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Vice-President Joe Biden and Dr. Jill Biden Attend the Sesame Workshop’s 8th Annual Benefit Gala

Posted by: Audiegrl

Vice President Joe Biden and Dr. Jill Biden attend Sesame Workshop's 8th Annual Benefit Gala at Cipriani 42nd Street on June 2, 2010 in New York City. (Photo by Bryan Bedder/Getty Images North America)

The muppets weren’t the only ones at last night’s Sesame Workshop’s 8th Annual Benefit Gala–the Bidens found their way to the fete, too! Jill and Joe conversed with some of our favorite furry friends. Both were dressed properly for the occasion–Jill in Grover blue dress and Joe in a tie tinted Rosita cyan. 😉

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Filed under Children, Dr. Jill Biden, Pop Culture, TV Shows, Vice-President Joe Biden

Wounded Warrior Soldier Ride Starts at White House

Posted by: BuellBoy

Dr. Jill Biden and her husband, U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, arrive to start the Wounded Warrior Soldier Ride on the South Lawn April 28, 2010 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images North America)

Vice President Joe Biden and Dr. Jill Biden speak to participants in the Wounded Warrior Soldier Ride on the South Lawn of the White House. The ride benefits the Wounded Warrior Projects efforts to provide rehabilitation for wounded soliders and to raise public awareness for the cause.

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Filed under Dr. Jill Biden, Military, Robert M. Gates (Sec of Defense), Uncategorized, Vice-President Joe Biden

Dr. Jill Biden Thanks 2010 National Teachers of the Year

Posted by: TheLCster

Dr. Jill Biden introduces Vice President Joe Biden during a reception for the National Teachers of the Year at the Vice President's residence at the Naval Observatory Residence, April 26, 2010. (Official White House Photo by David Lienemann)

On Monday evening, Dr. Jill Biden hosted the 2010 National Teachers of the Year reception to congratulate teachers across the country for making a difference in their students’ lives. She was joined by the Department of Education’s Undersecretary Thelma Melendez and Chief of Staff Margot Rogers.

Dr. Biden said being surrounded by teachers at the reception made it one of her “absolute favorite events of the year”:

“Just like each of you – I see day in and day out in my classroom the critical importance of education to the lives of Americans and the success of our nation.

I love being a teacher because I see that I can make a difference in the lives of my students. Regardless of the subject I’m teaching, my goal is to impart a sense of confidence in my students that will give them the strength to move in a positive direction.

I know each of you here tonight could share similar stories about your students who have been inspired by something you have taught them – and have, in turn, inspired you.

You stand here as the best of the best – each being honored this week for going above and beyond for your students, and our country.

So – on behalf of myself, my husband the Vice President, and President and Mrs. Obama – I want to say Thank You.”

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Filed under Children, Dr. Jill Biden, Education, Students, Teachers, Uncategorized, Vice-President Joe Biden

Dr. Dorothy I. Height, Founding Matriarch of Civil Rights Movement, Dies at 98

Posted by: BuellBoy and Audiegrl

Washington Post/Bart Barnes~Dr. Dorothy I. Height, 98, a founding matriarch of the American civil rights movement whose crusade for racial justice and gender equality spanned more than six decades, died early Tuesday morning of natural causes, a spokesperson for the National Council of Negro Women said.

Ms. Height was among the coalition of African American leaders who pushed civil rights to the center of the American political stage after World War II, and she was a key figure in the struggles for school desegregation, voting rights, employment opportunities and public accommodations in the 1950s and 1960s.

She died at 3:41 a.m. at Howard University Hospital, a spokesman there said.

Ms. Height was president of the National Council of Negro Women for 40 years, relinquishing the title in 1997. The 4 million-member advocacy group consists of 34 national and 250 community-based organizations. It was founded in 1935 by educator Mary McLeod Bethune, who was one of Ms. Height’s mentors.

As a civil rights activist, Ms. Height participated in protests in Harlem during the 1930s. In the 1940s, she lobbied first lady Eleanor Roosevelt on behalf of civil rights causes. And in the 1950s, she prodded President Dwight D. Eisenhower to move more aggressively on school desegregation issues. In 1994, Bill Clinton awarded her the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor.

