tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN May 16, 2014 12:00pm-1:31pm EDT
if it were to be proven, including, i might say, inc. that are way beyond our control and nothing to do with us, but the -- things that are way beyond our control and nothing to do with us, but the international criminal court. and as you know, we have a resolution that will be before the united nations with respect to culpability the in the circumstance of crimes against humanity in this type of conflict. one way or another, there will be accountability. >> mr. secretary, you just told us that the foreign ministers agreed that sanctions will be imposed on russia if russia or 25 proxies disrupt the may election. the foreign minister referred 'secifically to russia specific improvements. i want to know russia has denied
coordination to the separatists. will russia be held accountable for actions of separatists even if they cannot be proved as a link to russia itself? what is the criteria you are going to use? the second part, we understand the approach for sanctions is not ato be a scalpel, hamper. does that mean it will be not le bans? >> i am not going to get into announcing today what the precise sanctions are except to say to you we have completed our work. we know what they are. we're ready. and last week we had the state department and treasury personnel here in europe working with our european allies to define precisely what that redhead should be.
ahead should be. i am not going to get into characterizations of scalpel or sledgehammer, whatever, except to say they are effective, and if they have to go into effect, they will have an impact. obviously, you know, the purpose of it is to have a greater impact on the target than it is on the people imposing it. so we will be thoughtful and we are being thoughtful and being deliberative in trying to make determinations about what is appropriate and what is not appropriate. let me emphasize our hope is not to do this. our hope is not that we have to go to a next stage. our hope is to de-escalate. we appreciate that you can made a statement about the length -- that president putin made a statement about the elections and acknowledging that they
would take place. a good thing was his language. we acknowledge that the referendum should be stopped. it did not stop the referendum. what we need to make certain is people are not trying to have everything both ways. hague a few moments ago told you that it is in the attitude and behavior that you make this judgment about what is being done. and i am not going to start laying out the whole series of definitions except to say to you that it is clear what proxies mean. if russia or its proxies disrupt wayelections, stand in the of ukrainian people being able to exercise their vote, that is when and if there would be add itional sanctions. ro with -- our hope would be that russia would encourage
separatists to say they can work to the process that has now been opened up, that russia has helped insist on, that that process be given a chance to work through osce. that is our preference, what we want to have happen here. our hope is in the eight days between now and election there could be a concerted effort to try to put a confrontation behind us and put the effort to build ukraine in front of us and to try to do it together. that makes a lot more sense. that would be our hope for a direction. thank you all. appreciate it. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2014] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] live picture from the new america foundation this afternoon as we await remarks from hillary clinton. she is one of the featured speakers today at the new
america foundation's annual conference. we will have her comments along with eric schmidt. we understand hillary clinton's security team is in the area, so that means she is not too far behind. we'll have it live for you. we paid afterrom his meeting with secretary of state john kerry. he talks about a number of issues including the situation in ukraine and the civil unrest in syria. good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. i want to begin by expressing my deep condolences to the people of turkey over the terrible mining disaster. the foreign is being here with , and i have said to him the u.k. stands ready to assist our friends in turkey in any way we can. the ministers gathered for the friends of syria group meeting
observed a minute of silence in memory of the lives lost in turkey. i have hosted a series of meetings this morning starting with a meeting of the foreign ministers of france, italy, germany, the united states, and u.k. to discuss the crisis in ukraine. we unanimously welcomed ukrainian government's efforts to promote constitutional reform, including the first meeting of the national dialogue that was held this today. this was a successful first meeting. we strongly welcome that. we welcome the fact that preparations -- >> our signatures are they ideas, bridging policy and technology, assuming that you you cannot do one without another. reaching beyond the beltway to next-generation politics. have a pleasure of introducing that chair of our board, eric schmidt, who will introduce our
keynote speaker, the honorable hillary rodham clinton. here is what you know about eric schmidt. you know he is the chairman of google, and you know that he has been at the forefront of the digital revolution. what you may not know, he is the source of very big ideas about -- aboutnew digital what the new digital age will look like in his new book. you also probably do not know that he joined new america before he joined google, and look at us but now. small difference in growth, but we are getting there. know thaty not also he may be the only man anywhere who was a mentor to both me and sheryl sandberg. you know that he told her to look for growth potential, and it has worked out extremely well
for her. i talk to him right after i came back from the state department, working for secretary clinton, went back to princeton, asked about being an entrepreneur. he said it really is a full-time job, and here i am. so it is my great pleasure to introduce eric schmidt, and he will introduce secretary clinton. i should say former first lady clinton, former senator clinton, former secretary clinton, and presently altogether awesome hillary will to do. i will say one thing on the ideas. i said that here larry clinton had taught me more than i had taught her, and i have been a professional for 20 years. she talked we more than anything else is a very big idea. it is deceptively simple and deceptively obvious. but all the bigger for that. in foreign policy, like any policy, although we work with states, it is really all about people.
with that, i present eric schmidt. thank you. [applause] ann-marie.u, dayears ago i was in conference, and the first lady showed up, and i met her and watched her speech. all of a sudden i realized this is an unusual public servant. she spoke for an hour in the most interesting way i have ever heard, without any notice whatsoever. all of a sudden i realized that she was the smarter of the two, and i go, oh, my god. from that moment on i watched her public service with awe, that taking on the challenges that she cares about, first lady, then senator, and secretary of state, at a level that is hard to describe of intellect and passion.
