SPEAKING TO THE
CHILDREN WHOSE PARENTS PAVE THE WAY FOR YOU AND NOW YOU HAVE A
CERTAIN AMOUNT OF PRIVILEGE. WE NEED YOUR ACTIVISM. WE NEED YOUR
ACTIVISM. WE NEED YOUR ACTIVISM. AND WE NEED YOUR ACTIVISM AROUND
THIS GUN VIOLENCE TALENTED 10%. YOU KNOW FOR MY
GRANDMOTHER HER BIGGEST OBSTACLE WAS WOULD SHE BE ? FOR MY GREAT-GRANDMOTHER
AND GREAT-GRANDFATHER HIS BIGGEST OBSTACLE WAS WOULD HE BE LYNCHED? OUR BIGGEST
OBSTACLES BROTHERS AND SISTERS ARE NOT EXTERNAL IN THE KU KLUX
KLAN DOES NOT DO TO US TODAY WHAT WE DO TO EACH OTHER. I SEE YOU ALL. I SEE YOU ALL AND I SEE
THE ANSWER. I SEE YOU ALL AND I SEE THE PROMISE. I SEE YOU ALL
AND I ENCOURAGE YOU TO STAND UP TO THE CHALLENGE. STAND UP TO THE
CHALLENGE. IT IS EASY TO FOCUS ON THINGS THAT DON’T MATTER. IT
IS EASY TO FOCUS ON THINGS THAT ARE SHALLOW. BUT BROTHERS AND
SISTERS THE COLLECTIVE BIGGEST CHALLENGE WE HAVE IS NOT
EXTERNAL. IT IS INTERNAL. IT IS INTERNAL. WE MUST BEGIN TO LOVE
AND RESPECT ONE ANOTHER. YOU SEE I KNOW MY PEOPLE REAL WELL. I
KNOW MY PEOPLE REAL WELL. WE ARE A SPIRITUAL PEOPLE. ONCE WE SAY
THAT WE WILL START LOVING EACH OTHER IT WOULD BECOME INFECTIOUS
AND IT WILL SPREAD FROM ST. LOUIS, IT WILL GO TO BOSTON, AND
IT WILL SPREAD FROM BOSTON AND GO TO NEW YORK. WE HAVE GOT TO
BRING LOVE BACK INTO OUR COMMUNITY AND JACK AND JILL YOU
ARE DOING WHAT IS NECESSARY RIGHT NOW TO BRING THIS ISSUE TO
OUR YOUNG PEOPLE. AND YOUNG PEOPLE IT IS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY
TO CARRY IT FORWARD SO GO BACK HOME AND GO BACK INTO YOUR
SCHOOLS AND BACK INTO YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD AND BRING THIS
ENERGY OF ACTIVISM BACK WITH YOU SO WE CAN CHANGE AMERICA AND
MAKE IT A BETTER PLACE FOR OUR CHILDREN AND GRANDCHILDREN THANK
YOU VERY MUCH AND GOD BLESS YOU.
>>[ APPLAUSE ]>>I AM BACK. WE ARE GOING TO SHARE SOME
SWEETS AND A POST.>>CHECK THIS OUT BUT WHILE WE
DO THAT WE MIGHT AS WELL HAVE SOME FUN RIGHT? CAN WE ALL STAND
UP REALLY QUICK? CAN WE STAND UP
AND HOLD UP OUR SCIENCE REALLY QUICK? EVERYBODY THROW YOUR
SIGNS IN THE AIR LET’S GO! FEEL FREE TO BOUNCE.
COME ON, COME ON, COME ON, LET’S GO, LET’S GO! YOU ALL ARE ON CAMERA,
WHAT, WHAT, WHAT, WHAT?! COME ON, COME ON, HEY, HEY, HEY!
>>MAKE SURE THAT YOU ARE POSTING ON YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA
PAGES #JJGOESORANGE .
>>EVERYBODY GOES WHAT?
>>UP, DOWN, UP, DOWN, UP, DOWN! HEY! HOLD THEM UP!>>WE ARE BACK.>> COME ON! WHAT, WHAT, WHAT, WHAT, WHAT! HOLA!
>> COME ON!
>>ALL RIGHT. ALL RIGHT. ALL I AM SAYING IS I
WILL SEE YOU ALL TONIGHT. CAN I HAVE EVERYBODY’S ATTENTION? SO NOW WE WANT TO INTRODUCE —
>>EVERYONE CAN WE HAVE YOUR ATTENTION PLEASE? THANK YOU BUT
>>I NOW WANT TO INTRODUCE TO YOU ROBINS FROM MARCH FOR OUR LIVES.>>IF THE GOVERNMENT WILL NOT
TAKE THE FIRST STEP IN REFORMING THIS COUNTRY’S GUN LAWS SOME
ACTIVISTS SAY THEY CERTAINLY WILL AND THE ORGANIZATION MARCH
FOR OUR LIVES TODAY ROLLING OUT A NEW INITIATIVE TO CUT GUN
VIOLENCE IN THIS COUNTRY AND CUT IT DRAMATICALLY AND THE GROUP
WAS FOUNDED IN THE WAKE OF THE FEBRUARY 20 18th MASS SHOOTING AT
MARJORIE STOMA DOUGLAS HIGH SCHOOL IN PARKLAND FLORIDA 17
STUDENTS AND STAFF MEMBERS WERE KILLED IN THE ATTACK AND WITH US
TWO COFOUNDERS OF THAT MOVEMENT, DAVID HOGG AND TIA ROBERTS,
FIRST OF ALL YOUR REACTION TO THE
PRESIDENT AND WHAT APPEARS TO BE ONCE AGAIN WAVERING ON EXPANDING
BACKGROUND CHECKS.>>OF COURSE WELL IT IS NOT LIKE
THE WAVERING IS UNEXPECTED. ALL WE ASK IS IF
YOU DO NOT AGREE WITH US, IF YOU DO NOT AGREE WITH OUR PLAN, COME
UP WITH YOUR OWN BOLD PLAN AND THAT IS WHAT WE ASK OF ALL POLITICIANS.
>>TIA THIS PAST WEEKEND WE SAW PROTESTS IN ALL 50 STATES, SOME
LARGE AND SOME SMALLER, PROTESTERS CALLING
FOR CHANGING GUN LAWS IN THIS COUNTRY AND THINGS APPEAR TO BE
ONCE AGAIN STALLED ON A FEDERAL LEVEL AND ARE USING PROGRESS ON
THE LOCAL OR THE STATE LEVEL? >>OF COURSE THERE IS ALWAYS
PROGRESS BEING MADE BY GRASSROOTS ACTIVISTS, PEOPLE ON
THE GROUND IN THE SAME PROTESTS AND THAT IS WHAT WE TRIED TO
HIGHLIGHT THE PEACE PLAN AND WE GOT PEOPLE TOGETHER FROM ALL
OVER THE COUNTRY, WE BROUGHT TOGETHER SURVIVORS AND
POLICYMAKERS AND GAME CHANGERS AND THE MOVEMENT TALKING ABOUT
GUN VIOLENCE PREVENTION. THE PEACE PLAN WE HAVE CREATED OUT OF THOSE SAME
SENTIMENTS AND THE PEOPLE ON THE GROUND MARCHING.
>>HELLO, MY NAME IS TIA ROBERTS AND BOARDMAN FOR MARCH FOR OUR
LIVES FUNDED BY THE BRADY CAMPAIGN AND AMBASSADOR FOR THE UNITED STATE OF WOMEN I AM A
FRESHMAN AT STANFORD UNIVERSITY AND A RECENT GRADUATE OF
MARJORIE STOMA DOUGLAS HIGH SCHOOL IN PARKLAND FLORIDA
DURING MY JUNIOR YEAR MY SCHOOL WAS THE SIDE OF A MASS SHOOTING
THAT TOOK THE LIVES OF 17 STUDENTS AND FACULTY MEMBERS IT
ROCKED MY COMMUNITY AND THE WORLD TO ITS CORE AND THAT LEFT
MANY OF US WONDERING HOW COULD THIS HAVE HAPPENED? OUT OF THE
TRAGEDY STUDENTS ROSE UP TO DEMAND CHANGE AND THAT IS HOW
MUCH FOR OUR LIVES WAS FORMED AS WELL AS MANY OTHER STUDENT LED
ORGANIZATIONS TURNING THE TIDE TODAY FOR WHAT IT MEANS TO BE AN
ACTIVE MEMBER OF SOCIETY BUT MANY HAVE TOLD US KNOW THAT WE
WERE TOO YOUNG AND WE DID NOT UNDERSTAND DAN WHAT IT TOOK
TO MAKE CHANGE BUT TIME AND TIME AGAIN WE HAVE PROVED THEM WRONG
AND THEY SAID WE WOULD NEVER GALVANIZE ENOUGH PEOPLE TO MAKE
AN IMPACT BUT ON MARCH 24 OF 20 18 MILLIONS OF PEOPLE ATTENDED
MARCH FOR OUR LIVES IN VARIOUS PARTS OF THE US AND ON THAT SAME
DAY THEY SAID THEY WOULD NEVER BE ABLE TO AFFECT OF THE
ELECTIONS BUT ON THE ROAD TO CHANGE WE REGISTERED 50,000
PEOPLE TO VOTE THEY SAID WE WOULD NEVER AFFECT POLICY OR
LEGISLATION BUT NOT ONLY WERE THERE MANY LOCAL BILLS ABOUT RED
FLAG LAWS AND SCHOOL SAFETY WE LAUNCHED A PEACE PLAN FOR A
SAFER AMERICA AND DIRECT ACTIONS LAWMAKERS CAN TAKE TO CUT THE
NUMBER OF GUN DEATH AND HALF IN 10 YEARS AND THAT IS NOT JUST
ABOUT MASS SHOOTINGS, THAT IS ABOUT THE SHOOTINGS THAT TAKE
PLACE EVERYDAY IN THE COMMUNITIES THE MEDIA PUSHES TO
THE SIDE AND I SAY ALL OF THIS TO SAY THAT YOUNG PEOPLE DO NOT
JUST MAKE THE CHANGE AND NEVER LET ANYONE TELL YOU THAT YOU CANNOT. YOU ARE OLD ENOUGH,
SMART ENOUGH AND POWERFUL ENOUGH TO CHANGE THE ENTIRE WORLD AND
IF ANYONE STANDS ON YOUR WAY KNOW THAT YOU ARE NOT ALONE.>>SHE IS ABSOLUTELY INSPIRING
NEXT I WILL BRING TO THE STAGE A VERY DEAR FRIEND OF MINE, AND MY LIBERIAN SISTER, SOPHIA DENNIS.>>THANK YOU GUYS SO MUCH AND I’M
SO HAPPY TO BE HER OBVIOUSLY AND I HAVE HAD A FEW CONVERSATIONS
HERE AND THERE WITH A FEW OF YOU GUYS BUT UNFORTUNATELY A LOT
WERE CUT SHORT, IF YOU WANT TO TALK AND HAVE QUESTIONS JUST DM
ME ON INSTAGRAM AND WE WILL GO BACK AND FORTH. MOVING FORWARD.
I WANTED TO SHARE WITH YOU GUYS, JUST A LITTLE BIT OF A STORY I
THINK IS TOO FAMILIAR FOR ALL OF US, AS PEOPLE WHO WERE IN HIGH
SCHOOL LAST YEAR I’M SURE WE HAVE ALL HAD THIS SIMILAR
EXPERIENCE, THE FIRST SO WE CAN EXPOSE THE PEOPLE WHO ARE
SLEEPING, DID EVERYBODY JUST STAND UP ONE TIME. OKAY YOU CAN SIT DOWN. I THINK WHEN WE ARE TALKING
ABOUT GENERATIONS HE IT IS IMPORTANT TO UNDERSTAND THAT WE
HAVE A TOOL NO OTHER GENERATION IS HAD BEFORE AND THAT IS OUR
PHONE. SO TAKE YOUR PHONES OUT AND TAKE A VIDEO OF YOURSELF,
INSTAGRAM STORY, WHATEVER IT CAN BE OF ANYTHING. I DO NOT SEE
MUCH MOVEMENT BUT THAT IS OKAY AND I’LL ASK YOU GUYS TO REPEAT
AFTER ME, I WILL NOT SAY ANYTHING BAD, I THINK THEREFORE
I AM. I EXERCISE MY FIRST AMENDMENT RIGHT THEREFORE I AM FREE. I LISTEN THEREFORE I
CAN INFLICT CHANGE. OKAY FEBRUARY 14, 2018,
10 YEARS EARLIER HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS WERE MORE CONCERNED
ABOUT WHAT THEIR EVENING PLANS LOOKED LIKE AND WE WERE MORE
CONCERNED THIS WOULD BE OUR LAST AND THERE WERE 50 THE DAY AFTER
THE PARKLAND SHOOTING WAVED TO THE PARKING GUARD OUTSIDE THE
SCHOOL AND WENT TO MY FIRST PERIOD CLASS HOW DID THIS HAPPEN
AND WHO LEFT THIS HAPPEN TIME AND TIME AGAIN AND WHY? WHY IS
IT WE WALKED ENGLISH AND WE FEEL UNSAFE? HOW DO WE PROTECT
OURSELVES AND A QUESTION WE ASK OURSELVES NONSTOP. IN CHEMISTRY
MICHAEL SUGGEST WE HIDE UNDER THE TABLES AND SARAH IS ABOUT 5
FOOT TALL THINKING SHE WILL BE SMALL ENOUGH TO FIT IN THE
CABINETS AND THEN SEAN SAID THE TEACHER SHOULD CARRY, CALEB
LOOKS DOWN OUT OF THE WINDOW AND SAYS IT IS WORTH A TRY. I AM
SCARED TO COME TO SCHOOL AND I AM SCARED AS WELL AND I’M SCARED
TO GET PULLED OVER WHEN I’M GOING TO TAKE MY SAT, I AM
SCARED TO TURN ON THE NEWS, SCARED TO BUY A BAG OF SKITTLES
AND SCARED THAT MY BRAKE LIGHTS WILL DECEIVE ME AND MOST OF ALL
IF THE KID IN THIRD. GOV WILL BRING A GUN TO SHOOT, THE
DEFINITION OF FEAR ISN’T KNOWING. BACK TO THE QUESTION OF
WHY, I STILL DON’T KNOW WHY, STILL TRYING TO FIGURE IT OUT, DO NOT KNOW WHY THERE
ARE MORE GUNS THAN PEOPLE IN MY COUNTRY AND I DON’T KNOW WHY
PEOPLE HAVE A RELUCTANCE WENT I CALL IT MY COUNTRY AND WHY WOULD
ARE RELUCTANT TO CALL TERRORISTS TERRORISTS. I AM NOT DONE. MORE
IMPORTANTLY, I DO NOT KNOW WHY WE HAVE GOTTEN HERE, THE SECOND
AMENDMENT OF 1789, A WELL REGULATED
MILITIA BEING NECESSARY TO THE SECURITY OF A FREE STATE, THE
RIGHT OF THE PEOPLE TO KEEP AND BEAR ARMS, 1789 TO HUNDRED
YEARS, 320 MILLION GUNS AND HOWEVER MANY
SCHOOLS AND LATER WE’RE STILL ASKING WHY AND WHY ARE WE BEING
MARKETED TO BUY POLITICIANS THAT HOPE OUR FEAR AND HEARTBREAK
WILL MAKE AS A VULNERABLE FIRST-TIME VOTERS AN EASY PREY
AND WHY NOT GET A CHANCE TO EXPLORE IDEOLOGIES AND DEVELOP
OUR OWN UNIQUE IDEAS AND WHY IS IT IN DISAGREEMENT IT IS BROUGHT
DOWN TO GOOD VERSUS EVIL AS OPPOSED TO LOOKING AT HOW
BENEFICIAL VIEWPOINTS CAN BE FOR US TO WHY IS IT WHERE MADE TO BE
HATED THEN TO REAP FROM POWER? MAYBE OUR PROBLEM IS A LITTLE DEEPER
AND WE SHOULD EXAMINE OUR SOCIETY TO FIGURE OUT WHAT THE
PROBLEMS ARE. I WILL CUT WHAT I HAVE TO SAY. I DON’T KNOW WHO I SPOKE
TO ON FRIDAY, WHO IS FROM NORTH CAROLINA? YEAH I WAS WITH THE
NORTH CAROLINA PEOPLE AND A LOT OF QUESTIONS ABOUT GUN VIOLENCE
AND GUN CONTROL CAME UP AND THEY WERE SUGGESTING VERY REACTIONARY
SOLUTIONS LIKE WE SHOULD PUT METAL DETECTORS IN SCHOOL AND WE
SHOULD MAKE KIDS HAVING TO SIGN IN EVERETT AND TO ENTER OR EXIT
THE BUILDING ALL OF THOSE THINGS ARE GREAT IF YOU’RE TRYING TO BE
FOR ACTION A OR TRYING TO BE REACTIONARY AS SOMETHING
PROACTIVE, IF YOU PUT A MEDICAL OR METAL DETECTOR IN SCHOOLS HOW
DOES THAT NOT MAKE A YOUNG CHILD FEEL LIKE GOOD. IT IS A COMPLICATED
CONVERSATION THAT NEEDS TO BE HAD AND WE NEED TO MAKE PEOPLE
UNDERSTAND THAT IT NEEDS TO BE HAD AND WE NEED TO HAVE IT ON
OUR OWN TERMS. I AM NOT HERE TO PUSH
AN AGENDA FOR A POLITICAL ORGANIZATION THAT DOESN’T CARE
ABOUT MY ORGANIZATION OR GENERATION OR CARE ABOUT ME, NOT
HERE TO TELL YOU WHAT TO DO OR HERE TO TELL YOU THAT GOOD OR
BAD OR WRONG OR RIGHT, I’M IS HERE TO HELP PROVIDE SPACE FOR
THE YOUNG PEOPLE HAVE GOT A VOICE OR LOOKING FOR
VOICE AND TRUST ME AS A PERSON WHO SPEAKS WAY TOO MUCH I OFTEN
QUESTION WAY TOO MUCH AND I NEED A SPACE TO BE ABLE TO HAVE THOSE
CONVERSATIONS AND QUESTIONS BY OTHER PEOPLE WHO HAVE HAD
EXPERIENCES IN LIFE. SO THE DEFINITION OF FEAR, WHAT IS FEAR? THE DEFINITION OF FEAR
IS NOT KNOWING AND FEAR IS THE POLITICIANS GREATEST TOOL. FEAR
IS THE POLITICAL DIVISIVENESS MORE FINANCIALLY BENEFICIAL FOR
EVERY SINGLE MEDIA PLATFORM AND THAT WE FOLLOWED THEM PEACE AND
CONVERSATIONS. WE HAVE A LOT TO SAY OBVIOUSLY. EXPORTATION
OCCURS IN A CLIMATE WHEN ONE SIDE
MONOPOLIZES PRIVATE INFORMATION AND AMBUSHES THE SPACE RESULTING
IN WEAKNESS AND WE DON’T HAVE MUCH OPPORTUNITY TO HEAR THINGS
FROM DIFFERENT SIDES AND PERSPECTIVES WHICH WILL CAUSE A
LOT OF PROBLEMS FOR OUR GENERATION MORE SO THAN ANY
OTHER GENERATION AND THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN 2000 AND 2020
IS MORE LIKE 40 YEARS INSTEAD OF 20 AND A ACCESSED INFORMATION IS
SO MUCH GREATER THAN ANY OTHER GENERATION THAT HAS LIVED BEFORE
US, WE LIVE IN A DIGITAL AGE WHERE WE BASE OUR
INTENTIONS ON TELEVISED INSTAGRAM SOCIAL NOTORIETY AND
HAVE THESE ULTIMATE GOALS EVEN IF IT COMES TO THE COST OF OTHERS PAYMENT ULTIMATE PRICE
AND THIS IS DONE AT THE EXPENSE OF FREEDOM, THE FREEDOM OF OUR
NEIGHBORS AND FRIENDS AND FAMILIES ON THE FREEDOM OF OTHER
PEOPLE AND IT TRIGGERS AN IMPORTANT QUESTION WHICH I DO
NOT THINK APPLIES TO ANYONE IN THIS ROOM DO WE LIVE IN A
SELFISH AGE? DO WE LIVE IN A SELFISH AGE OR POLITICIANS, SO
UNATTAINABLE POLICIES FOR FINANCIAL GAIN? WE LIVE IN A ONE
TOUCH SOCIETY AND YET WE ARE SO OUT OF TOUCH AND WE SEEK SOCIAL
CAPITAL BY ANY MEANS A SELFISH AGE WHERE SITUATIONS ARE
APPROPRIATED AND REWORDED TO PUSH DISGUISED AGENDAS, OR GROWN
UP IN AN INTERNET AGE WITH INSTAGRAM AND TWITTER AND ALL
THE DIFFERENT ACCESS TO SOCIAL NETWORKS. IS IT THE
PARTICIPATION TROPE IS THAT DISSUADE US FROM THE REAL WORLD?