In the turmoil of the civil rights struggles in the 1960s, Ms. Height helped orchestrate strategy with movement leaders including the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., Roy Wilkins, A. Philip Randolph, Whitney Young, James Farmer, Bayard Rustin and John Lewis, who later served as a Democratic member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Georgia.

Ms. Height was arguably the most influential woman at the top levels of civil rights leadership, but she never drew the major media attention that conferred celebrity and instant recognition on some of the other civil rights leaders of her time.

In this Aug. 28, 1963 photo, Dorothy Height, right, listens as the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., gestures during his I Have a Dream speech as he addresses thousands of civil rights supporters gathered in front of the Lincoln Memorial for the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.

In August 1963, Ms. Height was on the platform with King when he delivered his “I Have A Dream” speech at the Lincoln Memorial. But she would say later that she was disappointed that no one advocating women’s rights spoke that day at the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. Less than a month later, at King’s request, she went to Birmingham, Ala., to minister to the families of four black girls who had died in a church bombing linked to the racial strife that had engulfed the city.

“At every major effort for social progressive change, Dorothy Height has been there,” Lewis said in 1997 when Ms. Height announced her retirement as president of the National Council of Negro Women.

Early Champion for Women’s Rights

As a champion of social justice, Ms. Height was best known during the early years of her career for her struggles to overcome racial prejudice.

Dr. Height watches President John F. Kennedy sign the Equal Pay Act on June 10, 1963 in a ceremony at the White House. The bill was aimed at assuring women of paychecks equal to those of men doing the same work.

She was also energetic in her efforts to overcome gender bias, and much of that work predated the women’s rights movement. When President John F. Kennedy signed the Equal Pay Act in 1963, Ms. Height was among those invited to the White House to witness the ceremony. She returned to the White House in 1998 for a ceremony marking the 35th anniversary of that legislation to hear Clinton urge passage of additional laws aimed at equalizing pay for men and women.

“Dorothy Height deserves credit for helping black women understand that you had to be feminist at the same time you were African . . . that you had to play more than one role in the empowerment of black people,” Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.) once said.

As president of the National Council of Negro Women, Ms. Height was instrumental in organizing and sponsoring programs that emphasized self-help and self-reliance.

In 2003 President Bush presented Dr. Dorothy Height with the Congressional Gold Medal of Honor. Dr. Height is recognized as one of the preeminent social and civil rights activists of the 20th century. Mayor Anthony Williams attended the ceremony. Senator Hillary Clinton, former Labor Secretary Alexis Herman, Senator Carl Levin and Representative Diane Watson were also present.

Those included nutrition, child care, housing and career counseling. In response to a public TV program, “The Vanishing Black Family,” Ms. Height helped create and organize the Black Family Reunion Celebration, which has been held on the Mall and in cities across the country annually since 1985. The gatherings are intended to honor the traditions, strength and history of African American families while seeking solutions to such social problems as teen pregnancy and drug abuse.

“The reunion is as important today as some of our marches were in the past,” Ms. Height said in 1992.

In 1995, Ms. Height was among the few women to speak at the Million Man March on the Mall, which was led by Louis Farrakhan, the chief minister of the Nation of Islam. “I am here because you are here,” she declared. Two years later, at 85, she sat at the podium all day, in the whipping wind and chill rain, at the Million Woman March in Philadelphia.

Open Wide the Freedom Gates: A Memoir by Dr. Dorothy I. Height“She was a dynamic woman with a resilient spirit, who was a role model for women and men of all faiths, races and perspectives. For her, it wasn’t about the many years of her life, but what she did with them,” said former U.S. Secretary of Labor Alexis M. Herman, a close friend who has been running day-to-day operations at the National Council.

Herman called Ms. Height “a national treasure who lived life abundantly. She will be greatly missed, not only by those of us who knew her well, but by the countless beneficiaries of her enduring legacy.”

More @

Dorothy I. Height Congressional Medal

President George W. Bush presented the congressional gold medal to Dr. Dorothy I. Height in 2003. The medal honored her for a lifetime of work helping people exercise their civil rights. She was president of the National Council of Negro Women from 1958 until she retired in 1998. She worked with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and other civil rights leaders throughout the 1960s. She also received the Citizens Medal Award from President Ronald Reagan in 1989 and the Medal of Freedom from President Bill Clinton in 1994.

