"It is with a heavy heart that I learned today of the passing of Dr. Maya Angelou. Her voice and her words lifted up America and provided all of us who heard her with the courage to face our challenges head on and to envision a more welcoming America. Her words simply inspired. Dr. Angelou used to come every year to Los Angeles to speak and I would take my daughter Emilia to see her. She always had a commanding and comforting presence and I will also cherish those memories that I had with my daughter.
"Even though Dr. Angelou left us today, her words will continue to lift us up for generations. She was wise and kind, and she remains an inspiration for me, for women, for African Americans, and for all of us who needed encouragement during moments of darkness."