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Michelle Obama Delivers Commencement Address at Dillard University, Tells Grads 'Stay Hungry'

Sat, 10 May 2014 21:06:51 +0000

Olivier Douliery-Pool/Getty Images(NEW ORLEANS) -- First Lady Michelle Obama delivered a commencement speech to graduating students at Dillard University in New Orleans on Saturday, urging students to "stay hungry for education" and dedicate themselves to giving back.

Obama encouraged students to acknowledge the problems faced by African-Americans, citing unemployment and poverty numbers. African-Americans were more than twice as likely as whites to be unemployed in 2013, she said, and added that they were far more likely to end up in prison or be the victims of violent crimes.

"Now, perhaps when you hear these statistics, you might think to yourself, well those numbers are terrible, but I'm not part of the problem," Obama said. "And you might be thinking that since you're not one of those statistics, and you're sitting here wearing that nice black robe today, you can go on your way and never look back."

"But folks like you and me, we can’t afford to think like that -- never. See, because we’re the lucky ones, and we can never forget that we didn’t get where we are today all on our own," she continued amid applause. "We got here today because of so many people who toiled and sweat and bled and died for us -- people like our parents and grandparents and all those who came before them, people who never dreamed of getting a college education themselves but who worked, and saved, and sacrificed so that we could be here today.  We owe them."

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