manyg her leadership, so things have changed, but when you look at what she did, for example, as secretary of state, pushing the things that we care about, the values of america and so forth, you see the sort of derived and the intellectual fierceness that it takes to actually care and change incumbent systems, something that she has an arrest energy for. what is impressive now is she has devoted her time and energy to things that we all care a great deal about, the cause of women, children, and especially the issues of income inequality and opportunity, not just in america am a but also in the globe. it is an enormous honor for me to introduce to you secretary clinton. [applause] thank you.
the morning. good morning. i am delighted to be here, and i want to thank eric for his very kind words, but also for his generous contributions to this institution as well as everything that he does to support innovation and growth in our country. and i want to thank my friend and former colleague ann-marie slaughter. deeply grateful for all her contributions, her intellectual firepower at the state department. she helped us put smart power into practice, including through her leadership of the first ever comprehensive review of the d calledpartment usai the quadrennial review which albright did a blueprint for 21st-century sick. she's bringing that same
imaginative discipline leadership to the new american foundation. ideas on the big intersection of policy and technology is exactly where she has been an where this extraordinary foundation is headed. i think new america is becoming an even more exciting and indispensable fixture in the policy landscape, so i am delighted to be here in the midst of a conference whose , andam i read and admired i think it is a great way to bring together people who are also thinking big, but doing so with their feet firmly planted in the reality of the times in which we are living. speaking of times, this is a particularly special one for me and my husband. we are still reveling in the fact that we are going to become
grandparents, and i have already learned that when you are about to become a parent for the first time, you can be a little terrified at the prospect, and the responsibility, but become a grandparent for the first time, nothing but joy and excitement. very little responsibility. so i'm especially looking forward to that. my only regret is my late mother will not be here to meet her great-grandchild. she would have been over the moon and filled with get advice, but only for the parents, but for the grandparents. i've been thinking a lot about her lately because mother's day always prompts those memories. they bring a fresh reminder of how much she gave to me and my brothers and so many others. and her commitment to social justice, which helped to mold and inspire me when i was growing up. i think about the obstacles she overcame in what was a very
difficult life. by the age of 14 she was off on her own, working as a housekeeper and nanny. thankfully the woman who hired take timeher to during the middle of the day to try to complete high school, and she always talked about the kindness that certain people showed to her in the course of what was a very difficult childhood. the confidence to keep going forward, that really drives from a community that was supportnd willing to the weakest in the most marginalized among them. and of course she and my father middle-class life, with opportunities she never could have imagined for herself, but which she always believed could be possible. for her children. that it was a great gift
will be forever grateful for, and then bill and i of course worked hard to pass on those values to our daughter. and it has been a great reward to watch her grow into an accomplished, purposeful young woman. i think about what it must have h to have veryg difficult services is during my mother's life, but never losing face or hope in hell for her children and grand could go, not just because of their hard work, but the country and society into which they would be born. ist is really how america supposed to work. each generation striving to create opportunity for the next, planting trees that we will not he sitting in the shade of, but expecting others who will follow to be able to, not expecting to be handed anything on a silver
platter, but believing that all of us would be given a fair shot at success if we were willing to do the work that was required. in one way or another this has been a driving force for me in large measure because of my mother's example, for my earliest years, and it was also a sense of obligation. how does one keep this dream whether it is growing up in a suburb of chicago or going off to a great college and then law school or in arkansas, the white house, or in the senate for the state department. ialways believed that, but must tell you representing our country around the world during this very consequential time in history has given me and even the understanding of what is at stake here and why this organization, your emphasis on
big ideas, your belief that we have to keep reinventing america is so essential. people everywhere told me that that is what they have always loved and admired about america, our values of opportunity, freedom, equality. it is like so many people still look to us for leadership. it is why so many still risk so much to join our mosaic. new president has picked up on the theme, starting to talk about a chinese dream. we know that america is strongest when prosperity and common purpose are broadly shared. when all our people believe they have the opportunity and in fact due to participate fully in our economy and our democracy. the empirical evidence tells us that our society is healthiest
and our economy grows fast this when people in the middle are working and thriving and when people at the bottom believe that they can make their way into that broad-based middle. this is not a new insight. the heart tested at of what is the basic bargain of america, no matter who you are or where you come from, if you work hard and play by the rules, you will have the opportunity to build a good life for yourself and your family. no, unfortunately, it is secret that for too many families in america today that is not the way it works anymore. instead of getting ahead, they are finding it harder than ever to get their footing in our changing economy. the dream of upward mobility that made this country a model for the world feels further and further out of reach, and many
americans understandably feel frustrated, even angry. the numbers are stark. more than four out of 10 children born into our lowest income families never managed to climb out of relative poverty. forget about getting rich. i am just talking about getting into the middle class and staying there. that should not be as hard as it is now. and what is more, and almost equal percentage of kids who are born into the most affluent families stay there for life no matter what their effort. that is the opposite of the mobility we think of as a hallmark of america. and here is a particularly troubling fact -- like a majority of african-american children whose families fought their way into the middle class decades ago to have lower incomes than their parents did and many are falling out of the middle class altogether.
to understand what is going on here we have to take a good look at what is happening in both the economy and in society. since 2000,my, productivity has increased by more than 25%, yet wages for most americans have stagnated, further depressing demand, and slowing growth, median real hourly wages for americans in the middle have been flat over the past decade. theyower income americans, have actually fallen. and even for many higher wage earners below the very top, they have barely risen. so what do we draw from this? americans are working harder, featuring more than ever to bottom linesies' and our country's total economic output, yet many are still barely getting by, holding on, not seeing the reports that their hard work should have merited.
