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Like so many of you, I’m pained by these recent tragedies. And I’m exhausted by a heartbreak that never seems to stop. Right now it’s George, Breonna, and Ahmaud. Before that it was Eric, Sandra, and Michael. It just goes on, and on, and on. Race and racism is a reality that so many of us grow up learning to just deal with. But if we ever hope to move past it, it can’t just be on people of color to deal with it. It’s up to all of us—Black, white, everyone—no matter how well-meaning we think we might be, to do the honest, uncomfortable work of rooting it out. It starts with self-examination and listening to those whose lives are different from our own. It ends with justice, compassion, and empathy that manifests in our lives and on our streets. I pray we all have the strength for that journey, just as I pray for the souls and the families of those who were taken from us. Artwork: @nikkolas_smith
It's been such a joy spending my Mondays reading with all of you. I’ve loved seeing the photos of your little ones reading along—thank you for sharing and commenting about what it means for you as parents to have a little break during this time. I hope you and your child continue to read at home this summer! To round out the series, we'll spend today reading “Oh, the Places You’ll Go!” and “Can I Be Your Dog?” Make sure to watch until the end to see two very special surprise guests! 🐾
It takes courage to share our stories with the world. Before my memoir was published, I started to think that maybe opening up about my own struggles wasn’t such a good idea. I worried about how I’d be received, or whether I was sharing too much. But after talking with so many of you across the country and around the world, I can tell you that making myself vulnerable led to some of the most meaningful connections of my life. As you’re watching BECOMING, I hope you begin to think about your own journey—the ups, downs, and everything in between. Share your story with me using #IAmBecoming––I can’t wait to hear from you.
Barack and I had so much fun reading “The Word Collector” for a family read-a-long through the @ChicagoPublicLibrary. This book is one of my favorites—it brings me back to being a little kid, making my way through the stacks at our neighborhood library, discovering new worlds, and losing myself in the magic of words. I hope you and your children enjoy it as much as we did.
When we get active in civic life, we grasp hold of our own power. Young people have an especially important role to play—we need them at the table to truly move this country forward. That’s why I loved seeing these students from Chicago use their voices to take on today’s challenges. As a graduate of @ChiPubSchools myself, I am so proud to be in the company of these terrific young leaders. Keep making our city—and our country—proud!
Today, I’ll be reading one of my favorites: “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” by Eric Carle. This book holds a special place in my heart––I used to read it to my girls when they were little, and it was one of their favorite bedtime books. I hope you and your child enjoy reading along today!
From birthdays to family trips to graduations, my mother has always been there to offer an extra hand, marvel in life’s small joys, and be our rock to get through this time. In this challenging moment, many of us have been reminded that life—and especially parenting—so rarely goes according to plan. So many mothers have been working tirelessly to get their families, workplaces, communities––and themselves––through this crisis. And I know many of you are separated from your families today, whether due to physical distancing or because your loved ones are essential workers, sacrificing this time to keep the rest of us safe. I'm sure that many of you would rather be out of the house, spending this day with your mom or whomever fills that role in your life. I feel that too. So I'm taking some time today to reach out to the amazing mothers in my life—friends, mentors, aunts, elders—who may need a little extra love today. That includes so many of you. From my family to yours, #HappyMothersDay.
As we head into Mother’s Day weekend, I’m reflecting on the lessons that my mom taught me and my brother Craig over the years. When we were growing up, she always gave us the space to ask questions and share our ideas. And she always took us seriously, carefully considering what we had to say and responding with thoughtful questions, and plenty of encouragement. All along, she was empowering us to be ourselves, kindling the unique flame burning inside each of us. She laid out the blueprint for how I have raised my own girls. Mom, you are my rock and my best friend, and you have been a guiding light throughout my life. I love you! ❤️ #IAmBecoming
This #TeacherAppreciationWeek, I want to thank the teachers who've continued to go above and beyond for students across America and around the world. Your passion, dedication, and support makes all the difference in the lives of our young people. From celebrating your students during virtual show-and-tells to finding new ways to make lessons come alive through a screen, you have been beacons of light for all of us during this difficult time. You are our heroes, and we cannot thank you enough.
