Mayor of Newark Cory Booker came to Hofstra University on Wednesday to share his beliefs of integrity to the audience. “I just wanted to tell you so much that integrity means living up to your values,” he said.
Booker shared his life experiences with the crowd and kept listeners engaged as he recalled a moment when a long time friend filled with hope and wisdom, Ms. Jones, helped him realize that he had to simply “do something” about the state the people of Newark were living in. He recalled a time when he went on a hunger strike to make a change, and although there was not a lot that came out of it, the strike brought together people from different religious faiths and different racial backgrounds.
“From Newark, New Jersey to Oakland, California, groups of kids stand up every day and say ‘liberty and justice for all.’ But that’s still not the case. We still live in a time where our future could be determined by our zip code,” Booker said.
During his speech, Booker told the crowd that everyone has a purpose and that purpose is to be the most powerful manifestation of who they are and to always stick to their values. Hofstra alumna Tanya Levy-Odom said, “It’s a refreshing point to talk about values especially with all the scandals we’ve seen in politicians in the past few years.”
Sophomore Matt Markowitz just started working at the office of University Relations and is now beginning to work with people from different ages, genders, and backgrounds. “It’s important no matter who you are to work with different people. If you can’t work in a group, it’s tough to get things done. I’m learning to work with people I normally don’t work with because it’s like that in the real world,” he said.
The speech was a way to kick off PRIDE week, a program that was formed to host the events that precede the presidential debate of 2012. This is the second time that Hofstra will host a presidential debate.
– Claudia Balthazar