CNN Political Analyst and Commentator Symone Sanders graced the stage of the B.N. Duke Auditorium at N.C. Central University for the Lyceum Series: Rock the Mic event on Wednesday, Feb. 21st.
Sanders’ career stretches far beyond her work at CNN. She became a strategist and national press secretary for U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders during his 2016 presidential campaign. Sanders was also heavily involved in the BlackLivesMatter Movement and serves as the National Youth Chair of the Campaign for Juvenile Justice.
Now at the age of 28, Sanders continues to discuss significant issues that are prevalent within the government and minority communities.
Prior to Sanders coming on stage, a video was shown starring NCCU’s Little Mr. and Miss 1910 and Little Mr. and Miss NCCU. The video featured the court dressed as prominent African American leaders throughout history. The presentation of the Little Mr. and Miss court ultimately set the atmosphere for the duration of the event.
After the video presentation, Sanders came on stage to an uproar of applause and standing ovations.
She immediately went into discussing the importance of Black History Month as her first topic. She went in depth into how Black History Month came to be and the individuals who played a significant role of its establishment.
Sanders then moved on to explain what she called being a “Radical Revolutionary”. The concept seemed to resonate with the audience based on the heavily engaged look on their faces.
According to Sanders, Radical Revolutionaries are people who pushed boundaries for change. Various leaders such as Shirley Chisolm, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X, and members of social & political activist movements were all examples used by Sanders to describe what Radical Revolutionaries had to do to evoke the change that they desired.
Following that discussion, Sanders incorporated a personal anecdote of the obstacles that she had to overcome and how they changed her into a radical revolutionary.
Sanders stated that she went to over 20 job interviews in Washington D.C. prior to obtaining her position on Senator Sanders’ presidential campaign. She said that she became discouraged when she didn’t hear from many of the agencies she applied to. After obtaining her job for Senator Sanders, she knew that she would have the opportunity to establish change.
Sanders concluded her speech by stating three phrases to the audience: “Do not wait for someone to pick you”, “Real work for communities is going to be uncomfortable” and “Being your authentic self is being a radical revolutionary”.
Overall, Symone Sanders left the audience with inspiring words that they seemed to carry with them long after she left the stage.