Hillary Clinton returned to her roots in her first public appearance since conceding the presidential election to Donald Trump, encouraging her supporters to focus on the future.
“I know this isn’t easy. I know that, over the past week, a lot of people have asked themselves whether America is the country we thought it was,” Clinton said Wednesday night in Washington at the annual gala of the Children’s Defense Fund, the child advocacy organization where she began her legal career.
Clinton never cited Trump by name but told her backers in the audience that “America needs your energy,” and called on them to stay “engaged on every level,” The Associated Press reported.
“It’s up to each and every one of us to keep working to make America better and stronger and fairer,” she said.
And she urged the audience to “believe in our country, fight for our values and never, ever give up.”
Clinton’s first job out of law school was as a staff attorney for the Children’s Defense Fund. The organization’s founder Marian Wright Edelman introduced her at Wednesday’s gala.
Throughout her campaign, Clinton cited her work for the group as her “North Star,” which triggered her interest fighting injustice toward children and families. She later served as a board member of the fund, and eventually, chairwoman of the board.