and where is it all going? economists have document how the share of income and wealth going to those at the very top, not just the top 1%, .01%he top .1% or the top of the population, has risen sharply over the last generation. some are calling it a throwback to the gilded age of the robber barons. now as secretary of state, i saw all the way extreme inequality has corrupted other societies, hobbled growth, and left entire generations alienated and u nmoored. from guatemala to greece to pakistan, i urge them to pay their fair share, to bribe services that would be the base on which more of their fellow countrymen and women could climb out of poverty.
i addressed governments to address their people and include positive visions for the future. in the middle east and north africa am we saw the explosive results when opportunity and potential are denied for too long. but one could ask him what does that mean for us? we are not like them? imagine a young single mother trying to raise a family today. after all, there are some 10 million single moms working hard to make it on their own in america today, up from just 3.4 million in 1970. mothers are now the primary or sole breadwinners in nearly 40% of all families. this single mom lives somewhere in our vast metros brawl, traveling long distances every day to work a low-wage job she is lucky to have. many other young people in her neighborhood are still looking.
ut she knowsrd, b that her mail coworkers tend -- male coworkers tend to make more than she does. it is demeaning, demoralizing, and it sure changes are openly. she lives in dread of her baby getting sick or some other emergency because, like nine out of 10 workers earning the lowest wages, most of them women, she does not have access to paid sicky leave, and forget days or flexibility or predictability, which is just as important for parents and caregivers. so she relies on a network of friends and family to help care for her kids, but that too is hard. the neighborhood is not like the one she and certainly not the one her mother grew up in. religious and community organizations are weaker. the schools never secretive enough. there are few quality affordable childcare options.
but she has dreams. she certainly has dreams for her kids. facehe does not just ceilings on her aspirations and opportunities. sometimes it feels as if the floor has collapsed beneath her. these are the kinds of daily struggles of millions and millions of americans, those fighting to get into the middle class and those fighting to stay there. and it was something of a wake-up call when it was recently reported that canadian middle-class incomes are now higher than in the united states. they are working fewer hours for more pay than americans are, enjoying a stronger safety net, living longer on average, and facing less income inequality. that is not how it is supposed to be. we often think we invented the middle class.
so what can we do about it? a lot depends on our leadership here in washington and across our country. taught us that even in the face of difficult, it iserm economic trends, possible, through smart policies and sound investments, to enjoy broad-based growth and shared prosperity. by husband gave a lecture at georgetown recently where he walked through the numbers. yes, a rising tide really did lift all those. 23 million new jobs were creating about raising the minimum wage, doubling the earned income tax credit. that helped millions of lower income families climbed out of are ready for the person. the children's health insurance program changed millions of on withves, and on and a balanced budget that resulted in surpluses as far as the eye could see. i remember being on the budget committee in the senate, my very
first year. with a new administration, making different choices. and the next eight years taught howifferent lessons about by policy choices we could turn surpluses into debt. we can return to rising deficits. that is what happens when you prescription is to cut taxes for the wealthy. and then to deal with the aftermath of a terrible terrorist attack and two wars without paying for them. reagan leaders to their oversight of the -- regulators about their oversight of an entire banking system that operated without can ability. government failed to invest adequately in infrastructure from education, basic research and and then the housing crash, ae financial crisis hit like
flash flood. millions of jobs washed away, along with college savings, mortgages, nest egg for , thatment, confidence tha intangible, in the future. it has been taking years for president obama to get our economy growing again. but it is growing, and there are reasons to be optimistic about our future. and we know there are tremendous opportunities that we are better positioned to take advantage of than any country in the world, from big data to clean energy to a resurgence of manufacturing, to the dream being realized of energy independence. we are better positioned than anyone to take advantage of these advances. we have the best universities, the most innovative companies, the most creative and flexible, talented workers anywhere.
but it will not happen just because we have these assets. we will need some big ideas, like evidence-based decision-making, an old idea that i hope can be restored. [laughter] some of these ideas are as old as america itself, rooted in our values, equality and opportunity, and most of all we will need to learn again how to work together, how to compromise, how to make pragmatic decisions. in the upcoming midterm elections, americans will have choices to make about which path they want to go down and whether we will make the investments we need in our people. i will leave that discussion to others. thefor a lot of us, in private and nonprofit sectors, we have work to do, too. government does not have a monopoly on good ideas, obviously. and even if it wanted, it could
not and should not try to solve all of the problems i itself. we have responsibilities to do what we can. when i left the state department, i joined my husband and daughter at the clinton foundation. i wanted to continue my lifelong ways and answers and solutions that could help more people live up to their own god-given the potential. try to tear to help down barriers and crack sealants that have for too long held back women and men from participating fully in the economy and society. so i thought, what can we do to build on this great work that bill had done and that chelsea was leading, drawing on lessons that really came from my entire life, starting with my work at the study center when i was in the law school, making sure that children are not hobbled from
birth, the but given more chances to succeed. that i could clear go back to what i had been doing, but unfortunately, it was going back to where we had been in some respects 30, 40 years ago, rather than picking up the pace of where we had moved i was very struck by how difficult it was for so many children to be successful in school, despite all the education reform that we have done and experimented with over a very long time now. mereally did come home to that part of the problem is that too many of our children are not getting the very early start in those first years that will enable them to take advantage of advances in education. economic pressures on parents
translate to less time reading, talking, and even singing with their children. all of these stimulate crucial brain development. by age three, children from low income families have learned half as many words as children from middle and upper income families. by the time they enter school, they have substantially smaller vocabularies than many of their classmates. experts call this the word gap. it leads directly to an achievement gap. we launched a public action campaign called too small to fail. to give parents the tools and information they need to do their part in beginning to close that word gap. that will give their children the best possible chance in school and later in life. needed to keepwe
moving forward on the unfinished business of the 21st century, empowering women and girls here at home and around the world. we started an effort called no ceilings, the full participation project. it has been one to years since the fourth world conference on women in beijing. we spoke with one voice to declare that human rights are women's rights and women's rights are human rights. we still had only a glass half-full. collectingdoing is the best data and research available on the progress women and girls have made in the past two decades, both gains and gaps and making that information accessible to a broad audience. we are also building momentum for the 21st century policy agenda for the full participation of women and girls, including you're in the united states. there have been big changes in our economy and our society and in our institutions, policies,