Last year while visiting my old high school, Whitney M. Young in Chicago, I met with a group of remarkable young women on the cusp of finishing school and figuring out who they are becoming. Elizabeth wasn’t sure why she was selected to meet with me that day. She didn't believe her story mattered. But as you will see here, her story is amazing and so is she. Elizabeth inspired me, and I think she will inspire you, too. I can't wait for you to tune in to BECOMING, now out on @Netflix. #IAmBecoming
To the #Classof2020, I know how hard you all have worked to make it to graduation. You’ve put in long hours studying. You’ve thrown yourself into extracurricular activities and after-school jobs. And you’ve done everything you can to be there for your friends through it all. Some of you will be the first in your families to graduate from high school or college, making this occasion all the more special. And I know that none of you imagined you would be closing this chapter of your life through a computer or phone screen. But I still want to make sure you still get the celebration you deserve. That’s why, through my @reachhigher Initiative, I’m working with @youtube Originals to host a special virtual graduation for you on June 6th. Whether you’re graduating from high school, college, or any other kind of school––we want you, your family, and all of your loved ones to be a part of this celebration. And we want to do this right for all of you, so I’ll be inviting some very special guests—including @BarackObama—to help ring in this momentous day. RSVP here bit.ly/RHGraduation and then tune in on June 6th at yt.be/classof2020. #ReachHigher
In the film BECOMING, you will get to know an extraordinary young woman named Shayla, who I met while spending time with the girls at @begirl.world in Philadelphia. Watching Shayla get ready for school with her energetic, loving mother and brother, I was reminded so much of my own family growing up––the laughter, support, and sacrifices are all so familiar. I love seeing Shayla discover the power of her story, and I cannot wait to see how it unfolds. In the film, she says that she wants to be successful, but also hopes to have a positive impact on somebody. Well, she already has. I’m inspired by Shayla and so grateful to her for sharing her story with us. #IAmBecoming
This week, I’m excited to read “Miss Maple's Seeds” with @PBSKids and @PenguinRandomHouse. In this book we’ll hear from Miss Maple, who loves nature and celebrates the miracle that lives within every seed. I hope you and your child enjoy reading along this week. Share your child’s favorite part of the book in the comments below!
Today, I’m thrilled to give you a sneak peek of BECOMING before it premieres on Netflix this Wednesday, May 6. This movie tells my story, from my childhood on the South Side of Chicago to my life today—and it celebrates the stories of so many people I met along the way. My journey has taught me that if we stay open—if we share what’s important to us and listen carefully to what others share about their own lives—we find our strength, and we find our community. I am so grateful to everyone who has shared their story with me over the years. They have inspired me, given me strength, and helped me find my way. I hope you enjoy the film and that it reminds you of the power and importance of your own story. #IAmBecoming
Every year on May 1, we celebrate #CollegeSigningDay to honor students across the country who’ve made the commitment to pursue higher education. We usually host big events where families and communities come together to lift up the achievements of these young people. This year is obviously different. And I know these last few weeks haven’t been easy––especially for students trying to decide on their plans for the future. So to all the young people out there, I want you to know that I see you. I know you’ve worked so hard to make your dreams come true. And I hope you’ll take some time to reflect on––and celebrate––everything you’ve accomplished. I’m so proud of you and will be cheering for your every step of the way as your journey continues. #ReachHigher
Yesterday, I read one of my favorites: “There’s a Dragon in Your Book” with @PenguinRandomHouse and @PBSKids. It’s a fun read that requires a little imagination and a lot of heart. I can’t wait for you and your children to read along––tell me about your favorite part of the book in the comments below!
