This new college grad envisions a more equitable, interconnected world

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JUDY WOODRUFF: Finally tonight, our NewsHour Shares of the day, something that caught our eye that we thought may be of interest to you too.

In this case, it caught my eye while I was at Muhlenberg College in Allentown, Pennsylvania, yesterday to give a commencement address.

I had the chance to hear Mahsheed Mahjor. She’s a citizen of Afghanistan and one of the graduates. Chosen by her classmates to give the student address, Mahsheed spoke of hardships and inequities around the world, and role of citizenship and the value of her education.

Here’s some of what she said.

MAHSHEED MAHJOR, Muhlenberg College Graduate: I will never take it for granted, for it has changed my life and transformed my life in ways that I couldn’t have imagined.

Among others, education taught me that how interconnected and how interdependent our world is and how beautiful and meaningful these relationships could be.

And education motivated me to stand for what is right, for human liberation, for human dignity. And I hope it has done the same for you.

The heartbreaking news from inside the United States and around the globe is evidence to the fact that the world is a bloody, awful place for many, in case you haven’t realized that yet.

It is so because of the unequal distribution of wealth and power. It is so because the racism and sexism are often put before human dignity. It is so because the life to some appear to be worth more than others.

We must remember that our crucial task is, is what we will do for others, for those who do not have privileges that we do. We should continue to be global citizens, being concerned for what doesn’t necessarily impact us, but it does impact a fellow human being near and far from us.

We ought to think and work towards a common goal, towards human liberation, towards something bigger than ourselves, towards a world that would reduce and dismantle institutionalized classism, racism and sexism and foster social justice and equity.


JUDY WOODRUFF: Some words of wisdom from Mahsheed Mahjor, graduate of Muhlenberg College. This is a young woman going places.