and attitudes have not caught up. women make up half the u.s. labor force, but they are largely concentrated in lower wage positions. women hold three quarters of all jobs that rely on tips, like waiters, bartenders, hairstylists -- which pay even less than the average minimum wage. across the board, women are paid less than men for the same work. of what ist happening below the surface, as a result of this slowdown in progress. , with the least education, less than high school education, and the lowest incomes, are actually living shorter lives today than their mothers did. shorter lives than women in any other major industrialized country. the only other place where we have seen such a reversal in life expectancy was among
russian men after the collapse of the soviet union. there is no single explanation as to why life expectancy is declining. but it correlates with unemployment and economic stress. that is not what we should expect from ourselves. with the best medicine, most advanced technology. it is not something we should be satisfied with. the third area i want to focus the clinton foundation is helping young americans struggling to make headway in this tough economy. that is something i have been working on and committed to for decades. we saw similar problems back in the 1980's, when i served on a workforce training commission organized by the wt grant foundation and the national center for the economy. moreroblems have grown complex as the economy has changed. --rly 6 million and people
young people are out of school and out of work. that is almost one in every six. for young people of color, things are even harder. if you do not have a college degree or did not graduate from high school, most stores are not open, no matter how hard you not. think about what that means. it is not just about missing a paycheck or going without benefits, like health care, when young people cannot find work, they miss out on a crucial period of personal and professional growth that reverberates for decades in lower wages and lost opportunities. -- i certainlys remember my first job -- that is where you learn skills, even if it is just showing up on time. that is where you build networks and gain confidence and experience the dignity of work and responsibility. if you miss out on all of that, frustration, rejection, and poverty gives you a much less positive outcome.
and the rest of your family and community and society. say our youth unemployment crisis could cost america roughly $20 billion in lost earnings over the next decade alone. there is no doubt that the biggest cause of youth unemployment is an economy that is not generating enough demand despite the recovery. we need to keep growing and investing in the building blocks of the 21st century. overstated.times but it is true that to get a good job, you have to in our economy have some form of specific skills and proven work experience. and not just a strong work ethic that was a ticket to the middle class for my parent. many young americans do not have these qualifications and i would argue that it starts at the very
beginning and goes all the way through their schooling. they do not get the job experiences that they need outside of the classroom. they do not know what is expected of them. isn skills training available, too often it is disorganized, it does not actually exist, or is it -- it is for industries that are shrinking. we need to do more to sync up young people workforce training programs and employers looking to hire. as part of the clinton foundation effort, we are reaching out to businesses big and small and really trying to drill down on what their actual needs are and why what they have tried before has not worked. and how we can do a better job in a public, private art and a ship to resolve these difficulties -- partnership to resolve these difficulties. apprenticeships, partnerships with community colleges, cross sector collaborations, forward-looking companies that recognize that molding the talent pool for the future is
good for them. that is an investment worth making. take the gap. its bottom raised wages. it has lots of experience hiring and training young americans, many for the first jobs. they have partnered with many nonprofits to provide job training and paid internships. to underserved youth who might not otherwise make it through their doors. most of the young people who complete the program go on to become full-time cap employees. -- gap employees. or consider corning. famous for supplying the gorilla glass for the iphone. to stay on the cutting edge, they need a steady pipeline of high skilled talent. they have invested in internships that help students career explore careers -- explore careers and they are
providing on-the-job apprenticeships in their factories. at the clinton global initiative annual conference in denver next month, we are extending -- assembling a network of businesses willing to step up, expanding hiring, training, mentoring, hopefully to create a virtuous ripple throughout the economy. engaging with others in the business community and beyond to encourage more partners to come off the sidelines. for some to use some of that cash that is sitting there waiting to be deployed. to help build training infrastructures that will help entire industries. to help use supply chains as force multipliers. schools,ith nonprofits, unions, and elected officials. to coordinate everyone who has a legitimate, sincere interest in moving forward together. we will be announcing more details about that in the meeting in denver. this is a long-term challenge. we cannot wait for government,
andh seems so paralyzed unfortunately at a time when we could be racing ahead. because we have a rising generation of young people. the so-called millennial generation. they are optimistic, tolerant, creative, generous as a cohort. they have so much potential, so much to contribute. they can be the participation generation, the innovation generation -- not a lost generation. because we have not tended to needsocial supports they in order to make their mark. with my husband and daughter at our foundation, our motto is that we are all in this together. which we totally believe you read we believe in the american dream. we believe in social mobility. we believe that what worked for my mother or for bill's mother,
these horatio alger rags to riches stories, these are still possible. this is what has fueled the idea of america. that is what is part of what has always made this country great. the chance that anyone of us could move forward, no matter where we came from. that we can achieve so much. that there is no limit on what can be achieved with big talent and big ideas. at americanook history, there is another story to tell about how upward mobility really works. in part, this is the complement to the rugged individualist story that we all know so much about and some of you have lived. that areut communities ecosystems of opportunities. knows, themidt personal computer revolution
needed more than one or two people in a garage. it needed silicon valley. networks of public and private universities, investors, competitors, collaborators. and localstate governments that invested in the future and human potential. it needed a culture of risk taking and creativity. this story about the link between strong communities and the american dream goes very deep. one of the first great observers and chroniclers of america was alexis de tocqueville. he traveled across the new country of ours in 1830's, learning everything about this radical idea called democracy. and the men and women who made it work. amazed by the social and economic equality and mobility he saw here, unheard-of in the aristocratic era. and by what he called, our habits of the heart. the everyday values and customs that set americans apart from the rest of the world you read it found a nation of joiners,
clubs, congregations, civic organizations, political parties, groups that bound communities together and invested those famous rugged individualist and the welfare of their neighbors. this made the democratic experiment possible. talk about a big idea. those early americans were volunteers and problem solvers. they believed that their own self-interest was advanced by helping their neighbors. like benjamin franklin, they formed volunteer fire departments because if your neighbor's house is on fire, it is your problem too. middle-class women went into the most dangerous 19th-century slums to help children who had no one else standing up for them. americans came together, inspired by religious faith, civic virtue, common decency -- to lend a hand to those in need. lives androve their their communities and that made our democratic experiment possible.
