Honorable Hillary Rodham Clinton Receives Barbara Jordan Leadership Gold Medallion
Keeping the legacy of Barbara Jordan alive, Texas Southern University played host to former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton as she received the inaugural Barbara Jordan Public-Private Leadership Gold Medallion June 4, in the H&PE Arena.
Hosted by the Barbara Jordan-Mickey Leland School of Public Affairs, Barbara Jordan Institute for Policy Research, the Thurgood Marshall School of Law, TSU’s Student Government Association, and United States Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, Clinton was presented the medallion in front of Jordan’s sister Rose McGowan, and the legendary Forensics coach who trained Jordan to be the orator that she was, Dr. Thomas F. Freeman.
“Because of Barbara Jordan’s symbolizing leadership I envisioned the creation of this award to provide a national and international platform for honoring women that embodied the principles of leadership and courage,” said Congresswoman Lee. “It is fitting that the inaugural recipient of the Barbara Jordan Gold Medallion is the former First Lady of Arkansas and the United States, U.S. Senator, and Secretary of State: Hillary Rodham Clinton.”
In her acceptance speech, Clinton evoked the legacy of Jordan’s crusade for equal voting rights and called for changes to election laws to make it easier to vote. She called for every U.S. citizen to be automatically registered to vote when they turn 18, unless they actively choose to opt out, and backed a new standard of at least 20 days of early in-person voting in every state, including weekend and evening voting.
“We need more elected officials from Houston to Austin to Washington who will follow in the footsteps of Barbara Jordan and who will fight every day for the rights and opportunities of all Americans and not just those at the top of the ladder. As she [Barbara Jordan] famously reminded us that when the constitution was written it left most of us here out. But generations of Americans fought, marched, organized and prayed to expand the circle of freedom and opportunity. We should be clearing the way for more people to vote, not putting up every roadblock anyone can imagine," said Clinton.