IT WILL NOT BE A MYOPIC RESOLUTION. HOW CAN WE
LOOK INTO OUR OWN COMMUNITIES, SCHOOLS, HOMES AND OURSELVES TO
SEE WHO WE SHOULD BE CHECKING ON? I PROMISE YOU ARE MORE
PEOPLE WHO THINK ABOUT GOING TO SCHOOLS AND SHOULD OR CAUSING
MASS SHOOTINGS THAN PEOPLE WHO ACTUALLY DO IT SO HAPPILY TAKE
IT UPON OURSELVES TO SEE HOW WE CAN MAKE THOSE CHANGES FROM
PREVENTING IT TO HAPPEN. AM I SUPPOSED TO BE DONE? I CAN MAKE
THIS FAST, IT IS MORE THAN JUST GUN-CONTROL. OUR VOTE MATTERS, IT IS 2020 AND IF
YOU CANNOT VOTE USE YOUR VOICE TO APPLE BY OTHERS IN
THERE SO MANY PEOPLE CANNOT VOTE DUE TO AGE OR PAST
INCARCERATIONS SO IF YOU CANNOT VOTE USE YOUR VOICE THAT IS
PROTECTED BY THE FIRST AMENDMENT DEVELOP YOUR OWN VOICE EVEN IF
IT IS UNCONVENTIONAL AND AS A YOUNG PERSON AND IN ORDER TO
SHAPE THE NATION WE MUST OWN IT AND IN ORDER TO OWN IT WE MUST
FACE THE YOUTH THAT IS IT THAT YOU GUYS HAVE BEEN WAY TOO NICE.
I WENT AND I TRIED TO FIGURE SOME STUFF OUT AS IF I COULD GET
SOME STUFF FOR YOU GUYS. I COULD NOT LEAVE WITHOUT EXTENDING THE
SAME THANKS YOU GUYS HAVE GIVEN TO ME SO WE’RE DOING A FACE THE
YOUTH CHALLENGE, THIS IS A GIVEAWAY. THIS IS ALL YOU HAVE
TO DO. FOLLOW AT FACE THE YOUTH. IT IS ON INSTAGRAM,
POST A VIDEO OR CAPTION OF WHY YOU ARE VOTING IN 2020 IF YOU COULD, TAG THREE FRIENDS TO
DO THE SAME AND THIS IS THE EXCITING PART, SO GET PREPARED,
YOU HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO WIN FIVE OF THE GIRLS UNITED MAKE UP
COLLECTION PALLETS WITH ALTA AND YOU CAN
COLLABORATE WITH FACE THE YOUTH ON A MERCHANDISE DROP, AND ONE
PERSON, I THINK I NEED A DRUM ROLL, ONE PERSON WILL WIN TO
TICKETS TO SEE THE BABY IN A CITY NEAR YOU. THAT WAS IT AND THANK YOU SO
MUCH. DM ME ON INSTAGRAM I WANT TO TALK TO YOU GUYS.>>DID YOU GUYS HEAR THAT? THE
BABY. I AM DOING THAT GIVEAWAY. LET’S ALL SETTLE DOWN. NOW WE ARE GOING TO
INTRODUCE THE REGIONAL OFFICERS, FIRST WE HAVE THE CENTRAL REGION
LEGISLATIVE CHAIR JAYDAN MORE.>>UP NEXT WITH EASTERN REGION PRESIDENT VIVICA McBEAN AND THE EASTERN REGION TEAM
LEGISLATIVE CHAIR MICHAELA HUTCHINSON.
>>WE HAVE THE FAR WEST REGION TEAM PRESIDENT ALANA SMITH. AND THE FAR WEST
TEAM LEGISLATIVE CHAIR SLOANE MILLER.
I HOPE I SAID YOUR NAME RIGHT. ALL RIGHT.
>>THE MID-ATLANTIC REGION TEAM PRESIDENT ZACHARY MARTIN. THE MID-ATLANTIC
REGION LEGISLATIVE CHAIR SKYLER FULLER.
>>WE HAVE THE MIDWESTERN PRESIDENT, EDWARD COTTON. WE ALSO HAVE THE MIDWESTERN
REGION TEAM VICE PRESIDENT AND LEGISLATIVE CHAIR NOEL LARIMORE.>>WE HAVE THE SOUTH-CENTRAL
REGION TEAM PRESIDENT WILLIAM HEARN. WE HAVE THE
SOUTH-CENTRAL REGION TEAM LEGISLATIVE CHAIR WARNER GARDNER.
>>LAST, BUT CERTAINLY NOT LEAST, WE HAVE THE SOUTHEASTERN
REGION TEAM PRESIDENT FOSTER WHERE. AND WE ALSO HAVE
THE SOUTHEASTERN REGION TEAM LEGISLATIVE CHAIR KENDALL SIMS. THANK YOU ALL FOR YOUR SERVICE
AND GIVE THEM A ROUND OF APPLAUSE YOU GUYS.
>>[ APPLAUSE ]
>>SO YOUNG PEOPLE WE ARE THE
FUTURE. THE POWER IS WITHIN OUR HANDS. IT IS TIME TO CONTINUE TO
HOLD THESE ELECTED OFFICIALS ACCOUNTABLE AND IF
THESE ELECTED OFFICIALS ARE NOT DOING WHAT THEY WERE VOTED INTO
OFFICE TO DO WE ARE GOING TO COLLECTIVELY VOTE THEM OUT. BEFORE WE LEAVE TODAY
IT IS JUST ON MY HEART, WE HAVE TO DO THIS. THIS IS A VERY SPECIAL CHANT THIS IS FROM A PROMINENT CIVIL
RIGHTS ACTIVIST TO HIS STILL ALIVE AND IT IS IMPERATIVE EVERY
YOUNG BLACK PERSON KNOWS THIS CHANT GRID AND BLACK PEOPLE
IN GENERAL, EVERYONE NEEDS TO KNOW THIS CHANT SO COULD
EVERYONE PLEASE STAND? OKAY, WE’RE GOING TO SAY IT
THREE TIMES, EACH TIME YOU REPEAT AFTER ME LOUDER AND ON THE LAST TIME
WE’LL HAVE OUR FISTS IN THE AIR SO IF YOU’RE COMFORTABLE HOLD
THE PERSON’S HAND NEXT TO YOU. ARE YOU GUYS READY?
>>YES.>>IT IS OUR DUTY TO FIGHT FOR
OUR FREEDOM. >>IT IS OUR DUTY TO FIGHT FOR
OUR FREEDOM. >>IT IS OUR DUTY TO WIN.
>>IT IS OUR DUTY TO WIN. >>WE MUST LOVE AND PROTECT EACH
OTHER. >>WE HAVE NOTHING TO LOSE BUT
OUR CHAINS, IT IS OUR DUTY TO FIGHT FOR OUR FREEDOM. IT IS OUR
DUTY TO WIN. WE MUST LOVE AND PROTECT EACH OTHER. WE HAVE
NOTHING TO LOSE BUT OUR CHAINS. FISTS UP! IT IS OUR DUTY TO
FIGHT FOR OUR FREEDOM! IT IS OUR DUTY TO WIN! WE MUST LOVE AND
PROTECT EACH OTHER! WE HAVE NOTHING TO
LOSE BUT OUR CHAINS! WE HAVE NOTHING TO LOSE BUT OUR CHAINS! WE HAVE NOTHING TO
LOSE BUT OUR CHAINS!
>>[ APPLAUSE ] WE ARE GOING TO SLOW THIS DOWN
REALLY QUICK. CAN I HAVE EVERYONE’S ATTENTION? EVERYONE TAKE OUT
YOUR PHONES TURN ON YOUR LIGHTS AND POINT IT TO THE CEILING. THESE BEAMS OF
LIGHT EXEMPLIFY ALL WHO HAVE LOST THEIR LIVES TO GUN VIOLENCE AND
WE SAY TODAY THAT WE LOVE YOU AND YOU ARE NOT FORGOTTEN. YOU ARE NOT FORGOTTEN ESTIMATION POINT I
WILL SAY THIS ONE MORE TIME THAT YOU ARE NOT FORGOTTEN! WE WILL
CONTINUE TO CHAMPION THIS CAUSE SO OTHERS WILL NO LONGER SUFFER
THE TRAUMA OF LOSING SOMEONE CLOSE TO THEM AND SO THAT
MILLIONS WON’T NOT LIVE IN FAINTHEARTED IS THAT
THEY WILL BE NEXT AND ANOTHER INNOCENT SOUL WILL NOT LOSE
THEIR LIVES TO GUN VIOLENCE AND WE WILL BE THERE AND BE THE
VOICE TO STOP SINFUL TRAGEDIES. SENSELESS TRAGEDIES.>>IT HAS BEEN A LONG DAY
WITHOUT YOU MY FRIEND. AND I WILL TELL YOU ALL
ABOUT IT WHEN I SEE YOU AGAIN WE HAVE COME A LONG WAY FROM WHERE
WE BEGAN. I WILL TELL YOU ALL ABOUT IT WHEN I SEE YOU AGAIN.
WHEN I SEE YOU AGAIN. WHO KNEW THAT ALL THE PLANES WE
FLEW AND THE THINGS WE HAVE BEEN THROUGH THAT I WOULD BE STANDING
RIGHT HERE TALKING TO YOU ABOUT ANOTHER, SOMETHING TOLD ME
THAT IT WOULD NOT LAST AND HAD TO SWITCH IT UP AND LOOK AT
THINGS DIFFERENT AND SEE THE BIGGER PICTURE BUT THOSE WERE
THE HARD DAYS, HARD WORK PAYS AND I WILL SEE YOU IN A BETTER
PLACE BEEN. MUSIC.