it made america an exceptional nation. i believe with all my heart that is still true. we see that where the fabric of community is strong even today, places with a vibrant middle class, two-parent families, good churches, civic organizations, places integrated across class and racial lines, that is where we still see upward mobility in america. it is not about average income. researchers point to cities with similar affluence that have markedly different rates of economic mobility. it is not about race. like and white residents of a have localtlanta port mobility. it is about all of these other factors that add up. suggests that investing in our neighborhood institutions, strengthening community bonds have to be part of our strategy for reducing inequality,
increasing mobility, and renewing the american dream. it is not just about money. as important and critical factor that is. it is about how we live with one another, how we treat and look out for one another. it is about how we see one another. how we organize ourselves, what we value. age we in this atomized can still come together to solve our problems the way the early americans did, that is the big question we face. we now spend most of our time talking to people who agree with us. big sort has happened. that is a we are comfortable with. we do not really want to hear from the other side, no matter what side we are on. that is what makes compromise a difficult. because we do not put ourselves any longer in anyone else's shoes. why are some people across the political divide believing what they believe?
holding their values so strongly against what we believe to be right? a do not get back into conversation that cuts across all those lines that divide us. it will be very difficult to tackle the economic and social problems that stand in the way of moving away from inequality toward greater equality, economically and socially. but i believe that the time has come. the time for us to begin not only a conversation, but a serious effort by which big ideas will renew america for our , and yes,our children for a future grandchildren. to hearnot surprise you me say, it i think it really does take a village. thank you very much. [applause] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2013]
>> it is an honor to take the stage right after hillary clinton. i am the senior vice president of the new america foundation. i will add my own welcome. as chairs are being put on the stage, i will take a moment to go over a little bit about how the rest of the day is going to go. we will leave this event at this point. you can see hillary clinton's speeches c-span.org. check the video library. we are going live to the national press club, where the legal defense and education fund is marking the 60th anniversary of brown versus board of education. striking down school segregation. speakers will include eric
>> i am the seventh director counsel of the naacp legal defense fund. many of you know that are six , john payton,el the brilliant lawyer from washington dc, who is well-known to many of you, passed away while he was director counsel. that all the sure director counsel's are represented today. i am absolutely thrilled and happy that someone who was a very early hero of mine is here today and has joined us and that is john peyton's wife, gay mcdougall. a human rights activist in her own right. [applause]
i also want to a knowledge the presence of the dean and faculty of howard law school. many of you know that howard law school was the incubator of much of the thinking that went into the early civil rights litigation work. i would like to thank the interim dean and howard faculty for joining us today, as well. [applause] it would be impossible to call the names of the many civil rights leaders who are here today. many of you know that to do this work, it truly does take a village of amazing, dedicated lawyers, advocates, brilliant people who have committed their lives to making america better for everyone. i would ask that any of you who are here who are leading organizations stand. i want to acknowledge the person who leads the umbrella organization and that is wade henderson, the executive director of the leadership conference on civil rights.
