Posted by: Audiegrl
Eddie Gehman/Obama Foodorama~After more than a year of unprecedented activity that has shifted the national conversation about food, First Lady Michelle Obama made even more history on Monday morning, when she spoke at the 101st NAACP National Convention.
More than 4,000 delegates and attendees listened as Mrs. Obama described childhood obesity as a racial issue that overwhelmingly effects African Americans, which requires the immediate attention of the nation’s oldest civil rights organization. Changing the health status of children in the African American community is critical to continuing the work of the organization, Mrs. Obama said, as she called for a new version of the idea of food justice.
Mrs. Obama, clad in a polka dot dress and green kitten heels, received a huge ovation as she walked on to the dramatically lit and flag-loaded stage. The crowd rose to its feet, including some high profile attendees in the front row: Julian Bond, actors Blair Underwood, and Louis Gossett, Jr, local politicos and officials. NAACP president and CEO Benjamin Todd Jealous watched Mrs. Obama with a sleeping child in his arms.
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“It is my honor to welcome First Lady Michelle Obama to our annual convention to discuss her views on ways to tackle an epidemic that is plaguing our nation’s young people,” said NAACP Chairman Roslyn M. Brock. “She is a commanding figure who will ensure that this issue is at the forefront of our nation’s health agenda.”
“We are elated to have First Lady Michelle Obama joining us to celebrate our 101st year,” said NAACP President Benjamin Todd Jealous. “Providing affordable health care coverage and ensuring the well-being of all Americans is a priority for both the NAACP and the Obama Administration. Michelle Obama’s visionary leadership in confronting the problem of child hood obesity is to be applauded. At our convention, we will unveil health care and advocacy solutions to help solve the critical health problems that are plaguing our communities,” said Jealous. “The First Lady’s contributions to that important discussion will be invaluable in realizing our vision of an America that ensures that all people have the tools needed to live a healthy life.”
“We are absolutely thrilled to have the First Lady address our convention,” said NAACP Vice Chairman Leon W. Russell. “She was invited to discuss childhood obesity, an issue of importance to our members, and we are pleased she accepted our invitation.”
Widely labeled as a national epidemic, increasing childhood obesity rates have been a problem for decades but efforts to address the issue has been insufficient. In a commitment to tackle this issue, the President established a Task Force on Childhood Obesity to develop an action plan to solve the problem of obesity among the nation’s children within a generation, and the Administration has undertaken a comprehensive campaign led by the First Lady.
Strategies resulting from the task force report include updating child nutrition policies by utilizing the best available scientific information, ensuring access to healthy, affordable food in schools and communities, increasing physical activity and empowering parents and caregivers with the information and tools they need to make good choices for themselves and their families.
The recently launched Let’s Move! campaign aims to bring together community leaders, teachers, doctors, nurses, and parents in a national effort to tackle childhood obesity. Let’s Move! will push for healthier food in schools, encourage children to be more physically active, and help make healthy, affordable food available in every part of the nation.
“As the host city for this year’s convention it is exciting to have the First Lady attend our annual convention,” said NAACP Kansas City Branch President Anita L. Russell. “The First Lady’s presence will benefit the convention as well as Kansas City as a whole.”
Remarks by the First Lady to the NAACP National Convention in Kansas City, Missouri
*All photos courtesy of Obama Foodorama
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