An inspiring night with Forest Whitaker

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forestwhitakerLast April 22, the ASU Center for the Study of Race and Democracy brought Forest Whitake as panelist for its event. Most of us know Forest Whitaker from his artistic standpoint. He is accomplished actor and producer, and vey known by performances in movies such as The Butler, The Last King of Scotland, Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai, and many others. But along with his artistic career, Forest Whitaker has been working as advocate for social justice with initiatives in USA, Myanmar, Africa, Mexico and other across the globe. In 2013, Boston’s University appointed Whitaker as Martin Luther King fellow. He is founder of the PeaceEarth Foundation; Unesco Goodwill Ambassador for Peace and Reconciliation, and 2012 the United Nations Correspondent Association Advocate of the Year Award.

The Forest Whitaker who I saw was a man who speaks slowly, stresses words and transcends calm. He gives  the time to us understand the power of each sentence. I didn’t take many notes as I expected. I was too absorbed by thoughts and insights that came out with his speech. I will try to share part of this rewarding experience from few quotes of Forest Whitaker, in my own interpretation.

  • Job descriptions should not define or limited what we do. No matter where we are, what we do for living, we all have a social roles to play
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as change-makers.
  • We all have good and bad inside of ourselves. But, our core is good, and because that we can change.
  • The Obama’s electoral campaign was historical moment for the USA, not his election. But, the campaign connect people, made they work together. The campaign showed for many Americans that they have the control of their life.
  • When Martin Luther King said I have a dream, its means that we can dream in the reality, because we are able to transform it.
  • There is no place, no point in the history that I want to be rather than here. This is the age of unlimited possibilities.
  • Peace starts from inside and grow to outside.
  • Recognize your ability to make change. What is your power?
  • The path of healing is to acknowledge, understand, and reconcile, these allow us to forgive inequalities that we historically have suffered.
  • You are the answer.
  • Stay with what you believe.

Know more about ASU Center for the Study of Race and Democracy

Ler este texto em Português: Como foi a palestra com Forest Whitaker in Arizona