WCW: Michelle Obama

 

Michelle Obama
“Michelle Obama is the 44th first lady of the United States and wife of U.S. President Barack Obama. Prior to her role as first lady, she was a lawyer, Chicago city administrator and community-outreach worker.

Synopsis

Michelle Obama was born on January 17, 1964, in Chicago, Illinois. She attended Princeton University, graduating cum laude in 1985, and went on to earn a degree from Harvard Law School in 1988. Following her graduation from Harvard, she worked at a Chicago law firm, where she met her husband, future U.S. president Barack Obama. The couple married on October 3, 1992. As first lady, she has focused her attention on current social issues, such as poverty, healthy living and education.

Background and Early Life

Michelle Obama was born Michelle LaVaughn Robinson on January 17, 1964, in Chicago, Illinois. She would later become a lawyer, Chicago city administrator, community-outreach worker and—as the wife of President Barack Obama—the first African-American first lady of the United States.

Michelle was raised in a small bungalow on Chicago’s South Side. Her father, Fraser Robinson, was a city-pump operator and a Democratic precinct captain. Her mother, Marian, was a secretary at Spiegel’s but later stayed home to raise Michelle and her older brother, Craig. They were a close-knit family, typically sharing meals, reading and playing games together.

Craig and Michelle, 21 months apart in age, were often mistaken for twins. The siblings also shared close quarters, sleeping in the living room with a sheet serving as a makeshift room divider. They were raised with an emphasis on education and had learned to read at home by age four. Both skipped the second grade.

Gifted Student

By the sixth grade, Michelle was taking classes in her school’s gifted program, where she learned French and completed accelerated courses in biology. She went on to attend Whitney M. Young Magnet High School, the city’s first magnet high school for gifted children, where, among other activities, she served as the student government treasurer. In 1981, Michelle graduated from the school as class salutatorian.

Following in her older brother’s footsteps, Michelle then attended Princeton University, graduating cum laude in 1985 with a B.A. in Sociology. She went on to study law at Harvard Law School, where she took part in demonstrations calling for the enrollment and hiring of more minority students and professors. She was awarded her J.D. in 1988.

High-Profile Work in Chicago

In 1991, Michelle decided to leave corporate law and pursue a career in public service, working as an assistant to Mayor Richard Daley and then as the assistant commissioner of planning and development for the City of Chicago.

In 1993, she became executive director for the Chicago office of Public Allies, a nonprofit leadership-training program that helped young adults develop skills for future careers in the public sector.

In 1996, Michelle joined the University of Chicago as associate dean of student services, developing the school’s first community-service program. Beginning in 2002, she worked for the University of Chicago Hospitals, as executive director of community relations and external affairs.

In May 2005, Michelle was appointed vice president for community and external affairs at the University of Chicago Medical Center, where she continued to work part-time until shortly before her husband’s inauguration as president. She also served as a board member for the prestigious Chicago Council on Global Affairs.

On the Campaign Trail

Michelle Obama first caught the eye of a national audience while at her husband’s side when he delivered a high-profile speech at the Democratic National Convention in 2004. Barack Obama was elected as U.S. Senator from Illinois that November.

In 2007, Michelle scaled back her own professional work to attend to family and campaign obligations during Barack’s run for the Democratic presidential nomination. When they were out on the trail, they would leave their daughters with their grandmother Marian, Michelle’s mother. Barack Obama eventually won the nomination and was elected the 44th President of the United States. He was sworn in on January 20, 2009.

When her husband sought reelection in 2012, facing a challenging race against Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, Michelle Obama diligently campaigned on his behalf. She traveled the country, giving talks and making public appearances.

In September of that year, Michelle delivered a noteworthy speech at the Democratic National Convention. “Every day, the people I meet inspire me, every day they make me proud, every day they remind me how blessed we are to live in the greatest nation on earth,” she said. “Serving as your first lady is an honor and a privilege.” She went on to praise the Latino community for supporting President Obama, and stated that her husband—”the same man [she] fell in love with all those years ago”—understands the American Dream, as well as the everyday struggles of American families, and cares deeply about making a difference in people’s lives. Michelle won both public and critical praise for her narrative, called a “shining moment” by The Washington Post.

On November 6, 2012, Barack Obama was reelected for a second term as U.S. president. After Mitt Romney conceded defeat, Michelle Obama accompanied her husband with their two daughters, Malia and Sasha, onto the stage at McCormick Place in Chicago, where President Obama delivered his victory speech.

Issues and Causes

As the 44th first lady of the United States, Michelle Obama has focused her attention on issues such as the support of military families, helping working women balance career and family and encouraging national service. During the first year of the Obama presidency, Michelle and her husband volunteered at homeless shelters and soup kitchens in the Washington D.C. area. Michelle also has made appearances at public schools, stressing the importance of education and volunteer work.

