Muslim-American activist Linda Sarsour delivered the commencement address at the City University of New York School of Public Health on Thursday, urging graduates not to be bystanders in the face of injustice.
“We in this room together must commit to never being bystanders to poverty, lack of jobs and healthcare, sexism, violence, discrimination, racism, xenophobia, Islamophobia, anti-Semitism, and homophobia,” Sarsour, one of the lead organizers of the Women’s March on Washington, told graduates. “We will stand up, we will speak truth to power no matter the consequences, we will demand change, we will center those most directly impacted because they, we, who are closest to the pain are also closest to the solution.”
Sarsour’s selection as commencement speaker drew criticism from some right-wing speakers who accused her of holding anti-Semitic views because of her statements on Middle Eastern politics, prompting some calls for the speech to be canceled. Sarsour adamantly denied the accusations, and more than 130 Jewish leaders signed an open letter defending her on Thursday.
Read the full transcript of her speech at Harlem’s Apollo Theater:
- Donald Trump Was Just Indicted. Here's What to Know About the Charges and the Case
- What Could Happen Next for Donald Trump
- Trump's Indictment Drama Showcased His Rivals' Weakness
- Inside Ukraine's Push to Try Putin For War Crimes
- Bad Bunny's Next Move
- Elon Musk Signs Open Letter Urging AI Labs to Pump the Brakes
- Eliezer Yudkowsky: Pausing AI Developments Isn't Enough. We Need to Shut it All Down
- 'How Is This Still Happening?' A Survivor Questions America's Gun Violence Problem
- Cheryl Strayed Will Always Be Here for You
- Who Should Be on the 2023 TIME100? Vote Now