Brexit campaigner Gina Miller receives honorary doctorate from the University of East London
PUBLISHED: 16:30 31 October 2017 | UPDATED: 16:37 31 October 2017
David Harrison email@example.com
Brexit campaigner Gina Miller has urged University of East London graduates to never let anyone tell them who they can be and to speak out against dishonesty, injustice and inequality.
The transparency activist and businesswoman gave out the advice today at a graduation ceremony where she received an honorary Doctorate of Laws at the University’s Royal Docks School of Business and Law.
Ms Miller was an undergraduate law student at UEL 30 years ago but due to personal reasons she was unable to complete her degree.
The 52-year-old, who was born in Guyana, became a public figure when she successfully challenged the UK government over its authority to trigger Article 50, beginning withdrawal from the European Union, without parliamentary approval.
Her victory forced parliament to vote on whether the government could begin withdrawal from the EU.
She told the graduates: “In the past 30 years I have learned that while we must dare to dream, dare to aim high, we must dare to also face our weakness. True character is not how you face your successes.
“It is how we face reality, obstacles and failures that defines who we really are.
“It does not come easy, the society we value, it comes from hard work and it comes from being brave and being courageous.
“To be silent only adds to the lies. It only adds to the weakness. Do not give in to bullying or belittling or bigotry.”
She added: “We must find our voice.
“I chose not to let anyone tell me who I could be or how much I could achieve or where I could speak and what I could say. I encourage you to refuse to let others tell you who you can be.
“And when you do succeed, remember that it comes with responsibility, because other people matter and your caring matters. Be prepared to plant the metaphoric tree whose shade you will never sit beneath.”
The mother-of-three’s professional successes include founding and running a financial services marketing firm that helped launch some of the largest asset management firms in the UK.
She was named the country’s most influential black person this month by the Powerlist Foundation for her successful legal challenge.
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