Ever conscious of her family’s diet and health, Michelle has supported the organic-food movement, instructing the White House kitchens to prepare organic food for guests and her family. In March 2009, Michelle worked with 23 fifth graders from a local school in Washington D.C. to plant an 1,100-square-foot garden of fresh vegetables and install beehives on the South Lawn of the White House. Since 2010, Michelle has put efforts to fight childhood obesity near the top of her agenda.

Michelle Obama remains committed to her health-and-wellness causes. In 2012, she announced a new fitness program for kids as part of her Let’s Move initiative. Along with the U.S. Olympic team and other sports organizations, she has worked to get young people to try out a new sport or activity. “This year, 1.7 million young people will be participating in Olympic and Paralympic sports in their communities—many of them for the very first time. And that is so important, because sometimes all it takes is that first lesson, or clinic, or class to get a child excited about a new sport,” she said in a statement.

Putting her message in print, Michelle released a book as part of her mission to promote healthy eating. American Grown: The Story of the White House Kitchen Garden and Gardens Across America (2012) explores her own experience creating a vegetable garden as well as the work of community gardens elsewhere. She told Reuters that sees the book as an opportunity to help readers understand “where their food was coming from” and “to talk about the work that we’re doing with childhood obesity and childhood health.”

 

First Family

Both Michelle and Barack Obama have stated that their personal priority is their two daughters, Malia and Sasha. The parents realized that the move from Chicago to Washington D.C. would be a major adjustment for any family. Residing in the White House, having Secret Service protection and always being in the wake of their parents’ public obligations has dramatically transformed their lives. Both parents try to make their daughters’ world as “normal” as possible, with set times for studying, going to bed and getting up. “My first priority will always be to make sure that our girls are healthy and grounded,” Michelle said. “Then I want to help other families get the support they need, not just to survive, but to thrive.””

 

http://www.biography.com/people/michelle-obama-307592

 

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Good read 

Thank you Glamour magazine for the great September issue!

I rarely read magazines anymore, but on a recent trip back I picked this one up at the airport.  I was so pleased with the articles, topics discussed and many different representations of women.  Of course there are still Botox and beauty adds immediately following a story about loving you in your own skin, but it is a women’s magazine after all.

Enjoy!

How do you feel about moving for him?

Snoopy-moving

A good friend of mine recently made the decision to move with her partner out of State.  We got together for a run and breakfast and talked about her plans for her career, cats, friends, and apartment.  While talking through the details of her upcoming move, she shared with me that some of the top questions prior to her move were:

  • How do you feel about moving for him?
  • Do you feel comfortable moving without a ring on your finger?

This dear friend of mine is in her early 30’s, accomplished and has moved many places on her own.  It made me think about my path and the moves I have made.

The 1st move I ever made was for college, I left my family and moved across several states to attend University.  This move I made on my own, leaving my high school sweetheart behind, knowing that we would probably break up.  The 2nd move I made was to the mountains to be a ski bum with my then boyfriend.  He was doing well in his career and I was ready to switch it up and do something different.  The 3rd move I made was from the mountains to the beach with the same guy who was now my spouse.  This again was for my career and the opportunity to live in a completely different environment prior to settling in the city where we wanted to start our family.  The 4th and final move I have made was with my spouse back to the city we wanted to make our forever home.

In looking at all my moves, I have never made a move that could be considered, for the person I was with. 3/4 of my moves have been with a special someone, who happened to be a man.  I don’t believe he was questioned once about moving for me or about whether or not we should be engaged before we moved.  In fact, I know that he was given a hard time the 1st time about moving for a girl and leaving his job behind.  I guess that wasn’t a very manly thing to do.

Making changes in life is never easy, especially when it means uprooting your life and trying something completely different. Next time you hear about a couple moving somewhere new together…try and break the traditional gender assumptions.  What would it look and feel like if we don’t assume that a woman is moving for her man?  And what would it look and feel like if we don’t ask or assume that he should put a ring on it.  Instead let’s just support the transition that two people are making together and leave the rest of it off the table.

 

Emoji Feminism

A friend sent me a great article this weekend about feminism and emoticons… you can read it here…

Hey, Unicode, It’s About Damn Time We Had Some Emojis for Professional Women

After reading the article I wanted more.  I quickly dug through my phone and found the following.  According to emoticons…

Men can do the following activities or have the following profession…

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Men’s faces are also represented in the following ways:

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As a contrast women can do the following activities or have the following profession:

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Women’s faces are represented in the following ways:

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In summary men’s professions are diverse and exciting and represented in 17 different emoticons.  In a stark contrast women can be dancers, Playboy bunnies, brides, princesses, or Japanese dolls and are represented in 5 emoticons.  Men’s facial emoticons are represented as speaking out loud or smiling.  Women are represented as asking questions, doing weird hand signals, getting haircuts, showing confusion, showing emotion, and getting head massages… sad and strange…

One final one to leave you with… A woman’s hand and a man’s hand.

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