For Immediate Release

Office of Press Relations

Statement by Administrator Samantha Power

When the 56 delegates of the Second Continental Congress unanimously adopted the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, they were asserting the right to a government by and for the people, where their interests would be represented and their voices would be heard.

Today, we honor not only that founding ideal, but the people who pushed over centuries for it to apply to all Americans, regardless of identity or belief or background – to build a country where everyone could live safely and freely to actively shape the future of their country. We honor the women, from Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton at Seneca Falls to Sojourner Truth in Akron, Ohio, who advocated fiercely for the right of all women to vote. We honor the students of color who led sit-ins and marches to demand equal rights. We honor the LGBTQI+ activists who organized protests from Los Angeles to Chicago to New York for the right to love, and to live, as themselves. And we honor the countless Americans who continue to fight for freedom and equality – in classrooms and courtrooms, in state legislatures and the halls of Congress, at dinner tables and conference tables, in communities here at home and around the world.

This July 4, I urge us all to recognize the tremendous responsibility we have to create a more perfect union – and, however we can, to help build a nation where everyone, no matter who they are or where they live, can pursue those most unalienable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

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