Mark Zuckerberg's challenge to visit every state in the US

Mark and Priscilla Zuckerberg
Mark and Priscilla Zuckerberg
Priscilla and I are taking a road trip through the south this week as part of my challenge to visit every state in the US.
Our first stop is Alabama, and we spent the day in Mobile and Bayou La Batre -- the seafood capital of the state.
We had lunch with Dominick Ficarino, a fourth generation shrimper, and workers from the local fishing business right on the dock. They shared stories of their community's perseverance through Hurricane Katrina and the Gulf oil spill five years later. They shared the challenges of low-priced foreign imports and not having enough workers to meet their labor needs. One of the families we met were the Zirlotts -- they run an oyster farm and are succeeding by using Facebook and Instagram to show their product directly to chefs. The fishing industry is more than a job to these folks -- it's their community and a way of life.
I'm looking at more of the world through the lens of building community these days. In Mobile, we joined a baptist church for services this morning and saw how the church provides an important social structure for the community. We saw a Mardi Gras parade and met folks at a bar who were part of a women's organization that has created a float for the parade every year for decades. We met musicians in the local music community, and restauranteurs in the local culinary community.
We are all part of many communities. The strength of these local communities is what makes up our social fabric and that's what enables us to come together as a global community as well.

Today Priscilla and I stopped by some local newspapers as we drove through Alabama.

Mark and Priscilla Zuckerberg
Mark and Priscilla Zuckerberg
The folks there were working hard over President's Day weekend to keep their communities informed.
It seems like a good time to say thank you to all the journalists around the world who work tirelessly and sometimes put their lives in danger to surface the truth.
I don't always agree with everything you say, but that's how democracy is supposed to work.
I know I join many people in America and across the world in thanking you for your work.

                                                                 IN MISSISIPPI
We drove through Mississippi today and stopped at the Ground Zero Blues Club in Clarksdale, where the blues were born. We met a blues artist who made all his own guitars and drove trucks to make a living. Looking forward to seeing more of Mississippi tomorrow.
Mark and Priscilla Zuckerberg

Mark and Priscilla Zuckerberg


We stopped by the University of Alabama and sat down with Coach Saban. We talked about what it takes to build a world class football organization. Many of the same things go into building a good company and a winning football program -- a focus on recruiting, developing talent and setting high expectations.
We also got lunch with some of the Alabama Football players who come from all over the country to be part of this program. We talked about about the pressures of being a student athlete -- not only the personal pressure of achieving their goals of making it to the NFL, but also having the hopes of their community ride of their success.
We all need to be part of something bigger than ourselves. Communities can form around all kinds of things -- churches, schools, teams -- and it's clear that for a lot of folks in Alabama, college football is an important part of their community.
Mark Zuckerberg

Mark Zuckerberg


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