By: Dr. Evelyn Hill
May 4, 2020
I am truly excited to encourage and challenge our graduating students to prepare to work with us to improve America with better ways to protect and enhance human rights in our cities, states, and country in the area of Justice.
To every graduating class there are SEVERAL things you can embrace RIGHT NOW, in this moment of your LIFE.
You are Young, Gifted and Powerful.
You are young and strong. Your minds are capable of thinking beyond the academic boxes generations before you have created.
You can achieve great things.
You can accomplish that which seems impossible with hard work, focus and determination.
Nothing can stop you, but you and bad choices.
You have tech skills far beyond what we expected, you grew up in an age of super information systems and instant video enhancements.
When America made her greatest changes, it was the strength and the power of our youth that help bring human rights and justice to the forefront of our nation. Our national leaders had to pay attention and hear the voices of our younger population. It was the students from both high school and college that stood with others in non-violent marches, mass non-violent demonstrations that included inspirational speakers, songs and chants that embraced and demanded change to the injustices in our communities around the country.
Students who refused to be denied the privilege to vote, students who refused to be silenced about unfair practices in restaurants, job opportunities, police brutality, and abusive laws. Students stood for justice and civil rights for all human beings. You now stand on the shoulders of those great young people. Make your mark, stand strong and join us in an opportunity to make America a better place to live, work and play.
Even though you are young, continue to get wisdom, advice, and feedback from those who are older and have more experience than you. Many of us have been where you are going. We can help you not make some of the mistakes we made. We are the “been there, done that” generation.
You are gifted. Many teachers and parents know you are gifted. You have incredible abilities that are naturally easy for you because it is a gift or talent you were born with.
Some of you are great orators, you do public speaking, political and academic debates.
Some are outstanding athletes, who are excellent in sports, including, track, football, basketball ball and others who are amazing dancers, gymnast, and more.
Some are creative artist with illustrations, photography, videos and so much more.
Some of you are excellent thinkers and able to create lyrics for songs, rap, and poetry.
You are gifted, don’t waste your gift on negative STUFF, beware of social media put-down, cruel words insensitive gestures. Soar with YOUR GIFTS AND TALENTS. Let your goal be to make a positive difference in our country.
You are powerful. This is something you should always remember. Young people may think they have no power, but they do. Have you noticed folks ask you what do you want to do? They realize if you want to do it, it will be done.
You have the power and the motivation to get it done. You persuade others, you are able to lead others, you are able to reason with and challenge others, YOU are POWERFUL.
You have the power to think quickly and accurately you have the power to say no to that which is not HEALTHY OR HELPFUL FOR you,
You are powerful. You can speak and folks will listen. You can write and folks will read.
Be careful how you use your power. Your power should be USED to help others. To show others the right way. Your power should not be used to tear others down with your words or action.
Your power does not allow you to be a bully or threat to others who are trying to climb the ladder of success.
Your power should increase, uphold and encourage others who are struggling. Use your power wisely. Use your power to keep you grounded, motivated and strong.
Thank those who have helped you. Thank them, appreciate them, celebrate them and be grateful for them. Take a few minutes right now to say thanks to parents, loves ones, teachers, fellow students, counselors, principle, etc.
Be a dream catcher. Don’t just dream, go after your dream and catch it.
We need you in our political arenas,
We need you in our Chambers of Commerce!
We need you in our not-for-profit world of helping others.
We need you in our educational systems across the country.
Maybe you have the answers to make America a better place.
Maybe you can make America a place where civility is a norm and not just a choice.
A place where all human beings are treated equally, with respect and dignity.
A place where civil rights are a way of life, not just for some, but for all who live in our country,
Maybe you can join us, and together we make America a place where justice is exercised and utilized fairly across the country.
Make America a place where justice is for the poor as well as the rich. A place where justice is for the blue-collar worker and the white-collar worker.
Make America a place where justice is exercised for the young and the old.
Maybe you will work with us to bring true justice to our broken Justice systems.
Bring all your talents, gifts and power to the table. Be part of the movement to Justice. We need you. We are waiting on you.
Complete your educational goals and get busy. Let’s work together to make our city and country a better place.
You are champions, you are brave and you are mighty. We support you, we love you and we encourage you to be advocates of justice.
Congratulations again on your academic success. Keep up the good work. We know you will do GREAT THINGS.