[applause] it is my pleasure and honor to introduce to you attorney general eric holder, who was sworn in as the 82nd attorney ineral of the united states april 2009. we are so thrilled that he chose to join us today on this very important day. so bio is in the program and i will monthly labor reading it. belabor reading it to read i wanted to make a few important notes. he is very closely connected to our civil rights history. is dr. sharon malone, the sister of vivian malone, the student who helped desegregate the university of alabama. it is also true that attorney general holder, very early in
his career, served as an intern at the legal defense fund. it is also true that as many of you have seen in the -- in the past two years, this isn't attorney general of tremendous courage. his willingness to step forward and addressed the issue of over incarceration and deep problem's in the criminal justice system is really unprecedented. i do not think you will -- we have had or will have another attorney general who will ignore knowledge the role that dealingors can play in with the issue of overcharging, which leads to over incarceration. his commitment to dealing with the issue of harsh penalties meted out to nonviolent drug amongers sets them apart attorney general's we have had in this country. his recent efforts around clemency, his willingness to use
the bully pulpit of his office to educate america about the power that prosecutors have and about the ways in which the rapid and increased over incarceration in this country hurts all of us and imperils the vitality of our society, shows them to be a courageous leader frankly in the traditions that we revere and honor at the legal defense fund. we were thrilled that he could take time out of his very, very busy schedule to join us to make a few remarks. i present to you the 82nd attorney general of the united states, mr. eric holder. [applause]
>> wade, how are you doing? thank you all so much for that warm welcome. arlene, i will talk about you in a little bit. [laughter] thank you for those kind words. thank you all for a warm welcome. it is a pleasure for me to be here today. it is a privilege to join dedicated public servants the governor patrick, governor trailblazers.with the mcdougall, who is near and dear to me. mcdougall, who is near and dear to me. i noticed difficult for you, but i miss our guy on a daily basis. a great, great man. john peyton. [applause]
it is great to be here, celebrating the work of the naacp legal defense fund in commemorating the victory that this organization helped to secure 60 years ago tomorrow. and in recommitting ourselves to the critical work that still lies before us. the fight is not over. i would like to thank the national press club and every member and supporter of lds for -- ldf for making this observance possible. the families of the courageous latest who made this landmark ,ecision possible, the lawyers and the wife of the late ourgood marshall, one of nations greatest civil rights pioneers, who helped found this organization nearly three quarters of a century ago. legal defensee
fund has performed critical work to rally americans from all backgrounds to the unifying cause of justice, standing on the front lines of our fight to guarantee security, advance opportunity, and ensure equal treatment under law. your enduring legacy is written not only in the words of seminal thel opinions, but also in remarkable, once unimaginable progress that so many of us have witnessed come even within our own lifetimes. in anct that i serve administration led by another african american bears witness to that fact and that progress. [applause] your actions alongside those of countless citizens whose names may be unknown to us now, but his contributions and sacrifices endure have forever alter the course of our nation's grade
history. brave individuals from across the country sustained by the strength of their convictions, fueled by the desire for change, and thissented by lawyers from eminent organization, including visionary attorneys like thurgood marshall, robert carter, and jack greenberg, embarked on a ginger s -- dangerous come along, grueling march that culminated at the united states supreme court. march that led through difficult and uncertain terrain, from the injustice of plessy versus ferguson to the dark days of jim crow and of slavery by another name. through the discrimination and violence and the strange fruit that ultimately gave rise to a unified civil rights movement into the founding and growth of the legal defense fund. it was a march that tested the soul of this country and
questioned, as president abraham lincoln once said, whether a nation dedicated to the proposition that all are created equal could long endure. and it was a march that was mmeasurably a single tort decision where nine jurists came together led by one of my idols, chief justice earl warren, with the eyes of the world upon them to unanimously declare that separate was inherently unequal. now, i was just 3 years old in 1954 when brown was decided. lease don't do the math. yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. he's that old? thanks to some of the pioneers in this room, my generation, my generation, was the first to grow up in a world in which separate but equal was no longer the law of the land. even as a child growing up in
new york city, i understood as i learned about the decision that its impact was truly groundbreaking. bringing the law in line with the fundamental truth of the equality of our humanity. brown marked a major victory, anyone old enough to remember the turbulence of the is the 60's, i also knew and saw firsthand that this country wouldn't automatically translate the words of brown into substantive change. the integration of our schools, a process that was halting, confrontational, and at times even bloody, did not by itself put an end to the beliefs and the attitudes that had given rise to the underlying inequity in the first place. the outlawing of institutional segregation did not by itself soften the enmity and alleviate the vicious bias that had been directed against african-american people and communities for generations. and the rejection in its
clearest form by our highest court of legal discrimination could not by itself wash away the hostility that would for years fuel new and perversely innovative attempts to keep separate but equal in place. these markers of progress could not forestall the massive resistance policies that followed in states across the country, in which public schools were closed, and private academies were opened for white children only. they could not avert the protests that greeted the little rock nine, brave young students who required the protection of the 101st airborne division of the united states army to enroll in an all-white high school. and they could not prevent alabama governor george wallace from making his infamous stand in the schoolhouse door in 1963, nine years after brown, when two courageous african-american students, one of whom, as you've heard, was vivian malone, would much later become my sister-in-law, when they attempted to register for
classes at the university of alabama. but, but thanks to brown, thanks to the developments that followed on the day when vivian and her classmate james hood walked into that university, they were protected not only by the power of their convictions, not only by the strength of the national guard and the authority of the united states department of justice, but by the force of binding law. when those nine students entered little rock central high school, they were supported by all nine members of a resolute supreme court. and when millions of civil rights advocates and supporters began to rally, to march, to stand up, and even to sit in in order to eradicate the discrimination that they continued to face in schools and other public accommodations, they stood not only on the side of equality and on the side of that which was obviously right, but on the side of settled justice. now, this was the seachange that brown versus the board of
education signaled. and this was the progress it made possible. it did not instantaneously or painlessly tear down the walls that divided so much of the nation, but it did unlock the gates. and it continues to guide l.d.f.'s work and the justice department's civil rights enforcement efforts as we work to end the divisions and the disparities that persist even today in the 21st century. after all, as supreme court justice sonja society owe mayor said recently in the michigan college admissions case, we must not -- let me quote, "we must not wish away, rather than confront, the racial inequalities that exist in our society. the way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to speak openly and candidly on the subject of race." and i would add to act. to act. to eradicate the existence of still too persistent
