The first webcast from CGI U 2014 at Arizona State University last night featured Hillary Clinton welcoming the participants and introducing ASU President Michael Crow who, in turn, introduced Bill Clinton. After presenting five students summarizing exciting projects, the former president then moderated a panel consisting of Senator John McCain, Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales, women's rights activist Manal Al-Sharif, and Harvard student Shree Bose.
Both Clintons received resounding welcomes from the youthful
audience. Hillary greeted them in her typical wonky fashion citing
stats. The topic of the evening was The Age of Participation which, Hillary made clear, refers not only to an era but also to an age group as she addressed an overwhelmingly millennial audience.
spoke of the CGI U participation doubling from 600 at the first event
in 2008 to 1200 this weekend when students from 270 schools, 50 states,
and more than 80 countries represent 685 commitments to action so far
and dubbed millennials "the participation generation."
the host university she noted that one-third of ASU's largest student
body in the United States are the first in their families to go to
college. Calling millennials crowd-sourcing entrepreneurs who are
open-minded and tolerant, she noted that three-quarters of that age
group had volunteered in the last year.
She stressed that change is
possible in the world and that they can effect it pointing out that
because of last year's CGI U 50,000 people now have healthcare, 23,000
people are in mentoring and training programs, and 200,000 square feet
of new community gardens have been planted.
It was a motivating and inspiring start to what is sure to be a record-breaking weekend for CGI U.
Meanwhile, Showtime was airing the premiere of Donna Zacarro's loving documentary tribute to her mother, Geraldine Ferraro: Paving the Way. Talk about being torn! Talk about toggling between glass ceiling crackers!
There was Gerri on TV, and Hillary was sometimes on both screens at once - at CGI U on my laptop and in Donna's documentary.
was talking about Gerri, and Gerri was talking about Hillary - at one
point choking up and unable to continue when she spoke about pulling
that lever for Hillary in 2008.
one is a keeper. I am recording it as I type. Kudos to Donna on this
beautiful, powerful, and touching portrait of her heroic mom. I did not shed tears
when I pulled the lever for Hillary. I didn't do that when I voted
Mondale-Ferraro, either. It was sheer joy, and I have kept the sample
ballot from the 2008 primary as I did not have the foresight to do with
the 1984 sample. Maybe I thought, naively, that the struggle had been
won and this would be the way of things from then on. I really don't
know. I think I did.
Nothing will ever erase from my memory,
however, the pride I felt for her that July morning 30 years ago
driving to work, hearing her acceptance again on the radio, and sitting
up so tall in the driver's seat and smiling as I drove
to work. That morning ... that ... was the first morning of the rest
of our lives.