The Posse Video

The Posse Video 2018 - Video Transcript

[voices of people chanting]

[soft music plays on and off]

A group of people of color sit and stand together, raising their fists and holding signs that read “BLACK LIVES MATTER” and “OUR LIVES BEGIN TO END THE DAY WE BECOME SILENT ABOUT THINGS THAT MATTER.”

A group of people hold small LBGTQ pride flags.

Voice of Arne Duncan, U.S. Secretary of Education 2009-2015: “I worry tremendously about our democracy. This is a very challenging time for the country, and those challenges are real, and yes, they do scare me.”

Arne Duncan sits and speaks in front of a glass window.

A house that is for sale with a foreclosure sign in front of it.

A ragged looking man with a beard and a knit cap stands in front of a shopping cart full of trash and things, and a few other people, in a paved and undeveloped outdoor space.

Voice of Adam Falk, President of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation: “The big problems we have to solve: climate change, the economy, and disease, and security. These aren’t partisan problems. The strength of this country has always rested on its diversity.”

Soil so dry that it is cracking.

A group of people protesting and marching with signs with one that reads “WORKER’S RIGHTS ARE HUMAN RIGHTS.”

A group of U.S. military members walk together in hazmat uniforms with masks in front of a tent.

Adam Falk sits and speaks in a tie and jacket in front of a wooden table with a vase of flowers on it.

The Statue of Liberty stands over the New York City harbor.

An industrial factory producing steam.

Voice of Valerie Jarrett, Senior Advisor to President Barack Obama: “To tackle these complex, big problems, Posse looks for those young leaders who have the potential to contribute widely to our society.”

Valerie Jarrett wears colorful clothing and glasses and sits and speaks in front of a window and a vase of flowers.

Michael Roth, President of Wesleyan University, sits and speaks in an office with full bookshelves, a desk, and a candelabra chandelier.

Voice of Michael Roth: “Thomas Jefferson argued that higher education had to be open to people with little financial resources to cut against the grain of groupthink. Diversity makes for a better education.”

A large building with pillars and tall windows surrounded by a few trees.

Quaint buildings and trees in the fall.

General Colin L. Powell, Former U.S. Secretary of State and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, wears a suit and sits in a room with old portraits on the walls.

Voice of Colin Powell: “Posse is such a fabulous program.”

Michelle Obama, First Lady of the United States of America, sits in front of an American flag and a lamp and speaks.

Voice of Michelle Obama: “And I have to tell you, when I think back to my own college experience, Posse would have made a world of difference for me.”

A female student smiles surrounded by other people.

Two female students in graduation robes and caps smile and hug each other.

A male student of color smiles and wears a graduation cap and gown.

Voice of Barack Obama, President of the United States: “Estiven Rodriguez, the son of a factory worker, just found out he’s going to college this fall.”

A young man wearing a suit and glasses smiles and bows his head.

Barack Obama stands at a podium in front of Vice President Joe Biden and Speaker of the House John Boehner and addresses a crowd.

Trevor Noah, a late night talk show host, and Deborah Bial, president and founder of the Posse Foundation, stand together on a stage. Both hold drink glasses.

Voice of Trevor Noah: “To Posse, for doing the impossible.”

A group of graduating students in caps and gowns stand.

A female student in a cap and gown smiles.

A group of students, some in caps and gowns, smile and pose for a picture.

Deborah Bial sit and speaks in front of some windows, flowers, and a vase.

Voice of Deborah Bial: “Posse started in 1989, and there was a student who had dropped out of college who said ‘I never would have dropped out if I had my posse with me.’”

A group of students stand together and smile.

Voice of Arne Duncan: “We didn’t send a man to the moon, we sent a team to the moon. When we’re doing hard stuff for the first time, you don’t ever send someone by themselves. You send a crew.”

A large group of students sit together on beanbags in a colorful room.

Nia Robinson, Middlebury Posse Scholar, sits in a dimly lit room with large paintings on the wall and speaks.

Voice of Nia Robinson: “When the entire state of Vermont doesn’t understand, it’s okay because I have nine other people who do. Some of the strongest, smartest people I’ve ever met. I’m just so grateful to have all of them. Yeah.”

A group of smiling students lay together in a circle on the grass.

Nia Robinson continues to sit and speak.

Voice of Nia Robinson: “Yeah.”

A middle-aged couple, Carmen and Andres Collado, sit in an office with furniture and bookshelves.

Voice of Carmen Collado: “Shirley never liked to play with dolls, things like that. She always had books. When she was a little girl, she said ‘ma I want to go to college.’ And I was crying, how I gonna pay this kind of money? My husband, driving a taxi 7:30 to 9:00 at night.”

A vintage-looking photograph of a young girl in with short hair poses with a book.

