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 opportunities.

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 horizon.

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 pledge letter and commit your organization to 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.


Back to One America