inequalities. and i want to assure you, as we ark this historic anniversary, that my colleagues and i remain as committed to this cause as ever before. while the number of school districts that remain under desegregation court orders has decreased significantly in just the past decade, the department of justice continues to actively enforce and monitor nearly 200, 200, desegregation cases where school districts have not yet fulfilled their legal obligation to eliminate segregation, root and branch. in those cases, we work to ensure that all students have the building blocks of educational success, from access to advanced placement classes, to facilities without crumbling walls and old technology, to safe and positive learning environments. we are partnering with the department of education to reform school discipline policies that fuel the school to prison pipeline, and that have resulted in students of
color facing suspensions and expulsions at a rate that is three times higher than that of their white peers. and we are moving in a variety of ways to dismantle racial barriers and to promote inclusion from america's classrooms, to our board rooms, to our voting booths and far beyond. so long as i have the privilege of serving as the attorney general of the united states, this justice department will never, never stop working to expand the promise of a nation where everyone has the same opportunity to grow, to contribute, and ultimately to succeed. [applause] by calling for new voting protections and by challenging unjust restrictions that
discriminate against vulnerable populations or communities of color, and that's the real vote for all of us. that is the real vote for all of us. [applause] by challenging these -- these measures, we'll keep striving to ensure the free exercise of every citizen's most fundamental rights, by leading implementation of another landmark supreme court ruling in united states versus windsor, lawfully married same-sex couples can receive the federal benefits and protections that they deserve. [applause] and by fighting for comprehensive immigration reform that includes an earned path to citizenship, so that men and women who are -- who are americans in everything but name can step out of the shadows and take their place in society. we'll make certain that children who have -- who have always called america home can
build bright futures in and can enrich the country that they love and do so without fear. [applause] in these and other efforts, there are undoubtedly difficult times ahead. challenges old and new remain before us. there are -- there are too many who are wedded to the past and who irrationally fear the new america that is emerging. they misconstrue our past. america has been at its best when we have acted to embrace and make positive the changes we have been forced to confront. and so it must be again. government will never be able to surmount the obstacles that we face on its own, but especially on days like today. i'm reminded of the extraordinary courage that since 1940 has led seemingly ordinary citizens and l.d.f. leaders to stand together, to
transform the power of individual voices into the strength of collective action and to bring about historic changes like the one we gather to celebrate. changes that pull this nation closer to its founding promise. changes that make real the blessings of our constitution. and changes that codify self-evident truths into settled law. as i look around this room, and with great faith in the american people, i cannot help but feel optimistic about our ability to build on the progress that we celebrate this week. and i have no doubt that with your continued leadership, with your boundless passion, and with your unyielding courage we can continue the legacy that has been entrusted to us. we can extend the promise that brown and those who made it possible worked so hard to secure. and we can build that more just society, that more just society
going with our program. i'm going to welcome cheryl back to the stage. >> thought i had a minute to cleekt myself after that extraordinary speech. so grateful to the attorney general for being with us. i am not elaine jones. i want to be elaine. dream about being elaine, but i am not elaine jones. but elaine jones has a little cold, and i am going to introduce and present the award o mrs. cecilia marshall. this is something that means a great deal to the lawyers and board of the naacp legal defense fund. she is known throughout the country and has been mrs. director counsel. she has been mrs. solicitor general. she has been -- she has been
mrs. judge. she has been mrs. justice. but today, we want to honor cecilia and marshall for her own work and dedication to civil rights. [applause] married to the late thurgood marshall for 38 years, she saw a lot of the world through the unparalleled prism of her husband's work for justice and equality for all. mrs. marshall was born in maui, hawaii. her parents were among the first immigrants to hawaii from the philippine islands in 1910. in 1948, she came to new york to live with her maternal aunt and uncle, and started to take classes in stenography at columbia university. during that same year, she got a position as secretary to the national director of the naacp branches in new york, where she said she had admitted receiving
her first baptism to the racial challenges of america. and she's been motivated ever since to make a difference in the lives of others. yesterday at our board meeting when we were taking notes on the computer, mrs. marshall was reminding us of when she attended board meetings as a young secretary and took notes in shorthand. for the legal defense fund. she serves on many boards here in washington, d.c., and has been a tireless advocate on behalf of young people, particularly through the thurgood marshall summer law internship program. but we know her best for her work on the l.d.f. board where she has served since 1994, getting on the amtrak train and coming to new york for those board meetings, serving and convening dinners for us at her beloved georgetown club with our supporters and donors, and being a welcoming arm for every director counsel that the legal defense fund has had, including me.
i have been privileged by just the joy of her friendship, her laughter, her counsel, and her tremendous support. ladies and gentlemen, we present the spirit of justice award to mrs. se sleela m. marshall. [applause] >> thank you, director. i believe i can only prove half of what you said about me. not even half. 60 years ago, on may 17, after the supreme court handed down its landmark decision on brown
versus board, i was at the offices of our legal fund where a celebration was taking place. t after about an hour or so, thurgood announced to his staff , i don't know about you fools, but i am going back to work because our work has just begun. [applause] i'm sorry to say no truer words were said. because 60 years later, here we are after brown, we're still fighting bigotry in one form or another. so in that regard, i would like to share this award with all the former director counsels
who took up the reins and continued our legal assault against all forms of bigotry. [applause] directors such as jack greenberg, who worked very closely with thurgood for so many years. elaine jones and ted shaw. we're all here today along with our president director. but i would also like to share this award with mr. william coleman, another close friend of thurgood's. thurgood just appreciated his advice and counsel throughout the years. finally, if thurgood were here today, i think he would encourage us to keep up the good fight using the same words
that he spoke on july fourth, 1992, when he accepted the liberty medal. he said, and i quote, "the battle for racial and economic justice is not yet won." indeed, it has barely begun. the legal system can force open doors and sometimes even knock down walls. but it cannot build bridges. hat job belongs to you and me. the country can't do it, afro and white, rich and poor, ucated and illiterate, our fates are bound together. we can run from each other, but we cannot escape each other.