A little girl in a birthday hat blows out the candles on a cake that says “Happy Birthday Shirley” with a few other children sitting by her.

A taxi drives in front of a strip of restaurants and shops in a city.

Voice of Andres Collado: “I never even finished high school. I don’t want my kid to go through what I went through myself.”

Skyscrapers in a city.

Voice of Carmen Collado: “She said ‘ma, I don’t care, I have to go, even washing dishes.’”

A bus drives in city traffic.

Voice of Shirley Collado, president of Ithaca College and Vanderbilt Posse Alumna: “Getting on that bus down to Vanderbilt has stayed with me for the rest of my life. Uncertainty, a lot of anxiety. You’re questioning every moment your right to be there.”

A bus drives in city traffic.

A view of the Vanderbilt campus, red brick buildings, sidewalks, and green lawns, from above.

Leslie Moonves, chairman and CEO of CBS, sits and speaks in front of tan chairs and windows.

Voice of Leslie Moonves: “I got rejected by six Ivy League schools. I did. Right, right. [laughs] SAT scores don’t tell what kind of person you are.”

Students sit on the lawn together and others walk by on a college campus in fall.

Colin Powell sits and speaks again.

Voice of Colin Powell: “My high school graduation score was 78.3, a number I will never forget. It was below the standards of CCNY. I shouldn’t have gotten in, but I got in. Somebody saw something in me. I was the only kid on my block who went to college, so there was a loneliness in all of this.”

A black and white picture of a young smiling Colin Powell.

Marvin Figueroa, Virginia Deputy Secretary of Health and Vanderbilt Posse Alumnus, sits in front of a conference room table and speaks.

Voice of Marvin Figueroa: “You enter a culture that tells you what you lacked growing up. Right? You didn’t read Hemingway. Right? You didn’t play tennis.”

Students sit on a lawn together and others walk by on a college campus in fall in front of some red brick buildings.

Voice of Deborah Bial: “The country often focuses on deficits, on at-risk, poor, minority, needy, underprivileged, underserved, fill in the blank. Posse has historically focused on the strengths.”

Deborah Bial sits and speaks again.

Miguel Fernandez, Chief Diversity Officer and Professor of Spanish at Middlebury College, sits in front of a large, full bookshelf and speaks.

Voice of Miguel Fernandez: “The students, oh my god, they’re remarkable. They have gone through an incredibly challenging selection process, narrowed down several thousand students to handfuls.”

Students sit on groups on the floor and work.

A group of students sit together and raise their hands while an instructor stands by a screen with a hand raised.

Yuliana Lopez, Middlebury Posse Scholar, stands with some friends outside in autumn and speaks.

Voice of Yuliana Lopez: “My dad, we had a conversation my senior year saying like ‘you know, mi hija, like, if you don’t get a scholarship, I don’t know if you can continue your education.’ No dad, like, you came here for me to have a better education, and I won’t let this destroy our dream. The phone rang, they told me, like, how does it feel to be in the Middlebury Posse 3? And then I, I just remember looking at my mom. We just cried in silence.”

Yuliana Lopez poses for a photo with her mother, father, and siblings.

Zooms into to Yuliana Lopez’s dad.

Two students smile at Yuliana.

Yuliana stands in a high school graduation cap and gown with her mother.

Voice of Zaakir Tameez, University of Virginia Posse Scholar: “Let’s talk about college. Let’s get you prepared. Let’s talk about diversity, religion, being minorities. That’s uncomfortable, but that can really push you to grow.”

A group of students in a classroom take notes while an instructor speaks to them.

Two Vanderbilt students sit and listen in class.

Zaakir Tameez sits in front of a bookshelf and speaks.

Two students sit and listen intently.

Demisse Selassie, Consultant at Deloitte and Pepperdine Posse Alumnus, sits in front a non-descript background and speaks.

Voice of Demisse Selassie: “There are definitely racial tensions on college campuses. Fraternities encouraging black face. Nooses being hung from trees. Posse tasks us to have difficult conversations about immigration, race, class.”

Students walk up and down a sidewalk.

Demisse Selassie sits and speaks again.

Students sit in circles and talk.

Two students stand together by a tree.

Students smile and form a conga line.

Two students embrace tightly.

Laurie Patton, President of Middlebury College, sits in a conference room and speaks.

Voice of Laurie Patton: “When you hear that someone’s a Posse student, you expect leadership of them. They are thoughtful people that others turn to.”

Students walk together in a library and laugh.

Two students talk and work closely together.

A hand turns the page of a book.

Voice of Ronald Leibowitz, president of Brandeis University and former Middlebury College president: “They are far more engaging than the average student. They make a huge difference on campus. At Middlebury, for seven straight years, we took more than the ten we were supposed to take. We always wanted to take an eleventh, a twelfth.”

Two students talk and walk down a hallway.

