The White House Blog: The First Lady

  • Visiting Topeka with First Lady Michelle Obama

    First Lady Michelle Obama is in Topeka, Kansas today to talk education ahead of the 60th anniversary of the landmark U.S. Supreme Court case, Brown v. Board of Education.

    Topeka is home to the historic case in which the Supreme Court's decision outlawed racial segregation in our nation's schools -- declaring education "must be made available to all on equal terms."

    Tonight, the First Lady will celebrate the achievements of seniors from Topeka high schools at "Senior Recognition Day," and they'll be live streamed at 7 p.m. ET.

    Watch First Lady Michelle Obama's remarks celebrating the high school seniors of the Topeka Public Schools:


  • A Mother’s Day Tea with the First Lady and Dr. Biden

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    First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden help children create Mother's Day cards and crafts in the State Dining Room of the White House, May 12, 2014. The cards and crafts were to be presented later during a Joining Forces initiative tea honoring military mothers in the State Dining Room. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)

    Ed. note: This is cross-posted on The White House Blog. See the original post here.

    Yesterday, First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden invited more than 100 military mothers and their families to the White House for a Mother’s Day Tea. The military mothers in attendance included military spouses, active duty and reserve service members, and women veterans.

    While the military moms enjoyed tea and refreshments, more than 60 children made special gifts for their mothers including planting beans, decorating ceramic pots, and gift wrapping special White House honey lemon soap. The cards and crafts were presented during the tea ceremony in the State Dining Room.

    Before Grammy award-winning artist Norah Jones performed for the crowd, Dr. Biden and Mrs. Obama offered some words of thanks. Dr. Biden spoke of her own experiences as a military mom, and the support her family received during her son Beau’s deployment to Iraq.

    While our sons and daughters serve so selflessly, having a community share the burden makes all the difference in the world. And so for Mother’s Day, we wanted to simply say thank you to all the mothers who have loved and supported us. Thank you for all that you do for your selflessness and for your sacrifice on behalf of our country.


  • A Mother’s Day Tea with the First Lady and Dr. Biden

    P051214CK-0103

    First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden help children create Mother's Day cards and crafts in the State Dining Room of the White House, May 12, 2014. The cards and crafts were to be presented later during a Joining Forces initiative tea honoring military mothers in the State Dining Room. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)

    Yesterday, First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden invited more than 100 military mothers and their families to the White House for a Mother’s Day Tea. The military mothers in attendance included military spouses, active duty and reserve service members, and women veterans.

    While the military moms enjoyed tea and refreshments, more than 60 children made special gifts for their mothers including planting beans, decorating ceramic pots, and gift wrapping special White House honey lemon soap. The cards and crafts were presented during the tea ceremony in the State Dining Room.

    Before Grammy award-winning artist Norah Jones performed for the crowd, Dr. Biden and Mrs. Obama offered some words of thanks. Dr. Biden spoke of her own experiences as a military mom, and the support her family received during her son Beau’s deployment to Iraq.

    While our sons and daughters serve so selflessly, having a community share the burden makes all the difference in the world. And so for Mother’s Day, we wanted to simply say thank you to all the mothers who have loved and supported us. Thank you for all that you do for your selflessness and for your sacrifice on behalf of our country.


  • The First Lady: "One of the Greatest Lessons I Learned from My Mom"

    In honor of Mother's Day, First Lady Michelle Obama shared a message about one of the greatest lessons she learned from her mom: the importance of education. Through the First Lady’s Reach Higher initiative, she’s reaching out directly to young people to encourage them to take charge of their futures and complete their education past high school. You can read the First Lady’s Mother’s Day message below, or at MomsRising.org.


    One of the greatest lessons I learned from my mom was about the importance of education. Neither she nor my father had gone to college, but they were determined to see me and my brother get a good education. So starting when I was young, my mom volunteered at my school, helping out in the front office and making sure my teachers were doing their jobs and my school was running like it should be.

    My mom wasn't a teacher, or principal, or school board member, but she believed that our education was very much her business. And while I was occasionally mortified by her presence at my school, in retrospect, I have no doubt that my classmates and I got a better education because she was there, keeping an eye on things.


  • Weekly Address: The First Lady Marks Mother’s Day and Speaks Out on the Tragic Kidnapping in Nigeria

    In this week’s address, First Lady Michelle Obama honored all mothers on this upcoming Mother’s Day and offered her thoughts, prayers and support in the wake of the unconscionable terrorist kidnapping of more than 200 Nigerian girls.