I’m excited to let you know that on May 6, @Netflix will release BECOMING, a documentary film directed by @nadiahallgren that looks at my life and the experiences I had while touring following the release of my memoir. Those months I spent traveling—meeting and connecting with people in cities across the globe—drove home the idea that what we share in common is deep and real and can’t be messed with. In groups large and small, young and old, unique and united, we came together and shared stories, filling those spaces with our joys, worries, and dreams. We processed the past and imagined a better future. In talking about the idea of ‘becoming,’ many of us dared to say our hopes out loud. I treasure the memories and that sense of connection now more than ever, as we struggle together to weather this pandemic, as we care for our loved ones, and cope with loss, confusion, and uncertainty. It’s hard these days to feel grounded or hopeful, but I hope that like me, you’ll find joy and a bit of respite in what Nadia has made. Because she’s a rare talent, someone whose intelligence and compassion for others comes through in every frame she shoots. Most importantly, she understands the meaning of community, the power of community, and her work is magically able to depict it. As many of you know, I’m a hugger. My whole life, I’ve seen it as the most natural and equalizing gesture one human can make toward another—the easiest way of saying, “I’m here for you.” And this is one of the toughest parts of our new reality: Things that once felt simple—going to see a friend, sitting with someone who is hurting, embracing someone new—are now not simple at all. But I’m here for you. And I know you are here for one another. Even as we can no longer safely gather we need to stay open and able to put ourselves in other people’s shoes. Empathy is our lifeline here. Let’s use it to redirect our attention toward what matters most, and find ways to better remake the world in the image of our hopes. Even in hard times, our stories help cement our values and strengthen our connections. Sharing them shows us the way forward. I love and miss you all. #IAmBecoming.
After several weeks of physical distancing, it’s so important that we continue to regularly check in with the people we care about—our friends, neighbors, grandparents, and anyone we know who might be sheltering in place on their own right now. A simple text or quick call can go a long way in letting someone know they aren’t in this alone. And the benefit goes both ways. For me, the simple act of reaching out to my loved ones, especially to my Mom, never fails to lift my spirits. If you’re not sure how to start,@ChicagosMayor Lori Lightfoot has been sharing some helpful tips for making well-being calls part of your routine. Little things like scheduling your call for the same time every week and making sure to have conversations about the latest safety guidance can help keep all of us healthy and connected. We're all in this together—and we’ll get through it together too. 💪🏾#StayAtHome
As a young parent, I found so much joy in rediscovering my favorite children’s books with my daughters. The time I spent reading with them, creating voices for our favorite characters and beaming with pride as they started to recognize words and read along, is something we all still cherish to this day. As First Lady, I had the privilege of sharing my love of stories with children everywhere, and today, I’m excited to pick that back up with “The Gruffalo”—my first read-along in what will be a four-week series with @PBSKids and @PenguinRandomHouse. I hope you’ll tune in today with your family at 12pm ET on PBS Kids’s YouTube channel or Facebook page!
We can still make a difference even as we #StayHome. Excited to join @whenweallvote's voter registration #CouchParty tonight with my friends @tomhanks and @ritawilson! And of course @dnice will be playing a live set while we spread the word! Make sure to get your friends and family there so we can register everyone we know! RSVP now to join us at 7:15pm ET: weall.vote/couchparty
Thank you to all the essential workers out there who are getting up every day and risking their lives on our behalf––working in hospitals, grocery stores, transit systems, and those providing so many other critical services. @LauraWBush and I were honored to join @glblctzn’s One World: #TogetherAtHome Special to show our support for their heroic efforts. They are in our hearts and our prayers, and we are so grateful for everything they’re doing to get us through this moment.
No American should have to choose between making their voice heard and staying safe. Expanding access to #VoteByMail, online voter registration and early voting are critical steps for this moment—they’re also long overdue. There’s nothing partisan about striving to live up to the promise of our country; making the democracy we all cherish more accessible -- and protecting our neighbors, friends, and loved ones as they participate in this cornerstone of American life. Learn more at weall.vote/safevoting. @whenweallvote (📸: Patricia McKnight, Journal Sentinel)
As many of us celebrate Easter and Passover during this time of physical distancing, I know that we may be missing the togetherness and traditions we’ve shared in years past. This year, I’ve been feeling a newfound sense of gratitude for all the little moments I used to take for granted. And I know so many of you are also trying your best to make new memories, like attending church online or sharing Sunday dinner over video chat with your relatives. What are your favorite Easter or Passover traditions and how do you plan on keeping them alive this year? I would love to hear all about them in the comments.
