In public life you meet a lot of people. Most of them, unfortunately, are not necessarily all that authentic. Such is not the case with my friend Chelsea Clinton, Vice Chair of the Clinton Foundation.
Chelsea is authentic, genuinely caring and engaged in life. She is also what my friends in deep academic and intellectual circles would call, ‘wicked smart.’ When she emails me, there’s at least a 50% chance that a dense thought leadership master piece by someone, or a 100-page research paper on juvenile justice is attached. This is a woman, constantly deep in thought. And that is a good thing.
When I speak to Chelsea, 90% of the time it is about someone else, not about herself or her family. She called me not so long ago to see if I could help a young man who she did not actually know (the son of someone she did know), who was going through a tough period. I did reach out the young man, who lived 2,000 miles away, and societal world apart, from the otherwise comfortable world Chelsea could have allowed herself to slip into. But she has not decided to be comfortable. She has decided to be part of the change in and for our world, and this I promise you; she will be a force. Frankly, she already is.
People who talk about Chelsea only in the context of her being the only child of powerful and successful parents (my friend President Bill Clinton and Secretary Hillary Clinton), miss the mark on Chelsea almost completely. And this is to their detriment. Meaning, Chelsea Clinton is on her own, a true leader not only in the making, but ‘a leader right now.’
Such is the case for her most recent triumph, which is her recently released bestselling children’s book, “It’s Your World.”
I have engaged with her publicly, as a leader and not just a friend, time after time from Denver, Co., to New York City, even Africa. The last time was in Morocco, North Africa, where we shared a program stage together last for CGI Africa.
And every time the message is the same: substance, intellect, character, grace, charisma, charm, instinct — and intense interest in the under served and those ‘left behind.’ Frankly speaking, Chelsea Clinton knows more incarcerated youth than most civil rights leaders and social justice advocates I know. It is one of her many passionate topics, and when she gets passionate about something, she gets smart about the topic also.
When Chelsea Clinton ‘speaks,’ she tends to know what she is talking about. And for this and many more reasons of substance and care, civil rights icon Ambassador Andrew Young, Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed and I are very pleased to receive Chelsea in Atlanta for our Annual Meeting, January 13-15, 2016.
Chelsea Clinton and I will be ‘In Conversation’ on many items of vital importance in and to our world, but most of all, the future generation of leadership in our nation, and in our world.
What does it mean?
What does it take?
Who will step up?
What headwinds will they encounter?
How do we support them?
What is our vision, for a better and more inclusive world?
Join Chelsea Clinton and a host of other important and relevant global leaders at the Annual Meeting of the HOPE Global Forum, 2016, for a series of conversations that really matter!
After all, ‘It’s Our World.’
John Hope Bryant