>>IT HAS BEEN A LONG DAY WITHOUT YOU MY FRIEND. I WILL TELL YOU ALL
ABOUT IT WHEN I SEE YOU AGAIN. WE HAVE COME A LONG WAY FROM
WHERE WE BEGAN AND I WILL TELL YOU ALL
ABOUT IT WHEN I SEE YOU AGAIN. IT HAS BEEN A LONG DAY WITHOUT
YOU MY FRIEND. I WILL TELL YOU ALL ABOUT IT
WHEN I SEE YOU AGAIN. WE HAVE COME A LONG
WAY FROM WHERE WE BEGAN AND I WILL TELL YOU ALL ABOUT IT WHEN
I SEE YOU AGAIN. WHEN I SEE YOU AGAIN.>>PLEASE WELCOME TO THIS STAGE
NATIONAL LEGISLATIVE COMMITTEE CHAIR ERICA GIBSON.>>IT WILL BE OURS. ONE DAY WHEN
THE WAR IS ONE WE WILL BE SURE, WE WILL
BE SURE. OH GLORY. GLORY. GLORY. HANDS TO THE
HEAVENS, NO MAN NO WEAPON
>>I CHOSE THAT SONG FOR ONE REASON AND THAT I LISTEN TO IT
EVERY SINGLE MORNING WITH MY DAUGHTERS. I HAVE THREE DAUGHTERS. IT IS SO
IMPORTANT TO MY FAMILY THAT WHATEVER WE DO THAT WE DO IT
WITH POSITIVE ENERGY AND WITH A SPIRIT AND HEART OF SERVICE. I
TELL THEM EVERY MORNING ON THE WAY TO SCHOOL THAT ONE DAY THE
GLORY WILL BE OURS AND IT IS IMPORTANT THAT YOU TAKE EVERY ADVANTAGE OF
EVERYTHING LIFE GIVES YOU YOU TAKE IT AND YOU
SPRINKLE THAT BLACK GIRL MAGIC EVERYWHERE THAT YOU GO. THE
OTHER THING I TELL MY GIRLS THAT THERE IS NO ROOM
FOR DIVISION, WE WASTE A LOT OF TIME ON WHETHER YOU ARE A
REPUBLICAN OR A DEMOCRAT. WE HAVE TO HAVE PEOPLE AT THE TABLE
EVERYWHERE DISCUSSING THE ISSUES. THE REAL ISSUE HERE IS
SOMEONE STATED BEFORE IS A HUMAN RIGHTS ISSUE. IT IS ABOUT THE
LIVES OF OUR CHILDREN AND IT IS ABOUT THE LIVES OF OUR FATHERS,
OUR FATHERS HUSBANDS, I SHOULD NOT HAVE TO WORRY WHEN MY
HUSBAND GOES TO THE STORE AND HE DRIVES A NICE CAR, SHOULD NOT
HAVE TO WORRY PUTTING MY GIRLS IN THE CAR FOR THE FIRST TIME AS
NEWLY LICENSED DRIVERS I SHOULD NOT HAVE TO WORRY WHEN I SEND MY
KIDS TO SCHOOL AND I SHOULD NOT HAVE TO WORRY WHEN THEY ARE SENT
TO THE DEAN’S OFFICE. I HAD A SITUATION LAST YEAR WITH MY
16-YEAR-OLD DAUGHTER, THE CHILD HAS NEVER RECEIVED ANYTHING LESS
THAN A GRADE A AND HER LIFE AND SHE WAS
SENT TO THE DEAN’S OFFICE BECAUSE SHE WAS BEING
DISRESPECTFUL BUT ONE THING I KNOW IS A BLACK MAMA THAT NO KID
OF MINE IS DISRESPECTFUL. YOU WILL NOT
CALL ME AND SAY THAT SHE IS BEING DISRESPECTFUL WITHOUT THE
FACTS. UPON FURTHER INQUIRY SHE WAS BEING
DISRESPECTFUL BECAUSE SHE CORRECTED THE TEACHER ON THE
SPELLING OF HER NAME, ON THE PRONUNCIATION OF HER NAME. IT IS LIKE INDIA
AH-REE AND IF SHE HAS TO STAND LOUD AND PROUD AND SAY MY NAME IS AHRI SHE CAN DO THAT AND DO NOT TELL
ME IT IS BEING DISRESPECTFUL AND IT IS SO IMPORTANT AS WELL THAT
WE DO NOT CREATE A CULTURE WHERE DIVISION IS OKAY. WE HAVE THE
POWER IN THIS ROOM AND I’M GOING TO RING MY CHAIRS UP BECAUSE I
WANT YOU TO UNDERSTAND IT DID NOT HAPPEN IN A VACUUM. ALL THE
CHAIRS COME UP PLEASE, CHAIR RHONDA FROM THE CENTRAL REGION
AND CHAIR VIDA FROM THE EASTERN REGION AND CHAIR SERENA
FROM THE FAR WEST REGION AND CHAIR ROCHELLE FROM THE
MIDWESTERN REGION, CHAIR LATONYA FROM THE SOUTH-CENTRAL REGION
AND CHAIR CAMELIA FROM THE
SOUTHEASTERN REGION. AND WE’RE GUIDED BY NONE OTHER THAN NCS
CONNIE, COULD YOU PLEASE STAND WITH US? WHO AM I MISSING? I AM MISSING A CHAIR
BUT I WANT YOU GUYS TO STAND AND HOLD MY HAND I WANT YOU ALL TO
KNOW THAT I MET THESE LADIES TO STAY. WE HAVE BEEN WORKING
TOGETHER AS A TEAM SINCE SEPTEMBER, MEETING EVERY MONTH,
EVERY OTHER WEEK, AND THEN EVERY WEEK, AND THEN EVERY DAY
FOR THE LAST COUPLE OF WEEKS BUT WHAT HAS BEEN SO AMAZING ABOUT
THIS TEAM, I HAVE BEEN A MEMBER OF JACK AND JILL NOW FOR 15
YEARS I STARTED OFF IN THE WINDY CITY CHAPTER OF CHICAGO AND THEN
I MOVED TO THE INDIANAPOLIS CHAPTER WITH THE NATIONAL VICE
PRESIDENT TONYA HAND I WAS HER EDITOR AND FOUNDATION
CHAIR FOR MANY YEARS AND THEN I MOVED TO BELGIUM AND THEN CAME
BACK TO CHARLOTTE NORTH CAROLINA AND THAT IS WHERE I LIVE NOW.
THIS HAS BEEN 15 YEARS AND JACK AND JILL THE
MOST AMAZING COMMITTEE I HAVE EVER SERVED ON. WHEN YOU TALK ABOUT
WORKING AS A TEAM THIS GROUP EXEMPLIFIES THAT AND I THINK IT
IS SO IMPORTANT WHEN WE ARE TALKING ABOUT JACK AND JILL AND
THE THINGS THAT WE DO IT IS NOT ABOUT A REGION OR POLITICAL
PARTY OR ANY OF THAT, IT IS ABOUT BEING HUMBLE ENOUGH TO
REALIZE THAT THERE ARE SO MANY ISSUES THAT ARE SO MUCH BIGGER
THAN US AND WE HAVE TO PUT THOSE THINGS ASIDE TO MAKE SURE WE ARE
TRULY DOING THE WORK OF JACK AND JILL. WHAT YOU ALL DO NOT KNOW
IS WHEN I SAT DOWN IN SEPTEMBER I THOUGHT I WAS JUST JOINING A
LEGISLATIVE COMMITTEE AND THAT I GET A CALL FROM OUR PRESIDENT, DANIELLE BROWN,
SAYING I WANT TO WELCOME YOU AS CHAIR AND I SAID WHAT? I AM NOT
A CHAIR I AM JUST ON A COMMITTEE AND SHE SAID NO. WHERE THE
CHAIR. YOU ARE IT HONEY. AND SHE SAID IT AND I
WAY THAT ONLY SHE CAN SAY I WANT TO HEAR WHAT YOU HAVE TO SAY AND
WHAT SHOULD OUR AGENDA BE? WE TALKED ABOUT THAT AND I THOUGHT
LONG AND HARD ABOUT THE ISSUES THAT I THOUGHT WERE SO IMPORTANT
AND I AM SO APPRECIATIVE OF HER FOR ALLOWING ME TO TAKE THE TIME
TO CREATE THE NATIONAL AGENDA AND FOR OUR COMMITTEE TO WORK SO
HARD PULLING OFF THAT AGENDA IN A WAY THAT WE HAVE NEVER SEEN.
WHAT YOU ALL DO NOT KNOW IS GUN VIOLENCE IS AT THE TOP OF MY
LIST BECAUSE I HAVE LOST TWO NEPHEWS TO GUN VIOLENCE. AND IN A WAY, YOU DO NOT KNOW MY
HISTORY, SOMETIMES YOU LOOK AT ME OR YOU LOOK AT PEOPLE AND YOU
THINK YOU KNOW THEIR STORY BUT YOU DO NOT. I GREW UP IN THE
VERY POOR WEST SIDE OF CHICAGO WHERE THERE WERE RATS AND
ROACHES AND THERE WERE DRUG DEALERS ON EVERY CORNER BUT YOU
KNOW WHAT? THOSE DRUG DEALERS WOULD CALL ME MISS COLLEGE
STUDENT AND THERE WAS A MISS COLLEGE STUDENT DO YOU NEED
BOOKS? WE ARE LAUGHING ABOUT IT BUT THE POINT IS THERE ARE GOOD PEOPLE
EVERYWHERE YOU GO BUT THEY JUST NEED AN OPPORTUNITY TO DO BETTER
AND SOMEONE THOUGHT ENOUGH OF ME TO REACH OUT AND GIVE ME AN
OPPORTUNITY I DID NOT HAVE. I ATTENDED A GREAT SCHOOL THAT
CHANGED MY LIFE IN CHICAGO CALLED PROVIDENCE, THOSE OF YOU
FROM CHICAGO YOU WOULD KNOW THAT SCHOOL AND WHAT HAPPENED IS
THERE WAS A YOUNG COUPLE, JEFFERY AND MARCIA DOANE AND BOTH YOUNG
LAWYERS AND THE HUSBAND CAME IN AS I HAVE LEARNED ABOUT THIS
SCHOOL AND I THINK WE SHOULD BOTH GO AND SUPPORT IT AND SHE
SAID WE CAN GO AND VISIT THAT BEFORE THEY WENT TO VISIT HE WAS
KILLED. IN HIS HONOR SHE CREATED A SCHOLARSHIP CALLED THE JEFFERY C DOANE MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP AND
THAT IS HOW I ATTENDED HIGH SCHOOL IN THE SAME SITUATION FOR
COLLEGE, A FULL RIDE, SOMEONE SAW POTENTIAL IN ME AND REACHED BACK AND SAID
I MADE IT AND I’M GOING TO PULL SOMEONE ELSE ALONG. I WANT Y’ALL
TO KNOW HERE THAT YOU HAVE GOT THE POWER BEEN KIDS YOU HAVE SO
MUCH MORE THAN MOST OF US EVER HAD. YOU ARE PRIVILEGED THERE IS
NO SHAME AROUND THAT JUST LIKE THERE IS
NO SHAME FOR ME GROWING UP POOR, WHAT GROWING UP POOR DID FOR ME
IS IT GIVE ME A HUSTLE AND A WORK ETHIC AND IT GAVE ME AN EYE
ROLL AND IT GAVE ME EVERYTHING THAT I NEEDED TO BE SUCCESSFUL
IN LIFE. DO NOT BE ASHAMED OF WHERE YOU ARE BECAUSE A LOT OF TIMES PEOPLE WILL LOOK AT
JACK AND JILL AND SAY THOSE PRIVILEGED KIDS AND WHAT THEY DO
NOT UNDERSTAND IS THOSE PRIVILEGED KIDS ARE WORKING HARD
EVERY SINGLE DAY TO MAKE SURE THEY ARE SERVING OTHERS. I TELL
MY KIDS EVERY DAY LISTEN AND THE ONLY WAY THAT YOU CAN TRULY
ACHIEVE, LIKE THAT DEEP DOWN IN YOUR SOUL HAPPINESS AND A SENSE
OF FULFILLMENT, IS IF YOU ARE SERVING SOMEONE ELSE AND IF YOUR
WHOLE LIFE IS ABOUT WHAT YOU HAVE GOT AND WHAT YOU ARE DOING
AND WHERE YOU ARE GOING, WHAT WILL MAKE YOU FEEL GOOD WHEN YOU
GET OLDER IS HOW MANY PEOPLE CAN SAY
I HAVE HELPED THEM AND PULLED THEM ALONG THE WAY? I HAVE THESE
WOMEN APPEAR AGAIN, I CANNOT TELL YOU, CHAIR VIDA TAKE THIS RALLY TO THE NEXT LEVEL.
EVERY SINGLE EVENT DID YOU GUYS DO NOT UNDERSTAND
THE WORK THAT WENT INTO IT AND SO I WANT TO SAY I AM SO
APPRECIATIVE AND SO HAPPY TO BE A PART OF THIS TEAM AND I AM SO
HAPPY YOU GUYS ARE HERE, YOU ARE MY FOREVER FRIENDS. I DID NOT
HAVE TO SEE YOU TO KNOW YOU. I JUST WANT TO GET BACK ON TRACK.
GIVE ME A SECOND Y’ALL I WILL DO THIS REALLY QUICK IN ONE MINUTE.
WE HAVE WORK TO DO MY DAUGHTER WILL BE SO PROUD OF ME THAT I
HAD NOTES ON MY PHONE AND NOT A PIECE OF PAPER. JACK AND JILL
HERE WE ARE, WE HAVE WORK TO DO, WHAT DO WE DO? Y’ALL WE’RE
SINGING AND DANCING AND HAVING A GOOD TIME THAT WE HAVE TO
REMEMBER THAT THERE ARE SO MANY KIDS LIKE ME, LIKE THE KID
THAT I WAS, SO MANY KIDS THEY DO NOT HAVE THE OPPORTUNITIES TO GO
TO GRADE SCHOOLS AND SO MANY KIDS WHO ARE AFRAID TO WALK TO
THE BUS STOP OR IF THEY WEAR JEWELRY LIKE I DID THE HAVE TO
TAKE IT OFF BEFORE YOU GET ON THE BUS THEY ARE WORRIED ABOUT
WALKING PAST THE VACANT BUILDINGS SO YOU WOULD WALK IN
THE MIDDLE OF THE STREET BECAUSE YOU DID NOT KNOW WHAT WOULD COME
OUT OF EITHER SIDE. YOU HAVE GOT TO UNDERSTAND THAT THEIR LIVES
YOU LIVE, AGAIN YOU ARE LUCKY AND FORTUNATE AND BLESSED. WHAT
ARE YOU GOING TO DO WITH THAT? WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO WHEN
YOU GO BACK TO YOUR CHAPTER? ARE YOU GOING TO
CREATE A RALLY LIKE THIS AND ARE YOU GOING TO START A CLUB AT
YOUR SCHOOL? YOU HAVE GOT TO DO SOMETHING BECAUSE IT HAS TO AND
NOW. BECAUSE AGAIN IT CAN BE YOU. THEY DO NOT LIKE TO SEE
US SUCCEED AND EVERY TIME THEY SEE US SUCCEED, I DON’T KNOW
WHERE YOU LIVE BUT I HAVE TO BE CAREFUL WHERE I LIVE IN CHICAGO,
YOU DON’T KNOW WHO YOU ARE STANDING NEXT TO SO IT COULD BE
YOU, IT COULD BE YOUR BROTHER OR YOUR SISTER OR YOUR MOTHER OR
YOUR FATHER SO WHAT WILL YOU DO? I LEAVE YOU WITH THE CHALLENGE
OF SERIOUSLY MAKING A PLAN. I WANT EACH OF YOU BEFORE YOU
LEAVE HERE TODAY, POST ON SOCIAL MEDIA
THREE THINGS I AM GOING TO DO WHEN I LEAVE THIS PLACE. WHAT AM
I GOING TO DO? I AM NOT KIDDING, PRESIDENTS, TEAM ADVISERS AND
REGIONAL DIRECTORS HOLD THEM TO IT THREE THINGS THAT YOU’RE
GOING TO DO WHEN YOU LEAVE. HOW WILL YOU ORGANIZE? YOU HAVE A
SNAPSHOT, DO SNAP TO ACTION, SEND EMAILS OR CALLS AND DO WHAT
YOU NEED TO DO. ONE DAY THE GLORY WILL BE OURS AND THE TIME
IS NOW. THANK YOU ALL.
>>[ APPLAUSE ]
>>ONE DAY WHEN THE GLORY COMES IT WILL BE OURS, IT WILL BE OURS. ONE
DAY WHEN THE WAR IS ONE, WE WILL BE SURE, WE WILL
BE SURE. GLORY. GLORY. GLORY. HANDS TO THE
HEAVENS, NO MAN, NO WEAPON.
>>JACK AND JILL GIVE YOURSELVES A ROUND OF APPLAUSE.
>>[ APPLAUSE ]
>>THANK YOU ALL FOR COMING OUT.>>HOLD ON, DO NOT LEAVE YET, DO
NOT PULL OUT YET, DO NOT LEAVE YET!
>>SO BEFORE WE LEAVE, BEFORE WE LEAVE, BUT US REMEMBER OUR
ACTIVISM DOESN’T STOP HERE. THIS IS JUST THE
BEGINNING SO CONTINUE TO BE ACTIVE AND CONTINUE TO GO OUT
AND CHANGE THE WORLD AND ALSO A SHAMELESS PLUG, I HAVE MY OWN
SHOW COMING OUT ON BET OCTOBER 16.
>>[ APPLAUSE ]
>>THE SHOW IS ENTITLED COP WATCH AMERICA,
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 16, FOLLOW ME ON SOCIAL MEDIA THROUGH @NUPOL JUSTICE ALSO BLACK LIVES
MATTER GREATER NEW YORK AND BLM ON INSTAGRAM, LOVE YOU GUYS AND
BE SAFE.
>>BEFORE YOU LEAVE A BEFORE YOU GO THE NEXT TOWN HALL STARTS IN
ABOUT 10 MINUTES. MAYBE? THAT IS WHAT I JUST SAID. DO NOT LEAVE
STAY HERE. WE WILL TURN ON MUSIC NOW AND HAVE A GOOD TIME FOR 10
MINUTES. >>DO NOT GO NOWHERE.
