So when I was a little girl, a book sat on the coffee table in our living room, just steps from our front door. And the living room is a first impression. Ours had white carpet and a curio of my mother's most treasured collectibles. That room represented the sacrifices of generations gone by who, by poverty or by policy, couldn't afford a curio of collectibles let alone a middle class house to put them in. That room had to stay perfect. But I would risk messing up that perfect room every day just to see that book. On the cover sat a woman named Septima Clark. She sat in perfect profile with her face raised to the sky. She had perfect salt-and-pepper cornrows platted down the sides of her head, and pride and wisdom just emanated from her dark skin.
当我还是一个小女孩的时候，我家客厅的咖啡桌上有一本书，离我家前门只有几步的距离。客厅是一个家的门面。我家客厅里摆着一张白色地毯，以及一件我母亲 十分珍爱的古董藏品。那个房间凝聚了好几代人的心血，囿于贫穷或政策，我的祖先们买不起一件古董，更不必说一间能放 古董的中产阶级房产。因此那个房间必须保持完美。但我每天都愿冒着 弄乱那个房间的危险，只为了看那本书。书封面上是一个名为 赛普蒂玛·克拉克的女孩。她侧着身，抬头望向天空。她银灰色的头发梳成了完美的玉米辫，从她头的两侧垂下，自豪与智慧的气质 流动在她深色的皮肤之下。
Septima Clark was an activist and an educator, a woman after whom I'd eventually model my own career. But more than all the words she ever spoke, that single portrait of Septima Clark, it defined confidence for me before I ever even knew the word.
It may sound simple, but confidence is something that we underestimate the importance of. We treat it like a nice-to-have instead of a must-have. We place value on knowledge and resources above what we deem to be the soft skill of confidence. But by most measures, we have more knowledge and more resources now than at any other point in history, and still injustice abounds and challenges persist. If knowledge and resources were all that we needed, we wouldn't still be here. And I believe that confidence is one of the main things missing from the equation.
I'm completely obsessed with confidence. It's been the most important journey of my life, a journey that, to be honest, I'm still on. Confidence is the necessary spark before everything that follows. Confidence is the difference between being inspired and actually getting started, between trying and doing until it's done. Confidence helps us keep going even when we failed. The name of the book on that coffee table was "I Dream A World," and today I dream a world where revolutionary confidence helps bring about our most ambitious dreams into reality.
That's exactly the kind of world that I wanted to create in my classroom when I was a teacher, like a Willy Wonka world of pure imagination, but make it scholarly. All of my students were black or brown. All of them were growing up in a low-income circumstance. Some of them were immigrants, some of them were disabled, but all of them were the very last people this world invites to be confident. That's why it was so important that my classroom be a place where my students could build the muscle of confidence, where they could learn to face each day with the confidence you need to redesign the world in the image of your own dreams. After all, what are academic skills without the confidence to use those skills to go out and change the world.
Now is when I should tell you about two of my students, Jamal and Regina. Now, I've changed their names, but their stories remain the same. Jamal was brilliant, but unfocused. He would squirm in his chair during independent work, and he would never stay still for more than three or four minutes. Students like Jamal can perplex brand new teachers because they're not quite sure how to support young people like him. I took a direct approach. I negotiated with Jamal. If he could give me focused work, then he could do it from anywhere in the classroom, from our classroom rug, from behind my desk, from inside his classroom locker, which turned out to be his favorite place. Jamal's least favorite subject was writing, and he never wanted to read what he had written out loud in class, but we were still making progress. One day, I decided to host a mock 2008 presidential election in my classroom. My third graders had to research and write a stump speech for their chosen candidate: Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton or John McCain. The heavy favorites were obvious, but one student chose John McCain. It was Jamal. Jamal finally decided to read something that he had written out loud in class, and sure enough, Jamal stunned all of us with his brilliance. Just like Jamal's dad, John McCain was a veteran, and just like Jamal's dad protected him, Jamal believed that John McCain would protect the entire country. And he wasn't my candidate of choice, but it didn't matter, because the entire class erupted into applause, a standing ovation for our brave friend Jamal who finally showed up as his most confident self for the first time that year.