The congressional gold medal was awarded to Dr. Height in recognition of “her many contributions to the Nation.” The medal is inscribed with her words: “We African-American women seldom do just what we want to do, but always do what we have to do. I am grateful to have been in a time and place where I could be a part of what was needed.”

The Godmother of the Civil Rights Movement

Dr. Dorothy I. Height, 1912 - 2010, RIP

President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle joined the rest of the nation in mourning Dr. Dorothy Height:

“Michelle and I were deeply saddened to hear about the passing of Dorothy Height – the godmother of the Civil Rights Movement and a hero to so many Americans. Ever since she was denied entrance to college because the incoming class had already met its quota of two African American women, Dr. Height devoted her life to those struggling for equality. She led the National Council of Negro Women for 40 years, and served as the only woman at the highest level of the Civil Rights Movement – witnessing every march and milestone along the way. And even in the final weeks of her life – a time when anyone else would have enjoyed their well-earned rest – Dr. Height continued her fight to make our nation a more open and inclusive place for people of every race, gender, background and faith. Michelle and I offer our condolences to all those who knew and loved Dr. Height – and all those whose lives she touched.~President Barack Obama

First Lady Michelle Obama greets Dr. Dorothy Height following her remarks on health care legislation at the White House complex September 18, 2009 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images North America)


President Barack Obama kisses Dr. Dorothy Height during a meeting on Martin Luther King Jr. Day in the Roosevelt Room of the White House. President Obama met with a group of African American seniors and their grandchildren on the legacy of the civil rights movement January 18, 2010. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

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The 2008 video above, is one of a series of videos of civil rights leaders discussing the importance of Brown v. Board of Education and its impact on the country, focusing on the progress America has made, and the challenges we still face to truly realize the dream of Brown by providing a quality education for all.

For more information, visit RealizeTheDream.org

Watch never-before-seen video of President Obama and “the godmother of the Civil Rights Movement,” Dr. Dorothy Height, during a January intergenerational reflection on the civil rights movement at the White House. She recounts here her memories of meeting one 15 year-old Martin Luther King, Jr. Dr. Height passed away on April 20, 2010 at the age of 98.

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Wednesdays in Misssissippi~a documentary film

In the summer of 1964 a quiet revolution began in Mississippi when a group of Black and White women reached across the chasm of race, class, geography, and religion to end segregation in America. This quiet revolution was called “Wednesdays in Mississippi.” The story of these brave women has never been told. It is a story of courage, danger, and transformation. The one hour documentary film WEDNESDAYS IN MISSISSIPPI will finally tell their story.

The only civil rights project run by a national women’s organization, “Wednesdays in Mississippi” (WIMS) was the brainchild of National Council of Negro Women President, Dorothy Height and her close friend, Polly Cowan. Their plan brought Black and White women from Northern cities like Boston, New York, and Chicago into Mississippi in 1964 during Freedom Summer.

Each week, both interracial and interfaith teams of women known as “Wednesdays Women” traveled to Mississippi on Tuesdays. On Wednesdays, the women brought supplies and much needed support to small rural communities. There, local Black citizens and young civil rights workers from the North faced daily violence and constant harassment as they worked side by side to end legalized segregation. The women experienced first hand the devastating results of racial injustice, but also witnessed the hope and promise of change.

However, it was on Thursdays that the quiet revolution took root. This was when the “Wednesdays Women” put on their white gloves and pearls and secretly met with Black and White Mississippi women. In living rooms over tea and cookies the Southern women openly discussed their fears and suspicions about the civil rights movement. Many, for the first time, voiced their support for change. At that time in Mississippi, mixing with outsiders had dire consequences. Yet the women came, they listened and their hearts and minds began to open. Their clandestine meetings became the catalyst for great change.

In 1965, the Southern women invited the Northern women back to Mississippi. This groundbreaking alliance between Black and White women from the North and South continued until 1967. Working together, the women started economic, health and educational programs, including the well known Fannie Lou Hamer Daycare center, which continues to thrive today.

The film, WEDNESDAYS IN MISSISSIPPI will show how the lives of these women were enriched and transformed by doing what Dorothy Height called, “women’s work…the work of making connections and building community.” At last, the legacy of these courageous women will be shared.

Film information courtesy of Wednesdays in Mississippi

Learn more about the film, how you can show your support it, and about the filmmakers.

