The most important thing I have to say to you today is that hair matters. Your hair will send significant messages to those around you: what hopes and dreams you have for the world, but more, what hopes and dreams you have for your hair. Pay attention to your hair, because everyone else will.
Millennium Trails will be very tangible gifts to the future. We will walk on them and hike on them and bike on them. They will be accessible to people of all ages and abilities. But in a very important way they represent more than the tangible effect of the trail. They represent a commitment and an investment in what kind of country we want in the next century.
You may not agree with a woman, but to criticize her appearance "" as opposed to her ideas or actions "" isn't doing anyone any favors, least of all you. Insulting a woman's looks when they have nothing to do with the issue at hand implies a lack of comprehension on your part, an inability to engage in high-level thinking. You may think she's ugly, but everyone else thinks you're an idiot.
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Relationships are at the core of any political system and economic system - any family - and I think we drifted away from understanding that in our country. The people-to-people level is critical. It is ironic, though - we can text with anybody in the world, we can have a videoconference with anybody in the world, but [there should be] an even higher premium on showing up and getting to know someone.
There are many ways to be influential. You can work for politicians or in government and make a difference. And for young women who are interested in running for office, you just have to decide you're going to follow Eleanor Roosevelt's maxim about growing skin as thick as the hide of a rhinoceros, and you have to be incredibly well-prepared - better prepared [than a man], actually - and you have to figure out how you're going to present yourself, and you have to have a support group around you, because it can be really a brutal experience.
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What we are learning around the world is that if women are healthy and educated, their families will flourish. If women are free from violence, their families will flourish. If women have a chance to work and earn as full and equal partners in society, their families will flourish. And when families flourish, communities and nations do as well.
The United Nations and the Organization of American States have named 2011 as the International Year for People of African Descent. This is an opportunity for all of us around the globe to celebrate the diversity of our societies and to honor the contributions that our fellow citizens of African descent make every day to the economic, social and political fabrics of our communities.
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When we liberate the economic potential of women, we elevate the economic performance of communities, nations, and the world. There is a stimulative and ripple effect that kicks in when women have greater access to jobs and the economic lives of our countries: greater political stability. Fewer military conflicts. More food. More educational opportunity for children. By harnessing the economic potential of all women, we boost opportunity for all people.
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Throughout the 1980s, we did hear too much about individual gain and the ethos of selfishness and greed. We did not hear enough about how to be a good member of a community, to define the common good and to repair the social contract. And we also found that while prosperity does not trickle down from the most powerful to the rest of us, all too often indifference and even intolerance do.
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If you look at what the factors were going into the decision, of course there are competing interests and values. And one of our values is we bring everybody home off the battlefield the best we can. It doesn't matter how they ended up in a prisoner of war situation...It doesn't matter. We bring our people home.
If you get arrested, you're supposed to know why you're arrested. So, Freddie Gray should have known why he was arrested. His friends, his family, his community, they should have known what he was charged with, why he was arrested. And the police should have come out with that right away.
Some of our most powerful works of art have been produced by older Americans-by hands that have engaged in years of hard work, eyes that have witnessed decades of change, and hearts that have felt a lifetime of emotions. Our whole society benefits when older Americans use their talents and experiences to become involved in the arts as creators, teachers, mentors, volunteers, and audiences.
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I think because I really didn't have a good strategy for my campaign. I didn't plan it the right way. ... As a candidate who was already so well known ... I don't think I ever said, 'Yes, you may have known me for eight years, but I don't take anything for granted. I have to earn your support.