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Oprah Addressed 'Inequality' In Her Commencement Speech

Gettyimages | Steve Jennings
By Savannah Pointer

Billionaire philanthropist Oprah Winfrey spoke to graduates of 2020 in an unconventional graduation ceremony, speaking to the potential struggles that some graduates will have ahead of them.

“Can you, the Class of 2020, show us not how to put the pieces back together again but how to create a new and more evolved normal? A world more just, kind, beautiful, tender, luminous, creative, whole?” Winfrey said during the #Graduation2020: Facebook and Instagram Celebrate the Class of 2020 special that aired Friday.

Winfrey Spoke To Graduates About Access To Medical Care


“We need you to do this, because the pandemic has illuminated the vast, systemic inequities that have defined life for too many for too long,” Oprah continued. “For poor communities without adequate access to healthcare, inequality is a pre-existing condition. For immigrant communities forced to hide in the shadows, inequality is a pre-existing condition. For incarcerated people, with no ability to social distance, inequality is a pre-existing condition. For every person burdened by bias and bigotry, for every black man and woman living in their American skin, fearful to even go for a jog, inequality is a pre-existing condition.”

The Commencement Speech Also Included What Might Lie Ahead


Oprah spoke to those feeling fear about the upcoming chapter in their lives, due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

“My hope is that you will harness your education, your creativity and your valor, your voice, your vote, reflecting on all that you’ve witnessed and hungered for, all that you know to be true and use it to create more equity, more justice and more joy in the world,” Oprah said. “To be the class that commenced a new way forward, the Class of 2020.”

Winfrey Encouraged 'Guts and Imagination'


“I wish I could tell you I know the path forward. I don’t. There is much uncertainty,” she said. “In truth, there always has been. What I do know is that the same guts and imagination that got you to this moment, all those things are the very same things that are going to sustain you through whatever is coming. It’s vital that you learn and we all learn to be at peace with the discomfort of stepping into the unknown.

The Speaker Admitted No One Had All The Answers


"It’s really OK to not have all the answers. The answers will come for sure if you can accept not knowing long enough to get still and stay still long enough for new thoughts to take root in your more quiet, deeper, truer self.”

The billionaire former daytime host encouraged graduates, telling them to think as deeply as possible about how they can affect the world. She also praised essential employees and medical staff for their fight against the viral outbreak.

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