On this #WorldHealthDay, I want to thank all the healthcare workers on the frontlines who have been risking their lives for us. I hope you’ll join me in expressing gratitude to the healthcare workers in your life. Whether through a text or phone call, it only takes a moment to let them know just how appreciated they are.
If you’re feeling as grateful for our first responders as I am, now’s the time to let them know. From our medical providers and hospital staff to our grocery, transit, and delivery workers, so many extraordinary people are putting their lives on the line to get us all through this moment. Let’s take the opportunity to tell them and their families that we see their sacrifices and we’re behind them. A handwritten letter, an Instagram post, or a simple “thank you” text can go a long way in letting someone know just how incredible they are and how much you appreciate what they’re doing.
On this #NationalDoctorsDay, I want to share this powerful video from Dr. Francois and Dr. Robinson, and say a huge thank you to all of our incredible doctors, nurses, technicians, residents, fellows, and hospital staff who are putting their lives on the line during this pandemic. These past few weeks, I’ve been thinking about how we can continue to inspire, comfort, and connect with each other despite our physical distance. One place to start: sharing our stories, especially those stories about the many folks out there saving lives and working to keep us safe. There is so much good happening all around us—let’s not forget to celebrate acts of courage and generosity when we can. So go ahead and leave a comment with the story of a loved one working on the frontlines: the health care workers, government employees, delivery workers, grocery store clerks, teachers, police officers, firefighters, and transit and utility workers who have been helping all of us through this moment. I can't wait to read and share these stories over the next couple of weeks—they'll be a reassuring reminder that, as these talented doctors sing, everything is going to be alright.
We could all use an uplifting story right now. Watching @cripcampfilm , I am reminded of how rare it is to see teenagers with disabilities on the big screen being just that: teenagers. This film captures the complexity and humanity of those living with disabilities, and it honors this incredible community of young people at Camp Jened who grew up to advocate for disability rights in America. Their spirit and resilience reminded me of my father, a joyful man, always quick with a laugh, who struggled with M.S. for much of his life. While his disability didn’t define who he was, it would be foolish to say it didn’t deeply impact him either. Crip Camp honors his story and those of so many others in our country.
Always brightens my day to get a call from my friend Ellen, especially on this rainy Monday at home. Practicing social distancing can be difficult, but it doesn’t have to mean feeling isolated and alone. When I start getting a little restless, I know that picking up the phone and calling a loved one can do wonders to calm my mood and lift my spirits. How are you staying connected to your friends and family? Tell me in the comments below! #StayAtHome @theellenshow
These past few weeks have been scary and difficult for many of us. We just don’t have a roadmap for what we’re currently experiencing—that in and of itself can bring up feelings of anxiety, loneliness, and fear. Not to mention the worry we feel about the health and safety of our parents, children, and loved ones and the financial security of so many families. Whatever you’re going through right now, I want you to know you aren’t alone. Even as we practice social distancing, this new normal is something we are figuring out together. As for me, I know when I’m feeling overwhelmed that picking up the phone and calling one of my girlfriends can work wonders. I also know staying close to my community helps me to feel connected and strong. If you’re not sure what that looks like these days, I’ve offered a few suggestions to get you started. But this is by no means an exhaustive list! Add your comment below with the ways you’re showing up for your community during these tough times. And don’t forget: It’s okay to take a breath, too. Be gentle with yourself. Log off when you need to, take a break if you can, and let others know when you’d like a little help. Illustrations: @grantagold Graphics: @linseyfields
These past few weeks have been a scary and difficult time. While so much is still unknown, one thing has been made startlingly clear: just how interconnected our communities are, whether they are the size of a city block or the span of the entire planet. And today, more than 98 million adolescent girls in our global community are not in school. I take this issue personally—not only because I see myself and my daughters in these girls, but because our global wellbeing is tied up in their success. When we give girls access to education, we give them the opportunity to fulfill their potential, build healthier families, and contribute to their countries’ economies for generations to come. That’s why I am so excited about the work that the @GirlsOpportunityAlliance is doing to support girls around the world who are striving to get an education against incredible odds. I hope you find as much inspiration as I do in these young people, who consistently choose hope over fear and use their talents to build a brighter future. If you are looking for a little positivity this week, you can follow @LizaKoshy, @MostlySane, and @_ThembeMathe as they share the stories of these incredible young women in a new special streaming now on @youtube.
