Kamala D. Harris at 7th Annual Y for Youth Luncheon: "Our youth have always been our future"
Harris at 7th Annual Y for Youth Luncheon: "Our youth have always been our future"
Senator Kamala D. Harris delivered remarks on Friday at the YMCA’s 7th Annual Y for Youth Luncheon in San Francisco, an event celebrating young leaders who have succeeded in the face of adversity and are making an impact in their communities. Harris reflected on the connection between education and public safety, the challenges facing the country today, and the past and present movements that have been fueled by young leaders, including the Civil Rights Movement and today’s student-led movement for gun safety.
Key excerpts from Senator Harris’ remarks:
“In the last 14 months, we’ve been having a conversation in D.C. that has been in many ways born out of the dialogue that has been influenced by forces that are sowing hate and division. We are having a conversation that presents challenges such as when, for political reasons, we were given a Hobbesian choice where Senators could vote either in favor of the Children’s Health Insurance Program, called CHIP, or we could vote in favor of our Dreamers. Those young people, many of whom were brought here before they could walk or talk and have only known this as their only home.”
“So in the face of these challenges, it is easy to become frustrated and dare I say cynical. But here’s the good thing, here’s the good thing that the YMCA and all the work that is happening in this community remind us of. And that is that it is time to look at things like the YMCA, to look at American’s youth, and in that way see our future and find inspiration and hope and motivation to continue on. You know, we have seen so much happening recently with what I think of and I think we’ve been discussing as this youth movement. And in this movement, there’s an incredible level of vitality and integrity and honesty and commitment. It reminds me of the stories that I heard about my parents when they met at UC Berkeley in the 60s as graduate students when they were active in the Civil Rights Movement. The kind of vitality and energy and authenticity of a movement that helped change the world.”
“Martin Luther King was only twenty-six years old when he helped lead the Montgomery Bus Boycott. Twenty-six. John Lewis was twenty-one when he went down to Mississippi as one of the original Freedom Riders, and twenty-three when he spoke at the March on Washington. Diane Nash was twenty-two years old when she started leading sit-ins in Nashville. Our youth have always been our future. They have always been our future.”
Full remarks by Senator Harris are available here.