I am privileged and excited to accept the Chair of the English-Speaking Union of the United States (ESU) and be charged with helping further its important mission. I would like to pay tribute to Josiah Bunting III, the outgoing Chairman, for his inspired leadership and his tireless efforts on behalf of the ESU.
The English language has become the currency of global communication, its reach extending to every corner of the globe furthered through internet and media access. Within the United States it is the language that binds our nation through which the Founding Fathers expressed their desire for freedom and unity. For today's immigrants, of all races and creeds, English is an essential tool for access to business and community and reflects, in its usage, our national identity and aspirations.
Over the years, the ESU has committed itself to education, scholarship and understanding, while also embodying many of those attributes reflected in the 'special relationship' between the United Kingdom and the United States. Those bonds are further expressed through the international ESU commitment to the Commonwealth and its active presence in many other nations. As new generations of Americans prepare to offer leadership in a world that, sadly, reflects divisions rooted in intolerance and misunderstanding, there is need for more effective communications and a greater appreciation of those aspects of the human condition that unite rather than divide us.
The English-Speaking Union will continue to play an important role in fostering and promoting the English language as a force for good and a force for understanding and fellowship both at home and abroad.
Paul Beresford-Hill CBE, KSt.J
Chair, The English-Speaking Union of the United States