Janelle Monae’ gave an inspirational and empowering commencement speech at Dillard University. The singer and actress left the graduates with many words of encouragement as the perfect send off to the professional world. The “Hidden Figures” star referenced the life of NASA scientist, Mary Jackson, whom Monae’ played in the film. She reminded the graduates of the importance of maintaining a sense of community, as it was a key characteristic of the life of Mary Jackson.
“It’s our responsibility to sustain to the future now. It’s in our hands now. It’s really up to us. It is us who must continue to use our unique superpowers to shape the world.”
She reminded the graduate to remember the power of grace and pride and to choose freedom over fear.
Monae’ also touched on the great impact that her parents made in her life. Her father, who was a trash collector, and mother who was a postal worker, inspired and motivated her she said. While Monae’ herself is not a college graduate, she was awarded an honorary doctorate degree from the University.