Daily Archives: October 7, 2010

The White House: Celebrating Archbishop Desmond Tutu

Posted by: Audiegrl
Written by Kori Schulman

Today marks the retirement of Archbishop Desmond Tutu, an “event [that] invites us to celebrate his many accomplishments from which we have all benefited,” said President Obama. “We will miss his insight and his activism, but will continue to learn from his example.”

In 2009, Archbishop Desmond Tutu was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom. America’s highest civilian honor — the 2009 awardees were chosen for their work as agents of change. In a never-before-seen video interview from the event, Tutu discusses being a catalyst of change and realizing one’s full potential:

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Here is President Obama’s full statement on the Archbishop’s retirement:

President Obama places a 2009 Presidential Medal of Freedom around the neck of Archbishop Desmond Tutu during a ceremony in the White House, in Washington, on 12 August PA

It is with deep appreciation that I note Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s retirement from public life today on the occasion of his 79th birthday. This event invites us to celebrate his many accomplishments from which we have all benefited. For decades he has been a moral titan—a voice of principle, an unrelenting champion of justice, and a dedicated peacemaker. He played a pivotal role in his country’s struggle against apartheid and extraordinary example of pursuing a path to forgiveness and reconciliation in the new South Africa. He has also been an outspoken voice for freedom and justice in countries across the globe; a staunch defender of the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons; and an advocate for treatment and prevention programs to stop the spread of HIV/AIDS. We will miss his insight and his activism, but will continue to learn from his example. We wish the Archbishop and his family happiness in the years ahead.

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Filed under Change, Pres. Barack Obama, South Africa, Uncategorized

2010 Fortune Most Powerful Women Summit

Posted by: Audiegrl
Written by Tina Tchen

Members of the audience stand and applaud as President Barack Obama arrives to address the 2010 Fortune Most Powerful Women Summit at the Mellon Auditorium in Washington, D.C., Oct. 5, 2010. (Official White House Photo by Samantha Appleton)

Yesterday, I participated in events for the Fortune Most Powerful Women’s Summit – held for the first time ever in Washington, D.C.! The Summit includes over 500 women leaders from business, government, philanthropy, media, education, and the arts. I started the evening at a Minute Mentoring session with 75 impressive high school girls from across the Washington, DC area. This lively group of girls was selected because they submitted applications where they were asked to write about their career aspirations. During the mentoring session, I got to spend one-on-one time with the girls, answering their questions, offering support and providing advice. They were remarkable young women!

After the mentoring session, the girls and I were off to the Fortune dinner. This event was attended by incredible women – including a number of senior level women from our Administration. President Obama keynoted the event and talked about the efforts we are undertaking to rebuild our economy, and the importance of women in business and the workforce. The President highlighted the 75 young women leaders and listed some of their career aspirations – “cultural anthropologist”, “classical singer”, “U.S. Senator” and a “professional race car driver”. He spoke eloquently about the steps that the Administration has taken to support their dreams and make women and girls a priority. The President addressed more broadly our efforts on behalf of small businesses, our efforts to train and educate workers, make our workplace more flexible, and make America more competitive. It was a special evening and an important statement about the Administration’s commitment to women and girls.

Tina Tchen is Director of the White House Office of Public Engagement and Executive Director of the Council on Women and Girls

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Filed under Change, First Lady Michelle Obama, Pres. Barack Obama, Uncategorized, Women's Issues