There’s a time when the operation of the machine becomes so odious, makes you so sick at heart that you can’t take part! You can’t even passively take part! And you’ve got to put your bodies upon the gears and upon the wheels, upon the levers, upon all the apparatus -- and you’ve got to make it stop! And you’ve got to indicate to the people who run it, to the people who own it -- that unless you’re free the machine will be prevented from working at all!

I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if it needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.

Nelson Mandela, April 20, 1964

My message to you is this: just stick with us. People are listening to you, people are supporting you. People want you to be who you are. And if you could just have faith that things will change, and stick in there, I promise you it will get better. Is it gonna be easy? No, nothing in life is. Is it worth the struggle? It is. There is nothing greater in life than to be who you are, tell the world who you are, not be ashamed of who you are.

Suze Orman

Senator Harkin Delivers Floor Speech in American Sign Language Upon Passage of the ADA

ASL: Senator Tom Harkin

We came. We fought you. We took your land. We signed treaties that we broke. We stole minerals from your sacred hills. . . . And we took still more land and then we took your children and then we tried to take your language and we tried to eliminate your language that God gave you, and the Creator gave you. . . . We’ve come to say that we are sorry. We are at your service and we beg for your forgiveness.

Sioux forgiveness ceremony

“¡Sí se puede!”

“Hablar es fácil... Es la forma en que nos organizamos y utilizamos nuestras vidas cotidianas que dice en lo que creemos”

“La preservación de la cultura propia no requiere desprecio o falta de respeto hacia otras culturas”

“Los estudiantes deben tener iniciativa; no deben ser meros imitadores. Tienen que aprender a pensar y actuar por sí mismos, y ser libres”

Cesar Chavez

No society has ever yet been able to handle the temptations of technology to mastery, to waste, to exuberance, to exploration and exploitation. We have to learn to cherish this earth and cherish it as something that’s fragile, that’s only one, it’s all we have. We have to use our scientific knowledge to correct the dangers that have come from science and technology.

Margaret Mead

I have a dream. . . Let freedom ring from every hill and molehill of Mississippi. From every mountainside, let freedom ring. And when . . . we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual: Free at last. Free at last. Thank God Almighty, we are free at last.

Martin Luther King

Welcome to the UCSB Public Speaking Initiative

This program began in 2006 and has been growing by leaps and bounds ever since. We’re enormously proud of the future leaders who have learned to empower themselves with the knowledge and practice of public speaking. 


Our work has come to the attention to the National Humanites Alliance, where it will be featured on a panel on curricular innovation (8 March 2020).