Learn more about Wednesdays in Mississippi: Civil Rights as Women’s Work: An Exhibit Website


President Obama, First Lady Michelle and Mourners Attend Dr. Dorothy I. Height Funeral on April 29, 2010

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Filed under African-Americans, Civil Rights Movement, Uncategorized, Women's Issues

First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden Make Surprise Visit Haiti

Posted by: Audiegrl


WhiteHouse.gov/Katie McCormick Lelyveld~Moments ago First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden landed in Port-au-Prince, Haiti – a visit to underscore to the Haitian people and the Haitian government the enduring U.S. commitment to help recover and rebuild, especially as we enter the rainy and hurricane seasons. Mrs. Obama and Dr. Biden will thank the women and men across the whole of the U.S. government for their extraordinary efforts in Haiti during the past three months and reach out to the UN and international relief communities in recognition of the truly global effort underway to help Haiti.

Katie McCormick Lelyveld is Press Secretary to First Lady Michelle Obama

Remarks by the First Lady and Dr. Biden at Thank You Event

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Filed under Earthquake, First Lady Michelle Obama, Haiti, Port au Prince, Video/YouTube

First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden: Month of the Military Child

Supporting military families is a top Obama Administration priority. April is Month of the Military Child and gives the nation the opportunity to recognize the character, strength and sacrifices of America’s military children as well as the role they play in the armed forces community. Today, there are 1.7 million American children and youth under 18-years-old with a parent serving in the military and approximately 900,000 children and youth with one or both parents deployed multiple times. Learn more about the Month of the Military Child here.

Watch the video of First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden talk about the important role military children play in the armed forces community:

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First Lady Michelle Obama Celebrates NEA’s Read Across America Day and Dr. Seuss’ Birthday

Posted by: Audiegrl

First Lady Michelle Obama prepares to read Dr. Seuss' The Cat in the Hat, during an event at the Library of Congress on March 2, 2010 in Washington, DC. Over three hundred local students participated in the event to promote reading . and to mark Read Across America Day and the birthday of author Theodor Seuss Geisel. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images North America)

AP~First Lady Michelle Obama celebrated Dr. Seuss’ birthday Tuesday by reading “The Cat in the Hat” to a group of children wearing red-and-white-striped stovepipe hats like the book’s main character.

Mrs. Obama helped kick off the National Education Association’s 13th annual “Read Across America” celebration at the Library of Congress. The event marked the day that Dr. Seuss, or Theodor Seuss Geisel, would have turned 106.

Do you know the president of the United States reads all the time,” Mrs. Obama told a group of more than 200 students from elementary schools in Washington and Arlington, Va. “Our girls at home read every single night.”

The first lady said that her daughters, Sasha and Malia, are allowed to stay up 30 minutes later if they are reading.

Some of the first family’s favorite children’s books are “Horton Hatches the Egg,” by Dr. Seuss and “Where the Wild Things Are,” by Maurice Sendak, Mrs. Obama said in response to one of the children’s questions.

Education Secretary Arne Duncan also read “Horton Hears a Who!

NEA President Dennis Van Roekel led the children in a rhyming pledge to read every day. It began: “I promise to read each day and each night. I know it’s the key to growing up right.”

On Monday President Barack Obama proclaimed March 2 Read Across America Day.

Read Across America Day
What is NEA’s Read Across America?

NEA’s Read Across America is an annual reading motivation and awareness program that calls for every child in every community to celebrate reading on March 2, the birthday of beloved children’s author Dr. Seuss.

NEA’s Read Across America also provides NEA members, parents, caregivers, and children the resources and activities they need to keep reading on the calendar 365 days a year.

In cities and towns across the nation, teachers, teenagers, librarians, politicians, actors, athletes, parents, grandparents, and others develop NEA’s Read Across America activities to bring reading excitement to children of all ages. Governors, mayors, and other elected officials recognize the role reading plays in their communities with proclamations and floor statements. Athletes and actors issue reading challenges to young readers. And teachers and principals seem to be more than happy to dye their hair green or be duct-taped to a wall if it boosts their students’ reading.

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Filed under Books, Children, Education, First Lady Michelle Obama, Obama Administration, Secretary Arne Duncan (Sec of Education), Students, Teachers, Uncategorized, Video/YouTube