Thrilled to share the second episode of #AYearOfFirsts, which follows our four first-year college students as they navigate campus life. Tune in to see how Robert, Linette, Regan, and Haseeb—like so many students across America—confront the challenge of paying for college. And for all the high school seniors and parents out there, make sure to apply for scholarships and complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Also, don’t hesitate to talk to the office of financial aid at the colleges you're considering to see what support is available to help you pay for your education. @Attndotcom @reachhigher
Happy #InternationalWomensDay! Today, I hope you’ll join me in celebrating women all over the world—and in renewing our commitment to empowering the next generation. We started the @GirlsOpportunityAlliance to support adolescent girls who face barriers to education so they can pursue their passions, fulfill their boundless potential, and make their voices heard. That's why I'm thrilled that @LizaKoshy, @MostlySane, and @_Thembemathe visited Girls Opportunity Alliance programs around the world to see this important work in action. They’re sharing these stories, which showcase how education can transform girls’ lives and create a ripple effect for communities, in an upcoming special streaming on @YouTube Originals on March 17th. Click on the link in my bio to tune in and to empower girls around the world through education.
As we close out #BlackHistoryMonth, let’s make sure our voices are heard loud and clear by going to whenweallvote.org and helping our friends and family get registered and ready to vote. Because #WhenWeAllVote, we speak up for our communities and make a difference for this country we all love. @whenweallvote
Throwing it back to my 1982 prom night and this pink satin, polka-dotted dress. If you're a student or teacher, join the #PromChallenge with @WhenWeAllVote and @MTV and tell us what your school is doing to register students to vote -- you could get a free prom for your school! Learn more at prom.mtv.com. You can also help me spread the word by posting your prom photo with #PromChallenge.
This #GalentinesDay, I want to shout out my girlfriends who help me stay sane and grounded through all of life’s ups and downs. Whether we’re catching up over the phone, venting over a cup of coffee, or laughing it out during an 80s-themed workout, I know I can lean on these ladies—and that’s made all the difference. How do you show up for your best friends? Share in the comments below and don’t forget to tag your favorite girls to give them a little extra love today. #ThrowbackThursday
I can still remember the mix of excitement, hope, anxiety, and fear that accompanied me everywhere I went during my first year of college. If I could tell my younger self one thing, it would be to slow down and take a breath – you’ve got this. And that’s exactly what I want to say to all of you out there who are just starting college. You’ve got this, and I cannot wait to see where your journey takes you and everything you learn and achieve along the way. Tune in now to watch as four first-year college students share a bit about their own journey during their first semester. #ReachHigher @attndotcom @reachhigher
I loved spending my Saturday with @Oprah and all of the inspiring people who came out for #Oprahs2020VisionTour at Barclays Center. When we make wellness a priority, we’re better able to show up to all areas of our lives. For me, that means sticking to the basics: plenty of sleep, regular exercise, and full, healthy meals. What does wellness mean to you? #SelfcareSunday
School counselors play such a crucial role in the lives of our young people, pushing them to dream big, supporting them in times of crisis, and helping them see their own limitless potential and reserves of resilience. Laura Ross does all of that and so much more as a school counselor at Five Forks Middle School in Lawrenceville, GA. Using the principles of restorative justice, she’s reduced the number of discipline referrals for students of color. She’s hosted presentations about body confidence for her fellow educators, helping them better understand the challenges so many young people are facing. And she’s leading the charge to make sure her school is an inclusive, welcoming place for LGBTQ students. I am so inspired by Laura and so thrilled that she is the 2020 @weareasca National School Counselor of the Year. Congratulations, Laura! #SCOY2020 @reachhigher
Over the last couple of months, I’ve loved seeing so many of you put pen to paper and embrace your own stories. That’s what the Becoming Journal is all about—giving ourselves the space to reflect on where we’ve been, where we are, and where we hope to go. As l sit here writing down some of my own thoughts in the new year, I’m curious to know: What are you reflecting on this year? #NewYearNewYou #IAmBecoming #WellnessWednesday
It's about that time when New Year's goals and resolutions get just a bit harder to stick to. To offer a little inspiration, I want to share my go-to 2020 #WorkoutPlaylist with all of you. These songs always seem to give me that extra boost to get through my toughest workouts. What's on your playlist? #IAmBecoming #SelfcareSunday
Thank you all for the wonderful birthday wishes! With the girls off at college, this birthday brings with it a new perspective—a fresh breath—along my journey. I’m looking forward to devoting some quality time to my friends and to myself—and of course, to that husband of mine, too. I’m looking to make this year the best one yet—can’t wait to keep you all posted along the way.
