Mrs. Obama’s new book: “American Grown: The Story of the White House Kitchen Garden and Gardens Across America”

“American Grown” is filled with advice for parents, schools, cities and states on how they can help combat the obesity crisis: how to start gardens, get children to like healthy foods and find more opportunities for exercise. It also provides recipes and some startling statistics. Lt. Gen. Mark P. Hertling, now the head of Army forces in Europe, writes that in 2004 only 4 percent of men and 10.5 percent of women failed the fitness test that is required to join the military. By 2010, 47.6 percent of men and 54.6 percent of women failed the test.

The book, published by the Crown Publishing Group and featuring a cover photograph of Mrs. Obama, is priced at $30. Proceeds go to the National Parks Foundation.

Source: NY Times

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Michelle Obama: A Brief History

Michelle Obama: A Brief History

Michelle Obama is often considered the most influential and powerful woman in the world. From a fashion icon to a world leader in educational and fitness, the First Lady was brought up with humble beginnings. Her days spent in the South Side of Chicago in a one bedroom apartment helped shape her morals and virtues, thanks to her working class parents.

As a lawyer, sociologist and now political representative, her life has been a storied compendium of inspirational success and prosperity. Politicians and critiques might study and pick apart her decisions, while young girls might aim to emulate her success and even consider pursuing a J.D. degree of their own. No matter who critiques and analyzes the First Lady’s decisions, everyone will want to know something about her background.

Early Life

Michelle LaVaughn Robinson Obama and her brother Craig were raised in a one-bedroom apartment on the south side of Chicago. Although Michelle and her brother often shared makeshift rooms made from bed spreads in their one-bedroom apartment, their humble beginnings never kept the parents from sharing meals, playing games and spending time with their children.

While her and older brother were 16 months apart in age, they were often mistaken as fraternal twins. Looks aside, both brother and sister had extraordinary educational brilliance, earning spots among gifted classes and eventually venturing off to Princeton upon graduating from high school.

Educational Backgrounds

From sixth grade on, Michelle managed to excel in gifted classes, often earning top awards and placement among her peers. Soon after her primary education, she made her way to Whitney M. Young Magnet High School, a transit school for gifted students. At Princeton she studied sociology, earning her Bachelor of Arts and graduating cum laude in 1985.

Her social awareness, developed as a sociology major, may be the reason for her humanitarian work throughout the world, helping to feed starving children and provide educational needs for domestic students. Whatever the case, her education continued well after Princeton, attending Harvard Law and earning her J.D. in 1988.

It was at Princeton that Michelle’s political vigor can be seen taking shape. As a student at a predominantly white school, Michelle participated in protests across campus, demanding the need for more ethnically diverse students and staff members. While she and her fellow demonstrators put on a remakable display, they won small victors in convincing the heads of administration to hire and admit a more diverse group of people.

Post-Grad

Soon after graduation, Michelle managed to use her law skills to start up a career in civil service as the assistant commissioner of planning and development for then Mayor of Chicago Richard M. Daley. A few years after, she joined the Office of Public Allies for Chicago as an executive director helping to train adults develop skills for work in the public sector. In 1996, Michelle jumped ship and joined the University of Chicago as an associate dean where she helped develop the first community service program.

In 2002, she was appointed the executive director of community relations and external affairs, and later vice president for the University of Chicago Hospitals, where she still serves part time. In addition to her many accomplishments, Michelle manages to serve on six boards that range from the Chicago Council on Global Affairs and University of Chicago Laboratory Schools.

As First Lady

During the 2008 presidential race, Michelle pledged to stay committed to public education and health issues facing American children and parents. As the 44th First Lady, Michelle remains committed to her original goals, pledging assistance to support military families, bolster educational goals and stress educational importance among the youth.

Her Let’s Move! program aims to bring together educators, physicians and parents to help create awareness and fitness plans to curb child obesity. Through the program more parents have managed to become more socially aware of the food their children ingest and suggesting alternatives, exercise regiments.

Together with Dr. Jill Biden, the First Lady helped launch Joining Forces, a program that aims to help military families by streamlining all sectors of society to lend support to veterans. With her military family support, health goals and her assistance toward helping women balance careers and family life, The First Lady continues to make a change in America.

Today, she and her husband have two daughters, Maila and Sasha, and while the adjustment to life as the First Family has presented challenges, both Michelle and Barack try to make life normal for their daughters. Granted, being surrounded by Secret Service agents and being the daughters of two of the most powerful parents may present its challenges, but they’re all adjusting. Her decisions, programs and goals may all be critiqued by political science majors, but her life as the First Lady has helped change America.

Sources:

The White House

Biography

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African American women living overseas are invited to Go, Tell Michelle

The mid-term election of 2010 has raised our concerns about the up-coming presidential election and is also the mid-point of the Obama administration. It is an opportune time for Black women to, once again, express their thoughts, feelings, concerns to Michelle Obama.

The deadline for letters to Michelle, book 2 has been extended to March 1, 2011. We are also asking that you complete a survey, regardless of whether you intend to submit a letter. More information and the survey are available at our webpage: Go, Tell Michelle, Book 2

Deadline for submissions is 1 March 2011.

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The 1st Lady’s Box at the 2011 US State of the Union

It is a tradition for the First Lady of the United States to invite guests to listen to the State of the Union Address in her box.

This year in addition to First Lady Michelle Obama, 2 other black women were in the First Lady’s Box.

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First Ladies Series – Michelle Obama – USA

First Lady of the United StatesMichelle Obama

FLOTUS

View videos of her on YouTube, read her speeches and about the work she is doing on the White House website, and read about her from a wide selection of books and magazine listed below. You can also find your own keepsake to have, including musical tributes and more.

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Call for submissions: Go, Tell Michelle: African American Women in the Global Diaspora.

Background:
On January 20, 2009, Michelle Obama became the 44th First Lady of the United States. Unlike previous First Lady’s she is distinguished not only as the most educated First Lady but the first African American First Lady. Her rise to this position was extraordinary. Throughout the nearly two-year presidential campaign, Michelle Obama demonstrated intelligence, grace under fire, tenacity, perseverance and indefatigable spirit.


Wanted:
Follow up letters to the book Go, Tell Michelle, African American Women Write to the New First Lady. New submissions are requested from Black women living in Africa, Australia, Canada, the Caribbean, Europe, Latin American, the Middle East, and South America addressed to Mrs. Michelle Obama.
We are especially interested in your reactions to this historic event in African American history; the public response to Michelle in your community; your perception of how Michelle has changed the image of Black Women around the world; public reaction when she visited your part of the world; your hopes and dreams for the First Lady; treatment of Michelle by the American and foreign press and your fears, cautions and hopes.

Why: Published in the upcoming book Go, Tell Michelle: African American Women in the Global Diaspora.

What: Submissions can be poems, letters, and other prose and should be between 350 -800 words.

When: Your deadline for submission is October 1, 2009. Submit to: uqi@buffalo.edu (Uncrowned Queens Institute). Send questions to pbertram@gmail.com and bnevergo@buffalo.edu

Visit: Go, Tell Michelle Sisterhood Network at GTMsisterhoodnetwork.blogspot.com on http://gtmsisterhoodnetwork.blogspot.com/

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