Amal Clooney brings Vanderbilt graduates to their feet with speech on 'courage'

PHOTO: Amal Clooney speaks to the Vanderbilt University class of 2018 on Senior Day in Nashville, Tenn., May 10, 2018.PlayVanderbilt
WATCH Amal Clooney brings Vanderbilt graduates to their feet after speech on 'courage'

Accomplished human rights attorney Amal Clooney brought Vanderbilt graduates to their feet Thursday with an impassioned 30-minute speech about courage and standing up for what's right.

“We need young people with the courage to say, ‘This is our world now, and there are going to be some changes,’” Clooney said in Nashville, according to the local Vanderbilt News.

Later she told the 2018 graduates of the university to, "Be courageous. Challenge orthodoxy. Stand up for what you believe in."

PHOTO: Amal Clooney speaks to the Vanderbilt University class of 2018 on Senior Day in Nashville, Tenn., May 10, 2018. Joe Howell/Vanderbilt
Amal Clooney speaks to the Vanderbilt University class of 2018 on Senior Day in Nashville, Tenn., May 10, 2018.

"When you are in your rocking chair talking to your grandchildren many years from now, be sure you have a good story to tell," she added. “My advice isn’t that you have to be Gandhi or Mandela or Martin Luther King or that you should be a human rights activist ... There will be moments in your life where two roads diverge in the wood, and when that happens, be courageous.”

Clooney added that "courage" is needed now "more than ever," with gender equality, LGBTQ and even media all needing support, according to the Tennessean.

"At a time when women all over the world face physical abuse, restrictions over their ability to work, own property, travel and even have custody over their children, we need courage," she said. "At a time when more journalists are imprisoned around the world ... we need courage."

Clooney, who is married to famed actor George Clooney, is an Oxford graduate who has represented everyone from WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to former Ukranian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko and Egyptian-Canadian journalist Mohamed Fahmy. She's also served with the United Nations on its International Court of Justice.

Last June, Clooney also added the title of mother to her extensive resume, welcoming twins Ella and Alexander.

The whole family embodied the "courage" she spoke about Thursday earlier this year when they walked with thousands in Washington D.C. for the "March for Our Lives."

PHOTO: Amal Clooney speaks to the Vanderbilt class of 2018 during Senior Day at Memorial Gym in Nashville, Tenn., May 10, 2018. Larry McCormack/Tennessean via USA Today Network
Amal Clooney speaks to the Vanderbilt class of 2018 during Senior Day at Memorial Gym in Nashville, Tenn., May 10, 2018.

The Clooneys were just two among the hundreds of thousands who convened in Washington, D.C., and at rallies around the country to show their solidarity for the students protesting gun violence in the aftermath of last month's mass shooting at a high school in Parkland, Florida.

The family also pledged a $500,000 donation to March for Our Lives in the name of their twins, Ella and Alexander, shortly after the event was announced.

“Amal and I are so inspired by the courage and eloquence of these young men and women from Stoneman Douglas High School," George Clooney said in a statement on Feb. 20. "Our family will be there on March 24 to stand side by side with this incredible generation of young people from all over the country, and in the name of our children Ella and Alexander, we’re donating $500,000 to help pay for this groundbreaking event. Our children’s lives depend on it."