>>I WAS TALKING TO SOFIA LAST NIGHT, THE SPEAKER FROM EARLIER,
AND WE WERE TALKING ABOUT MUSIC AND SHE DID NOT KNOW
HOW OLD I WAS AND SO I PLAYED A SONG FOR HER THAT IS REALLY
APPLICABLE TO TODAY. THEY DO NOT MAKE SONGS LIKE THIS ANYMORE AND
SHE HAD NO IDEA WHAT THIS WAS SO I WANTED TO SHOUT OUT TO THE OLD
SCHOOL AND THE BUILDING. WHERE IS MY OLD SCHOOL? LET ME SEE YOU
CLAP YOUR HANDS! COME ON! ONE AND TWO, A SHOUT OUT TO THE
SOUTH JERSEY CHAPTER!>>PLEASE ALL OF OUR TEAMS STEP
TO THE FRONT AND ALL THE PARENTS SIT IN THE BACK. WE APPRECIATE
THAT. THANK YOU. LADIES AND GENTLEMEN PLEASE
WELCOME NATIONAL PRESIDENTS DANIELLE BROWN.
>>THANK YOU AND HOW EXCITING IS IT
TO BE IN THIS ROOM TODAY? GOOD AFTERNOON. I WELCOME YOU
BACK TO THE CONTINUATION OF THIS HISTORIC EVENT. THIS IS A FIRST
AS YOU KNOW AND THE JACK AND JILL OF AMERICA’S HISTORY
BECAUSE WE ARE LIVE STREAMING. ISN’T THAT SOMETHING? I NOW HAVE
THE DISTINCT HONOR TO BRING OUR FIRESIDE CHAT WITH A POWERFUL
WOMAN IN BLACK HISTORY. A DISTINCT PRESENCE IN AMERICAN
HISTORY, VALERIE JARRETT. IN OUR CULTURAL TRADITION,
FAMILIES AND COMMUNITIES WOULD GATHER AROUND AN OPEN FIRE
TELLING STORIES, SHARING INFORMATION AND TEACHING
INFORMATION AND MOST IMPORTANTLY BONDING IN AMERICA FIRESIDE
CHATS WERE TALKS ABOUT ISSUES OF PUBLIC CONCERN THAT ADDRESSED
FEARS AND CONCERNS OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE TO SHARE
CRITICAL INFORMATION REGARDING THE US GOVERNMENT. TODAY JACK
AND JILL IS THRILLED TO BRING OUR VERSION OF THE FIRESIDE
CHAT, DISCUSSING ISSUES OF PUBLIC CONCERN FOR
AFRICAN-AMERICAN YOUTH IN OUR COMMUNITIES. HOW MANY OF YOU ARE
IN THIS ROOM? 1000. BUT ALSO TO OUR
NATION THROUGH OUR LIVE STREAM. I AM SO HONORED TO HAVE MY DEAR
FRIEND FROM CHANNEL 9 NEWS ANCHOR LESLIE FOSTER WHO
WILL SIT DOWN WITH VALERIE JARRETT AND SHE IS THE FORMER
SENIOR ADVISOR TO PRESIDENT OBAMA , AUTHOR, BUSINESSWOMAN
AND BOARD CHAIR OF WHEN WE ALL VOTE AND A FORMER JACK AND JILL MOM. SHE HAS DEDICATED TO IMPROVING THE
QUALITY OF LIFE FOR OUR COMMUNITY AND WE WELCOME HER AND
LESLIE FOSTER TO THE JACK AND JILL STAGE PLEASE EXTEND YOUR
HANDS AND GIVE THEM A WARM ROUND OF JACK AND JILL APPLAUSE WHEN
THEY COME ONTO THE STAGE.>>[ APPLAUSE ]
>> THANK YOU!
>> THANK YOU.
>>HELLO EVERY BODY.
>>BEFORE YOU SIT DOWN VALERIE WE HAVE
HOUSEKEEPING THINGS, IF WE CAN HAVE A NATIONAL EXECUTIVE BOARD
AND LEGISLATIVE COMMITTEE COME ON UP WE WILL HAVE YOU TAKE A
PICTURE WITH MISS VALERIE JARRETT, WE’RE GOING TO LOVE
EACH OTHER. SCOOT ON AROUND. NOW WE CAN HAVE THE LEGISLATIVE
COMMITTEE COME ON UP. AND IF WE COULD HAVE THE TEAM
BOARD COME ON UP. ALL SET? ALL RIGHT, NOW WE ARE
GOING TO TAKE A SELFIE WITH ALL OF YOU IN THE BACKGROUND. LET’S
USE THESE, ARE WE READY? ALL RIGHT, 123! AWESOME! HELLO EVERYBODY AND HOW ARE YOU
GUYS? YOU LOOK BEAUTIFUL. THIS IS OUR
BACKUP IN CASE THE MICROPHONE DOESN’T WORK.
>>THAT IS RIGHT, YOU HAVE TO HAVE A BACKUP, GOOD AFTERNOON
AND HOW ARE YOU? YOU HAD A GREAT DAY SO FAR, YOU HAD A GREAT WEEK
SO FAR. WE WOULD LIKE TO THANK DANIELLE FOR THAT INTRODUCTION
AND I AM EXCITED TO BE HERE WITH YOU AS A NEW JACK AND JILL MOM
FROM THE POTOMAC VALLEY AND AS A JOURNALIST HERE LOCALLY HERE IN
DC AND THIS IS THE SECOND TIME I’VE HAD AN OPPORTUNITY TO
INTERVIEW VALERIE JARRETT AND WE TALKED BACK IN 2016 WHEN YOU
LAUNCHED THE UNITED STATE OF WOMEN SUMMIT AND 2016 FEELS
LIKE A LIFETIME AGO. >>FEELS A LIFETIME AGO AND A
FEW THINGS HAVE HAPPENED SINCE THEN.
>>MIKE YOU BECAME A GRANDMOTHER.
>>I DID BECOME A GRANDMOTHER WHICH IS COOL AND I HAD A
THREE-MONTH-OLD BABY BOY NAMED AFTER MY DADDY.
>>WHAT IS YOUR GRANDMA NAME? >>UNITED NICKNAME GROWING UP OF LALLY BECAUSE I CANNOT
PRONOUNCE MY NAME SO I AM GOING TO THAT.
>> SHE ALSO WROTE A BOOK CALLED
FINDING MY VOICE AND I IMAGINE WHEN SHE LOOKS OUT AT THE
AUDIENCE AND SHE SEES ALL OF YOU FILLED WITH PURPOSE AND PROMISED
THAT HER TRADEMARK CUP OF OPTIMISM IS BRIMMING OVER WITH
JOY. >>TRULY IT IS AND YOU ARE
BEAUTIFUL. IF I HAD ONLY KNOWN WHEN I WAS YOUR AGE AS MUCH AS I KNOW NOW.
>>WE WERE TALKING BECAUSE IT MUST BE PROVIDENCE THAT YOU ALL
ARE HERE THIS WEEK AND IT IS REALLY A DEFINING MOMENT IN THE
PRESIDENCY AROUND THE DEMOCRACY AT AROUND THIS CONVERSATION OF
THE RULE OF LAW AND HOW YOU ALL ARE TAPPING INTO YOUR OWN VOICE
AND LEARNING HOW TO ADVOCATE AND UNDERSTANDING THE POWER OF YOUR VOICE. WE’RE GOING TO TALK
ABOUT THAT TODAY WITH VALERIE JARRETT WHO TOOK A BIT OF A
JOURNEY TO FIND HER OWN VOICE AND SHE WILL SHARE THAT WITH YOU
AS WELL YOU ALL HAVE VISITED MY ALMA MATER, HOWARD UNIVERSITY, A
PLACE OF RESIDENCE ALSO FOR VALERIE BECAUSE OF HER FAMILY
TREE. WE WILL TALK A BIT ABOUT ALL THAT YOU HAVE DONE THIS
WEEK, WE WANT TO LAUNCH IN THIS CONVERSATION BECAUSE YOU ARE
HERE TO HEAR WITH ONE OF THE MOST
INFLUENTIAL AFRICAN-AMERICAN WOMEN, AND I DARESAY WOMEN AT
ALL ON THIS 21st CENTURY. >>THANK YOU SWEETHEART.
>>THIS IS HOW WE’RE GOING TO DO THINGS BUT THIS WILL BE A TWO
WAY CONVERSATION AND SO VALERIE AND I WILL START AND YOU ALL
WILL HAVE AN OPPORTUNITY TO ASK QUESTIONS ON YOUR HEART. THERE
ARE MICROPHONES ON EACH SIDE OF THE ROOM AND SOMEONE WILL KEEP
ME CLUED IN AND ON TIME TO MAKE SURE THAT YOU ALL HAVE AN
OPPORTUNITY TO FIND YOUR VOICE AND ELEVATE IT IN THE ROOM,
SOUND GOOD? ALL RIGHT. VALERIE LET’S START,
THESE YOUNG PEOPLE AND THEIR PARENTS ARE HERE THIS WEEK TO LEARN ABOUT HOW HER
LEGISLATIVE PROCESS WORKS AND TO FIND THEIR VOICE AND ADVOCATE
FOR ISSUES OF IMPORTANCE. YOU SEE MANY PEOPLE WEARING ORANGE
SHIRTS, THEY HAVE A VOICE, WE HAVE A COLLECTIVE
VOICE IS AN ORGANIZATION AROUND GUN VIOLENCE PREVENTION AND
THESE YOUNG PEOPLE I HAVE BEEN TOLD ARE SO IMPRESSIVE THAT EVEN
THE SUM OF THE MEMBERS YOU HAVE TALKED WITH, THEIR STAFF HAVE SAID WE WANT TO CONTINUE
THIS CONVERSATION WITH THESE YOUNG PEOPLE, THEY HAVE
SOMETHING TO SAY AND SO YOU ALSO GIVE YOURSELVES A ROUND OF
APPLAUSE AND BE PROUD OF WHERE EVER YOU HAVE COME FROM TO THIS
CITY TO HAVE A SAY IN THE COUNTRY THAT BELONGS TO ALL OF US. YOU ARE TRANSITIONING IN
THIS NEW ROLE IN BEING INVOLVED IN HELPING TO LAUNCH WHEN WE ALL
VOTE SO TALK TO US ABOUT THE GOAL OF THE ORGANIZATION, WHAT
IT DOES AND HOW WE CAN ALL BE A PART OF THAT.
>>THANK YOU LESLIE AND GOOD AFTERNOON AGAIN. I AM SO HAPPY
TO BE HERE WITH ALL OF YOU AND I HAVE BEEN LOOKING FORWARD TO
THIS FOR WEEKS BECAUSE YOU ARE A CAPTIVE AUDIENCE AND I WANT TO
TALK TO YOU ABOUT HOW I FOUND MY VOICE AND WHAT I TRY TO DO THIS LAST SUMMER MRS. OBAMA AND I
WERE TALKING ABOUT THE LAST PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION NOT JUST
THE OUTCOME WHICH WAS PROFOUNDLY DISAPPOINTING BUT JUST AS IMPORTANTLY THE FACT THAT 43%
OF ELIGIBLE VOTERS IN OUR COUNTRY DID NOT VOTE. NOW I SAY
TO THOSE OF YOU IN THIS ROOM, BLACK PEOPLE HAVE GOT TO VOTE BECAUSE THERE WERE
PEOPLE WHO SACRIFICE MIGHTILY FOR US TO HAVE THE RIGHT TO VOTE
AND I STILL REMEMBER MY GRANDMOTHER TALKING ABOUT THE
CHALLENGES THAT SHE HAD AND THERE ARE STILL CHALLENGES
TODAY. THOSE OF YOU WHO MAY BE FROM GEORGIA OR TEXAS OR NORTH
CAROLINA THEY PASSED LAWS TO MAKE IT HARDER TO VOTE BUT MY ATTITUDE IS THERE IS NO BETTER
REVENGE THAN JUST STANDING IN THE LINE AND WAITING THEM OUT
AND IF THEY SAY YOUR VOTE DOES NOT COUNT CAN TEST IT SO
MICHELLE OBAMA AND I WERE TALKING ABOUT WHAT CAN WE DO
ABOUT THE FACT 43% OF THE COUNTRY ELIGIBLE TO VOTE DID NOT
VOTE? WE THOUGHT LET’S START AN ORGANIZATION NOT ABOUT POLITICS,
IT IS A NONPARTISAN, WE’RE NOT JUST TRYING TO GET DEMOCRATS TO
VOTE, WE ARE GETTING EVERYBODY TO VOTE, BECAUSE WE THINK OUR
COUNTRY WILL BE STRONGER AND WE WILL BE ABLE TO HOLD THE ELECTED
OFFICIALS WHO RUN FOR OFFICE AND WHO WHEN MORE ACCOUNTABLE IF WE
ARE ALL VOTING AND THE FACT YOU ARE HERE IN WASHINGTON AND OUR
NATIONS CAPITAL AND GETTING INVOLVED IN THE LEGISLATIVE
PROCESS AND LOBBYING ON GUN VIOLENCE, I HOPE IT IS SHOWING
YOU THAT YOU CAN HOLD PEOPLE ACCOUNTABLE THAT IT HAS TO BEGIN WITH YOUR
MOST BASIC CIVIC RESPONSIBILITY WHICH IS TO VOTE. WE ARE CASTING
A BROAD NET ALL AROUND THE COUNTRY
AND WERE GOING ALL OVER LOOKING FOR PARTNERS AND WE EXPECT JACK
AND JILL TO BE A PARTNER WITH US WE WANT TO MAKE SURE THAT
EVERYONE WHO IS ELIGIBLE TO VOTE WILL VOTE EVER THOSE OF YOU NOT
OLD ENOUGH TO VOTE YET MAKE SURE THAT YOUR PARENTS ARE VOTING,
YOU CAN NAG YOUR PARENTS, THEY NAG YOU BUT YOU CAN NAG THEM AS
WELL YOUR ANSWER IN YOUR UNCLES AND YOUR OLDER BROTHERS AND
SISTERS AND EVERYBODY IN YOUR COMMUNITY AND LET’S CHANGE THE
CULTURAL ATTITUDE ABOUT VOTING BUT A LOT OF PEOPLE SAY MY ONE
VOTE DOES NOT MATTER. IT DOES. MANY DISTRICTS IN THIS COUNTRY
WERE LOST BY JUST A FEW VOTES AND IF YOU THINK ABOUT THE LAST
PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION HILLARY CLINTON LOST BY FEWER THAN
100,000 VOTES, SHE WON THE POPULAR VOTE, IT WAS JUST IN
THREE STATES. THINK ABOUT ALL THE PEOPLE WHO SAID I AM TIRED,
IT DOESN’T MATTER, MY VOTE DOES NOT MATTER AND YOU LOOK AT WHAT
IS HAPPENED OVER THE LAST 2+ YEARS IT IS A REAL WAKE-UP CALL. PEOPLE WHO ARE
OFTEN TIMES THE MOST VULNERABLE ARE THE ONES WHO DO NOT VOTE.
PART OF WHAT I WANT TO DO IS ENCOURAGE PEOPLE TO REALIZE THAT
THE MOST IMPORTANT CIVIC RESPONSIBILITY THAT YOU HAVE
WEEKENDS WITH VOTING AND WE GO FROM THERE LET’S START WITH THAT.
>>WE HAVE A ROOM FULL OF YOUNG PEOPLE AND THEIR PARENTS FROM
ALL ACROSS THE NATION AND YOUNG PEOPLE HAVE REALLY TAKEN UP THE
BANNER TO LEAD ALL OF US IN THIS COUNTRY ON ISSUES OF EDUCATION,
GUN VIOLENCE, CLIMATE CHANGE, VOTING, ALL OF THESE THINGS. THEY ARE TEACHING
ALL OF US WHAT WE OUGHT TO BE ABLE TO DO, WHAT MESSAGE WOULD
YOU GIVE THE YOUNG PEOPLE HERE ABOUT SORT OF AN OUT OF THE BOX
APPROACH TOWARD VOTING AND VOTING REGISTRATION AND WHY IT
IS NECESSARY FOR US TO ALL UNDERSTAND WE ARE
INTERCONNECTED? WHAT HAPPENS TO YOU HAPPENS TO YOU HAPPENS TO
YOU REGARDLESS OF WHERE OR HOW YOU LIVE?
