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Old Oct 31st, 2006, 03:39 AM   #1
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Thumbs up Selfless Serena Sets Great Example; Champions World Poverty

Tennis star Serena Williams calls on next generation of leaders to help overcome poverty

The Associated Press

Published: October 30, 2006
UNITED NATIONS U.S. tennis star Serena Williams called on the next generation of leaders to take immediate action against poverty and disease and said she will travel to Africa to encourage people to overcome hardship.

Williams joined Senegal's President Abdoulaye Wade and others at a U.N. press conference Monday to promote the first U.N. Global Youth Leadership Summit, which commenced Sunday and brings together two representatives from each of the 192 member states — a man and a woman between the ages of 18 and 30 — to discuss helping the organization achieve its Millennium Development Goals.

The goals including cutting extreme poverty by half, ensuring that all people have access to clean water and sanitation, and universal primary education — all by 2015.

Williams, 25, who switched her edgy on-court couture for a more diplomatic white blouse and gray blazer, said that, as a member of the next generation of leaders, it was important for her to speak in support of the summit and for youth participation in world issues.

"Now is the time to realize that that we're here, this is our generation, and we can make a statement and we can fight different diseases and we can fight poverty and we beat this," she said.

Williams said she hoped to promote development and peace through sport, which enabled her to rise out of her own disadvantaged circumstances as a young girl.

She described the Compton, California, neighborhood she grew up in as "very, very poor," and said that tennis "enabled me to open so many different doors."

"I would never forget where I come from and I would always want to give back and let people know that it's OK to grow up one way and it's OK to be that way," said Williams, who plans to continue to promote her message in upcoming travels to Senegal and Ghana.

She also said that she chose to study French in school, because "my dream was always to go to Africa."

Williams, who leaves for Africa later this week, said that she especially looks forward to speaking with women and children in Africa in order to impart "a little knowledge and a little self-esteem — it can go miles and miles and miles."

Wade introduced the youngest minister of Senegal to be appointed and said that he has been a longtime advocate of involving the ideas and energy of young people in the government.

The 80-year-old leader became animated when questioned about his own age and his ability to lead the country.

"There is a French saying that says that, 'one has the age of his arteries, of his veins.' If you don't believe me, I dare you to take a run with me outside," Wade said to the reporter through a translator.

On Sunday, Secretary-General Kofi Annan told the summit's youth delegates, who gathered in the U.N.'s General Assembly Hall, that the organization was not on track to reach key health, education and environmental objectives by 2015, and said that their help was needed.

"We need to remind governments of the pledges they have made to translate the Millennium Development Goals into reality," Annan said. The Global Youth Leadership Summit ends Tuesday.


UNITED NATIONS U.S. tennis star Serena Williams called on the next generation of leaders to take immediate action against poverty and disease and said she will travel to Africa to encourage people to overcome hardship.

Williams joined Senegal's President Abdoulaye Wade and others at a U.N. press conference Monday to promote the first U.N. Global Youth Leadership Summit, which commenced Sunday and brings together two representatives from each of the 192 member states — a man and a woman between the ages of 18 and 30 — to discuss helping the organization achieve its Millennium Development Goals.

The goals including cutting extreme poverty by half, ensuring that all people have access to clean water and sanitation, and universal primary education — all by 2015.

Williams, 25, who switched her edgy on-court couture for a more diplomatic white blouse and gray blazer, said that, as a member of the next generation of leaders, it was important for her to speak in support of the summit and for youth participation in world issues.

"Now is the time to realize that that we're here, this is our generation, and we can make a statement and we can fight different diseases and we can fight poverty and we beat this," she said.

Williams said she hoped to promote development and peace through sport, which enabled her to rise out of her own disadvantaged circumstances as a young girl.

She described the Compton, California, neighborhood she grew up in as "very, very poor," and said that tennis "enabled me to open so many different doors."

"I would never forget where I come from and I would always want to give back and let people know that it's OK to grow up one way and it's OK to be that way," said Williams, who plans to continue to promote her message in upcoming travels to Senegal and Ghana.

She also said that she chose to study French in school, because "my dream was always to go to Africa."

Williams, who leaves for Africa later this week, said that she especially looks forward to speaking with women and children in Africa in order to impart "a little knowledge and a little self-esteem — it can go miles and miles and miles."

Wade introduced the youngest minister of Senegal to be appointed and said that he has been a longtime advocate of involving the ideas and energy of young people in the government.

The 80-year-old leader became animated when questioned about his own age and his ability to lead the country.

"There is a French saying that says that, 'one has the age of his arteries, of his veins.' If you don't believe me, I dare you to take a run with me outside," Wade said to the reporter through a translator.

On Sunday, Secretary-General Kofi Annan told the summit's youth delegates, who gathered in the U.N.'s General Assembly Hall, that the organization was not on track to reach key health, education and environmental objectives by 2015, and said that their help was needed.

