Kamala Harris also cautioned graduates of Tennessee State about Russian aggression.
In her graduation speech at Tennessee State University on Saturday, Vice President Kamala Harris took a grim look at the “unsettled” world that college students are entering.
The Russian invasion of Ukraine was highlighted, as well as the possibility that Roe v. Wade would be overturned by the Supreme Court after a draft opinion was leaked earlier this week.
“The world that you graduate into is unsettled,” Harris mentioned. “It is a world where long-established principles now rest on shaky ground. We see this in Ukraine, where Russia’s invasion threatens international rules and norms that have provided unprecedented peace and security in Europe since World War II.”
“We believed that the principles of sovereignty and territorial integrity had, for the most part, prevailed, that democracy had prevailed,” she continued. “But now the certainty of fundamental principles is being called into question, including the principles of equality and fairness.”
On May 7, 2022, US Vice President Kamala Harris greets a graduating student at Tennessee State University in Nashville, Tennessee.
When Harris said that the scholars were dealing with an uncertain world where Roe v. Wade could also be overturned, the audience erupted in cheers.
“In the United States, we are once again forced to defend fundamental principles that we hoped were long settled — principles like the freedom to vote, the rights of women to make decisions about their own bodies, even what constitutes the truth, especially in an era, when anyone can post anything online and claim it is a fact,” Harris mentioned.
As per ABC News, Harris praised the scholars for their achievements regardless of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Class of 2022, you made it through and it cannot be denied also that your class has traveled a stony road — a pandemic that took away so much of the college experience that you once imagined,” she mentioned.
On May 7, 2022, in Nashville, Tennessee, US Vice President Kamala Harris makes the keynote speech at Tennessee State University’s Commencement Ceremony at Hale Stadium.
In a more upbeat tone, the vice-chairman stated that each student is well-equipped to address the “biggest challenges of today” by drawing on their lived experiences and personal characteristics.
“Most importantly, you have the ability to see what can be unburdened by what has been,” she mentioned, drawing from her stump speech on the marketing campaign path.
“There is no limit to your capacity for greatness,” she said as a fellow graduate of a typically Black faculty and college.
“I want you all — each and every one of you — to always remember that you are not alone, that you come from people, that you come with people,” she mentioned. “Because I promise you, there will be a time when you will walk into a boardroom or a courtroom or maybe even the Situation Room, and you will walk into the room and find you are the only person in that room who looks like you or has had your life experience.
“At that second, it’s essential to bear in mind you aren’t in that room alone. Always know that you just carry the voices of everybody right here and people upon whose shoulders you stand.”
On May 18, Harris can deliver the graduation speech at the United States Coast Guard Academy.