Voices of our Community


Change Is Possible

Vernon E. Jordan Jr., a civil rights leader, attorney, and former adviser to President Bill Clinton, was a recipient of our inaugural Power To Inspire Tribute Award for his longstanding civil rights work and commitment to justice and equality. He gave the Baccalaureate address at Stanford University on Saturday, June 13. In his address he paints a vivid picture of the past using his own personal story of being a young African American man during segregation and the dangers that faced him because of his identity. Unlike most other addresses about the American Civil Rights movement and injustices faced by people of color during Jim Crow, Jordan stresses to the graduates the importance of putting their degrees to goals that are more than just financial. Using his story about being a civil rights activist, he attempts to connect the financially unequal state of our society and tense debates today to the struggles of that time. He talks about the change that happened because of it and how even Governor Wallace, the man who said, “"Segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever” could change. For the full address click here. You can also listen to it below.

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