"We need to remind governments of the pledges they have made to translate the Millennium Development Goals into reality," Annan said. The Global Youth Leadership Summit ends Tuesday.


http://www.iht.com/articles/ap/2006/...uth_Summit.php
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She's setting a fantastic example of how a player should be known for more than just their championships in tennis, they should also be known for whether they have helped others.
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Old Oct 31st, 2006, 04:21 AM   #2
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Re: Selfless Serena Sets Great Example; Champions World Poverty

definitely admirable


@ the second quote in your signature.
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Old Oct 31st, 2006, 04:23 AM   #3
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Re: Selfless Serena Sets Great Example; Champions World Poverty

Serena
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Old Oct 31st, 2006, 04:30 AM   #4
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Re: Selfless Serena Sets Great Example; Champions World Poverty

I don't doubt Serena's sincerity, but it just rubs me the wrong way when American celebrities feel the need to go overseas to fight poverty and disease. We still have poor people and sick people here in America, don't we?
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Old Oct 31st, 2006, 04:33 AM   #5
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Re: Selfless Serena Sets Great Example; Champions World Poverty

How nice of Serena
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Old Oct 31st, 2006, 04:41 AM   #6
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Re: Selfless Serena Sets Great Example; Champions World Poverty

i think it's a good step by Serena to improve her image, because she is so often perceived as a selfish, shallow, narcissistic, materialistic diva. It's admirable she's doing this but she's got a very long way to go before she earns the rights to the adjective "selfless".
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Old Oct 31st, 2006, 04:42 AM   #7
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Re: Selfless Serena Sets Great Example; Champions World Poverty

I've heard her called a lot of things over the last few years, but "Selfless Serena" takes the bloody cake! All this hot air about feeding the world is a load of pretentious codswallop.

We have already got big mouth Geldoph and his shortass buddy Bono(Who does a bit more than Bob)

Most of the bloody world could feed themselves if they weren't preoccupied with religion and fighting with each other
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Old Oct 31st, 2006, 04:47 AM   #8
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Re: Selfless Serena Sets Great Example; Champions World Poverty

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I've heard her called a lot of things over the last few years, but "Selfless Serena" takes the bloody cake! All this hot air about feeding the world is a load of pretentious codswallop.

"celebrity causes" are usually a lot more about the celebrity than they are about the cause. I tend to think Bono has been an exception, though.
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Old Oct 31st, 2006, 04:49 AM   #9
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Re: Selfless Serena Sets Great Example; Champions World Poverty

It's good she realizes she's not just a citizen of the US but one of the world. Serena has been involved with charities and such in America so all this unnecessary negativity is a non issue.
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Old Oct 31st, 2006, 05:00 AM   #10
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Re: Selfless Serena Sets Great Example; Champions World Poverty

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i think it's a good step by Serena to improve her image, because she is so often perceived as a selfish, shallow, narcissistic, materialistic diva. It's admirable she's doing this but she's got a very long way to go before she earns the rights to the adjective "selfless".
Don't worry, no matter how much she does, there will still be people that will choose to ignore the good she does.
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Old Oct 31st, 2006, 05:03 AM   #11
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Re: Selfless Serena Sets Great Example; Champions World Poverty

Serena has always been a great example.
She can do so much through tennis and I hope this is just a start.
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Old Oct 31st, 2006, 05:03 AM   #12
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Re: Selfless Serena Sets Great Example; Champions World Poverty

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It's good she realizes she's not just a citizen of the US but one of the world. Serena has been involved with charities and such in America so all this unnecessary negativity is a non issue.
Tried to give you a good rep but, "you have to spread reps around etc."
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Old Oct 31st, 2006, 05:05 AM   #13
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Re: Selfless Serena Sets Great Example; Champions World Poverty

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It's good she realizes she's not just a citizen of the US but one of the world. Serena has been involved with charities and such in America so all this unnecessary negativity is a non issue.
I wonder where this standard was in the Angelina Jolie thread.
Double standards rears it's face from the usual suspects.
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Old Oct 31st, 2006, 05:18 AM   #14
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Re: Selfless Serena Sets Great Example; Champions World Poverty

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Originally Posted by StarDuvallGrant View Post
It's good she realizes she's not just a citizen of the US but one of the world. Serena has been involved with charities and such in America so all this unnecessary negativity is a non issue.
We all know about the OWL Foundation, but that's run by her mom. We all know about Ronald McDonald House Charities, but one can argue that she's being paid for that. What other charities are Serena involved with? Like I said earlier, I don't doubt Serena's sincerity, but I can see why others do; long after the photo-ops and benefit concerts are over, the problems still persist.
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Old Oct 31st, 2006, 05:18 AM   #15
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Re: Selfless Serena Sets Great Example; Champions World Poverty

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Originally Posted by StarDuvallGrant View Post
It's good she realizes she's not just a citizen of the US but one of the world. Serena has been involved with charities and such in America so all this unnecessary negativity is a non issue.
I know right, the first ones to question motives behind a person's charity are usually the ones who do the least amount of it themselves. If they didn't feel so guilty about their own lack of charity work they wouldn't feel the need to cast negative shadows on others. The point is to give and devote time to others in need because they need it now, let God worry about motives and reasons behind it later once the problem is taken care of. You don't question a persons motives if they're pulling you out of a burning car until after they've pulled you out, and by then you shouldn't care and just be thankful.
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