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Whited Gives Speech At Lincoln Memorial

Student Body Government President Colin Whited made a speech on Saturday, October 2 to a large crowd on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial–the same place where Martin Luther King, Jr. and many other civil rights leaders once stood. The event was the One Nation March, organized by One Nation Working Together, a coalition of liberal organizations.

Andy Imparato, the president and CEO of the American Association of People with Disabilities, had contacted Gallaudet asking for a recommendation for a speaker on the topic of public education and civil rights. Whited was a clear choice.

When the history and government major from Indiana learned of the chance to make remarks at a national event, he did not hesitate to accept. Whited stuck by his decision, even when he learned that more than 100,000 might be listening. “In my three years at Gallaudet, I’ve learned to take advantage of such opportunities, and there’s no question that I’m grateful to have the chance to speak,” Whited said, admitting that he did have some jitters before the big day.

Though Whited represents more than 1,100 undergraduates, he chose to speak “on a personal level,” he said. “Ideally, the message those on hand received is that Gallaudet is a place where deafness is not considered a handicap,” Whited said. “Ultimately, the goal is that all persons with disabilities can feel the same way.”

Whited’s appearance was broadcast to televisions nationwide by C-SPAN and mentioned on the website of the popular radio show Democracy Now. It was also included in a release on PR Newswire, which was picked up by Forbes.com, Yahoo! News, EIN news, and other outlets.
–Rhea Yablon Kennedy

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