Buttermilk has been with me a decade, my constant companion. I know him better than I have known any human, and he surely knows me better than anyone. I call him my thighbone; we sleep alongside one another in such a way that we are always touching and cuddling. We don’t like to be apart, not one bit. So, as he goes wherever I go, he went home with me to Eastern Kentucky in September for a visit.
Delivered upon conference of Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters, Union College, Union, Kentucky, 2009
An Op/Ed originally appearing in USA Today, in conjunction with presentation of Hollywood Hero award.
I am very proud to be a Kentuckian. Of all the many things my Creator has seen fit for me to have accomplished, there is one simple fact that brings me the most honor and the greatest sense of self, and that is that I am an Eastern Kentuckian – a proud hillbilly who traces my family back at least eight generations in our beloved mountains – Martin County, Lawrence County and, eventually, Boyd County. There is no better home than Kentucky.
2008 YouthAIDS Gala Speech
A short essay written for PBS to accompany their series about women and leadership.
I believe with all my soul that the art of compassionate witnessing is at the core of global change and peace building. When we listen attentively and caringly, our simple empathy is extended and transformed into a fiery, responsible compassion which demands that we respond urgently to the plight of others.
A Speech given on step of the Capital in Frankfort, KY.
2007 YouthAIDS Gala Speech Good evening ladies and gentlemen, old friends and new. I am glad that you are here. Namaste If you watch the documentary made during my 3-week stay in india that we are celebrating tonight, you hear me say that word a lot. This touching gesture is the manner of greeting for […]
A Blazer Lecture at The University of Kentucky