现在，我要向你们介绍我的两个学生：贾迈勒和蕾吉娜。这两个名字是化名，但故事都是真实的。贾迈勒头脑灵活，但注意力不集中。做独立作业的时候，他会在椅子上扭来扭曲，从来没能保持不动 3或4分钟以上的。像贾迈勒一类的学生会让新老师非常困惑，因为他们不知道要怎么教导这类学生。我采取了一个直接方法。我和贾迈勒商量。如果他能够专心做事，那他想在教室的什么地方做事，都可以，比如说在教室地毯上，或是我的书桌后面，或是在他的储物柜里，这是他最喜欢的地方。贾迈勒最讨厌写作课，他从不愿意在课堂上 大声朗读他写的东西，但我们依然取得了一些进步。某天，我想在课堂上进行一场模拟的2008年总统选举。我带的三年级学生需要 帮他们选的候选人写一份政治演讲稿：贝拉克·奥巴马、希拉里·克林顿或是约翰·麦克凯恩。大多数人选择的候选人都一样，但有一个学生选择了约翰·麦克凯恩。这个学生是贾迈勒。贾迈勒最终决定在班上朗读他写的稿子，不出所料，他的才华让全班震惊。和他的父亲一样，约翰·麦克凯恩也是个退伍老兵，正如贾迈勒的父亲保护他儿子那样，贾迈勒认为约翰·麦克凯恩会保护整个国家。麦克凯恩不是我理想的候选人，但这并不重要，因为课堂上爆发出了雷鸣般的掌声，全体起立为勇敢的贾迈勒喝彩，这是那年他第一次表现得充满自信。
And then there was Regina. Regina was equally as brilliant, but active. She'd inevitably finish her work early, and then she'd get on about the business of distracting other students.
Walking, talking, passing those notes that teachers hate but kids love. You look like you passed a lot of them.
Despite my high ideals for our classroom, I would too often default to my baser instincts, and I would choose compliance over confidence. Regina was a glitch in my intended system. A good teacher can correct misbehavior but still remain a student's champion. But on one day in particular, I just plain old chose control. I snapped, and my approach didn't communicate to Regina that she was being a distraction. My approach communicated to Regina that she herself was a distraction. I watched the light go out from her eyes, and that light sparked joy in our classroom. I had just extinguished it. The entire class became irritable, and we didn't recover for the rest of the day.
I think about the day often, and I have literally prayed that I did not do irreparable harm, because as a woman who used to be a little girl just like Regina, I know that I could have started the process of killing her confidence forever.
我经常会想到那一天，并且祈祷我没有造成 任何不可挽回的伤害，因为我也曾是一个 像蕾吉娜一样的小女孩，我知道我可能在逐渐扼杀 她一辈子的自信心。
A lack of confidence pulls us down from the bottom and weighs us down from the top, crushing us between a flurry of can'ts, won'ts and impossibles. Without confidence, we get stuck, and when we get stuck, we can't even get started. Instead of getting mired in what can get in our way, confidence invites us to perform with certainty. We all operate a little differently when we're sure we can win versus if we just hope we will. Now, this can be a helpful check. If you don't have enough confidence, it could be because you need to readjust your goal. If you have too much confidence, it could be because you're not rooted in something real. Not everyone lacks confidence. We make it easier in this society for some people to gain confidence because they fit our preferred archetype of leadership. We reward confidence in some people and we punish confidence in others, and all the while far too many people are walking around every single day without it. For some of us, confidence is a revolutionary choice, and it would be our greatest shame to see our best ideas go unrealized and our brightest dreams go unreached all because we lacked the engine of confidence. That's not a risk I'm willing to take.
缺少自信会从根本上摧毁一个人，让人不相信自己的能力。让我们成天担心自己做不到、不会做和不可能。没有自信，我们就会止步不前，当我们陷入僵局时，我们甚至无法迈出第一步。自信能让我们果断决策，而不是被困难所阻拦。当我们相信自己能成功，而不仅仅是希望，我们做事会变得不同。这是一个很有帮助的检查。如果你不够自信，这可能说明你需要重新调整你的目标。如果你太过自信，这可能说明你不脚踏实地。并非所有人都缺少自信。在这个社会上，一些人很容易就会自信，因为他们符合领袖的形象。我们奖励一些人的自信，惩罚另一些人的自信，一直以来，每天都有 太多缺乏自信的人。对于我们中的一些人而言，自信是一项突破性的选择，如果缺少自信 导致我们最远大的理想覆灭，导致我们最伟大的梦想落空，那就太可惜了。我不愿冒这种风险。
So how do we crack the code on confidence? In my estimation, it takes at least three things: permission, community and curiosity. Permission births confidence, community nurtures it and curiosity affirms it. In education, we've got a saying, that you can't be what you can't see. When I was a little girl, I couldn't show confidence until someone showed me.
My family used to do everything together, including the mundane things, like buying a new car, and every time we did this, I'd watch my parents put on the exact same performance. We'd enter the dealership, and my dad would sit while my mom shopped. When my mom found a car that she liked, they'd go in and meet with the dealer, and inevitably, every time the dealer would turn his attention and his body to my dad, assuming that he controlled the purse strings and therefore this negotiation. "Rev. Packnett," they'd say, "how do we get you into this car today?" My dad would inevitably respond the same way. He'd slowly and silently gesture toward my mother and then put his hands right back in his lap. It might have been the complete shock of negotiating finances with a black woman in the '80s, but whatever it was, I'd watch my mother work these car dealers over until they were basically giving the car away for free.
