Dear Young Leaders:
You are fortunate to be coming of age during a moment of extraordinary
opportunity in the American journey.
Today our nation is more diverse than ever and becoming even more so. In
some communities, there are already more than 100 different racial and
ethnic groups. And, within the next half century, it is likely that no
racial or ethnic group will constitute a majority of our population. I
believe this is one of our greatest challenges -- and one of our greatest
That is why I have launched a new initiative on race called One America
in the 21st Century. One America is a year-long effort to help build a
stronger, more just, and united nation -- one that offers opportunity and
fairness to all Americans. Our nation has always drawn strength from its
diversity, and every person has a valuable contribution to make to
society. That is the purpose of One America in the 21st Century -- and I
need your help.
Today, we stand at a crossroad in our nation: Will we be a nation that
celebrates our diversity while embracing that which unites us, or will we
allow our differences to divide us? To make our nations diversity a
source of strength, not strife, we need the help of Americans from every
walk of life: religious and civic organizations, business and labor --
people from every heritage. We need you -- our nations young people --
because you have grown up in, are inheriting, and will eventually lead
the new America whose variety and vitality we see rising on history's
Thats why I am asking you, as a young American leader, to help me bring
the One America to your communities by joining One Americas youth
outreach effort, Keeping It Real. Lead your communities in the efforts
to talk, listen, teach, and do.
-Join me to talk and listen -- be an active participant in the
dialogue on race, from your community to our country.
-Join me to teach -- help people understand the facts about
Americas racial diversity.
-And, most important, I challenge you to do --find ways to solve
the problems that still keep us from being One America.
To accept this challenge, fill
out and return the attached
and commit your
at least one project aimed at moving your community and our country
closer together. Town meetings, concerts, speakers series, cultural
events, sports, service projects, youth organizations, petitions, reading
groups, contests -- the possibilities for your involvement are limited
only by your creativity. Next, share this message and its challenge with
other young leaders. Finally, share your projects results with my
Advisory Board on Race by returning the attached form describing your
activities. I want to highlight your leadership and use the initiative
to share your ideas and energy with the rest of the nation
For America to survive and succeed, we must find new ways to live
together and work together as one nation, and to bring out the best in
all our people. America has much to learn from you. Your ideas and
actions -- at school and work, in your families and communities -- will
shape our future for generations to come. I hope that I can count on you
to help me in this historic commitment to make the vision of One America
a living reality.
I look forward to hearing from you.