I couldn’t be happier that Julia Reichert, Steven Bognar, and all of the incredible people behind #AmericanFactory have been nominated for the Best Documentary Oscar. What Julia and Steve capture on film is at times painful, at times exhilarating, but always thoughtful and always real—exactly the kind of story Barack and I wanted to lift up with Higher Ground Productions. I hope you’ll see for yourself by checking it out on @Netflix.
The first year of college is exciting, but also a little nerve-racking. As a first-generation college student myself, I know how intimidating it can be to try to navigate through a new place and make new friends, all while trying to figure out who you are and who you want to be. That's why I'm so excited that @reachhigher is teaming up with @attndotcom to share the stories of four first-year college students: Robert, Linette, Regan, and Haseeb. Can't wait for you all to meet them and learn more about what taking that leap really feels like, day in and day out. Stay tuned!
Thinking back over the past decade is a bit of a whirlwind. It’s not easy to take stock of all the ups and downs that go into a single week, let alone more than 500 of them. Ten years ago at this time, our girls were sixth and third graders. Our family hadn’t been in the White House for even a year yet, and Bo was still pretty much a puppy. And though I felt that our family had adjusted well into a wild new reality, I was still a little uncertain about what all the spotlights and pressure would do to us. So looking back, what I’m most filled with is gratitude. A decade like this one was never a part of my plan—not even close. But I couldn’t be more thankful for the opportunities, the relationships, and the growth I’ve experienced over these years. I’ve been so lucky to meet so many of you, to hear your stories, and to work together with you on issues that are near and dear to all of our hearts. We’ve got a lot to be proud of. But as I often say, we should be careful not to focus only on our statistics—our biggest accomplishments and best moments—you know, the kinds of things most of us share on social media. Those are important, but we should also be sure to relish the fullness of our stories. That includes the tough moments we persevered through, the messiness that spurred us to make a swerve, and the memories that are still a little bit tender. Though they’re difficult, those moments can be some of the most beautiful parts of our lives. What we often see as a weakness or a failure is often a strength—or a turning point to something better. So today, I’m thankful for all of those moments over the past decade that helped me get to where I am. I’m thankful for the worries and the anxieties, the failures and false starts. And most of all, I’m thankful that after all of it, we came out whole. Now on the other side of this decade, Bo’s got a trusty sidekick named Sunny. We’ve settled into new routines after two terms in the White House. And although the girls are gone away at college now, we’re all back together for the holidays—right where we belong. #DecadeInReview
Wishing you a holiday season filled with friends, family, and joy. Thanks to so many of you for sharing your hopes and goals with me these past few weeks in the comments and on my Instagram Story. This type of positive and thoughtful engagement from my “Becoming family” is a reminder that there are millions of us out there constantly striving to become more mindful, compassionate, and caring people. As we end this decade and begin the next one, let’s continue working to become even better—for ourselves and for each other. #IAmBecoming
I’m still thinking about the inspiring young people I met in Vietnam and Malaysia, and the stories they shared with me. They’re young women like Dzung, who loved to learn but worried she would have to drop out of school to help to earn money for her family. Fortunately, Dzung had support: @RoomtoRead gave her the chance to continue her studies, and today she owns a convenience store and is one of the only women in her community to own a business. But achieving for herself isn’t enough for Dzung—she’s also funding the education of another girl through @RoomtoRead because as she says, “I want to open the door for other girls like me.” Dzung is just one of the extraordinary young women from the @GirlsOpportunityAlliance community, and through our upcoming special with @YouTube, we’ll be shining a light on adolescent girls’ education around the world. Stay tuned in 2020—I can’t wait to share these stories with you.
