The Creveling Lounge was packed to the brim Feb. 21 with students and faculty gathered to hear legendary civil rights lawyer, activist, and author Connie Rice speak about her new book Power Concedes Nothing.
Rice who is the second cousin of former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, spoke of her extensive background as a civil rights lawyer and her many encounters with the Los Angeles Police department.
“I use to have so much fun suing LAPD…[but then] a light bulb went off and I thought we need these guys [LAPD]. And now LAPD is my best partner,” said Rice.
Rice also spoke about overcoming indifference and the dangers minority youths encounter.
“If you’re not worried about what you can or can’t do and just do it, you’d be surprised what you can do. I was winning my cases but losing my clients and that’s not good enough. I’m tired of being woken up at 1 a.m. and being told so-and-so is dead,” said Rice.
Rice’s words, which called for those in the audience to make a positive change in their lives and their communities, seemed to have a resonance with the audience.
“I’m really looking forward of what you come up with. Do not simply think about salary or job, think about how you can change your neighborhood,” said Rice.
Marlene Aguirre, undeclared, was inspired by Rice’s message to do better for the community.
“I think she was really inspiring and motivating to push us to do better in our community as a whole,” said Aguirre.
Jonathan Wu, law, liked and felt the power of Rice’s speech.
“I think her speech was insightful, very powerful and downright great,” said Wu.
Jeremy Beckman, business administration understood the message of social change Rice was trying to make.
“I understand the message she was trying to make, trying to advocate social [change]. The message was really good,” said Beckman.
Rice left the audience with a quote from her grandmother about justice.
“My grandmother told me justice is a relay race: take that baton and run like the wind,” She said.