President Obama’s Inauguration Message


President Obama’s Inauguration Message

January 21, 2009

The millions gathered on the Washington Mall on January 20, 2009, huddled for warmth against the winter cold, but the message of the day rang clear. To a multi-racial, multi-generational crowd of approximately two million people, and to a worldwide audience, President Barack Obama announced that global poverty was one of the premier agendas of his presidency. "To the people of poor nations, we pledge to work alongside you to make your farms flourish and let clean waters flow; to nourish starved bodies and feed hungry minds," he stated during his inaugural speech.

President Obama is taking office at a time of incredible domestic and foreign challenges but nonetheless, there remain pressing crises in the developing world that cannot be ignored: the genocide in Darfur, the raging HIV/AIDS pandemic, the devastating levels of poverty worldwide. Obama's first 100 days in office provide an unprecedented opportunity for the United States to make a difference for the world's most vulnerable populations.

That opportunity was acknowledged at the inauguration: "What is required of us now is a new era of responsibility," Obama said. "A recognition, on the part of every American, that we have duties to ourselves, our nation, and the world; duties that we do not grudgingly accept but rather, seize gladly, firm in the knowledge that there is nothing so satisfying to the spirit, so defining of our character, than giving our all to a difficult task."

For those among the throng in Washington, the atmosphere was electric. For those watching or listening elsewhere, the moment was powerful. But in order to ensure that these ideals remain at the top of the President's agenda, we must all do our part and ride the momentum of service that Obama encouraged. As he said when he addressed the nation, we each have a role to play, and "for as much as government can do and must do, it is ultimately the faith and determination of the American people upon which this nation relies."

Do your part to ensure that the United States is working toward improving the lives of the world's poor. Find out more about opportunities for hands-on service in the developing world with AJWS and sign an on-line postcard urging President Obama to prioritize Darfur in his first 100 days in office.

In commemoration of this momentous change, please join the AJWS community by making a gift in honor of Barack Obama. In return, we'll let the new President know that you joined together with the AJWS family in making a donation for change in his honor. What a great way to begin this new era!