Celebrating Women’s History Month
When it comes to empowering women and girls, the First Lady knows this “First Hand.” Supportive daughter, mother of two little women, loyal wife of the 44th and current President of the United States, Barack Obama, lawyer, public servant and catalyst for change, Michelle LaVaughn Robinson Obama has taken flight as the first African-American First Lady of the United States of America and for five consecutive years.
The responsibilities, achievements, and developments of women and girls are a passionate undertaking for Mrs. Obama. Her 2010 initiation of Let’s Move, a mission geared towards the progress in reversing the 21st century trend of childhood obesity, began to move mountains across the globe. The impact of this administration-wide endeavor would be Michelle Obama’s legacy she’d leave behind; her distinctive and personal mark of change in the world. The campaign supports both parents and children, provides healthier options in school, and endorses physical fitness programs for kids. President Obama supported the initiative by creating the Task Force on Childhood Obesity, a national plan of action that would review current programs and address the issues of obesity [and the change within], front and center.
As well, her leading role inspired her to extend the efforts of prior predecessors Laura Bush and Hillary Clinton, by planting the White House Kitchen Garden. This natural “oasis” of land is comprised of the finest organic produce, including bee hive installations that serve the First Family for a variety of official and formal gatherings. It is the first White House vegetable garden since Eleanor Roosevelt served as First Lady in 1933. Based on her magnitude of admirable experiences with the garden, her 2012 book American Grown: The Story of the White House Kitchen Garden and Gardens Across America, is a call for global action and promotes healthy eating.
An activist for diversity and advocate for change, many things inspire Michelle Obama – beginning with community leadership and development. A woman who wears many hats, her public service stance includes the visitation of homeless shelters, soup kitchens, public and private schools, and women’s rights groups. Her authentic support of other women’s initiatives include military families, cultural groups, arts education, minority students, employment, wellness, family balance, and the encouragement of national service. In 2011, Mrs. Obama and Dr. Jill Biden together launched Joining Forces, a nationwide initiative that mobilizes all sectors of society to give our service members and their families more opportunities and support.
She has become a fashion icon and role model for women everywhere and encourages the promotion for political awareness, poverty awareness, moral issues, human rights, and nutrition. Raised on the South Shore community of Chicago, Illinois, with family roots from the American South, Michelle is unreservedly committed to all that she does. As a highly stimulated and blossoming young adult, some of her milestones included being a member of the National Honor Society, Student Council, and graduating Salutatorian of her senior class.
From advance placement courses in high school to academic support groups at Princeton, Michelle learned quickly how to master the balancing act throughout her life. Princeton University’s cum laude graduate went on to Harvard Law School, where she obtained her Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree. Harvard Law School then led her to Sidley Austin and Sidley Austin channeled her to the White House – with her [divine] husband, Barack Obama. Michelle and Barack met at Sidley Austin, where their relationship began with a business lunch and then a community organization meeting. After Barack left his stimulating effects on Michelle and over a period of one month, she finally agreed to a first date. They went to the art institute, had a quaint lunch at an outdoor café, talked, walked, and talked some more, had a cocktail on the 99th floor of the John Hancock building, then ventured to see the Spike Lee movie, “Do the Right Thing.” Hindsight, I suppose they did.
Only the third First Lady in history with a postgraduate degree, balancing family life and career is now of second nature to Michelle. Always clear of her purpose and household tasks, motherhood comes foremost. Throughout her husband’s 2008 campaign for US President, she made a “commitment to be away overnight only once a week – to campaign only two days a week and be home by the end of the second day” for their two children. During the campaign, she discussed race and education by using motherhood as a framework.
Michelle Obama said both she and her husband believe, “That you work hard for what you want in life; that your word is your bond, and you do what you say you’re going to do, that you treat people with dignity and respect, even if you don’t know them, and even if you don’t agree with them.”
Influencing women across the globe, Michelle Obama is the epitome of a strong, centered, grounded woman of substance. Her patronage and constructive affirmations for women and girls highlight who she really is – a positive role model, not only for African-American women, but also for women of all cultures, creed, and circumstance. Her “star power” persona has become an evident part of her identity in popular culture. In 2oo6, Essence Magazine acknowledged her amongst “25 of the World’s Most Inspiring Women.” Vanity Fair listed her amongst “10 of the World’s Best Dressed People” in 2007, and in 2008 she was praised by People Magazine for her “classic and confident” look. Her sense of style, discipline, and decorum set her apart from the rest. In addition, she is an honorary member of the 100-year-old black sorority, Alpha Kappa Alpha.
Striving for excellence and settling for nothing less, First Lady Michelle Obama has made history – Women’s History.
As she continues to support, sustain, and serve, at the 2012 Democratic National Convention [DNC] Michelle stated, “Barack knows the American Dream because he’s lived it … and he wants everyone in this country to have that same opportunity, no matter who we are, or where we’re from, or what we look like, or who we love.”
Love and Light for your Tuesday!