10 May 2018, Nashville, Tennessee, USA
Here are some quotes from the speech. We are still chasing down a full video /transcript.
I think what will define you is your courage. Becase that is the virtue on which all others depend.
It is up to you to pick your battles, the things you care about, and your choices that you make every day .
When I look at the world today I see that courage is needed more than ever. At a time when women all over the world face physical abuse, restrictions on their ability to work, own property, travel, and even have custody over their children, we need courage.
At a time when the LGBT community in every country struggles for equal rights, freedom from imprisonment, and even death, we need courage.
At a time when more journalists are imprisoned around the world than any time in the last three decades, and even here at home the media is under attack from the White House, we need courage.
At a time when our politicians try to conflate the terms refugee and terrorist and make us fear one another, we need courage.
We need young people with the courage to say, ‘This is our world now, and there are going to be some changes.
I believe you the class the 2018 will show courage, and my generation is counting on you.
Courage, as they say, is contagious. People who have had the courage to to change their societies — in India, in South Africa, in the United States — inspire each other and create rights for future generations.
My advice isn’t that you have to be Gandhi or Mandela or Martin Luther King or that you should be a human rights activist or get jobs where the salary decreases at every turn. To quote the poet Robert Frost “There will be moments in your life where two roads diverge in the wood, and when that happens, be courageous.”
When I told people I was coming to Vanderbilt, I kept being told the same thing: ‘You know, it’s the Harvard of the South.’ Having spent time here, I’d say that Harvard is the Vanderbilt of the North.