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April 14, 1998: Building One America

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The story of race relations in America can be viewed through the prism of sports in our country. In many ways, sports has been ahead of the curve when it comes to recognizing that ability and talent, speed and sportsmanship count a lot more on the field than the color of a player's skin.

- President Bill Clinton
April 14, 1998

Today, President Clinton travels to Houston, Texas to participate in ESPN's national conversation on race, “Race and Sports: Running in Place?” The town meeting will use sports as a microcosm for examining race related issues that affect other parts of society. Additionally, at a separate event, the First Lady announces an effort by the Anti-Defamation League and the Boys and Girls Clubs of America to create community based initiatives against hate.

The President's Initiative On Race (PIR). The President is leading the nation in an effort to become One America in the 21st Century. To achieve this goal, President Clinton is:

  • Developing policy that offers opportunity to all who work for it. From education empowerment zones to stepping up enforcement to stop discrimination in housing, President Clinton is developing and implementing policies that help all Americans make the most of their lives;
  • Engaging Americans in a broad and constructive dialogue on race. The President is encouraging communities across the country to engage in constructive dialogues on race. He is calling on them, not only to stand against discrimination, but to build greater understanding across racial lines;
  • Highlighting Promising Practices that work. In communities throughout the country, people are working to bridge racial divides and to create greater opportunity for all. The President's Initiative is identifying and creating a compilation of these efforts, named “promising practices,” so that others may participate in them or replicate them in their own communities;
  • Recruiting leaders. The President is inviting leaders in all areas of American life to help him bring his One America Initiative to all communities;
  • Focusing on young Americans. Recognizing that young Americans are the future leaders of this nation, President Clinton is making a special effort to actively engage youth in his Initiative;
  • Working with the PIR Advisory Board. A small, diverse group of individuals, recognized for their outstanding leadership on race related issues, is advising and assisting the President in outreach efforts and consultations with experts;
  • Preparing a report for the nation. The President will issue a report that: 1) presents his vision of One America, including an assessment of the growing diversity of our nation; 2) reflects the work that has occurred during the Initiative; and 3) provides recommendations and solutions that enable individuals, communities, businesses, public and private organizations and government at all levels to address difficult issues and build on our best possibilities.

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