>>YOU KNOW THE OUT-OF-THE-BOX THING IS
JUST MAKE IT FUN AGAIN AND MAKE IT PART OF OUR CULTURE. AND I
WAS GROWING UP MY PARENTS TOOK ME TO THE VOTING BOOTH WITH THEM
LONG BEFORE I WAS OLD ENOUGH TO VOTE AND I DID THE
SAME THING WITH MY DAUGHTER SO PARENTS IN THE ROOM TAKE YOUR
YOUNG PEOPLE WITH YOU AND TALK TO THEM ABOUT WHY VOTING IS
IMPORTANT TO YOU BECAUSE EVEN THOSE TEENAGERS WHO ACT LIKE
THEY ARE IGNORING YOU THEY DO ACTUALLY LISTEN. YOU ARE RIGHT?
EVEN IF YOU JUST ROLL YOUR EYES WHILE YOU’RE UNDER 18 YOU WILL
GET TO 18 AND REMEMBER ALL THE TIMES YOU WENT TO THE POLLS WITH
YOUR PARENT. I ALSO THINK PARTICULARLY AT THIS TIME, THIS
SEEMS LIKE I AM DIGRESSING BUT IT IS NOT, WHEN I WAS GROWING UP
A LONG TIME AGO WALTER CRONKITE WAS A NEWSCASTER, LESLIE WOULD
HAVE HEARD OF HIM, HE CAME ON ONCE A DAY
AND WHATEVER HE SAID WE KNEW TO BE TRUE. HOW DO YOU GET YOUR
NEWS? ON THE PHONE WITH YOU DECIDE WHAT SOURCE OF
INFORMATION YOU WILL RELY ON AND YOU WILL DECIDE WHO YOU FRIEND.
YOU CAN GET REALLY COMFORTABLE AND THAT LITTLE ECHO CHAMBER OF
YOUR OWN WHERE YOU DO NOT EVER HAVE TO TALK TO PEOPLE WHO THINK
DIFFERENTLY THAN YOU. ONE OF THE OUT-OF-THE-BOX THINGS WE HAVE TO
DO WHEN TALKING ABOUT VOTING IS TALK TO PEOPLE WHO ARE NOT JUST
IN OUR OWN COMMUNITY AND ENGAGE THEM IN A CIVIL WAY ABOUT THE
IMPORTANCE OF VOTING AND THE ISSUES. I HAVE TALKED TO PEOPLE
WHO CHANGE THEIR MINDS IS BECAUSE SOMEBODY SAT DOWN AND
LOOKED THEM IN THE FACE AND HAD AN HONEST CONVERSATION. IT IS
VERY HARD TO DO THAT OVER SOCIAL MEDIA. I THINK THERE SHOULD BE A
PAUSE BUTTON BEFORE ANYBODY TWEETS ANYTHING, LIKE A TWO DAY
PAUSE, THOSE ARE THE PARENTS BECAUSE PEOPLE SAY ALL
KINDS OF DREADFUL THINGS THAT YOU KNOW YOU WOULD NEVER SAY IF
YOU ARE LOOKING AT SOMEBODY, RIGHT? IT IS MEAN, I
LOOK AT MY FEET AND I HAVE TO CHECK MYSELF AND THE REASON I DO
IS BECAUSE YOU GUYS ARE WATCHING. I THINK PEOPLE WHO ARE
IN LEADERSHIP, PARTICULARLY NOW AT A TIME WHEN
OUR LEADERSHIP IS A BIT TOXIC AND THE DISCOURSE IS UNPLEASANT
TO SAY THE LEAST, IT PUTS MORE OF A RESPONSIBILITY ON PARENTS
AND GRANDPARENTS AND OLDER SIBLINGS TO SAY, AS MRS. OBAMA
WOULD SAY, WHEN THEY GO LOW WE GO HIGH..
>>YOU ARE SOMEONE WHO CAN ACTUALLY SAY THAT I HIRED
MICHELLE ROBINSON.>>I DID HIRE HER.
>>WHO LATER BECAME FIRST LADY OF THE UNITED STATES DID
>>IT WAS A GOOD DECISION.
>>WE KNOW LITTLE BIT ABOUT THAT STORY BUT DID YOU KNOW THEN THAT
YOU WOULD HAVE AN IMPRINT ON WHAT WOULD BECOME TWO OF THE
MOST ICONIC PEOPLE IN THIS NATION? CLEARLY SOMETHING
ARRESTED YOU WHEN YOU WERE TALKING WITH THE WOMAN WHO WOULD
BECOME MICHELLE ROBINSON OBAMA AND THE FIRST LADY.
>>SHOULD I TELL YOU ABOUT THE FIRST TIME I MET HER? YES. IF
YOU HAVE READ HER BOOK I HOPE YOU ALL HAVE BUT THEN READ MY
BOOK AND YOU’LL HEAR THE SAME STORY BUT FROM DIFFERENT
PERSPECTIVES, HERS AND MINE WE WERE BOTH LAWYERS WORKING AT BIG
LAW FIRMS. AFTER BEEN QUITE MISERABLE AND MY BIG LAW FIRM
DOING WHAT EVERYBODY ELSE WAS TELLING ME THAT I SHOULD DO, IT
WAS A VERY FANCY PLACE TO BE, I LISTENED TO THE MOST IMPORTANT
VOICE AND THAT WAS THE QUIET ONE INSIDE OF ME THAT DROVE ME TO
PUBLIC SERVICE, AND MAYOR HAROLD WASHINGTON FROM ANYONE FROM CHICAGO? SO YOU ALL KNOW
THE FIRST BLACK MAYOR OF CHICAGO AND HE WAS JUST REELECTED, GOOD FRIEND TALKED ME INTO GOING TO
CITY GOVERNMENT AND I LOVED IT BUT IT TAUGHT ME SO MUCH ABOUT
SERVICE AND BEING AVAILABLE AND LISTENING TO PEOPLE IS YOUR
CONSTITUENTS ARE RIGHT THERE AND YOU DO NOT HAVE TO TRAVEL ALL
THE WAY TO WASHINGTON, THEY HAD MY HOME
PHONE NUMBER AND KNEW WHERE TO FIND ME BUT SO FOUR YEARS LATER
I WAS PROMOTED TO DEPUTY CHIEF OF STAFF AT A RESUME CAME ACROSS
MY DESK AND ACROSS THE TOP OF THE RESUME SOMEONE HAD WRITTEN
BRILLIANT YOUNG LAWYER AND HAS NO INTEREST IN BEING IN A BIG
LAW FIRM SO I THOUGHT MUSIC TO MY EARS BUT I CALLED MICHELLE
ROBINSON IN FOR AN INTERVIEW AS SHE WALKED INTO MY OFFICE, 27
YEARS OLD AS A BABY, SHE IS TALL BUT ELEGANTLY AND SIMPLY
DRESSED, ALL LACK, HAIR PULLED BACK IN A LITTLE BIT OF MAKEUP
ON AND SHE SHAKES MY HAND, LOOKS ME RIGHT IN THE FACE, AND I
THOUGHT YOU HAVE A LITTLE CONFIDENCE GOING HERE, SHE SEES
HER RESUME ON MY DESK, SHE NEVER MENTIONS PRINCETON
UNDERGRAD OR HARVARD LAW SCHOOL, SHE TELLS ME HER STORY. THIS IS
ONE PIECE OF ADVICE I GIVE TO YOUNG PEOPLE WHEN YOU’RE GETTING
AN INTERNSHIP OR SUMMER JOB, BE PREPARED TO BE VULNERABLE, OPEN
UP AND TALK ABOUT YOURSELF BUT PEOPLE CAN READ YOUR RESUME BUT
THAT IS NOT WHAT IS IMPORTANT, WHAT IS IMPORTANT IS THE FEELING
THEY IT FROM YOU AND SHE TOLD ME ABOUT THE SAME’S MISGIVINGS I
HAD ABOUT BEING AT THIS BIG LAW FIRM AND WONDERING IF THERE WAS
MORE TO LIFE. SHE TOLD ME THAT HER DAD AND BEST FRIEND HAD DIED
WITHIN THE LAST YEAR. SHE GOT VERY EMOTIONAL ABOUT IT AND SHE
SAID WHEN THAT HAPPENED I THOUGHT IT MUST BE MORE TO LIFE
THAN THIS. I AM SEARCHING FOR A PURPOSE AND MEANING BUT I WAS SO
IMPRESSED WITH HER I GAVE A JOB OFFER ON THE SPOT AND I HAD NO
AUTHORITY TO ACTUALLY GIVE HER THAT JOB OFFER. BUT I THOUGHT
WHO WOULD TURN HER DOWN? SHE CHUCKLED LIKE YOU JUST DID AN
SAID I WILL GET BACK TO YOU BUT I WAS TALKING TO HER A FEW DAYS
LATER, AT THIS POINT EVERYBODY WANTED TO WORK IN THE MAYOR’S OFFICE AND IN PART OF THE
INTERVIEW I WAS TRYING TO CONVINCE HER AND I AM LIKE I AM
NOT USED TO HAVING TO WORK THIS HARD TO GET SOMEONE TO WORK HERE
IN A FEW DAYS LATER I SAID WHAT ABOUT THE JOB OFFER? SHE SAID WE
HAVE A PROBLEM AND SHE SAID WHAT IS THE PROBLEM? SHE SAID MY FIANCÉ
DOESN’T THINK IT IS A GOOD IDEA. AND I SAID WHO IS YOUR FIANCÉ
AND WHY DO WE CARE WHAT HE THINKS? SHE LEFT AND SHE SAID
THAT HIS NAME WAS BARACK OBAMA AND HE HAS STARTED HIS
CAREER AS A COMMUNITY ORGANIZER ON THE SOUTH SIDE OF CHICAGO AND
HE WAS CONCERNED ABOUT THIS MOVE AND SHE SAID WOULD YOU BE
WILLING TO HAVE DINNER WITH US AND TALK ABOUT IT? THAT IS AN
ODD THING TO DO AND MANY PEOPLE WHEN I TOLD HIM THE STORY SAY TO
ME WHY WOULD YOU GO HAVE DINNER WITH THEM? BECAUSE I REALLY
WANTED HER AND I WAS WANTING TO DO WHATEVER IT TOOK, AND I ALSO
SAY THIS, IT IS IMPORTANT IN TERMS OF RELATIONSHIPS, THERE
WAS NOT A SINGLE DECISION THAT HE MADE IN HIS CAREER WITHOUT
HER SITTING RIGHT AT THE TABLE AS WELL. RIGHT? IT WAS A PARTNERSHIP. FAST-FORWARD, AT
THE END OF THIS THREE HOUR DINNER WE TALKED ABOUT OUR
CHILDHOODS AND EVERYTHING, MAKING OURSELVES OPEN AND
VULNERABLE AND TO YOUR QUESTION LESLIE, AT THE END OF THE DINNER I WAS IMPRESSED WITH
HIM AND I THOUGHT MAYBE ONE DAY HE COULD BE MAYOR OF CHICAGO. HE
EXCEEDED MY EXPECTATIONS TO SAY THE LEAST. BUT PART OF IT WAS
NOT HIM, IT WAS ALL I HAD KNOWN IN TERMS OF BLACK PEOPLE REACHING
HEIGHTS POLITICALLY WAS MAYOR AND I HAD NOT EVEN ENVISIONED A BLACK PRESIDENT AND MY PARENTS DID NOT BELIEVE
UNTIL ELECTION NIGHT THERE COULD BE A BLACK PRESIDENT AND SO IT
GOES TO SHOW YOU THAT YOU NEED TO HAVE THE COURAGE TO GO BEYOND
THOSE EXPECTATIONS AND CHART YOUR OWN COURSE AND NOT AS I SAY
BE SHACKLED TO THE PRIOR EXPERIENCES OF THOSE WHO CAME
BEFORE YOU. I KNEW THAT HE WAS VERY SPECIAL AND I KNEW HE WAS
COMMITTED TO PUBLIC SERVICE NINE KNEW HE LOVED HIS FIANCÉE BUT I
DID NOT KNOW HE WOULD BE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES.
>>YOU DID KNOW THAT ONCE HE BECAME PRESIDENT THAT YOU ALL
HAD LEFT SUCH AN IMPRINT ON EACH OTHER THAT YOU WANTED TO COMMIT
YOURSELF TO HELPING HIM AMPLIFY HIS VOICE AND HELPING OTHER
PEOPLE FIND THEIR VOICES.
>>THAT IS TRUE AND I WILL SAY TO YOU THAT WHEN HE WON WE HAD
KIND OF TALKED ABOUT IT A LITTLE BIT WHILE HE WAS RUNNING BUT I
WAS AT THIS POINT THE CEO OF A REAL ESTATE COMPANY IN CHICAGO
AND I HAD A LOT OF STUFF GOING ON AND I WAS ON CORPORATE BOARDS
ENSURING THE BOARD AT THE UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO MEDICAL CENTER. I HAD A VERY
FULL LIFE AND HE SAID YOU KNOW IF I DO WHEN I WILL COME AT YOU
TO GO TO WASHINGTON I LAUGHED AND I SAID LET’S NOT JINX IT.
AFTER HE WON I THOUGHT ABOUT THROWING MY NAME IN THE HAT TO
BE HIS SUCCESSOR IN THE SENATE. KEEP IN MIND I MET
THEM IN 1991 BEFORE MANY OF YOU WERE BORN I WOULD GUESS. I HAVE KNOWN THEM A
LONG, LONG TIME, I AM SEVERAL YEARS OLDER AND I WILL NOT GO
INTO HOW MANY YEARS OLDER, I HAVE BEEN HER BOSS AND HIS
MENTOR AND NOW HE IS INCOME WORK IN THE WHITE HOUSE AND HE IS
SAYING I’M KIND OF USE TO BEING THE BOSS OF YOU. JUST SAYING,
KIND OF LIKE IT THIS WAY WHERE I GET TO TELL YOU WHAT TO DO. AND
HE SAID WELL I AM GOING TO BE THE
PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, I THINK YOU COULD
COME AND WORK FOR THAT PERSON AND I THOUGHT YOU KNOW WHAT
YOU’RE RIGHT. I COULD. I WILL SAY THE GREATEST THRILL, HONOR
AND PRIVILEGE OF A LIFETIME WAS TO SERVE ALL EIGHT YEARS IN HIS
ADMINISTRATION AND IN FACT I WAVED GOODBYE WHEN HE AND
MICHELLE OBAMA WENT TO THE INAUGURATION AND I
WAS STILL THERE AND THE SECRET SERVICE LOOKED AT ME AND SAID
YOU HAVE GOT TO GET OUT OF HERE AND AT NOON WE ARE SWITCHING
OVER AND YOU DO NOT HAVE THE ABILITY TO BE HERE ANYMORE. IT
WAS JUST THE MOST EXTRAORDINARY EXPERIENCE AND SOME OF THE
HARDEST TIMES IN OUR NATIONS HISTORY AND TO BE THERE WITH
SOMEONE I NOT ONLY RESPECT BUT LOVE AND ADORE, BOTH HE AND HIS
WIFE, IT IS AS GOOD AS IT GETS.
>>[ APPLAUSE ]
>>SO THE YOUNG PEOPLE HERE I SEE SOMEONE LIKE YOU AND THEY
SAY VALERIE JARRETT MUST’VE HAD IT ALL TOGETHER WHEN SHE WAS MY
AGE AND SHE MUST HAVE KNOWN WHAT SHE WANTED TO DO AND HOW SHE
WANTED TO DO IT, WHERE SHE WANTED TO GO BUT WHAT IS
INTERESTING AND WHAT YOU REVEAL IN YOUR BOOK IS HOW YOU WERE
EXTREMELY SHY AND YOU HAD TO CULTIVATE THAT VOICE. IT WAS NOT
SOMETHING BUILT INTO YOUR DNA.>>PAINFULLY SHY BUT WHICH YOU PROBABLY FIND HARD TO
BELIEVE THAT SINCE I HAVE NOT SHUT UP SINCE I SAT DOWN RIGHT?
