Program Success April 2015 Edition Program Success Magazine - Page 3
Black Girls Rock!
NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — Michelle Obama celebrated
the beauty, power and tenacity of black women while
spreading her own message of education for girls at
Black Girls Rock!, an annual event honoring trailblazing
women of color from all walks of life.
“No matter who you are, no matter where you come
from, you are beautiful,” Obama told the crowd, which
included many young black girls.
“I am so proud of you. My husband, your president, is so
proud of you,” she added. “We have so much hope and
dreams for you.”
Obama was not among the honorees at Saturday night’s
festivities, held at the New Jersey Performing Arts
Center. That distinction went to actress Jada Pinkett
Smith, singer Erykah Badu, actress Cicely Tyson,
“Selma” director Ava DuVernay, educator Nadia Lopez
and Dr. Helene D. Gayle, president and CEO of CARE
USA, a humanitarian organization.
However, Obama was the most celebrated participant.
Wearing a form-fitting white dress, she jammed to
performances from the likes of Badu, Fantasia, Sheila
E!, Estelle and others and applauded the honorees.
But Obama got among the night’s loudest ovations as
she came on stage and declared “Black Girls Rock!” —
the slogan and name of the organization founded by
Beverly Bond, which is designed to uplift young black
girls, a group that often has difficulty finding positive
and reaffirming images of themselves in the world.
Obama acknowledged as much in her speech to celebrate
three young honorees. “I know there are voices that you
are not good enough,” she said, acknowledging that
she often lacked self-confidence growing up despite
“Each of those doubts was like a test,” she said, “that I
either shrink away from or rise to meet. And I decided
Obama, who recently completed a trip to Japan and
Cambodia as part of her worldwide push for better
educational opportunities for girls, lauded the young
honorees for excelling in their studies.
“There is nothing more important than being serious
about your education,” the Ivy League-educated Obama
said. “That’s why I am able to stand here tonight. ... I
want every one of our black girls do to the same, and our