Our incredible First Lady Michelle Obama has been a powerful advocate for educating women and girls for all of her years in the White House, and we are SO behind that message. Michelle started the initiative called “Let Girls Learn,” which is an organization that tackles many of the issues that prevent adolescent girls around the world from getting an education. Yesterday, Michelle hosted an event on Broadway to raise awareness for this cause that is so close to her heart.
The event was held in the Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre in New York City, with hilarious comedian Stephen Colbert as the emcee. Michelle spoke in front of a theater full of the spouses of global heads of state who are in town for the U.N. General Assembly, and implored them to make this an issue.Billboard reported some of Michelle’s impassioned speech.
“I want to be clear that as First Lady of the United States I have no budget of my own for programs, I have no authority to make or pass laws, and I cannot issue any kind of executive orders. When people hear the stories of girls who aren’t in school they want to help. And as spouses of world leaders, so many of us here in this room have platforms to tell these stories and bring people together to take action for these girls.”
Michelle called on her fellow influential women to use their power to ensure that girls are given the opportunity to get an education.
One of those moments in time where you have to check just what it is you are doing. Take a deep breath, and say thank you. The body and voice were tired but the mind and will was able and now I can say I performed for #letgirlslearn AND FLOTUS the one and only Michelle Obama. @bwaycolorpurple you are something special aren't you!!! Xxxc 📸 @emiliomk
Performers came from Wicked, The Color Purple, Beautiful: The Carole King Musicaland Waitress. These performers included Cynthia Erivo, who recently won a Tony for her incredible performance in The Color Purple. Billboard also quoted her thoughts on the historic day.
“The thing about me that is most important is that I’m a young Broadway actress, but I’m also female. So I have a vested interested in other young women learning and being confident in themselves.”
The keynote speakers were three young women who spoke from their own experiences of overcoming obstacles to get an education.
Meet 17 year old, Halima of Malwai. At the age of 15, Halima was forced to leave her education behind and marry a man twice her age. Weeks into marriage, Halima told her husband that the Mother Group, a community group of women that supports girls and fight for their right to go to school, would come looking for her once they learned that she had been married off. And they did. They found Halima and helped her break free of her marriage and return to her an education. Now, Halima works with @USAID's ASPIRE program and serves as a role model in her class as she is still able to achieve top grades despite missing months of school. Yesterday, Halima courageously shared her story on the stage of New York's historic Jacobs B. Bernard Theater as part of the First Lady's "Broadway Shines A Light on Girls' Education" at the 71st United Nations General Assembly. #LetGirlsLearn
Noor Abu Ghazaleh of Jordan, Summyka Qadir of Pakistan, and Halima Robert of Malawi spoke about the kinds of extreme obstacles in their path to an education such as child marriage, poverty and an indifference to women’s education. But despite all of these hardships, these young women were able to achieve their goals of learning and growth. The post above details the story of Halima of Malawi.
“At the age of 15, Halima was forced to leave her education behind and marry a man twice her age. Weeks into marriage, Halima told her husband that the Mother Group, a community group of women that supports girls and fight for their right to go to school, would come looking for her once they learned that she had been married off. And they did. They found Halima and helped her break free of her marriage and return to her an education. Now, Halima works with @USAID’s ASPIRE program and serves as a role model in her class as she is still able to achieve top grades despite missing months of school.”
That is SUCH an inspiring story, and we are so glad to see such a powerful collection of women coming together to make sure all young girls like Halima have access to education. According to the First Lady, 62 million girls around the world aren’t in school, and we are very supportive of all of Michelle Obama’s efforts to change that.
"We can all raise our voices to help #LetGirlsLearn." -The First Lady with Stephen Colbert and the cast of New York's @BwayColorPurple. With the help of Broadway's talented performers, the First Lady hosted "Broadway Shines A Light on Girls" Education" event as part of the 71st United Nations General Assembly.
To find out how you can help or contribute, check out the Let Girls Learn website, which details ways that we can get involved.
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