WHEN I WAS YOUR AGE AND YOUNGER I WAS REALLY SHY AND SOME PEOPLE
TEMPERAMENTALLY ARE SHY AND MY PARENTS HAD MOVED ALL OVER THE
WORLD AND I WAS BORN IN IRAN BECAUSE DURING THE JIM CROW ERA
IN THE 1950s MY DAD CANNOT GET A JOB IN THE UNITED STATES, AS A
PHYSICIAN HE WENT TO HOWARD MEDICAL SCHOOL AND HOWARD
UNDERGRAD BUT THERE WERE NOT OPPORTUNITIES AVAILABLE FOR
BLACK MEN PHYSICIANS THE WAY THEY ARE TODAY SO HE AND MY MOM
GO TO IRAN AND I’M BORED THERE AND WE MOVED TO LONDON AND THEN
HE GETS A JOB IN CHICAGO. WHEN I MOVED TO CHICAGO I WAS SO
DIFFERENT AND I TALK IN THE BOOK ABOUT HITTING BOYD AS A KID AND
I DID NOT LOOK LIKE ANYBODY AND I HAD A BRITISH ACCENT JUST FROM
THAT ONE YEAR IN LONDON AND I WAS FROM A COUNTRY NOBODY HAD
HEARD OF SO I WITHDREW INTO MY SHELL AND I AM AN ONLY CHILD BUT
I DID NOT HAVE SIBLINGS TO FORCE ME TO COME OUT OF THAT SHELL IT
WAS NOT UNTIL I REALLY WENT TO WORK IN LOCAL GOVERNMENT THAT I FOUND THE WAY TO USE MY VOICE TO
ADVOCATE FOR PEOPLE THAT I THOUGHT DID NOT HAVE A VOICE AT
THE TABLE AND I KNEW THAT I HAD A GREAT EDUCATION AND MY PARENTS
LOVED ME AND WERE A SUPPORT SYSTEM AND I WORKED IN THE LAW
FIRM FOR SIX YEARS I LOOKED AROUND CHICAGO AND I SAW SO MANY
PEOPLE WHO HAD NOT FELT AS THOUGH GOVERNMENT WAS WORKING
FOR THEM AND I WANTED TO BE THERE VOICE. AT THAT POINT I WAS
A SINGLE MOM BUT I HAD A GOOD JOB, HEALTH INSURANCE, PARENTS
WHO WERE SUPPORTIVE AND GREAT CHILDCARE, I HAD A WHOLE LOT
GOING FOR ME AND I STILL FELT LIKE I WAS HANGING ON BY MY FINGERTIPS I USED TO THINK
ABOUT WHAT ABOUT THOSE WORKING FAMILIES WHO DO NOT HAVE ANY OF
THAT AND WERE STRUGGLING HARD TO GET BY? I WANTED TO BE THERE
VOICE AND MY FATHER USED TO JOKE WHEN I WORKED AT CITY GOVERNMENT
AND SAID WHAT HAPPENED TO THAT SHY GIRL THAT USED TO BE MY
DAUGHTER? I SAID SHE IS GONE AND I LEARNED HOW TO ADVOCATE FOR
MYSELF. I HAD A MENTOR WHO WAS A BLACK WOMAN WHO MEANT TOWARD ME
AND PUSHED ME AND HELPED ME BECOME A BETTER LAWYER AND
ADVOCATE AND REMINDED ME ABOUT WHY WE WERE WORKING AND PER
PUBLIC SERVICE AND PUSHED ME TO ADVOCATE FOR MYSELF AND IT
CHANGED MY LIFE.>>CAN WE HEAR THIS? LET’S TRADE.
>>THAT’S WHY I LIKE TO DO THAT FOR YOUNG PEOPLE AND TO SAY TO
THEM THAT JUST BECAUSE YOU ARE SHY DOESN’T MEAN YOU HAVE TO
ALWAYS THE SHY AND I REMEMBER THE FIRST TIME THAT I GAVE A
SPEECH IS WHEN I WAS THE COMMISSIONER PLANNING AND
DEVELOPMENT FOR THE CITY OF CHICAGO AND NOBODY TOLD ME THAT
JOB REQUIRED PUBLIC SPEAKING OR I WOULD NOT HAVE TAKEN IT RIGHT?
IN MY FIRST SPEECH I WROTE THE NOTES DOWN INC. ON A NOTE CARD,
I GOT NERVOUS, I STARTED TO PERSPIRE, I GOT TO MY SPEECH I LOOKED DOWN, IT WAS WRITTEN IN
BLUE INK AND EVERYTHING WAS DISMISSED ACROSS THE PAGE AND IT
WAS MORTIFIED, I GOT THROUGH IT, IT WAS NOT THE BEST SPEECH I HAD
EVER GIVEN THAT I GOT THROUGH IT. PART OF THE MESSAGE
IN MY BOOK IS YOU HAVE TO KEEP LEARNING HOW TO DO THINGS YOU
ARE INITIALLY SCARED OF OR UNCOMFORTABLE WITH OR TERRIFIED
OF IN MY CASE AND IT GETS BETTER WITH PRACTICE. YOU ALSO FIND
WELL MAYBE IT WAS NOT A GREAT SPEECH BUT I WILL DO IT AGAIN
AND I WILL GET A LITTLE BIT BETTER AND DO IT AGAIN AND GET A
LITTLE BIT BETTER BUT IT MAY NOT BE SO GOOD BUT I WILL DO IT AGAIN.
DO NOT GIVE UP. THAT EARLY RESILIENCE FROM THAT EXPERIENCE
DOING SOMETHING I WAS VERY UNCOMFORTABLE DOING, IT HELPED
ME COME OUT OF THAT SHELL.>>YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT THIS
IDEA OF GETTING COMFORTABLE WITH BEING UNCOMFORTABLE AND HOW THAT
HELPS YOU GROW. I THINK ANOTHER STORY
THAT MIGHT BE INTERESTING TO SHARE WITH ALL OF YOU, VALERIE
TOLD YOU THAT SHE GREW UP IN IRAN, SHE LIVED IN IRAN, SHE LIVED IN LONDON,
SHE LIVED IN FRANCE, ALL OF THESE EXOTIC PLACES WHERE YOU
HAD BEEN AND YOU FELT YOU WERE EMBRACED AND YOU FOUND YOUR PEOPLE. AND THEN THERE WAS
A MOMENT WHEN YOUR PARENTS DECIDED THAT YOU NEEDED TO COME
BACK HERE TO THE UNITED STATES TO HAVE A MORE FULL
CIRCUMFERENCE EXPERIENCE AND TO FIND YOUR COMFORT ABILITY IN THE
AFRICAN-AMERICAN EXPERIENCE HERE. BUT WHEN YOU
CAME BACK TO THIS COUNTRY YOU THOUGHT THAT YOU WERE GOING TO
BE EMBRACED BY THE VERY PEOPLE WHO LOOK LIKE YOU AND SHARED YOUR
EXPERIENCE IN SOME WAY BUT THAT WASN’T THE CASE THAT WAS HARD
FOR YOU TO RECONCILE.>>YEAH. SO I GO BACK TO CHICAGO WHERE MY MOTHER CALLS
HOME AND I WENT TO SCHOOL WITH THE STUDENTS WHO JUST BULLIED ME AS I MENTIONED A
LITTLE WHILE AGO I WAS FROM A COUNTRY NOBODY HAD EVER HEARD OF
AND I HAD THIS BRITISH ACCENT, I WAS A COUPLE OF YEARS AHEAD OF
MYSELF AT SCHOOL AND I FELT LIKE AN OTHER SO GAVE ME EMPATHY FOR
PEOPLE WHO FEEL SHUT OUT MY PARENTS WANTED ME TO COME HOME
SO I COULD SEE WITH THE BLACK EXPERIENCE WAS LIKE AND I SAID
MOM THE BLACK KIDS ARE BEATING ME UP AFTER SCHOOL EVERY DAY.
BUT I HAD A BIG EXTENDED FAMILY AND I WILL SAY THAT I JUST
LEARNED TO FIND MY PLACE. IT TOOK A MINUTE. I THINK MY PARENTS DID
NOT UNDERSTAND HOW HARD IT WAS WHEN YOU FEEL LIKE YOU ARE AN
OUTSIDER BECAUSE TO THEM THEY WERE JUST GOING HOME THAT FOR ME
I WAS GOING TO A COMPLETELY DIFFERENT COUNTRY AND I HAD TO
LEARN TO MAKE FRIENDS AND BE OUTGOING AND ONE I AM THAT SHY
KID I TOLD YOU ABOUT IT IS HARD TO DO THAT BUT HAVING A FAMILY THAT
SURROUNDED ME AND A SUPPORT NETWORK MADE IT EASIER AND I
TALK IN MY BOOK ABOUT HOW MY COUSIN WAS SIX MONTHS YOUNGER
AND 10 POUNDS LIGHTER WOULD COME TO MY RESCUE WHEN I GOT BULLIED
BUT THAT WAS EMBARRASSING TO HAVE HER COME TO MY RESCUE BUT I
WAS GRATEFUL THAT SHE WAS THERE.>>DO YOU STILL CALL LAUREN TO
HAVE YOUR BACK? >>SHE HAS MINE AND I HAVE HERS
AND I HAVE MY SQUAD, IT STARTS WITH FAMILY AND FRIENDS AND I
WAS AT JACK AND JILL WHEN I WAS YOUR AGE AND THAT IS BECAUSE I
WENT TO A SCHOOL THAT WAS 98% WHITE AND MY PARENTS WERE LIKE
WE ARE GOING TO GIVE HER AN EXPERIENCE WITH YOUNG BLACK
CHILDREN, THEY WANTED ME TO HAVE THAT.
>>SO MANY OF OUR YOUNG PEOPLE ARE AMBITIOUS AND BRILLIANT AND
WE CAN SEE THE LIGHT AND ALL OF YOU. BUT THERE IS A POINT OF
DEVELOPMENT WHERE THEY ARE THAT I THINK THEY MAY GLEAN SOMETHING
FROM SOMETHING YOU SAID TO ME BACKSTAGE AND THAT WAS THAT YOU
SPENT YOUR LIFE LOOKING FORWARD BUT NEVER LOOKING BACK. THERE IS
THIS DRIVE TO BE SO SUCCESSFUL, TO TEST WELL, TO SCORE WELL, TO
BE AT THE TOP OF YOUR CLASS, TO DO THIS EXCELLENTLY. I THINK
SOMETIMES YOUNG PEOPLE FEEL THIS PRESSURE TO REACH THE BAR OF
EXCELLENCE THAT GETS HARDER AND HARDER AND HARDER TO REACH YOU
TALK IN YOUR BOOK ABOUT HOW YOUR PARENTS SAID YOU HAD TO WORK
TWICE AS HARD AND BE THREE TIMES AS GOOD. HOW DO WE BALANCE THIS
QUEST FOR EXCELLENCE WITH OUR YOUNG PEOPLE AND WITH THIS IDEA
THEY CAN BE PRESENT IN THEIR LIFE EXPERIENCE AND THEY CAN
HAVE JOY IN THEIR LIFE EXPERIENCE, THEY CAN HAVE
HAPPINESS IN THEIR LIFE EXPERIENCE AND FOR ALL THE
THINGS HAPPENING AROUND YOU AND ALL THE THINGS HAPPENING IN
SCHOOL AND YOUR WORLD, THAT THEY CAN BE OKAY WITH WHO THEY ARE?
>>I THINK TO DO THAT YOU HAVE TO GROUND YOURSELF AND COMPETE
WITH YOURSELF AND JUST YOURSELF. I LEARNED TO DO
THAT EARLY ON AND I MADE UP MY MIND I AM NOT GOING TO LOOK AT
WHO ELSE IS GETTING WHAT GRADE. I AM GOING TO MAXIMIZE MY EFFORT
AND I REMEMBER MY FATHER IN PARTICULAR, IF I GOT A REALLY
GOOD GRADE HIS QUESTION WOULD BE DID YOU TRY AS HARD AS YOU
COULD? IF I SAID WELL KIND OF AN HE SAID IF YOU DO NOT TRY AS
HARD AS YOU COULD I DON’T CARE HOW YOUR GREATEST GOOD OR IF IT
WAS A NOT GOOD GRADE, HE SAID THE SAME THING DID YOU DO YOUR
BEST? AND IF I SAID NO HE WAS A LEARN FROM WHAT YOU DID WRONG
AND GO BACK AND DO IT AGAIN BUT NOW I DON’T WANT TO SOUND LIKE I
AM TOTALLY DOWN ON SOCIAL MEDIA BUT I DO THINK HAVING RECENTLY
SPOKEN AT THE AMERICAN PSYCHIATRIC INSTITUTE
THEIR WORD ABOUT MENTAL HEALTH FOR YOUR AGE GROUP, PARTICULARLY
THOSE IN THE ROOM AND THE AGE GROUP AWAY FROM PARENTS AND
COLLEGE AND SOCIAL MEDIA IS ISOLATING AND YOU ARE LOOKING AT
THE BEST LIFE OF THE PEOPLE AROUND YOU IT USED TO BE IF I
DID NOT GET INVITED TO A PARTY I PROBABLY DID NOT EVEN KNOW THE
PARTY HAPPENED AND NOW YOU SEE WHO WAS THERE AND WHAT THEY DID
AND YOU ARE NOT INCLUDED.>>AND YOU SEE EVERY SECOND OF
IT, MOM IT IS ON SNAPCHAT, IT IS ON INSTAGRAM, THEY ARE TIPPED
TALKING AND YOU KNOW WHAT I AM TALKING ABOUT WITH THE APP, I AM
HERE WITH VALERIE JARRETT AND SHE IS IN THIS WHITE OUTFIT, I
SEE ALL OF YOU LOOKING AT THIS PHONE
>>THAT IS OKAY YOU CAN POST NICE PHOTOS OF ME ON INSTAGRAM,
IT IS A MUCH HAPPIER PLACE THAN TWITTER, TWITTER IS NOT A HAPPY
PLACE BUT THIS IS MY POINT, IT CAN ALSO BE VERY LONELY. AND I
WONDER, I QUERY TO YOU AND I THINK PARENTS CAN BE HELPFUL
WITH THIS, ARE YOU LEARNING THE SKILLS THAT IT TAKES TO BE HUMAN
AND EMPATHETIC AND LOOK INTO THE EYES OF THE PERSON YOU’RE
TALKING TO? THAT IS PROBABLY THE PARENTS CLAPPING. I THINK ABOUT THAT
CONVERSATION THAT I HAD WITH MICHELLE OBAMA AND WHICH YOU
HAVE HAD THE CONFIDENCE TO OPEN UP WITH ME THE WAY THAT SHE DID
IF HER LIFE WAS ON SOCIAL MEDIA? YOU HAVE TO HAVE DOCTORS. I THINK ABOUT
THIS FIRST GUY WHO DUMPED ME, THERE WERE NOT MANY BUT THERE
WAS ONE, AFTER HE DUMPED ME I WAS A LOT MORE EMPATHETIC WHEN I
DUMPED SOMEBODY>>YOU ALL REMEMBER THE FIRST
ONE.>>AND WE DID NOT GHOST PEOPLE
THE WAY THAT YOU ALL DO NOW, NOT NICE, DO NOT DO THAT
AND I AM SAYING IT IN A FUNNY WAY BUT I AM SERIOUS. I THINK
FOR YOUNG PEOPLE PARTICULARLY IT IS
CHALLENGING TODAY AND THERE IS SO MUCH COMING AT YOU AND YOU
ARE EXPOSED TO ALL KINDS OF THINGS BUT EVEN MY 33-YEAR-OLD
DAUGHTER WHEN WE WATCH A MOVIE TOGETHER THAT IS SCARY SHE LOOKS
RIGHT AT THE MOVIE AND I’M COVERING MY EYES BUT IT DOES NOT
BOTHER HER. SHE HAS SEEN AN AWFUL LOT. YOU HAVE TO BE KIND
TO YOURSELF. I WILL SAY THE ONE THING THAT ENABLED ME TO GET
THROUGH THE CHALLENGES OF MY LIFE AND MY CAREER, PARTICULARLY
THE YEARS I WAS IN THE WHITE HOUSE, I SURROUNDED MYSELF WITH
PEOPLE WHO WISHED ME WELL. GOOD FRIENDS. RIGHT? AND YOU KNOW THE
DIFFERENCE. I KNOW YOU KNOW THE DIFFERENCE. AND GIRLS
SWEETHEARTS THEY CAN BE NASTY RIGHT? LET THOSE PEOPLE GO, LET
THEM GO AND TODAY MY CLOSEST FRIENDS ARE DEER AND GOOD AND
THEY LOVE ME AND WHEN I HAVE HAD A BAD DAY THEY LIFT ME UP.
