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New Leaders Council

Clinton's Message Resonates with Millennials

BY ANDREW BARNHILL

Long before she served as a United States senator, Hillary Clinton’s commitment to public service took root inside the walls of her childhood Methodist church. As a high school student in Illinois, Clinton began to learn that faith must be lived out through a lens of social justice and human rights. Upon first hearing Martin Luther King Jr. when he visited Chicago in 1962, Clinton began to see the social and racial struggles that were taking places throughout the United States.As a minister trained in both law and theology, I see in Secretary Clinton a fighter for the marginalized, a voice for the struggling, and a comforter for the overburdened.

Secretary Clinton has also come to be one of our nation’s greatest advocates for my generation, the millennials.As senator, Hillary Clinton fought to expand college affordability by introducing legislation to boost awareness of student financial aid through outreach programs. She also fought to restore the Bush administration’s cuts to Pell Grants, and co- sponsored legislation to establish centers on college campuses to assist veterans.

I have the distinct privilege of serving as the State Director of New Leaders Council, which works to recruit, train and promote the progressive entrepreneurs of tomorrow — trendsetters, elected officials and civically engaged leaders in business and industry who will shape the future landscape of our state. Over and over again, I find millennials who are craving to be led by authentic public voices not afraid to share the faith that spurs them to social action. The millennials I know see beyond the polarizing reality that has defined faithful discourse for much of the 20th century. They see another way, a way that Secretary Clinton understands.

North Carolina is a state where people are not afraid to share their faith,and strive to reclaim the victories of the civil rights leaders who guided us forward. Here in North Carolina, however, we have experienced significant challenges to progress. Cuts to our university system, cuts to our public schools, and cuts to healthcare access have defined the past several years of legislative action. Secretary Clinton understands these challenges, but more importantly, she understands how to work with people of faith, including a new generation of leaders, as we seek to restore a commitment to justice and equal opportunity right here at home.

Andrew Barnhill is the State Director of New Leaders Council-North Carolina. He is the youngest member of the Executive Council of the North Carolina Democratic Party.

 
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