If we start to think about each of us as all the different threads that weave together to become the fabric of our community, we could actually have a constructive conversation about our American culture and the values on which our country was founded.
When people talk about immigration reform, they tend to focus on people like us: Ivy League graduates, brought to America early in life, unaccented and unencumbered. Upend the institutions and narratives that praise us for our degrees but exclude those who didn’t have our access.
I was aware that I was out, that the administration knew I was transgender—the first openly transgender student in Harvard’s history—and I wasn’t sure I wanted to be that.
The truth is I got my dream job mostly because I was lucky. I was also in the right place at the right time. But I would not have been in the building if I had not stubbornly put myself there. So go where you want to be. Ask for what you want. Otherwise, you might have to go to law school.
Guided by our principles, we stand steadfast in the belief that we have the power to change the world. Let this day be cemented in your mind as the day that the Class of 2017 went forth into the world and made a decision to make it better.
Our elite graduates need to understand that they’ve already been winners in the lottery of life—and they certainly don’t need any more safety nets.