Hillary Clinton's first public appearance since conceding election - full speech

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two thousand sixteen former senator and secretary state hillary rodham clinton becomes first woman to win nomination major party for president united states turn to win the popular vote know were going through a sea is the peoples president energy both no one million two the one i was in four hundred eighty have said shes our president and she is our president and i wanted sprinkler returns mine too granddaughters here tonight because all the passion has paid for them what other days soon your daughter my daughter in our granddaughters and sit in that oval office and we can thank hillary rodham clinton for johnny to live there have heard from and here this evening and let them know that we love her and that we appreciate all the hard work that shes done say it is never gonna is not be for naught that she is our president for people thank killer thank you it is so wonderful be here with all of you on behalf childrens i is listening backstage as marian went through the forty five years that we have known each other and even reminded me of some things that i had not recall namely that this event was the very first ban that my husband and i went to after he was elected president and so its specially poignant and meaningful to me to be here again with all of you and i want start by congratulating the terrific young people that we are celebrating tonight you will hear more about each of them because each has faced painful challenges violence and poverty abandonment but they never gave up they never stopped reaching never stopped dreaming and yes they have beaten the odds they call troy the little poet who could hes an artist on basketball court and a flourishing writer in classroom any dreams of becoming film maker bethany lived in one foster home after another but with the help of wonderful teacher and her own determination she is thriving and hopes become a doctor so she can care for others carlos left a difficult childhood in guatemala made it to america all by himself then took second journey making it all the way to college where he is studying to become an engineer janets secret weapon is her beautiful voice and her musical talent music has helped her overcome every obstacle that life has thrown in her path and you chevelle persevered through domestic violence at home and bullying at school and found her voice producing a student television show at school and now she has set her sights becoming journalist these fearless generous open hearted determined young people represent a rising generation that should give us all much hope for the future and they represent continuing commitment of childrens defense fund and marian wright edelman now i will admit coming here tonight wasnt the easiest thing for me there have been few times this past week when all i want to do is just to curl up with good book or our dogs and never leave house again but if theres anyone who knows how pick yourself up and get back on your feet and get to work it is marianne annnnd she has been doing it all her life and she has been helping the rest of us do it too i am is i am as inspired by marian today as i was the first time i met her forty five years ago and she told story i was young law student i had lots of fun hopes and expectations about what law degree would enable me to do i had the words my methodist faith a ringing in my ears do all the good you can for all people you can add all ways you can as long as ever you can and she was the crusading legal activists also graduate of yale law school and she was translating her faith into a life devoted to childrens service and social justice observing that being part of that is one of greatest gifts anyone has ever given me because i often thought about marians journey about the stony roads she walked bitter rods she endured and how she never lost her faith and kept her eyes on prize i think her taking bar exam mississippi the first black woman ever to do so and then opening offices for the n double acp and a head start program for children who desperately needed it i think of her with robert kennedy in a tiny shack delta opening his eyes to the realities of poverty in america think her with doctor martin luther king junior starting the poor peoples campaign and dreaming of america of equality and opportunity you have to look at marians life and ask how did she beat the odds when so many gave up the hopes of those early days for marion it has always been about children and families thats what matters and thats what has kept her going helping to open public schools to children with disabilities nineteen seventies an effort i was honored to be part of working to expand medicaid nineteen eighties to cover more pregnant women and more children in need standing with me and others nineteen nineties to create the childrens health insurance program improve foster care and create early head start fighting in recent years to build bipartisan movement to dismantle school to prison pipeline and reform our criminal justice system especially for juveniles and spending countless hours mentoring and training the next generation of leaders and activists at hayley farm under marians leadership childrens defense fund works to give every child a healthy start a head start a fair start a safe start and a moral start in life and i cannot think of more noble or necessary mission no matter what the setbacks she has always believed in the words of dr king often repeated by president obama the arc moral universe is long but it bends toward justice and sometimes it can feel awfully long believe me i know but i also know it does band it bends toward justice because people like marion and so many of you and there people this audience ive had privilege of working with and admiring for so many decades you refuse to stop pushing and when you get knocked down you get back up i often quote marion which she says that service is the rent we pay for living well you dont get to stop paying rent just because things dont go your way i know many of you are deeply disappointed about results election i am too more than i can ever express but as i said last week our campaign was never about one person or even one election it was about country we love and about building an america that is hopeful inclusive and big hearted i didnt get into public service to hold high office forty five years ago that would have seemed an absolute incredibly wrong headed view but i did decide be an activist to use my law degree to help kids every child deserves have the opportunity to live up to his her god given potential and i believe measure of any society is how we treat our children and as we move forward into a new and in many ways uncertain future i think that must be the test for america and for ourselves despite progress and we have made progress under president obama more than thirty one million children still live at or near poverty in america and i hoped to have had the opportunity to build on progress that president obama has made because i know that we are stronger together would we are lifting each other up and lets be clear when i talk about children in or near poverty this isnt someone elses problem these are someone elses children this is americas problem because they are americas children child poverty isnt just an urban challenge or a black or latino challenge