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Angela Rye Delivers Founders Day Breakfast Keynote

Angela Rye, principal and CEO of IMPACT Strategies, a political advocacy firm in Washington, D.C., delivered the keynote speech at Norfolk State University's annual Founders Day Community Breakfast. Rye, a political commentator for CNN and political analyst for National Public Radio, put into context the situation in America today.

"We have witnessed a digression in this country. We have seen hate crimes and hate incidents on the rise. We have seen historic turnout in elections, not met with celebration, but rather with suppressive voting laws put on the books in states all over the country."

Angela Rye PhotoBut she came to do more than just provide a litany of what's wrong with the country today. "My responsibility to you today is to wake you up. So the country doesn't beat you up, oppression doesn't tie you up, so nobody can shut you up and you know exactly how to level up."

Rye, who is named after activist Angela Davis, challenged Norfolk State students by asking them what they are prepared to do in order to make a change. "What are you being called to change? What are you being called to make better? How will you affect change here on this campus, here in this city, here in this state, here in this country and in this world?"

Finally, she told the students that she wanted them to wrestle with those questions and come to the realization of who they are. "You truly are the change we need. Be bold and courageous like our lives depend on it—because they do."