A student sits at a table and talks.

Ron Leibowitz sits in a dimly lit office full of books and speaks.

Ron Leibowitz poses with a large group of Posse Scholars as president of Middlebury College.

Dan Porterfield, president and CEO of the Aspen Institute, sits in front of a conference table and speaks.

Voice of Dan Porterfield: “Posse gives people the comfort to take the risk that they can raise a difficult topic, work through some ideas they haven’t considered fully before, and perhaps find, not just dialogue, but breakthrough.

Derron Wallace, assistant professor at Brandeis University and Wheaton Posse Alumnus, sits and speaks in a conference room surrounded by large portraits.

Voice of Derron Wallace: “When we get to a point in a class where things become really difficult, more often than not, it’s a Posse Scholar who’s modeling the kind of flexible, adaptive leadership that we need to think across difference. Colleges and universities must recognize diversity as transforming the intellectual community.”

A few students think solemnly in a class.

Derron Wallace sits and speaks again.

Students and faculty engage in dialogue.

Hand of different colors raise to music.

Sheryl Sandberg, Chief Operating Officer of Facebook and founder of, sits in an open and modern office space and talks.

Voice of Sheryl Sandberg: “More diverse teams perform better, and more diverse teams are more creative. Less diverse teams think they’re better and don’t recognize sometimes the creative gaps. The Posse Scholars are incredible individuals.”

Students in graduation caps and gowns walk together.

A graduating student shakes someone’s hand and then shakes another.

Students throw their caps as confetti comes down and people clap.

Voice of Miguel Fernandez: “My first Posse was twelve students. Eight of them have gotten graduate degrees, two of them have doctorates. They don’t just make it through here, they go on to do great things.”

A picture collage a student posing with lab equipment, a woman smiling, a student standing in a graduation cap and gown in front of a football field, two students standing in a library, a student standing in front of the Washington Memorial, students working together in class, and more.

Miguel Fernandez sits and speaks again.

A woman with a microphone stands and speaks.

“You are our future. I’ve seen you work hard. I’m so happy. [with emotion] You have a good heart, and I love you Anna.” [people clap]

A young woman laughs, smiles, and wipes her eyes.

A woman with a microphone stands and speaks.

A student holds a Syracuse sweatshirt.

Two people embrace tightly.

Voice of Deborah Bial: “Posse Scholars graduate with rates of over 90 percent. They go on to win Fulbrights, Watson Fellowships, Marshall Scholarships. We’ve got over 175 organizational partners that work to hire Posse Scholars and alumni.”

An older woman smiles.

A woman kisses a younger woman on the cheek.

Text on screen: “Posse Scholars win Marshall, Gates Cambridge, Fulbright Fellowships. Since 2001, over 450 Posse leaders awarded national fellowships.”

Portraits of smiling Posse Scholars.

Deborah Bial sits and speaks again.

Voice of Arne Duncan: “I’ve hired lots of people for lots of positions. I’m looking for grit, tenacity. Have they persevered through some tough times?”

Arne Duncan sits and speaks again.

A man in a suit approaches two men in a parking garage and shakes their hands.

The man walks in front of rows of chairs toward a basketball court and has a handshake with Lebron James.

Voice of Koby Altman, general manager of the Cleveland Cavaliers and Middlebury Posse alumnus: “You sort of have to be a leader, have tough conversations with the best player in the planet or the multi-billion dollar owner who also wants to be great. Posse and Middlebury prepared me for that stuff. The NBA is on a completely different level in terms of its global outreach and visibility. I think we are five or six of us that are African American general managers. Diversity at the top is very meaningful for people to see.”

Koby Altman sits in a dimly lit office and speaks.

Koby Altman sits at a press conference for the Cavaliers with the owner.

The Cavaliers play a basketball game.

Koby Altman walks down a hallway, gives someone a fist bump, and swipes a key card to enter a room.

Koby Altman sits in his office and continues to speak.

Valeria Carranza, Congressional deputy chief of staff and legislative director and Dickinson Posse alumna, walks down a flight of stairs.

Valeria Carranza sits and speaks in front of an American flag.

Voice of Valeria Carranza: “I’m often one of the only people of color in these high level rooms. We had a conversation with the Department of Homeland Security, and I brought up what do we do about the hieleras? Why do we have to keep opening up detention centers? Those are things that my colleagues didn’t raise. I see that as a privilege to raise my voice.”

Valeria Carranza walks down a flight of stairs and opens the door to a member of Congress’s office. She walks into a busy office space.

Valeria Carranza continues to sit and speak.

A close-up of columns on a building.

Valeria Carranza walks toward the Capitol building.

Marvin Figueroa looks over the indoor balcony of a multi-story building.

