Elizabeth Warren delivers hope and fight

Wednesday, April 26, 2017 - 4:00pm
Elizabeth Warren waves to the packed auditorium

By Keely Savoie

At a time when women have reached unprecedented positions of power — and yet there remains an enormous gap in representation — leaders like Elizabeth Warren serve as both a reminder of the gap and an inspiration to overcome it.

The senior U.S. senator from Massachusetts paid Mount Holyoke College a visit recently to discuss her latest book, “This Fight is Our Fight: The Battle to Save America's Middle Class,” and to offer advice and inspiration to those disheartened by the political trajectory of the country.

Warren packed the 1,126 seats in Chapin Auditorium and her talk garnered coverage in the Springfield Republican, the Daily Hampshire Gazette, as well as spots on the local NBC and ABC affiliates and Amherst Public Media, where the entire speech can be viewed.

Mount Holyoke, with its long history of producing women leaders and activists, was a natural fit for Warren. She cited Frances Perkins, class of 1902, who as the first female U.S. Secretary of Labor was instrumental in crafting the New Deal, as one of her inspirations.

“Every day when I pass the Department of Labor’s Frances Perkins Building on my way to work, I think, ‘We’re gonna do it today,’” Warren said. “We have to keep fighting that fight.”

Warren urged graduating seniors to go out in the world and work to see the changes they want, and to draw strength from their connections to one another.

“Stay connected to each other, no matter how far away you go,” she said. “These are your sisters.”  The character of the country is the “character of its people.”

When her talk concluded, she drew enthusiastic  cheers and a standing ovation.

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