Phillip Agnew

Philip Agnewexecutive director of the Dream Defenders in Florida, and Sofia Campos, chairperson of the immigrant rights youth-led organization United We Dream, were both scheduled to speak at yesterday’s “Let Freedom Ring” ceremony but due to alleged time constraints  they never made it to the podium. Agnew posted a backstage Instagram photo two minutes before he was supposed to go on stage, but he was told he couldn’t speak. 

Not everyone was pleased about the younger voices not having a chance to speak. Plenty of people made parallels to the participants of the March on Washington where only the older voices of the “struggle” were heard.

Not one to be complacent, Agnew is encouraging others to make their own “Let Freedom Ring” speeches and share them on their social networks.

The Dream Defenders released the video of the speech Agnew was going to deliver yesterday.

“This is about more than the speech,” said Agnew. “It’s about the voices of hundreds of thousands of people across the country that have been silenced for too long. Our generation’s dreams have been deferred for too long. While the words spoken amidst the pillars of the Lincoln Memorial yesterday may have reverberated throughout the nation, the actions, energy and love of the rising generation will resound in history books for centuries to come, like those of giants before us.”

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  • Jen Jen

    I was disappointed to hear about Phil and Sofia’s last minute cancellations yesterday. So many of the speakers called on the younger generation to become active, but it would be have been good for the younger generation to hear that message from one of their own. I have nothing but respect for the civil rights pioneers, public officials, and others who spoke yesterday, but let’s be real: sometimes younger folks respond to their peers more than they do to their elders. The Dream Defenders and United We Dream are doing important work that directly affects millennials and our children of our age. I only wish a larger audience was afforded the opportunity to hear from them.

    In conclusion, they could have cut one song by the Winans family and allowed them a chance to speak.

  • Pepper

    It’s a shame that the event didn’t factor in time for the Dream Defenders, and United We Dream. Young people’s voices definitely need to be heard. Don’t stop with your message young people…..keep going!!

  • DasaniFRESH

    Wow, only 2 comments, mine being theh third??? That right there says a lot about our youth. We’re so pulled to the captivating stories of celebrity, gossip, fashion, and sports that sometimes we forget the reality of the problems our communities are facing. Then we have the effrontery to claim racism and violence on black brothers and sisters. What are we doing to stand against it, to slow its haste, and heal its victims?

    I can’t say much myself because I’ve never been a part of any large civil rights movement, let alone an organization fighting racism, but at least I’m learning, I’m trying, and I’m willing to help wherever I can.

    Really touching speech though. I wish I could have said something as eloquent as he did, you know, to encourage and influence millennials to get behind a cause. There’s just not enough drive to do so because our conditions today are bearable; we don’t feel oppressed everyday. So racism, to our generation, is situational. It takes a discriminatory situation for us to want to make a call for justice.

  • I believe that songs should have been cut and time should have been made for these two to speak. There voices are really important because they are a voice for the younger generation that will be taking over.