Tags: Barack Obama | class of 2020

Obama Encourages Graduates to 'Create a New Normal'

barack obama
Former President Barack Obama (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

By    |   Sunday, 07 June 2020 09:41 PM

Former President Barack Obama shared a message of encouragement to graduating students, telling them in his commencement speech that they can "create a new normal."

In a message that streamed Sunday as part of YouTube's "Dear Class of 2020" program, Obama said that the current crises are "a wake-up call, and they are an incredible opportunity, for your generation. Because you don't have to accept what was considered normal before. You don't have to accept the world as it is. You can make it into the world as it should be and could be. You can create a new normal, one that is fairer, and gives everyone opportunity, and treats everyone equally, and builds bridges between people instead of dividing them."

Obama said the pandemic "brought into focus problems that have been growing for a very long time. Whether it's widening economic inequality, the lack of basic healthcare for millions of people, the continuing scourge of bigotry and sexism, or the divisions and dysfunction that plague our political system."

He stressed that these problems "remind us that our individual well-being depends on the well-being of the community that we live in, and it doesn't matter how much money you make if everyone around you is hungry and sick. It reminds you that our country and our democracy only function when we think not just about ourselves but also about each other."

Obama lamented that his own generation failed "to solve some of our country's big problems so you didn't have to," but noted that this graduating class is "up to the challenge [because you are] the best-educated generation in history — and a whole lot more technologically savvy."

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Former President Barack Obama shared a message of encouragement to graduating students, telling them in his commencement speech that they can "create a new normal."
class of 2020
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2020-41-07
Sunday, 07 June 2020 09:41 PM
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