PEOPLE SAY CAN YOU HAVE IT ALL? IS THERE BALANCE IN LIFE? NO. THERE IS NOT BALANCE
AND YOU CANNOT HAVE IT ALL AT THE SAME TIME BUT THE QUESTION
IS REALLY WHEN YOU LOOK BACK, AS I HAVE DONE IS LESLIE MENTIONED
THROUGH MULTIPLE CHAPTERS, WAS IT A WHOLE LIFE AND DID THE
CHAPTERS ADD UP? DID YOU LOVE, WERE YOU LOVED, DID YOU FEEL
THAT YOU HAD MADE A DIFFERENCE, DID
YOU EMPOWER YOUR VOICE TO HELP SOMEONE WHO DID NOT HAVE A
VOICE, DID YOU LOOK OUT FOR YOURSELF? IF YOU DO NOT LOOK OUT
FOR YOUR SELF, AFTER YOU GO OUT OF YOUR PARENTS HOME, YOU CANNOT
COUNT ON OTHER PEOPLE’S LOOKING OUT FOR YOU YOU HAVE TO ADVOCATE
FOR YOURSELF AND THOSE ARE THE QUESTIONS I POSED TO MYSELF.
BUILDING RELATIONSHIPS TODAY AS YOU ARE TODAY AND THIS ROOM WITH
THESE PEOPLE WHO WILL BE LIFELONG FRIEND, I HAVE A BEST
FRIEND FROM HIGH SCHOOL, BEST FRIEND FROM
COLLEGE, BEST FRIEND FROM LAW SCHOOL AND FIVE OTHERS AND I
TALKED TO THEM ALL THE TIME AND IT TAKES WORK. I DO NOT TEXT
THEM BUT PICK UP THE PHONE AND CALL. JUST LIKE WHEN YOU GO TO
COLLEGE I WANT YOU TO CALL YOUR PARENTS.
>>AND NOT JUST WHEN YOU NEED MONEY. CALL THEM JUST TO
SAY THANK YOU FOR ALL OF THE RULES YOU IMPARTED AND THANK YOU
FOR TAKING ME TO FIVE DIFFERENT ACTIVITIES ON THE WEEKEND. MOM’S
HOLLER, I HAVE A MIDDLE SCHOOLER. THANK YOU MOM, THANK
YOU MOM. YOU WILL SEE
>>I WAS TELLING LESLIE BACKSTAGE AT THAT MY DAUGHTER
WHO JUST HAD THIS BABY AND SHE WAS BATHING HER
BABY THE OTHER DAY, MOM’S IN THE AUDIENCE WITH TEENAGERS YOU WILL
LOVE THIS, SHE AND HER HUSBAND WERE BATHING THE BABY TOGETHER
AND THEY WERE TALKING ABOUT WHAT THEY SHOULD DO AND TURN THE BABY
THIS WAY AND THAT AND THEY WERE STRUGGLING AND I WALKED UP IN
THE BATHROOM BEHIND THEM AND MY DAUGHTER LOOKED AT ME AND SHE
SAID HOW DID YOU DO THIS BY YOURSELF? SHE APPRECIATED ME
NOW, IT TOOK 33 YEARS BUT SHE APPRECIATES ME NOW
>>I BET SHE DOES WE WILL TURN THE MICROPHONE OVER TO YOU TO
ALLOW YOU TO ASK QUESTIONS AND AS YOU ARE ASSEMBLING AT THE
MICROPHONES, CAN YOU LEAVE OUR YOUNG PEOPLE HERE WITH JUST A MESSAGE? AT THE END OF A LONG WEEK WHERE
THEY HAVE BEEN TALKING TO THEIR RESPECTIVE LAWMAKERS ABOUT THE
STATE OF THIS NATION AND WHAT THEY WANT TO SEE CHANGE, FINDING
THEIR VOICE AROUND ISSUES OF IMPORTANCE? IT CAN BE HARD IN
THIS CLIMATE HAVE THAT TRADEMARK CUP OF OPTIMISM BUT I CAN SEE
THAT EXPERIENCES LIKE THIS FILL YOUR CUP SO HOW WOULD YOU FILL
THEIR CUP WITH SOMETHING POSITIVE ABOUT THE STATE OF OUR NATION? YOUNG PEOPLE FEEL
FREE TO GO AHEAD AND LINE UP AT THE MICROPHONE.
>>I WILL PUT IT TO YOU THIS WAY, I OPTIMISM COMES FROM
LOOKING AROUND THIS ROOM AT THIS INCREDIBLE, TALENTED BLACK YOUNG
PEOPLE AND YOU ARE GOING TO CHANGE THE WORLD. YOU ARE. YOU ARE SO MUCH MORE
SOPHISTICATED, BETTER EDUCATED, BETTER READ THAN MY GENERATION
WAS BECAUSE YOU HAVE EVERYTHING AT THE TIP OF YOUR FINGERS. I
WANT YOU TO TAKE THAT INCREDIBLE ABILITY THAT YOU HAVE AND NO
YOUR POWER, KNOW YOUR VALUE, KNOW THAT WITH YOUR
ENERGY AND TENACITY THAT ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE. IT DOES BEGIN WITH
PARTICIPATING IN THIS COUNTRY. THERE ARE A LOT OF THINGS ABOUT
OUR COUNTRY THAT WE MAY NOT BE HAPPY WITH RIGHT NOW, RIGHT?
THERE ARE THINGS I AM NOT HAPPY WITH. BUT I CANNOT JUST GO IN MY
CORNER AND CRY ABOUT IT. OF THE PEOPLE, BY THE PEOPLE , FOR THE PEOPLE REQUIRES
ENGAGEMENT OF THE PEOPLE AND YOU HAVE THE MOST TO LOSE SO DO NOT
SIT ON YOUR HANDS AND I AM SO PROUD YOU CAME TO WASHINGTON.
COME BACK AGAIN AND KEEP COMING BACK. THAT IS ALL CHANGE
HAPPENS. >>NOW THE YOUNG PEOPLE WANT TO
HAVE THEIR VOICES HEARD SO WHY DON’T WE START OVER HERE? TELL
US YOUR NAME AND CHAPTER AND YOU CAN ASK YOUR QUESTION
>>HELLO MY NAME IS CLARA JONES AND I’M FROM DETROIT MICHIGAN,
MOTOR CITY HOMETOWN AND I WANT TO FIRST START THINKING MISS
GERRIT FOR ALL SHE IS ON FOR THE US AND CONTINUE TO DO GREAT
THINGS, THE QUESTION IS WHAT YOU THINK THE BIGGEST POINT FOR MY
GENERATION TO FOCUS ON TO KEEP OUR DEMOCRACY GOING IN THE RIGHT
DIRECTION? >>A GOOD QUESTION, WHAT CAN
YOUR GENERATION DO? WHAT WE HAVE BEEN TALKING ABOUT BUT I WOULD
SAY VOTE, VOTE PLUS DO YOUR HOMEWORK
AND FIND OUT WHO IS RUNNING THAT REFLECTS HER VALUES AND
PRIORITIES AND NOT WHO IS CUTE OR WHO GIVES A GOOD SPEECH NOT
WHO DO YOU WANT TO HAVE DINNER WITH AND HANG OUT? NONE OF THAT
IS IMPORTANT, FIND THAT PERSON WHO YOU THINK WILL BE FIGHTING
FOR YOUR FAMILY WHICH MEANS YOU HAVE TO LEARN ABOUT THEM AND YOU
HAVE TO BE ENGAGED. YOU HAVE TO SEND IN QUESTIONS AND ASK OTHER
CAMPAIGNS WHAT IS GOING ON AND WHEN THEY COME TO YOUR TOWN GO
AND TALK TO THE PEOPLE WORKING WITH THE CANDIDATE, ASK
QUESTIONS OF THE CANDIDATE, BE DISCERNING AND ENGAGE IN YOUR
CIVIC PURCHASE A PATIENT. THAT IS ONE . THE SECOND THING IS, I KNOW
ALL OF YOU DO THIS, YOU HAVE TO VOLUNTEER AND YOUR COMMUNITY TO
HELP SOMEBODY WHO NEEDS A LITTLE HELP AND IT COULD BE TUTORING AT
A LOCAL HIGH SCHOOL OR BOYS AND GIRLS CLUB. IT COULD BE AN
INTERNSHIP WHERE YOU ARE VOLUNTEERING AT A LOCAL
HOSPITAL, WHATEVER YOUR PASSION IS, DO IT. I PROMISE THAT YOU
WILL GET BACK MORE THAN YOU GIVE.
>>DO YOU HAVE A QUESTION? >>EVERYONE CAN HEAR ME? I AM
NOT A JACK AND JILL MEMBER, I WAS A KEYNOTE SPEAKER AND Mc
TODAY FOR THE RALLY, MY NAME IS NUPOL
KIAZOLU AND I AM PRESIDENT OF BLACK LIVES MATTER NEW YORK AND
ALSO MISS LIBERIA USA. EVERYTHING RIGHT NOW FOR ME IS
SO FULL CIRCLE SEEING YOU, I AM
TRYING NOT TO CRY, I AM SHAKING, I REMEMBER WHEN I WAS EIGHT
YEARS OLD AND I SAW YOU ON CNN AND I REMEMBER SAYING I WILL BE
JUST LIKE HER.
>>I NOW LOOK AT YOU DID YOU GOT YOUR CROWN ON ANY OF GOT YOUR
SASH ON I DID NOT HAVE ANY OF THAT AT 19.
>>YOU JUST SAID SOMETHING SO PROFOUND AND YOU SAID TO GO
BEYOND THE EXPECTATIONS OF OTHERS. AS A YOUNG A CIVIL
RIGHTS ACTIVIST WHO HAS ASPIRATIONS TO BE IN OFFICE AND
ULTIMATELY BE THE PRESIDENT AND 2036, MY QUESTION TO YOU IS WHAT
IS YOUR ADVICE TO ME AS A YOUNG
ACTIVIST THAT IS PURSUING A CAREER IN POLITICS? HAS A LOT OF TIMES PEOPLE TELL
ME YOU ARE AN ACTIVIST AND YOU ARE ADVOCATING FOR BLACK LIVES
AND OPPRESSED PEOPLES AND HOW DO YOU EXPECT TO BE MARKETABLE TO
THE REST OF THE COUNTRY? THAT IS MY QUESTION TO YOU, HOW WOULD I
NAVIGATE THAT?>>THIS IS A REALLY GOOD
QUESTION AND I THANK YOU FOR BEING VULNERABLE AND YOUR
LEADERSHIP, BUT I SAY IN MY BOOK THE IMMIGRATION RIGHTS ADVOCATES
SHOULD CARE ABOUT THE LGBTQ COMMITTEE AND THE LGBTQ COMMUNITY SHOULD CARE ABOUT THE
IMMIGRANT RIGHTS COMMUNITY, THE LGBTQ COMMUNITY SHOULD CARE
ABOUT BLACK LIVES MATTER AND BLACK LIVES
MATTER SHOULD CARE ABOUT GENDER EQUITY. WE ARE ALL INEXTRICABLY
LINKED SO WHEN WE FRAME OUR CONVERSATIONS IN A WAY PEOPLE
CAN HEAR AND SEE US, ONE OF THE MANY STRENGTHS AND WHAT IS
HAPPENING WITH BLACK LIVES MATTER RIGHT NOW IS THE GENERAL
POPULATION IS BEING FORCED, BECAUSE THEY WOULD NOT DO IT
VOLUNTARILY, TO LOOK AT WHAT WE KNOW HAPPENS IN OUR
COMMUNITY ALL ALONG AND I CAN REMEMBER PEOPLE COMING UP TO ME,
WHITE PEOPLE, PARTICULARLY IN MY HOMETOWN AFTER LAQUAN McDONALD WAS SHOT 16 TIMES BY POLICE AND
THEY SAID WHAT IS THIS TALK IN THE BLACK COMMUNITY? THEY DID
NOT KNOW AND WHY? BECAUSE WE DO NOT TALK
ABOUT THE TALK AND IT IS HARD TO RAISE YOUR SONS TO BE SCARED AND
BEHAVE DIFFERENTLY THAN THEIR WHITE CLASSMATES DO. THIS IS
NOTHING NEW IN OUR COMMUNITY. IT IS NEW IN THE BROADER COMMUNITY
THANKS TO YOUR ACTIVISM AND THANKS TO THE CELL PHONES. MY MESSAGE TO YOU
IS YOU JUST KEEP BEING YOU AND YOU KEEP TRYING TO TALK TO
PEOPLE WHO MAY NOT BE BLACK AND MAY NOT BE IN YOUR SPHERE AND
EXPLAIN TO THEM AND THE MOST PERSONAL TERMS THAT YOU CAN WHY
THEY SHOULD CARE ABOUT BLACK LIVES. IT IS NOT ENOUGH TO SAY
ALL LIVES MATTER BECAUSE BLACK LIVES ARE UNIQUELY VULNERABLE
AND UNDER ATTACK RIGHT NOW.
>>HELLO MISS GERRIT. I AM FROM THE BATON ROUGE CHAPTER AND AS A
YOUNG WOMAN OF COLOR WHO HAS TAUGHT OF GOING INTO A POLITICAL
CAREER I ADMIRE YOU IMMENSELY. MY QUESTION IS WHAT WAS IT LIKE AS
A WOMAN OF COLOR MAKING YOUR WAY THROUGH POLITICS?
>>IT IS INTERESTING YOU USE THE WORD POLITICS. I ALWAYS LOOKED
AT IT THROUGH THE LENS OF SERVICE. I FELT THAT POLITICS
WAS REALLY FOR PEOPLE WHO WERE IN ELECTED OFFICE AND ESI
HAD TO THINK STRATEGICALLY TO GET THINGS DONE I WANTED TO DO
BUT I TRY TO REMIND MYSELF THAT IT WAS NOT JUST ABOUT WINNING AN
ELECTION BUT WHAT YOU DO AFTER YOU WIN THE ELECTION. THAT IS MY
TRUE NORTH AND I HAVE TRIED VERY HARD TO HOLD ONTO THAT TRUE
NORTH. I WILL GIVE YOU ONE SHORT STORY WHICH IS A LONG STORY IN
MY BOOK BUT I WILL GIVE YOU THE PUNCH LINE. WHEN THE AFFORDABLE
CARE ACT PASSED AFTER WE HAD WORKED SO HARD TO GET IT DONE, I
DON’T KNOW WHY IT HAD TO BE SUCH A DIFFICULT THING TO GIVE
AFFORDABLE HEALTH INSURANCE TO ALL AMERICANS BUT IN ANY EVENT,
LATE AT NIGHT WE WERE ON THE TRUMAN BALCONY OF THE WHITE
HOUSE HAVING A CELEBRATION AFTER THE VOTE PASSED AND AT ABOUT 2
AM I WALKED OVER TO PRESIDENT OBAMA AND SAID HOW DO YOU FEEL
TONIGHT COMPARED TO ELECTION NIGHT ? GRANT PARK IN CHICAGO
WAS AMAZING AND EVERYBODY THOUGHT ALL OVER THE WORLD AND
IT WAS SUCH AN AMAZING NIGHT AND HE WAS SO HAPPY THAT NIGHT BUT
HE SAID THERE IS NO COMPARISON. ELECTION NIGHT WAS THE MEANS TO
GET TO THIS NIGHT. AND I THINK IF YOU LOOK AT SERVICE
THROUGH THAT LENS, YES YOU HAVE TO WIN AN ELECTION BUT NOT
BECAUSE YOU WANT TO BE PRESIDENT BECAUSE YOU WANT TO BE SURE THAT
HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS OF PEOPLE HAVE BETTER HEALTH INSURANCE AND
THAT IS HOW YOU SHOULD LOOK AT IT, THAT IS HOW PEOPLE SHOULD
LOOK AT POLITICS AND IF MORE POLITICIANS THOUGHT THE WAY THAT
PRES. OBAMA DID WE WOULD BE A LOT BETTER OFF.
>> THANK YOU.
