Tuesday, October 17th, 2017

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Cleveland Council on World Affairs “2017 Global Impact Award”

 

Meeting your hero is its own magic, whether you are 10-year-old Dixon Nix handing a microphone to Condoleezza Rice, or the 66th U.S. Secretary of State receiving a personalized football jersey from none other than Jim Brown. So the Bank of America auditorium was supercharged when the Cleveland Council on World Affairs awarded its 2017 Global Impact Award to Dr. Rice for her distinguished service in international affairs.

Daughter of a Presbyterian minister in Birmingham, Alabama, Dr. Rice applied diligence and keen intellect on her way to becoming the first female national security advisor, and then the first African American woman to serve as U.S. Secretary of State, both under President George W. Bush. Now holding academic posts at Stanford University, she has written several books, most recently “Democracy: Stories from the Long Road to Freedom.”

“I have confidence in all of our U.S. institutions,” said Dr. Rice during a program moderated by Ronald B. Richard, president of the Cleveland Foundation. “Democracy is the only system with shock absorbers. So that when people want change they can change peacefully.”

The packed audience of 400 sat rapt as she articulated insights spanning the globe, from China, North Korea, Russia and Putin, to Cuba, Egypt, and Iran. But it was her views on mentoring and the power of women that resonated with Dixon Nix.

The Hathaway Brown fourth grader asked the program’s final question, inquiring about the impact of strong women on a successful democracy. Dr. Rice responded that education and microloans for wives and mothers can have a positive impact on what men do. “Half democracy is no democracy at all,” she said.

Before the program, Dixon presented her Notable Women project to Dr. Rice: a booklet profiling not only Condoleezza Rice’s political career but also her talent as an accomplished concert pianist. “Most of my class was doing sports figures,” said Dixon. “But I wanted to do something different.”

As for that special jersey? Dr. Rice’s father was such a football fan that he would cut services a little short on Sundays to watch the games. “There was no greater hero in our house than the great Jim Brown,” said Dr. Rice. And there she was beaming as the football legend himself handed her a Browns jersey emblazoned with “RICE 66.” STORY AND PHOTOGRAPHS BY PEGGY TURBETT

 

 

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