Chelsea Clinton champions women's causes in UMKC speech - KCTV5

Chelsea Clinton champions women's causes in UMKC speech

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Chelsea Clinton Chelsea Clinton

Chelsea Clinton headlined an event celebrating a new hall of fame that will recognize women from the Kansas City metropolitan area.

The former first daughter spoke to a sold-out crowd Monday at the The University of Missouri-Kansas City's Swinney Recreation Center.

"There are very few places in the world where girls have equal education opportunities to boys, where women are paid equally to men," the former first daughter maintains.

She said women deserve equal rights and she invoked her famous mother, Hillary Rodham Clinton, in making her point.

"As my mother would say, 'Equal rights for women and girls is the unfinished business of the 21st century,'" Clinton said. "We know we have to do something to fix that, not only because it is the right thing to do as Martha Jane said, but because it is the smart thing to do."

Martha Jane refers to Martha Jane Starr, who the new hall of fame is named after.

The Starr Women's Hall of Fame is the work of 24 women's organizations from the area. It bears the name of Starr, a Kansas City philanthropist who died in 2011. She was one of the first women to become a member of the UMKC Board of Trustees.

"I think there were some people who named her to that committee hoping she would take really good notes and be a secretary for the committee and what she did was really start paving the way for female students who had a number of barriers to achieving their goals of getting a higher education," said Laurie Roberts, who is co-chair of the event's planning committee.

Starr helped get the rose garden at Loose Park and the Boy Scout Fountain at 39th and Gillham built.

Her legacy is speaking up at a time when women didn't about taboo topics such as family planning.

"I think that was the real difference in our gender in our time is that women would have opinions, but would often keep them to themselves or only share them with each other," Roberts said. "It is through speaking out that we can make a measurable difference in our community."

A superhero often gets quoted in saying a phrase similar to that first used by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, Clinton said.

"With great power comes great responsibility," Clinton said. "I always believed that those of us who could make a difference were obligated to at least try."

The first class won't be inducted until the fall, but details about the application process, criteria and deadlines will be announced at this month's launch event. For more information including how to nominate someone, click here.

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