Monthly Archives: May 2010

West Wing Week ~ I, State Your Name ~ May 21 – May 27, 2010

Posted by: Audiegrl

President Barack Obama talks with Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger at the Solyndra, Inc., construction site in Fremont, California, May 26, 2010. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Thanks for checking out the West Wing Week, your guide to everything that’s happening at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. This week, walk step by step with the President as he signs a memorandum on fuel efficiency, meets with his economic team and Congressional leaders about Wall Street reform, delivers the commencement address at West Point, hosts the leaders of Lebanon and Liberia, plays basketball with Russian students, holds a reception for Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, celebrates National Small Business Week, holds discussions with Senate, Republicans, travels to California, checks out some solar panels, talks economics with workers, welcomes NCAA Men’s Basketball Champs the Duke Blue Devils and the US World Cup Soccer Team, gives a press conference on the BP oil spill and much more.

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Filed under Change, First Lady Michelle Obama, Pres. Barack Obama, Uncategorized, West Wing Week

President Obama And Family Return To Chicago For Memorial Day Weekend

Posted by: Audiegrl

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Special thanks to Nesa Kovacs aka Princess Hype for creating this wonderful Michelle Obama Memorial Day tribute video.
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Filed under Chicago, IL, First Daughters, Memoria Day

President Obama and First Lady Michelle Host Celebration for Jewish American Heritage Month

Posted by: Audiegrl

President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle, and Vice President Joseph Biden watch performance during a reception in honor of Jewish American Heritage Month May 27, 2010 in the East Room of the White House in Washington, DC. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images North America)


President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle held on Thursday afternoon a reception at the White House in honor of the Jewish American Heritage Month in front of a distinguished group conformed by senators, representatives, entrepreneurs, Olympic athletes and former Major League pitcher Sandy Koufax, the White House said.

The diversity of talents and accomplishments represented in this room underscores the vast contributions that Jewish Americans have made to this country. Even before we were a nation, we were a sanctuary for Jews seeking to live without the specter of violence or exile,” Obama said in his speech.

Remarks by the President at Reception in Honor of Jewish American Heritage Month

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Filed under First Lady Michelle Obama, Judaism, Pres. Barack Obama, Uncategorized, Vice-President Joe Biden

First Lady Michelle Obama Announces Social Innovation Fund Matching Grants

Posted by: Audiegrl
Written by Melody Barnes

First Lady Michelle Obama and Corporation for National and Community Service CEO Patrick Corvington announce the initial phase of philanthropic commitments to match Social Innovation Fund (SIF) grants at an event in the South Court Auditorium of the White House, May 27, 2010. (Official White House Photo by Samantha Appleton)


As we continue to tackle our nation’s great challenges, we know that many of the best, most lasting solutions are already being developed in communities across the country.  Local answers to our national challenges originate everywhere.

The best solutions are often driven by everyday Americans who are having an impact but need capital to improve their results, grow, and replicate their solutions so that they can serve more communities.  Solutions like, for example, the Latin American Youth Center (LAYC).  LAYC has grown from a small grassroots recreation center to a nationally recognized organization serving low-income youth and families across the District of Columbia and in Maryland.   Every day LAYC works with vulnerable young people and their families to improve academic achievement and build stronger, healthier lives.    We know that government must partner with philanthropists and the private sector to support – not supplant – solutions like LAYC and others that are being developed in communities across the nation.

One year ago, at the Time 100 Awards, the First Lady announced the creation of a new $50 million Social Innovation Fund (SIF), which is part of the President’s commitment to invest in results-oriented solutions around the country.  On June 30th, 2009, at an event at the White House, the President also called on our nation’s foundations to partner with the Administration to invest in solutions that have the potential to grow and address the needs of more communities across the country.

Today, we highlighted the initial round of commitments from philanthropists to match the Social Innovation Fund and make other investments in innovative community solutions.  In addition, an independent coalition of more than 20 of the nation’s leading national and regional funders have created the “Scaling What Works” initiative, a complementary set of investments led by Grantmakers for Effective Organizations (GEO) to extend the reach and impact of the Social Innovation Fund and similar efforts to help high-impact nonprofits succeed. The Council on Foundations also released a letter signed by more than 130 heads of community foundations from across the country that signaled their support for the Social Innovation Fund and the Administration’s agenda to investment in community solutions.

