Last night, the President and First Lady joined a bevy of prominent members of the Hispanic community in celebrating the start of Hispanic Heritage Month. The President's remarks
covered a range of topics, from challenges facing the Hispanic community to the groundbreaking appointment of Chief Justice Sonia Sotomayor.
(President Barack Obama addresses the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute's 32nd Annual Awards Gala at the Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C., September 16, 2009.Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
(President Barack Obama addresses the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute's 32nd Annual Awards Gala at the Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C., September 16, 2009. Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
Now, we face enormous challenges as a nation. Many of those challenges are felt far more acutely by Latinos. But our ability to solve any of the problems we face -- from health care to education, from economic recovery to immigration reform -- depends on our willingness to recognize that our destiny is shared. We've seen this starkly throughout this economic crisis, as fortunes linked the small business owner on Main Street and the bond trader on Wall Street, the young family looking to refinance a mortgage to the large bank whose profits depend on their staying out of foreclosure. But this has always been true, in good times and bad. Our success has long depended on our willingness to see our challenges as ones we have to face together; our willingness to live up to a simple ideal: Todos somos Americanos. We are all Americans. (Applause.)
Because when there's a young Latina stuck in a crumbling school, who starts to actually believe she's worth less because she doesn't have more, that isn't just a problem for that child. That isn't just a problem for the Hispanic community. That's a problem for a nation. That's why I've challenged states to raise the bar across their early education programs, so that more of our children enter kindergarten ready to learn. That's why I've called for a new race to the top to reform America's schools and provide students with the knowledge and skills they'll need for the 21st century. That's why we will address the dropout crisis that plagues far too many communities, and commit to increasing access to college -- and success at college -- so that America can once again have the highest proportion of college graduates in the world. That depends in part on making sure that Latinos and Latinas have access to higher education and that's a commitment of our administration. (Applause.)
We'll provide a complete and competitive education for every student, because our prosperity as a nation requires that we harness the talents of all our people, not just some -- Todos somos Americanos. (Applause.)