we will only attain freedom if we learn to appreciate what is different and muster the courage to discover what is fundamentally the same america's -- america's diversity offers so much richness and opportunity. take a chance, won't you? knock down the fences that divide us. tear apart the walls that imprison you. reach out for freedom. freedom lies just on the other side. we shall have liberty for all. thank you. [applause]
>> so now, i have the honor of introducing someone who is one of my heroes, and you heard the attorney general refer to her as a trail blazer in her own right, and, of course, i'm speaking with charlene hunter-gault. she is many things, an award-winning journalist. she was -- you may know her from her work at npr as a special correspondent after spending six years with cnn. before that, she worked as npr's chief correspondent in africa. hunter-gault joined npr in 1997 after 20 years with pbs where she worked as a national correspondent for "news hour" with jim lehrer. she began her journalism career as a reporter for "the new yorker" and later worked as a local news reporter for wrc in washington. and as the harlem bureau chief for the "new york times." she has numerous honors, including two emmy awards and two peabody awards, one for her
work on a news hour series about south africa during the life of apartheid, and the other for general coverage of africa in 1998. she is also, as we know, a public speaker. she holds more than three honorary degrees. she is on the board of the committee to protect journalists, the peabody board and the digital promise global. she is vice president of the clara elizabeth jackson carter foundation. established by camille cosby in honor of her mother, and she is going to lead news a conversation for the next portion of our program. charlene hunter-gault. [applause] >> we're all excited about this
conversation and so excited to get it started. but we skipped over one thing and we can't skip it because it's too important. and that is our acknowledgment and special recognition of jack greenberg. so i'm going to ask before we start the conversation for former director counsel ted shaw to come and give our special recognition to jack greenberg. [applause] >> good afternoon. first, let me congratulate sissy marshall. , o is a -- an inspiration mentor, friend, and i wish all of you could know sissy marshall the way some of us have been fortunate to get to know her. she has one of the most wicked senses of humor you will ever hear. but she's -- she's a great,
great civil rights warrior in her own -- in her own name. jack greenberg. , by my presently two -- three, jack wine steen, judge wine steen isn't with us today. bill copeland, of course, is. one of my heroes. but out of the lawyers who argued brown, there is one survivor. nd that is jack greenberg. jack greenberg came to the legal defense fund, as you see from the program, in 1948. and he came to the legal defense fund after serving in world war ii. in the marines. and, in fact, i always remember -- was told was
at some point that he had handled what was supposed to be a tough situation with grace and handled it well, jack said in a very offhanded way, i've been in tougher situations than this. e was at iwo jima. served his country even before he came to the legal defense fund to serve it in another profound way. jack, as you know, joined the staff in 1948, and from 1948 to 1961 was assistant counsel before becoming director counsel from 1961 to 1984. the longest tenure of any director counsel, and with all due respect to cheryl, who is only beginning, and i wish her a long tenure, i suspect that
there will not be another who serves in that pock r position over -- in that position over so many years. and he served so well. jack happened to be director counsel during the days of the civil rights movement. it was jack who was on the phone with other l.d.f. lawyers th the demonstrators, with martin luther king jr., and thers who were at the edmund pettis bridge. it was jack who told martin luther king jr. that if you march and break this injunction, you will be breaking the law. as any good lawyer should have told him. and martin luther king jr. said to jack, it's not your job to tell me what to do. it's your job to get me out of
jail when i do it. [applause] if you look at the photographs from that era of the civil rights leadership, many of those photographs you'll see martin luther king jr. you'll see whitney young. you'll see roy wilkins. you'll see all of the great ones. a. philip randolph. and dorothy hite in some of those photographs. but you'll see jack greenberg. and jack greenberg was oticeable. had the privilege along with another recovering lawyer, i think i can describe him as, he's been busy with other things who's here today,
governor patrick, of being, i think one of the last two, i think we were the last two hires that jack greenberg made at the legal defense fund. i -- i can't say -- i won't say, it's not my place to say how good my hire was. i will say na -- that he made a great hire in governor patrick. nd i remember when i was hired, elaine, you know how jack was. i came to l.d.f. from, i was trying to get out of the justice department. the administrations had changed. i was now in the reagan administration. and so i came up to new york at jack's behest for an interview. and some of the lawyers were unhappy because jack made this decision. by himself. you know, he decided who was going to be hired. and some of the lawyers were fussing about not having a role in that.
and jack said, another lesson that i learned that i used later, not as well as jack perhaps, jack said in a very offhanded way again, i think democracy is great for countries. [applause] there is so much more i can say about jack, but we need to hear the governor. i will point out that he was dean of columbia college after he left l.d.f. of nd the former dean harvard university law school wrote a book called "dean cuisine." he's a cook, a chef. and if you know anything about jack, you know that his reach went well beyond the united states, where he was involved
with and was the inspiration legal creation of defense funds on behalf of other constituencies of color. and indeed, i would say women, too. d finally, if you know jack, you know that he was involved in being an inspiration for and helped to set up the legal resources center in south africa. the european rights center. in budapest. has worked on behalf of rights in recent years. this is one of the great human rights lawyers of any time. enough. nnot honor him i tell students, because i've taught with him. i've had that honor. you may have to lean in a little bit to hear jack now because his voice is a little softer. but you are in the presence of greatness. and so we honor jack greenberg today. he's gotten every honor l.d.f.