Voice of Marvin Figueroa: “I go down to working class white communities where we’re seeing the jobs disappear. They don’t expect me to be the person I am when I walk in there. ‘Hi, how are you doing’ ‘oh yeah, I’m waiting for Marvin Figueroa.’ I’m like ‘looking at ya.’ You start to hear people’s stories and you realize how much you have in common.”

A picture of Marvin Figueroa in a helmet with two other people, one also in a helmet.

Marvin Figueroa sits and speaks again.

Marvin smiles at a young child with a toy.

Demisse Selassie sits and speaks again.

Voice of Demisse Selassie: “It’s about America’s future, global markets that are growing. It’s beneficial if we put folks at the negotiating tables who are culturally fluent.”

A vast amount of shipping containers and equipment.

Robotic arms build items in a factory.

The Shanghai skyline turns from day to night.

Joseph Stiglitz, recipient of the Noble Prize in Economics, sits and speaks in front of a painting by a bookshelf.

Voice of Joseph Stiglitz: “Even if we didn’t think of this as a moral issue, it effects the performance of our economy.”

A bank in a city.

Barack and Michelle Obama speak to a young man in a suit.

Voice of Valerie Jarrett: “President Obama giving some of his Noble Peace Prize money to Posse, that was not a gift. It was an investment in the next generation.”

Valerie Jarrett sits and speaks again.

Barack and Michelle Obama pose with a young man in a suit.

Colin Powell sits and speaks again.

Voice of Colin Powell: “Creating this organization was near genius, as recognized by the MacArthur Fellowship.”

Text onscreen: MacArthur Foundation. Posse Founder Wins “Genius” Grant. Deborah Bial, Education Strategist, Class of 2007. Addressing the challenges of college access for underrepresented populations by identifying and fostering latent talent and reframing college admissions into a more inclusive process.”

Picture of Deborah Bial.

A skyscraper.

Voice of Brian Moynihan, Chairman of the Board and CEO of Bank of America: “Posse’s creating leaders. The question I would to challenge is how do we scale this program even bigger and bigger, and take on more cities and get more people involved?”

Brian Moynihan sits and speaks in a crowded Bank of America office.

A group of people in business dress sit around a conference room table and talk.

Two students hug in a school hallway.

Voice of Brad Singer, Chair and Posse National Board Partner and COO of Value Act: “Posse is that rare organization that’s highly effective and positively impacts thousands of people, families, other organizations. We love our university partners. We are all in this together.”

Marvin Figueroa looks over the indoor balcony of a multi-story building.

Teachers instruct young students in a classroom.

A collage of news clippings with headlines such as “Dr. Adnan Pris Assists in Face Transplant Surgery”, “Truman Scholar in White House, “Teaching the American Dream”, “Now Running the Cleveland Cavaliers? A Former Real Estate Broker”, and more.

Brad Singer sits on a modern bench and speaks.

Laurie Patton sits and speaks again.

Voice of Laurie Patton: “We love the big investment. If you are shaping young students to create a world that is more just, more vibrant, and that looks like the future, that is the best return that an educator could want.”

A group of Posse Scholars stand in Times Square while the Posse logo is displayed on a large screen behind them.

A smiling young man stands in a lab coat in a white glass tunnel.

A large group of students stand together and smile in a city.

Deborah Bial stands at a podium and speaks.

Voice of Deborah Bial: “Tomorrow you become a president of a college, not just for yourself and your family, but for all of us in the country. You are the American Dream.”

Group of people sit at tables in a large, well-lit room. They clap.

A man stands and claps.

Shirley Collado sits on stage in a ceremonial academic robe.

The voice of an announcer: “The next president of Ithaca College, Shirley Collado.”

Confetti falls as a large audience claps.

A picture of Shirley standing and smiling.

Carmen and Andres Collado sit and speak again.

Voice of Carmen Collado: “One girl say, ‘I want to be like Shirley.’ I cried. I feel like today I have a million dollars on my hands.”

Groups of people stand together and talk at the inauguration of Shirley Collado.

A group of students walk together up a path toward a grand white building.

Voice of Zaakir Tameez: “Work hard. Stand up for other people. Defend the unheard. I grew up with those immigrant values, but those are American values. When I’m in a room with Posse Scholars, I have so much optimism for the future.”

A group of students walking.

Students stand in front of a large white building.

Zaakir Tameez sits and speaks again.

A progression of different smiling faces of Posse Scholars.

A young man sits with civil right leader Congressman John Lewis.

Voice of John Lewis: “The Posse Scholars give you hope. They know what they’re talking about, and they have new ideas. They have fresh ideas, and they will be the leaders of the twenty first century.”

John Lewis sits in his office and speaks.

A progression of different smiling faces of Posse Scholars.

John Lewis sits in his office and speaks.

A stream of photos of Posse Scholars ends with a group of Posse alumni sitting and standing together.