    Transcript | mp4 | mp3


  • Weekly Wrap Up: Climate Change Is Here, the President Is Taking Action, and More

    This week, the President attended the annual White House Correspondents' Dinner; the most comprehensive report on the effects of climate change was released, Dr. Jill Biden and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan met with educators at the White House; and more. Check out what else you may have missed in this week's wrap up.


    President and Comedian-in-Chief

    Over the weekend, the President attended the annual White House Correspondents' Dinner and, in keeping with the dinner's tradition, assumed the role of Comedian-in-Chief in his remarks. From poking fun at the administration to jabs at the news media, many were roasted and few were spared.

    President Obama ended his remarks on a high note, thanking the White House Correspondents' Association for all of their hard work as the organization celebrated its 100th anniversary.

    Watch on YouTube

    And in case you missed it, two Vice Presidents opened the White House Correspondents' Dinner in a great new video.



  • West Wing Week 05/09/14 or, “Reach Higher”

     

    This week, the First Lady launched her new Reach Higher education initiative, while the President hosted two bilateral meetings and a press conference, let loose some humor at the White House Correspondents Dinner, and traveled to Arkansas and California.


  • Weekly Wrap Up: Ending Sexual Assault, Inspiring the Youth, and More

    This week, the President returned from his trip to Asia; we launched a new website to help end sexual assault violence; the First Lady encouraged students to reach higher by completing their education; Team USA took part in the Let's Move! Olympics Opening Ceremony; and more. Check out what else you may have missed in this week's wrap up.


    1 is 2 Many

    One in five college-aged women is sexually assaulted in college – most often by someone she knows. Earlier this week, the White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault released its first-ever report, which included that unnacceptable statistic, and announced a series of actions to help address the problem and make sure victims know they are not alone. Vice President Biden, who championed the Violence Against Women Act in Congress back in 1990, spoke about the issue this week and revealed a new public service announcement about the issue:

    Watch on YouTube

    In addition to the powerful video, we launched NotAlone.gov to make enforcement data and other sexual assault resources accessible to students and schools.


  • Reach Higher for College

    Ed. note: This is cross-posted on The Huffington Post. See the original post here.

    It's easy to talk about the importance of college. But some folks really walk the walk.

    I had the thrilling opportunity to meet some of them a few years ago, when I joined the college signing day at YES Prep in Houston, Texas. As I told the audience that day, I was moved nearly to tears as students announced their college plans to a cheering stadium, and signed letters committing to their college. It was the kind of unbridled enthusiasm we usually reserve for sporting events – and yet it was also like a family reunion. It was overwhelming.

    Today, First Lady Michelle Obama will take that experience to a whole new level when she gives a name to her college access initiative, Reach Higher, at the culmination of a city-wide college celebration in San Antonio, Texas. All week, the entire city has been focused on the vital importance of getting a college degree. Today, the First Lady will witness an auditorium full of high school seniors committing to entering and completing college.


  • The First Lady's Reach Higher Initiative

    First Lady Michelle Obama delivers remarks in support of higher education during the fourth annual College Signing Day at the University of Texas at San Antonio, in San Antonio, Texas, May 2, 2014.

    First Lady Michelle Obama delivers remarks in support of higher education during the fourth annual College Signing Day at the University of Texas at San Antonio, in San Antonio, Texas, May 2, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Amanda Lucidon)

    Watch on YouTube

    Today, the First Lady is heading to the University of Texas at San Antonio to talk to high school students during the city's fourth-annual College Signing Day. College Signing Day is part of Destination College, the city's week-long celebration to encourage students to pursue and complete some form of higher education. On Signing Day, to celebrate students' commitments to higher education, city residents will show their support by wearing college apparel.

    While in Texas, the First Lady will join in the celebrations by wearing her college t-shirt to encourage young people to take charge of their futures and complete an education beyond high school. Join in and encourage others to show their support by taking a photo in your college t-shirt and share it with the hashtag #ReachHigher.

    College Signing Day highlights the work that the First Lady has been doing across the country to help inspire more young people to reach higher and to rally the country around the President's "North Star" goal — that by 2020, America will once again have the highest proportion of college graduates in the world. Today, she will be giving that effort a name and an aspiration: The First Lady's Reach Higher Initiative

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