2021 Speeches

Speeches Shim

Last updated: May 10, 2021

May 9, 2021

But the key question for all of us, and on this day especially you, Colgate graduating class of 2021, is: what will you do with this reclaimed future? Will you rush back to life as you used to know it? Or will you hang on to the new habits and the deepened connections you made with loved ones and friends when you were stuck indoors? Will you—will we—look past those who struggle around us? Or will we continue to show heightened appreciation for our shop-keepers and food-deliverers, workers who have ALWAYS been essential? Will we maintain the instinct to check on our neighbors? Will we travel that extra mile to support our local businesses?

May 6, 2021

As Prepared:

Good evening, everyone. I am so thrilled to be with you tonight and I’m beyond humbled to receive an award given to American greats like my dear friend and co-conspirator Madeleine Albright, the incomparable John Lewis, and my partner in promoting disability rights and more Senator Bob Dole. 

I’d also like to extend a special thanks to the Institute’s Board of Directors and staff for honoring President Truman’s legacy, both through its student programs and its work to renovate and reopen the Truman Library and Museum later this year. 

May 5, 2021

Like COVID-19, the climate crisis threatens every inch of progress we make in efforts to build long-term prosperity and secure the individual dignity of the communities we serve. The science is clear—the world needs to significantly increase the scale and speed of climate action to stave off the worst effects of a warming planet. We are grateful that here at the G7, it has remained a top priority.

May 5, 2021

Ethiopians in the Tigray region are on the brink of starvation. Thousands of Yemenis are at risk of death, as the country faces the world’s largest humanitarian crisis. South Sudan is perennially at risk of facing famine, and we are seeing a deteriorating food security situation in northeast Nigeria. We need urgent, collective action to put an end to their suffering. The worst part is, these are all man-made disasters. People are not hungry because there is a shortage of food. They are hungry because political leaders and bad actors have decided that power struggles are more important than the well-being of their citizens. Those involved in conflict are driving people to the edge of famine.

May 5, 2021

At this critical time, we urge all G7 members and other governments to join us in stepping up their support for UNICEF’s vital work. In addition to stemming this crisis—we have to support sustainable health systems to prevent the next one. The U.S. is committed to joining each of you to advance global health security—from developing early warning systems to increasing information sharing and sustainable financing.