Bill Clinton speaks on civil rights, receives award at U of M - KMSP-TV

Bill Clinton speaks on civil rights, receives award at U of M

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MINNEAPOLIS (KMSP) - Former President Bill Clinton spoke about the civil rights progress the country has made -- and how far it needs to go -- at Northrop Auditorium on the University of Minnesota campus on Monday night.

"We have made so much progress," Clinton said. "We are less racist, sexist and homophobic -- but now, we don't want to be around anyone that disagrees with us anymore."

In addition, he also received a standing ovation as he was presented the Dean's Award for Public Leadership as part of the U's "Keeping Faith with a Legacy of Justice" series to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Clinton told the audience that particular piece of legislation was very personal for him.

"If it had not been for the Civil Rights Act, I could not have been elected president," Clinton said. "Neither could Jimmy Carter. Neither could Obama."

Organizers said the award honors those who have made important contributions in promoting the common good. The event was co-sponsored by the Center for the Study of Politics and Governance, the Center on Women and Public Policy, the Human Capital Research Collaborative and the Roy Wilkins Center for Human Relations and Social Justice.

The speech, which began at 5:30 p.m. on the Carlson Family Stage, stretched until about an hour and 10 minutes. Proceeds from the event will support public affairs student scholarships.

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