By Victoria Dubuis
Michelle LaVaughn Robinson Obama was given to us by the good grace of God on January 17th, 1964.
Born in the south side of Chicago, Michelle was known to be bright from her earliest days (incredible test scores, skipping a grade, even!). Michelle graduated from both Princeton University and Harvard Law School. As amiable as she is intelligent, a public servant, advocate of holding strong opinions as well as ethical values, Michelle isn’t scared to show and talk about feminism and never neglects interconnected racial issues either.
Compassionate, brilliant, inspiring and truly selfless, Michelle is JULIE’s Feminist of the Month for February 2017.
Michelle graduated cum laude from Princeton in 1985, she then went on to get her law degree from Harvard in 1988 and worked at a Chicago law firm where she met her husband, Barack. Interestingly enough, she was Barack’s supervisor when they first met! Michelle has an impressive resume and truly made the most out of her husband’s presidency for the last 8 years whether it be focusing on social issues, poverty, healthy living, and education. Her focus on women’s issues will go down in history.
Of all of the advances she has helped in regards to women and girls, one of the most impressive is her focus on the education (or lack thereof) for girls worldwide.
“Sixty-two million girls around the world aren’t in school, and the first thing that comes to my mind is, ‘That could’ve been me’,” she said. “(I think about) how I would have felt at the age of 10 or 11 or 12 if somebody walked up and said, ‘That’s it. Your dreams are over! You’re going to have to leave school and get married to somebody twice your age and start having kids’.”
Michelle saw a problem, had a vision, and in March 2015, she launched an organization called “Let Girls Learn.” Let Girls Learn brought together the Department of State, the U.S. Agency for International Development, the Peace Corps, the U.S. Department of Labor, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Millennium Challenge Corporation, and the President’s Emergency Fund for AIDS Relief to bring to light the ranges of difficulties that adolescent girls may endure in the pursuit of attaining a quality education. About a year after the formation of Let Girls Learn, it was announced that it had received more than five million dollars in private sector commitments to the cause. With funding from all over the world, Let Girls Learn has and is continuing to improve the future of millions of adolescent girls worldwide.
This is just one of the many campaigns. causes, Michelle has devoted a large majority of her time to. For an even longer list look here!
Her way with words:
At the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia last summer, Michelle gave what might be one of her most memorable [feminist] speeches.
In her speech, she spoke of the power of womanhood and told us that despite constant sexism, women must remain focused and never give up. She spoke of empowerment for young black girls at Black Girls Rock in 2015 and influenced so many little girls (and women!) who were watching.Michelle has a way with articulating important topics in a beautiful, inspiring manner. In fact, she’s so good with words that they’re even plagiarized by others from time to time! (After all, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.)
All jokes aside, Michelle, if you’re reading this (which I’m sure you are), thank you for all you’ve done for us. Your words and actions have always rung true and are timeless.
We are more than honored to have you be JULIE’s February Feminist of the Month.