Today’s event shows how the government is doing business differently: finding solutions outside of Washington, DC; investing in innovations that can have a big impact and have the potential to grow; and partnering with the private, philanthropic and nonprofit sectors to address the toughest problems we face.

These efforts are just the beginning of how we seek to turn community solutions into national solutions.

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First Lady Michelle Obama Visits Wayne State University in Detroit

Posted by: Audiegrl
Written by Kori Schulman

“There Is A Brighter, Better Future Ahead”

Yesterday Mrs. Obama took the White House youth leadership and mentoring efforts on the road to Detroit, Michigan. The First Lady’s visit, in partnership with Michigan’s First Gentleman Daniel Mulhern, was designed to engage, encourage, and inspire the city’s young people. Leaders from across the country came along to encourage kids to dream big – mentors included: Governor Granholm; Cathie Black, CEO of Hearst Magazines; Susan Taylor, Editor-in-Chief Emeritus, Essence Magazine and Founder, National CARES Mentoring Movement; Spike Lee, Actor and Director; and Magic Johnson, Basketball Player, to name a few.

In her remarks at Wayne State University, Mrs. Obama discussed the potential of the city’s youth:

So our next chapter –- Detroit’s next chapter, Michigan’s next chapter, America’s next chapter –- is waiting to be written.

And it will be written by each and every one of you, because your future, your city’s future, this country’s future will look exactly like what each of you wants it to look like. And that’s what I believe. And that’s why I am here. Young people, I am asking you to embrace that responsibility to be our future.

Remarks by the First Lady at Detroit Mentoring Luncheon

Remarks by the First Lady at Student Form in Detroit

Students listen to First Lady Michelle Obama during a mentoring luncheon at the Detroit Institute of Art in Detroit, Mich. May 26, 2010. (Official White House Photo by Samantha Appleton)

Later that day, at a mentoring luncheon, the First Lady emphasized the importance of hardwork and support:

What we all know in our lives and through our experiences is that there’s no magic dust that is sprinkled on us that gives us success. There’s no magic to this. There are no shortcuts, there are no quick fixes. None of us was born with the knowledge that we have today, the skills or the talents that we have today. Some, maybe. You’ve got your special people that were just born crazy talented or crazy smart, but it wasn’t me, or the President, for that matter. All these folks here developed those things through hard work.

Governor Granholm wasn’t born knowing how to run a state; probably never thought she’d be doing it. Magic Johnson didn’t know how to always — did you always know how to dribble? (Laughter.) Maybe you did. Maybe you were one of the ones. But you didn’t always know how to run your own business, right? So, Susan Taylor’s magazine didn’t just publish itself — Essence, one of my favorites. These achievements took effort and struggle, late nights and long hours. And all these folks practiced and practiced, and then practiced a little more, to get those promotions, to win those elections, and to hit those notes just right.

When people doubted them, or told them they couldn’t do something, they worked a little harder. When they were scared or worried — and let me tell you, we all have been worried that we just wouldn’t measure up — they all found a way to keep going. When they fell short or failed — and failure is a part of success, it’s a necessary part of success — they didn’t let that defeat them. They let it teach them.

And all along, they found people in their lives to guide them: parents, and grandparents, teachers, coaches, friends who believed in them, who encouraged them and refused to give up on them even when they wanted to give up on themselves.

To have a more concrete impact on local students, the First Lady launched the White House leadership and mentoring initiative in the fall and visited Denver, Colorado in an effort to take the message nationwide. The idea isn’t just to create a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for just a few, but to encourage more adults to step up, volunteer their time, and make mentoring a lifelong habit.

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Filed under Art, Education, First Lady Michelle Obama, Students, Uncategorized, Video/YouTube

First Lady Michelle Obama Kicks Off Let’s Move South Lawn Series

Posted by: Audiegrl
Written by Melissa Blaustein

First Lady Michelle Obama works out with Washington area students on the South Lawn of the White House on May 25, 2010 in Washington, DC. The first lady kicked of the first in a South Lawn series of summer activities for kids. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images North America)

This afternoon the First Lady welcomed nearly 100 local students to the White House to kick off the South Lawn Series – events throughout the summer season to bring local children, sports leagues, community programs and coaches to the South Lawn to participate in sports, games and activities. Today’s event featured sports trainers from the Washington Redskins, Capitals, Nationals and Wizards as well as PE teachers from DC Public schools who demonstrated ways for kids to get 60 minutes of active play per day. The First Lady, alongside Shellie Pfohl, Executive Director of the President’s Council on Physical Fitness, moved too – taking part in obstacle courses, knee lifts and running drills.