我的家庭会一起做所有的事，包括日常的事，例如买新车，每次我们这么做时，我看到我父母都会重复同样的操作。我们走进经销店，我父亲会坐下，而我母亲会去挑选。当我母亲发现一辆她喜欢的车时，他们会去见经销商，不可避免的是，每次经销商都面向我父亲，更关注我父亲，认为我是父亲在主导这次购物，由此有了下面的对话。“派克尼特先生，”他们说， “您今天就把车开走怎么样？” 每次我父亲会以相同的方式回应。他会安静地慢慢指向我母亲，然后把双手放回大腿上。在80年代，和黑人女性商谈财务可能很让人震惊，但不管如何，我会看着我母亲和经销商讨价还价，直到他们几乎是在免费送车给我们。
She would never crack a smile. She would never be afraid to walk away. I know my mom just thought she was getting a good deal on a minivan, but what she was actually doing was giving me permission to defy expectations and to show up confidently in my skill no matter who doubts me.
Confidence needs permission to exist and community is the safest place to try confidence on.
I traveled to Kenya this year to learn about women's empowerment among Maasai women. There I met a group of young women called Team Lioness, among Kenya's first all-female community ranger groups. These eight brave young women were making history in just their teenage years, and I asked Purity, the most verbose young ranger among them, "Do you ever get scared?" I swear to you, I want to tattoo her response all over my entire body. She said, "Of course I do, but I call on my sisters. They remind me that we will be better than these men and that we will not fail." Purity's confidence to chase down lions and catch poachers, it didn't come from her athletic ability or even just her faith. Her confidence was propped up by sisterhood, by community. What she was basically saying was that if I am ever in doubt, I need you to be there to restore my hope and to rebuild my certainty.
今年我到肯尼亚，跟马赛女性学习 女性自主。在那里我遇到了一群叫作“母狮队”的 年轻女性，肯尼亚第一支全部 由女性组成的军队。这八位勇敢的女性在青少年时期 就已创造历史。我问其中最能言善道的女孩普丽蒂，“你会不会害怕？” 我发誓，我想把她的回答纹在我全身。她说：“我当然害怕，但我拜访了我的姐妹们。她们告诉我，我们会比别的男性更好，并且我们不会失败。” 普丽蒂的自信让她能够找到狮子，追击盗猎者，这自信并非来源于她的运动能力或是信仰。她的自信源于姐妹的支撑， 源于团体。她的主要意思是如果我陷入自我怀疑中，我需要你在我身边，帮我恢复希望，并且重建我的自信。
In community, I can find my confidence and your curiosity can affirm it. Early in my career, I led a large-scale event that did not go exactly as planned. I'm lying to you. It was terrible. And when I debriefed the event with my manager, I just knew that she was going to run down the list of every mistake I had ever made, probably from birth. But instead, she opened with a question: What was your intention? I was surprised but relieved. She knew that I was already beating myself up, and that question invited me to learn from my own mistakes instead of damage my already fragile confidence. Curiosity invites people to be in charge of their own learning. That exchange, it helped me approach my next project with the expectation of success. Permission, community, curiosity: all of these are the things that we will need to breed the confidence that we'll absolutely need to solve our greatest challenges and to build the world we dream, a world where inequity is ended and where justice is real, a world where we can be free on the outside and free on the inside because we know that none of us are free until all of us are free. A world that isn't intimidated by confidence when it shows up as a woman or in black skin or in anything other than our preferred archetypes of leadership. A world that knows that that kind of confidence is exactly the key we need to unlock the future that we want.
在团体中，我能找到我的自信心，而你的好奇心能巩固它。在我职业生涯早期，我主办了一场大型活动，这场活动并不是很顺利。事实上，它非常糟糕。当我向经理汇报活动状况时，我知道她准备从头到尾数落我犯下的每一个错误，可能是从我出生开始。但相反，她开口问了一个问题：“你的目的是什么？” 我很惊讶，但松了口气。她知道我内心已经很沮丧了，那个问题让我从自己的错误中学习，而不是打击我摇摇欲坠的自信心。好奇心让人们能够掌控自己的学习。那次交流帮助我在下一次的项目中 取得了成功。允许、团体和好奇心： 这三者能帮助我们培养自信，继而让我们用自信解决最大的挑战，建立我们梦想中的世界，在那里，一切不平等都被消除，公正会成为现实，在那里，我们的内心和外在都是自由的，因为我们知道，只有人人自由，才是真正的自由。那样的世界会鼓励女性、或是黑人、或是除了天生的领导人之外的所有人获得自信。在那里，人们明白那种自信 正是开启理想中未来的关键钥匙。
I have enough confidence to believe that that world will indeed come to pass, and that we are the ones to make it so.
Thank you so much.