>>MY NAME IS SERENA AND I AM FROM THE LOUDOUN COUNTY VIRGINIA
CHAPTER AND EARLIER YOU SAID WHEN YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT
VOTING RIGHTS ACT OF DIFFICULT CONVERSATIONS WITH PEOPLE THAT
HAVE DIFFERENT IDEAS FROM YOU AND HOW DO YOU RECOMMEND AS HAVING THOSE
CONVERSATIONS WITH STUDENTS IN OUR HIGH SCHOOL SO WE PREVENT
THE FURTHER POLARIZATION OF OUR NATION IN THE FUTURE?
>>THAT IS SUCH A GOOD PLACE TO START BECAUSE IT IS A SAFE PLACE
AND YOU SHOULD GO TO THE ADMINISTRATORS AND TEACHERS IN
YOUR HIGH SCHOOL AND SAY LET’S DO THIS WE DID THIS RECENTLY AT
THE UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO AT THE LAW SCHOOL WERE FACULTY
FACILITATED CONVERSATION AND I DID ONE ON GUN VIOLENCE AND I
HAVE PEOPLE WHO WERE FROM RURAL COMMUNITIES WHOSE PARENTS HAD GUNS BECAUSE POLICE WOULD BE
HALF AN HOUR AWAY AND THEY LOVE THEIR GUNS AND THEY ARE VERY
ANNOYED ABOUT ANYONE THING TAKE AWAY EVEN AN ASSAULT WEAPON AND
THEN ANOTHER WOMAN WHO SAID SHE DID NOT THINK WE SHOULD KILL
ANIMALS AND EVERYBODY IN BETWEEN. WE CAME INTO THE ROOM
SAYING THE RULES ARE WE ARE GOING TO LISTEN AND WE’RE GOING
TO TRY TO LOOK AT IT FROM THE OTHER PERSPECTIVE THE HIGHLIGHT
FOR ME OF THAT SESSION WAS WHEN A YOUNG MAN SAID TO A WOMAN THAT
I HAD NOT THOUGHT OF THAT BEFORE. THAT IS MAGIC. HE HAD
NOT THOUGHT OF THAT BEFORE, HE ADMITTED IT, HE WAS LISTENING
AND I’M NOT SAYING HE CHANGED HIS MIND BUT AT LEAST YOU HAD A
DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVE. I THINK WE SHOULD HAVE CLUBS IN OUR HIGH
SCHOOL WERE PEOPLE COME AND YOU AGREE ON THE GROUND RULES WHEN
YOU WALK IN THE DOOR THAT YOU ARE GOING TO DISAGREE BUT
WITHOUT BEING DISAGREEABLE AND IT IS OKAY TO CHANGE YOUR MIND,
AT YOUR AGE OR EVEN MY MIND I WILL CHANGE IF IT IS A GOOD
ARGUMENT SO START RIGHT AT YOUR HIGH SCHOOL WOULD BE MY ADVICE. AND BE PREPARED TO BE
UNCOMFORTABLE BECAUSE LIFE IS PRETTY UNCOMFORTABLE.
>>WE HAVE ABOUT FOUR MORE MINUTES.
>>I AM FROM THE SOUTH CENTRAL REGION, I WOULD LIKE TO SAY HOW
DO YOU FEEL ABOUT IN THE LAND OF THE FREE, HOME OF THE BRAVE THAT
I HAVE TO BE BRAVE AND ACTUALLY FEEL I AM NOT FREE TO GO OUTSIDE
OF MY OWN HOME, I CANNOT GO OUT AND BE LIKE OTHER CHILDREN AND
PUT PLAY OUT IN THE STREET LIKE IN THE 90s AS THEY USED TO? I
WANT TO KNOW YOUR OPINION.>> OH LORD, SHE DOES NOT EVEN KNOW
HOW OLD WE ARE WE ARE NOT MAKING FUN OF YOUR QUESTION.
>>I WANT TO.>> LET’S LISTEN.
>>I HAVE TO BE SCARED OF GETTING SHOT IF I GO OUT TOO LATE AT NIGHT AND I
HAD TO BE SCARED OF THE FACT THAT I CANNOT GO OUTSIDE OF MY
HOUSE HAS I MAY LIVE IN A DANGEROUS NEIGHBORHOOD AND I
HAVE TO BE SCARED OF ANOTHER RACE ALL BECAUSE I AM COLORED.
WHAT IS YOUR OPINION ON THIS? >>FIRST OF ALL THANK YOU. GOOD QUESTION. THE REASON WHY
YOU GET A CHUCKLE OUT OF ME IS BECAUSE THE 90s SEEM A LONG TIME
AGO TO YOU BUT ALSO I WOULD SAY TO YOU THAT OBJECTIVELY CRIME IS AT A
LOWER RATE TODAY THAN IT HAS EVER BEEN. SO WHEN YOU HEAR
REPUBLICANS SAY THAT WE NEED TO ARM EVERYBODY AND SO ON, CRIME
IS DOWN. THE PROBLEM THAT WE HAVE, I AM SO GLAD WE SEE THE
ORANGE SHIRTS, THE PROBLEM IS WE HAVE TOO MANY GUNS ON THE STREET
AND IF WE GOT RID OF THE GUNS ON THE STREET YOU WOULD BE SAFER.
THE OTHER THING I MENTIONED TO YOU ABOUT GUN VIOLENCE, TO
THIRDS OF THE PEOPLE WHO DIED FROM GUN VIOLENCE COMMIT
SUICIDE. THIS IS A MENTAL HEALTH ISSUE YOUR SAFETY IN THE
COMMUNITY SHOULD NOT BE JUST A CONCERN OF EVERYBODY IN THIS
ROOM AS I KNOW IT IS, BUT THE CONCERN OF EVERYBODY AND THE WAY
THAT YOU STOOD HERE AND TALKED ABOUT THAT IS WHAT I WANT YOU TO
DO WITH EVERY CHANCE THAT YOU GET AND EVERY PERSON IN A MISSED
POSITION OF POWER MAKES POINT TO THEM BUT A YOUNG PERSON IN
AMERICA AND THE WEALTHIEST COUNTRY IN THE WORLD SHOULD NOT
HAVE TO GROW UP IN FEAR HAVE TO RALLY TOGETHER TO FIGURE OUT
WHAT WE HAVE TO DO TO GET GUNS OFF THE STREET AND FIGURE OUT HOW OTHER YOUNG
PEOPLE CAN HAVE AN OPPORTUNITY, EVERY YOUNG PERSON SHOULD I THE
EXCELLENT EDUCATION THAT MANY OF YOU ARE GETTING ON THIS ROOM AND
EVERYBODY SHOULD HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO GO TO COLLEGE IF
THEY ASPIRE TO DO SO, TO HAVE A JOB TO TAKE CARE OF THEIR FAMILY
AND THE VIOLENCE IS A SYMPTOM OF LACK OF OPPORTUNITY AND UNTIL WE
TACKLE THAT WE WILL CONTINUE TO HAVE VIOLENCE IN OUR
COMMUNITIES.>>WE ARE PROUD OF YOU FOR
FINDING HER VOICE AND ARTICULATING THAT. THIS WILL BE
OUR LAST QUESTION.
>>I AM FROM CATHERINE TUCKER AND I AM FROM THE MORRIS COUNTY
CHAPTER IN NEW JERSEY AND I WAS WONDERING WHAT EXPERIENCE IN
YOUR CAREER INFLUENCED YOU THE MOST?
>>YOU KNOW I AM OLD. THAT IS A LOT OF EXPERIENCES I HAVE HAD.
>> SEASONED THEM
>>YOU KNOW WHAT I THINK CHANGED MY LIFE DRAMATICALLY? HAVING A CHILD. AND I WAS JUST
WONDERING THROUGH LIFE AND I NEVER WOULD
HAVE THOUGHT TO COME TO WASHINGTON AND BEEN AN ACTIVIST
AND LOBBY CONGRESS AS YOU HAVE JACK AND JILL WHEN I WAS COMING
LONG WAS A JUST SOCIAL AND THAT WAS IMPORTANT THAT WE DID NOT
HAVE ANY TRIPS TO WASHINGTON I CAN TELL YOU THAT. WHEN I HAD MY DAUGHTER MY MARRIAGE WAS ALREADY A WRECK,
I MARRIED THE BOY NEXT DOOR, FIGURATIVELY, OUR MOMS GREW UP
IN THE SAME APARTMENT BUILDING AND OUR FATHERS WERE FRIENDS, HE
WAS A DOCTOR AND MY FATHER WAS A DOCTOR AND I HAD A CRUSH ON HIM
SINCE I WAS EIGHT AND HE WAS 12. I KNOW WHAT COULD GO WRONG WITH
THAT MARRIAGE? PLENTY. PLENTY COULD GO WRONG WITH THAT
MARRIAGE. I AM GLAD WE’RE ENDING IT ON A PERSONAL NOTE. I GOT
MARRIED THINKING IT WOULD MAKE ME HAPPY. I WAS LOOKING FOR
SOMEBODY TO COMPLETE ME AS OPPOSED TO COMPLETING MYSELF AND
YOU HAVE GOT TO BE WHOLE FOR YOU HAVE THAT MUCH TO OFFER SOMEBODY ELSE AND I WAS MISERABLE BECAUSE HE
WAS FRANKLY NOT THAT INTO ME AND I KEPT THINKING WHY AREN’T YOU
MAKING ME HAPPY. I HAD MY DAUGHTER FOR ALL OF THE WRONG
REASONS AND I THOUGHT HAVING A BABY WOULD MAKE THE MARRIAGE
WORK AND A BABY DOESN’T DO THAT, IT ONLY ADDS STRESS, DO NOT HAVE
A BABY THINKING A MARRIAGE WILL GET BETTER. WHAT I WOULD LOOK AT
HER AND I WAS A OH MY GOSH SHE IS COUNTING ON ME TO DO
SOMETHING FIRST OF ALL SHE IS COUNTING ON ME TO TAKE CARE OF
HER AND WHAT DO I KNOW ABOUT TAKING CARE OF BABIES? NOTHING.
BUT I HAD HER AND MY HUSBAND WAS GONE AND MORE IMPORTANTLY THAN
JUST CHANGING DIAPERS AND FEEDING HER AND KEEPING HER
ALIVE, I WANTED HER TO BE PROUD OF ME ONE DAY. I REALLY DID. I KNEW IF
I STAYED IN THE JOB WHERE I WAS IN AND EVERYBODY THOUGHT IT WAS
SUCH A FANCY GREAT JOB I KNEW IF I STAYED THERE I WAS JUST
MISERABLE AND I WAS NOT GOOD AT THE JOB. IF I LEAVE HER EVERYDAY
LET ME LEAVE HER TO GO DO SOMETHING I CARE ABOUT. I WILL TAKE HER TO WORK WITH ME
AND DEMYSTIFY IT WHEN I WAS AT HOME AND FAST-FORWARD, WHEN I STARTED MY BOOKS WERE
SEVERAL MONTHS AGO MY DAUGHTER CAME WITH ME AND WAS
INTERVIEWED. SOMEONE ASKED HER WHAT DID YOU LEARN ABOUT YOUR MOTHER AND HER BOOK YOU DID
NOT KNOW AND SHE SAID I HAD NO IDEA HOW GUILTY SHE USED TO FUEL
IS A MOM BECAUSE SHE WAS WORKING
AND SHE SAID I AM SO PROUD THAT SHE WAS WORKING AND SHE BECAME
THE MODEL FOR ME FOR WHAT I SHOULD DO NOT THAT SHE SHOULD DO
EXACTLY WHAT I SHOULD DO BUT THAT SHE SHOULD FIND HER PASSION
AND THE PROUDEST THING I’VE EVER DONE IN MY LIFE IS TO RAISE A
CHILD I DO NOT JUST LOVE BUT I RESPECT AND LIKE.
>>THERE IS NO BETTER WAY THAN TO IN THIS CONVERSATION AND
THINK ABOUT THE YOUNG PEOPLE AND THEIR PARENTS WHO ARE RESPECTED AND LOVED. AT THE END OF THIS
CONVERSATION THERE ARE BOOKS OUTSIDE THAT HAVE BEEN DONATED
BY JACK AND JILL THAT HAVE BEEN ASSIGNED BY
VALERIE JARRETT, COULD WE PLEASE GIVE HER A WARM AND ROUSING
ROUND OF APPLAUSE FOR MAKING US FEEL A
LITTLE MORE LIFTED AND A LOT MORE LOVED.>>[ APPLAUSE ]
>>ALL RIGHT IF YOU CAN DIRECT YOUR ATTENTION TO THE SCREEN WE
WILL MOVE FORWARD WITH THE SECOND PART OF OUR PROGRAM
>>HELLO EVERYBODY, THANK YOU FOR ALL OF THE HARD WORK THAT
YOU DO DAY IN AND DAY OUT TO EDUCATE OUR NEXT GENERATION OF
SCIENTISTS, ARTISTS AND ENTREPRENEURS BUT NO MATTER WHAT
CAREER THAT THE STUDENTS PURSUE IN THE YEARS AHEAD THEY ARE
CERTAIN TO BE THE NEXT GENERATION OF CITIZENS WHO WILL
SHAPE THE COURSE OF COMMUNITIES AND COUNTRY AND THAT IS WHAT I
WANT TO TALK WITH YOU ABOUT TODAY. LAST YEAR I LAUNCHED WHEN
WE ALL VOTE, A NONPARTISAN IT OUT THE VOTE EFFORT TO HELP MAKE
SURE THAT EVERYONE MAKES THEIR VOICE HEARD LOUD AND CLEAR. IN NOVEMBER THE COUNTRY’S OFFICE
WORK VOTER TURNOUT AND THAT IS PROGRESS WE SHOULD CELEBRATE BUT
EVEN THEN IN A RECORD-BREAKING ELECTION THE PORTION OF PEOPLE
WHO TURNED OUT TO VOTE WAS STILL FAR TOO LOW. ONLY ONE OUT OF
THREE OF OUR YOUNGEST VOTERS CAST A BALLOT AND THAT MEANS TO THIRDS OF THE
YOUNG PEOPLE ARE NOT SHOWING UP AND MAYBE THEY DO NOT UNDERSTAND
THE ISSUES WELL ENOUGH AND DO NOT SEE HOW THEIR MOAT WILL MAKE
A DIFFERENCE OR THEY DO NOT THINK THEIR VOICES MATTER,
WHATEVER THE REASON IT IS UP TO US TO FLIP THE SCRIPT. TO SHOW
YOUNG PEOPLE HOW CRUCIAL THEIR VOICES ARE AND HOW JUST A FEW
VOTES CAN BE DECISIVE ON ISSUES THAT MATTER TO THEM AND THEIR COMMUNITY. OBVIOUSLY WE SHOULD
NOT BE TELLING THEM HOW TO VOTE OR WHO TO VOTE FOR, WE JUST WANT
THEM TO VOTE. TO TAKE THE FIRST STEP TOWARDS MAKING VOTING A
LIFELONG HABIT I AM ASKING YOU TO JOIN ME IN HELPING MAKE SURE
THAT EVERY ELIGIBLE STUDENT IS REGISTERED AND READY TO VOTE WHEN THE TIME COMES.
WHEN WE ALL VOTE IS HERE TO DO JUST THAT AND WE WANT TO HELP
YOU MAKE YOUR SCHOOL VOTER REGISTRATION HUB FOR YOUR ENTIRE
COMMUNITY AND WE WILL HELP PROVIDE THE TOOLS AND TRAINING
AND SUPPORT AND CONNECTIONS TO MAKE THE EFFORT AT YOUR SCHOOL A
SUCCESS. WE BELIEVE REGISTERING TO VOTE SHOULD BE AS TIMELESS AS
HOMECOMING DANCES OR FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS. TEXT TEACH TO 21333 TO SIGN UP AND LEARN
MORE ABOUT HOW YOU CAN HELP YOUR STUDENTS GET REGISTERED BUT I
HOPE YOU WILL JOIN US BECAUSE THIS IS BIGGER THAN ONE PARTY OR
ONE ELECTION, IT IS ABOUT EMPOWERING THE NEXT GENERATION
TO MAKE THEIR MARK ON OUR FUTURE SO THANK YOU AGAIN FOR
EVERYTHING YOU DO EVERY DAY. I KNOW YOU ALL DO NOT HEAR IT
OFTEN ENOUGH.

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