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Cleaver to class of 2017: `Do not start and stop`

Congressman Emanuel Cleaver II encouraged Claflin University’s graduates to continue their work after the weekend’s festivities.

“You have a mission. Your mission doesn’t stop because you graduated. You’re now entering in the in-between time, the world you would enjoy now and the world you would enjoy later,” the Missouri Democrat said Friday.

"The great question for you and other young people graduating all over this country is: Would you understand your mission and will you go after it, not letting anybody to get in your way? Will you go after your mission and not quit?”

Cleaver delivered the keynote address at the baccalaureate service for the class of 2017. The event was an interfaith service offering a farewell to Claflin graduates ahead of Saturday’s commencement.

Cleaver told the graduating class, "Many people believe that when Martin Luther King stood in Washington, D.C. at the Lincoln monument delivering his great ‘I have a dream’ speech that somehow we would miraculously see the end of bigotry.

“Whoever told that lie told other lies.

"It’s not over and each generation must step up to the plate and push it a little further."

Cleaver said the graduates have a responsibility to vote.