This week I sat down with @LanaCondor and some #ObamaLeaders for a conversation about the transformative power of girls’ education. No one knows this issue better than these leaders, who work in countries like Cambodia, Indonesia, and Laos to remove the barriers that prevent girls from pursuing their dreams. It was wonderful to hear them share their insights and advice with one another, and I can’t wait to see the good that continues to come from their work in the years ahead. @GirlsOpportunityAlliance
It was so special to share the stage with Julia Roberts and Deborah Henry at #ObamaLeaders: Asia-Pacific today. We talked about what it means to define balance in our lives and our careers—and how that balance is different for everybody. We shared stories of how we’ve overcome self-doubt and how important it is to know that you belong wherever you are. We reflected on the men and women in our lives who have reminded us that our voices matter, and we emphasized that we all have the ability to change someone else's life for the better. The young leaders in the audience already know this—they’re doing so much to improve the lives of others. And with the @ObamaFoundation as a community of support, I can't wait to see all they accomplish.
I wanted to share with you all a picture of one of my first journals from when I was in my 20s and a young lawyer just trying to figure out where I was going in my life. I kept the clothbound black book with purple flowers on the cover by my bed, and often carried it with me when I traveled. I was not a daily, or even weekly, writer, but my journal gave me a place to share my most raw, unfiltered thoughts and feelings no matter how messy they were. One sentence ended half-finished, punctuated by a frustrated scratch of the pen across the entire page. That's why I created the #IAmBecoming Journal for all of you—a place that’s for you and you alone, where you can sort through your experiences and emotions on your own terms. Because when we’re open to our own stories, and all their mistakes and contradictions, we’ll find a greater understanding of ourselves—and we’ll be more open to celebrating the imperfections of others’ stories, too. #WellnessWednesday
So grateful to have spent some time over the years with Caroll Spinney, the heart and soul of Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch. He was truly one of the most gracious, warm-hearted people I’ve ever met—and it’s breathtaking to think of the millions and millions of people, from toddlers today to folks like me who grew up sitting cross-legged in front of @SesameStreet, who have been comforted and guided by his gentle voice, quick wit, and caring personality. What an extraordinary life—and a legacy that will keep on giving.
What an incredible day in Vietnam! I visited Cần Giuộc high school to meet members of the @GirlsOpportunityAlliance community who are working hard to pursue their education and achieve their dreams. Thankfully, they’re not alone: local leaders from @RoomtoRead provide crucial support to help these girls stay in school and prepare for their futures so they can become the women they’re meant to be. I was thrilled to see this work in action—and I’m grateful that some special friends like @JuliaRoberts, @LanaCondor, @ngothanhvan_official, @JennaBHager, and @LizaKoshy joined me to visit these girls and to shine a light on the extraordinary work being done.
#GivingTuesday is a reminder of how connected we all are and how important it is to give back to one another, especially as we enter the holiday season. This duty of giving back is what my parents and grandparents taught me, and it’s a value I’ve tried to live by my entire life—because it’s not enough just to make your way through life, thinking only of yourself. You’ve got to reach back and lift up others along the way. That’s why on this Giving Tuesday, I am so excited to donate the proceeds from the #IAmBecoming merchandise collection sold during and after my book tour—a total of more than $500,000—to the @GirlsOpportunityAlliance, an initiative I launched last October to support adolescent girls' education around the world. This donation will fully fund existing projects that are supported by the Girls Opportunity Alliance Fund and fund new projects as well, including in Vietnam where I'm heading next week to see some of this work in action. I hope you'll consider joining me to give what you can, because every small donation has the power to make a difference for girls around the world. Click the link in my bio to contribute and share this graphic to help spread the word. ❤️