President Clinton Challenges Young People to Address Inequality
In a speech at Saint Anselm College on Monday evening, Former President Bill Clinton urged young people to address inequality by volunteering in their communities and embracing what they share in common. He spoke to more than 1,000 full-time volunteers assembled at the college for City Year’s week-long annual convention, Cyzygy 2007.
Clinton said politics needs to catch up so it can address a world that’s unequal, unstable, and unsustainable. The former president contributed some of the root causes of global inequality on stagnating wages and limited access to healthcare and instability on terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. He added that the world is also on an unsustainable path with rising global temperatures and a decline in the availability of oil within the next 100 years.
On conflicts across the globe, including the genocide in Rwanda, war in Sri Lanka, and conflicts in the Middle East, Clinton stated, “the people participating in these conflicts… have decided that their differences are more important than their common humanity.” Focusing on those differences, he said, is why disagreements about oil resources or religious beliefs boil over into armed, sometimes even genocidal conflict.
Clinton spoke in Sullivan Arena, which the previous week played host to both Republican and Democratic presidential hopefuls for the CNN Debates, including his wife, N.Y. Senator Hillary Clinton. A fact Clinton acknowledge in his opening remarks.
“I got a big kick out of seeing Saint Anselm splattered all over the world last week. We had the Democratic Debate here and the Republican Debate here. Now we have a guy speaking that can’t run for president anymore.”
Originally posted to the Saint Anselm College Blog on June 12, 2007