although children of color continue to suffer to fortunately from high rates of poverty but make no mistake there are poor children of every race and ethnicity three out of every ten white children in america are at or near poverty that is more than eleven million kids and when you add in eleven million latino children more than six million black children million and half asian and american indian children nearly two million children two or more races the scope and scale of this challenge becomes clear poor children live in every state and every congressional district so they deserve the attention and efforts of everyone of our representatives and leaders and measure of success must be how many children and families climb out poverty and reach the middle class we know what works support kids and give them opportunities to see see parents need good paying jobs affordable quality healthcare and childcare to have helped balancing the demands of work and family communities need investments that lift families up not neglect that lets them fall further behind there are millions of children will go school tomorrow in classrooms with crumbling ceilings empty book shelves and walls covered with mold there are children in places like flint michigan drinking water poisoned by lead and children all over our country faced daily danger of gun violence we have ask ourselves what are we doing to give them the safe and healthy lives they deserve there are also children who are afraid today like little girl i met in nevada who started cry when told how scared she was that parents would be taken away from her and be deported no child should have to live with fear like that no child should be afraid to go to school because their latino or african american or muslim or because they have disability we should protect our children and help them love themselves and love others so theres lot work to do as long as any child america lives in poverty as long as any child america lives in fear as long as any child not just here but in world faces these challenges there is work to do girls as well as boys in every country on every continent deserve that chance to fulfill their own potential and is going take all of us doing our part i wrote book twenty years ago called it takes village and a lot people ask me what and what the heck mean by that well i meant what cdf has represented in understood from beginning none of us can raise family build business hell community or left a country by ourselves we have to do it together so i urge you i urge you please dont lose heart dont give up values we share look at the young people we are honoring tonight if they can persevere so must all of us and if marion has taught us anything its there are so many ways to make difference organizations like ctf have never been more important businesses philanthropists foundations congregations of every faith have to step up to because theres work to done in every community debates to be joined and city halls and state capitals and even if it may not seem like it right now there is common ground to build on a lot governors and legislatures and mayors are pioneering new ways to support parents and provide children with early learning in red states as well as blue states many our most important accomplishments for well being of children and families have come from both parties working together like childrens health insurance program you know that could never have happened without republican leaders now it covers eight million kids and even in this presidential campaign for the first time ever a broad consensus emerged about the importance of affordable quality childcare and paid family leave so we have work to do and for the sake of our children and our families and our country i ask you to stay engaged stay engaged on every level we need you america needs you your energy your ambition your talent thats how we get through this thats how we helped to make our contributions to bend the arc of moral universe toward justice know this is easy i know that over the past week lot people have asked themselves whether america is the country we thought it was the divisions laid bare by this election run deep please listen to me when i say this america is worth it our children are worth it believe our country fight for our values and never ever give up because over the past two years ive met so many people who reaffirmed my faith our country all kinds people young people starting businesses people working in every way they could to make the world better place police officers put their lives on line members of communities work with police try to keep everybody safe immigrants who work so hard become citizens and so many people who work long hours caring for children and the elderly even when pay is not enough to support their own families i met and had chance to work and travel with mothers who lost children turned around and started movement for peace and justice pastor in south carolina who shared his bible with me open to first corinthians love never fails it tells us and i believe that way back when i was in college and i gave commencement speech i said to my classmates than that our goal should be to make what appears to be impossible pot well i may be older now a mother and grandmother ive seen my share of ups and downs but i still believe that we can make the impossible possible and i will hope that stories of the young people were honoring tonight marion story all that shes achieved childrens defense fund has often made the impossible possible and then finally as some of you heard me say during campaign i draw hope and sustenance from another person who influenced my life and still does every day my mother ive talked about her difficult childhood she was abandoned by her parents when she was just eight years old they put her on train california all by herself in charge of her little sister who was three years younger she ended up california where she was mistreated by her grandparents ended up on her own working as housemaid beat the odds found way to offer me the boundless love and support she never received herself think about her everyday sometimes i think about her on that train i wish could walk down the aisle and find little wooden seats where she sat holding tight to her younger sister all alone and terrified she doesnt yet know how much more she will have to face an even softer she doesnt yet know she will find strength to escape that suffering thats still years off her whole future is unknown as it is for all of us as she stares out at vast country moving past her and dream of going up to her and sitting next her and taking her my arms and saying look look at me and listen you will survive you will have a family of your own three children and as hard as it might be to mansion your daughter will grow up to be united states senator represent our country as secretary of state and win more than sixty two million homes will present a united no i can and you cant go back in time and hug all those children that preceded us but we can do that now we can reach out to make sure every child has champion because i am as sure of this as anything i have ever known america is still the greatest country world this is still the place where anyone can beat the odds its up to each and everyone of us keep working to make america better and stronger and fairer thank you god bless you and god bless the work the childrens defense fund