Pharrell Tells NYU Grads The Key To A Bright Future Is This

Photo Credit: Karl Hab / Flickr

By Fairygodboss

READ MORE: Career advice, Gender equality, Equality, Inspiration, Celebrity

There’s nothing like a good commencement speech to get you inspired about your future. Even if you haven’t been in school for years...or decades...graduation quotes can boost your career motivation, especially when the words of wisdom are coming from some of your favorite celebs.

In a particularly humble and uplifting speech delivered at Yankee Stadium on Wednesday, Pharrell Williams — who was receiving an honorary Doctor of Fine Arts degree from NYU — spoke to graduates about the importance of activism and effecting change. He began by telling the audience that his mother is a “lifelong educator” and that he’s “forever a student,” before noting that being anonymous is a thing of the past: “How can we inspire if we are behind the scenes?” he asked.

In his nearly 10-minute address, Pharrell urged the crowd to continue fighting for gender equality. “This generation is first to understand that we need to lift up our women,” he said, driving home the point that empowering women should be a priority for all. “Imagine the possibilities when we remove imbalance; imagine the possibilities when women are not held back. Your generation is unraveling deeply entrenched laws, principles, and misguided values that have held women back for far too long, and, therefore, have held us all back,” he declared, to much applause.

He added that the graduates represent the first generation that’s navigating the world “with the security and confidence to treat women as equal.”

Fairygodboss

Fairygodboss is committed to improving the workplace and lives of women. 
Join us by reviewing your employer!

Related Articles
Related Community Discussions
I'm interested in becoming a consultant but all the job

I'm interested in becoming a consultant but all the job descriptions seem to come with these insane travel requirements. How do people get a consulting job that allows them to not constantly be on a plane? Is that something you only earn the right to do after you've done a travel gig?

What would you recommend for someone graduating from school in

What would you recommend for someone graduating from school in terms of how to think about mgmt consulting vs. working as an industry-position consultant or other kinds of consulting? It seems like strategy / management consulting is the most prestigious but I'm not sure that's the best reason to pick a job...

I think I'm being mommy-tracked at work and it's incredibly

I think I'm being mommy-tracked at work and it's incredibly frustrating. I'm two months back from maternity leave and putting in the same hours as I used to but I'm getting these subtle signs that I'm not taken as seriously -- ranging from not being asked about wanting to spearhead things to the stink eye when I walk out the door (at the same time I roughly used to leave the office). What should I do?

What do you feel about women who have to face

What do you feel about women who have to face a step down in their careers after giving time to their newborns and taking a break of at least six months? Did this happen to you too?

Find Out

What are women saying about your company?

Popular Articles
Related Community Discussions
I'm interested in becoming a consultant but all the job

I'm interested in becoming a consultant but all the job descriptions seem to come with these insane travel requirements. How do people get a consulting job that allows them to not constantly be on a plane? Is that something you only earn the right to do after you've done a travel gig?

What would you recommend for someone graduating from school in

What would you recommend for someone graduating from school in terms of how to think about mgmt consulting vs. working as an industry-position consultant or other kinds of consulting? It seems like strategy / management consulting is the most prestigious but I'm not sure that's the best reason to pick a job...

I think I'm being mommy-tracked at work and it's incredibly

I think I'm being mommy-tracked at work and it's incredibly frustrating. I'm two months back from maternity leave and putting in the same hours as I used to but I'm getting these subtle signs that I'm not taken as seriously -- ranging from not being asked about wanting to spearhead things to the stink eye when I walk out the door (at the same time I roughly used to leave the office). What should I do?

What do you feel about women who have to face

What do you feel about women who have to face a step down in their careers after giving time to their newborns and taking a break of at least six months? Did this happen to you too?