The Series is in support of Let’s Move! – the First Lady’s initiative to end childhood obesity within a generation.  In remarks to the very first group of participants,  the First Lady stressed the importance of getting in at least 60 minutes of exercise, not just at the White House today, but everyday:

You know, there’s a report out that says kids should get no less than 60 minutes of exercise every single day.  And around the country we just got a report that shows that in states across the country, a lot of kids aren’t coming close.  They’re not getting just what they need.  And it’s hard if your schools don’t have P.E. and gym, right?

If you can’t do it at school, if you don’t live in a community where you have sports teams and things like that, if you can’t play outside because neighborhoods aren’t safe, right, so your parents want to keep you inside, if you’re watching too much TV and playing too many computer games — (laughter) — sometimes that cuts into your ability to move.

And went on to explain that the series isn’t just to get kids moving on the lawn, but will hopefully inspire lots of children to get active in their own backyards:

And this series that we’re doing on the South Lawn is really to encourage kids, because we got this press all behind you, and they’re going to show you guys on TV, and there are going to be a lot of kids going, how do I do that?  You know, how do I get moving like that?  They’re at the White House moving.  Maybe I can do this in my own back yard, in my own community.

So you guys are going to be the first example this summer of really encouraging kids to move.  But we are going to need you, not just here today, but you’re going to have to go home and take some of what you’ve learned here and teach your families and folks — the other kids in your schools who haven’t had a chance to come, and figure out how you guys can get other people in your lives moving. Can you promise me that you’ll help me on this?

CHILDREN:  Yes.

MRS. OBAMA:  You promise?
CHILDREN:  Yes!

The White House Visitors Office, the Office of Public Engagement, and the First Lady’s office will continue to invite local Sports leagues, community programs and students to the White House throughout the summer to participate in the South Lawn Series and engage them in the Let’s Move! campaign.

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First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden Discuss Military Families

Posted by: Audiegrl
Written by Trooper Sanders

First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden meet with Leadership 18 members in the State Dining Room of the White House, May 25, 2010. (Official White House Photo by Samantha Appleton)

First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden met at the White House today with Leadership 18, a coalition of national non-profit chief executive officers, to discuss military family matters.  They were joined by Admiral Mike Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, his wife Deborah Mullen, Dr. Cliff Stanley, Undersecretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness, and other White House officials.  The First Lady and Dr. Biden have issued a national call to action to address the unique challenges facing military families, build stronger civilian-military community ties, and engages and highlights the service and sacrifice of military families.  The meeting today provided an opportunity to discuss ways to build a lasting national commitment to support and engage military families.

Leadership 18 is a coalition of the some of the country’s largest and most well respected human development non-profit CEOs. Altogether, the 22 member organization serves more than 87 million people annually and has more than 5.5 million staff and volunteers.  The coalition represents long established charities, faith-based organizations, and nonprofits focusing on social and health issues supporting and promoting the safety, health, well-being, social and economic development of individuals and families.

Leadership 18 attendees included: Peter Goldberg, Alliance for Children and Families; Gail Mc Govern, American Red Cross; Roxanne Spillett, Boys and Girls Club of America; Father Larry Snyder, Catholic Charities USA; Kathy Cloninger, Girl Scouts of the USA; Judy Vredenburgh, Girls Incorporated; Jim Gibbons, Goodwill Industries International; Jill Schumann, Lutheran Services in America; Dr. David Shern, Mental Health America; Stephen Bennett, United Cerebral Palsy; Brian Gallagher, United Way Worldwide; Charles Gould, Volunteers of America; Neil Nicoll, YMCA of the USA; and Lorraine Cole, YWCA USA.

Earlier this month during a speech at a summit hosted by the National Military Family Association, the First Lady challenged every sector of American society to mobilize and take action to support and engage military families today and for decades to come. During the May 12 speech the First Lady said, “One percent of Americans may be fighting our wars, but we need 100 percent of Americans to support them and their families.  This has to be all hands on deck.”   The hope is that events like this one build a coalition to make this a reality.

Trooper Sanders is Deputy Director of Policy to the First Lady

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Filed under Dr. Jill Biden, Families, First Lady Michelle Obama, Military, Uncategorized, Women in the Military