As Women’s History Month commences, the National Women’s Hall of Fame announces their 2021 Induction plan with a list of its newest Inductees. Michelle Obama holds a righteous spot on that list. Michelle is one of nine awarded women who have left their mark on the world of gender equality and female empowerment. Michelle will be inducted on Oct. 2, along with Octavia Butler, Rebecca Halstead, Joy Harjo, Indra Nooyi, Emily Howland, Katherine Johnson, Mia Hamm and Judy Chicago. For anyone interested in learning about the other Inductees, the National Women’s Hall of Fame provides brief biographies of these women and their accomplishments that earned them a spot in the Hall of Fame.
Now, back to THE Michelle Obama. Advocate, author, lawyer, the 44th First Lady of the United States and the first Black First Lady. The Hall of Fame calls her “one of the most influential and iconic women of the 21st century.” Upon her induction into the public sphere as First Lady in 2009, Michelle established herself as a powerful advocate for women and girls across the country and the globe. As the nation’s First Lady, Michelle launched several advocacy programs focused on bettering the lives of her fellow American citizens. These programs include: Let’s Move!, aimed at ceasing childhood obesity; the Reach Higher Initiative, aimed at helping students navigate and understand job opportunities and the education required for those jobs; Joining Forces (which she co-leads with the current First Lady, Dr. Biden), aimed at supporting military veteran, service members and military families; and Let Girls Learn, aimed at supporting the education of adolescent girls on a global level. In the eight years Michelle held residence at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, the Hall of Fame declares she “helped create the most welcoming and inclusive White House in history, transforming the White House into the ‘People’s House.’” The end of her husband’s presidency did not end Michelle’s advocacy nor extinguish her voice. Her efforts continued to have a “profound public impact,” long after her move out of D.C. Arguably, one of her greatest personal accomplishments was the renowned success of her memoir Becoming. Since its release in 2018, Becoming has sold 15 million copies, printed in 24 different languages and won the 2020 Grammy Award for the Best Spoken Word Album. To say the least, whoever doubted or diminished the abilities, successes and willfulness of Michelle Obama was embarrassingly and utterly wrong.
In the wake of her memoir’s outstanding success, Michelle launched The Michelle Obama Podcast in July of last year. The podcast revolves around Michelle with her friends and loved ones as they contemplate the relationships that shape us into who we are. Her advocacy also thrives through her Instagram page. She remains a humble “Girl from the South Side and former First Lady. Wife, mother, dog lover. Always hugger-in-chief,” who also happens to have 45.5 million followers. Michelle uses her impressively supported social media platforms to spread awareness and advocacy for topics ranging from politics to feminism to COVID-19. She endlessly supports her husband and the presidency of his former VP, the black community and the BLM Movement, women and girls and their fight for gender equality, voting rights of all Americans and the fight to stop the spread of Covid-19. Michelle’s most recent Instagram post is of herself in a mask getting the Covid-19 vaccination in which she promotes the vaccine for saving lives and urges her followers to get vaccinated. This post alone speaks volumes to Michelle’s modern impact and influence; she has the courage and strength to do what so many cowardly politicians will never do: stand up for what they believe in. She is even associated with and advocating for an upcoming Netflix documentary called “Waffles and Mochi,” a film aiming to raise awareness for the food equity issues made painfully clear by the pandemic. Michelle is the ultimate 21st-century role model for so many communities across America and the world, especially for my mom, a loyal lover of the Obamas. The extent of her support, from her book to podcast to social media to now Hall of Fame induction, illuminates her greatness. She gives hope to all the little girls, especially black girls, that they can achieve greatness no matter their circumstances.
You can watch Michelle Obama’s induction ceremony into the National Women’s Hall of Fame on Oct. 2 by either buying tickets to the in-person (Covid safe) event at the Hall of Fame in Seneca Falls, New York, or by watching the free live stream that will be available. Happy Women’s History Month!