In First Public Appearance Since Her Defeat, Clinton Urges Supporters to “Stay Engaged”

“We have work to do.”

In her first public appearance since conceding to Donald Trump last week, Hillary Clinton delivered an emotional speech and urged her supporters to remain committed to fighting for progressive ideals despite her unexpected election defeat.

“I know many of you are deeply disappointed about the results of the election—I am too, more than I can ever express,” Clinton said, speaking to guests at a gala Wednesday for the Children’s Defense Fund, the child’s advocacy organization where she started her career after law school.

“I know that over the past week a lot of people have asked themselves whether America was the country we thought it was,” she said holding back tears. “The divisions laid bare by this election run deep, but please listen to me when I say this: America is worth it. Our children are worth it.”

As the crowd interrupted her remarks with applause and cheers, Clinton also acknowledged that coming to speak at the Washington, DC, event was not easy for her, but her sense of the importance of this work for children and families outweighed the difficulty.

“Stay engaged on every level,” she said forcefully. “We need you, America needs you—your energy, your ambition, your talent. That’s how we get through this.”