On Wednesday morning, the United States woke up to a deeply divided nation and a new direction in our governance. Whether we feel confident or discouraged, we understand that the implications of the outcome are enormous. The campaign has been exhausting and disorienting, ultimately leaving many of us deeply anxious about the future.
Our nation seems increasingly polarized between those whom we consider deserving winners and those whom we consider undeserving losers, and I worry that we are increasingly listening to and interacting with only those who share our beliefs. I simply hope that as a society, regardless of whom we voted for or what our political persuasions, we will not turn our back on those who strive for a better life.
Now that the election is over, we will move forward with our Breakthrough tenets in mind. Our Breakthrough students represent a wonderfully diverse tapestry of hopes, dreams, ambitions and God-given potential. We are a welcoming community that strives to empower students to believe in themselves, to fuel intellectual curiosity, to open doors of opportunity, and to promote understanding of the strengths and challenges of all aspects of our diversity.
In challenging times I channel the values that are bedrock for me. Values instilled by my parents who believed that all men - and women - are created equal. That the full measure of our great country is made by all those willing to work hard, regardless of their race, religion or life circumstances. That one measure of goodness is to give voice and opportunity to those who have the most to fear and the most to lose.
I have a painting of Martin Luther King, Jr. hanging in my office, an oversized portrait of a heroic yet imperfect man who devoted his life, talent and considerable intellect to the notion of equal opportunity and inalienable rights for all. A man who believed that equal access to education was the key to a better life and a more just and civil society. I have dedicated my working life to principles of speaking truth to power on behalf of those with great potential and little authority. And I know there are millions of people out there, of all ages, races, political persuasions, income levels and beliefs, who are doing the same.
This, then, is our hope. We double down. We renew our deep faith in humanity. We invite others to our table, to join us in the belief that welcoming kindness, honest and respectful dialogue, love, and indefatigable determination will ultimately help us prevail, as individuals and as a nation, over division and hatred. We welcome and embrace others who may look, speak or believe differently than us. And we pledge to use our influence and power to lift up those who possess neither. Like so many Americans, our Breakthrough students are willing to work hard - all we have to do is open the doors of opportunity.
Yours in peace and friendship,