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First Lady Michelle Obama to Mentor Washington Girls

Posted by Audiegrl

Will join staffers Desiree Rogers, Susan Sher, Tina Tchen, Valerie Jarrett

First Lady Michelle Obama, Fran Drescher and Sheryl Crow

First Lady Michelle Obama, Fran Drescher and Sheryl Crow

Chicago Tribune/Katherine Skiba—First Lady Michelle Obama — and some of her Chicago “sisters” in the White House — on Monday will launch a first-of-its-kind mentoring program with about 20 high school girls from greater Washington.

As the first anniversary of President Barack Obama’s election nears, it’s the first lady who is making history now. Call this chapter “Girl Power.”

Observers say her leadership and mentoring initiative has not been done by a first lady before. It will see Obama — and White House staffers including Valerie Jarrett, Tina Tchen, Susan Sher and Desiree Rogers, Chicagoans all — act as mentors to high school juniors and sophomores.

Jarrett is a senior White House adviser. Tchen leads its public liaison office. Sher is the first lady’s chief of staff. Rogers is White House social secretary.

The proteges were chosen by high schools, the Girl Scouts and military families, including Gold Star families who have lost a loved one, said Katie McCormick Lelyveld, the first lady’s spokeswoman.

A similar initiative for young men is coming later, she said.

Tchen, an attorney from Chicago long active in politics, said the program builds on a March event at the White House that saw high school girls interact with the first lady, White House officials and a cast of celebrities including singers Alicia Keyes and Sheryl Crow; actresses and sisters Debbie Allen and Phylicia Rashad; actress Fran Drescher; and Mae Jemison, the first African-American woman to travel into space.

The First Lady chats with Fran Drescher and Alica Keys

The First Lady chats with Fran Dresche and Alica Keys

Tchen said the program launch will see proteges visit their mentors’ offices and gather as a group for dinner. The inaugural class’s duration has not been decided, she said, adding that she expects discussions of college, careers, and balancing work and motherhood.

The mentors, she said, want to give proteges a “window to a wide variety of different opportunities to play out your dreams.”

Letitia Baldrige, who was a top aide to first lady Jacqueline Kennedy, said the mentoring program was “definitely” a first for a presidential spouse. She called it “wonderfully imaginative,” but cautioned it will be difficult in part because of the ongoing commitment it requires.

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A Woman’s Nation: A Project of Maria Shriver and the Center for American Progress

Posted by TheLCster

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Maria Shriver

Maria Shriver

Forbes/Karlyn Bowman—Maria Shriver and NBC Universal are teaming up for a week long programming series on the state of 21st-century U.S. women. (Starting Sunday night Oct 23rd)

The programs, which will be distributed on NBC Universal TV channels and online, are based on “The Shriver Report: A Woman’s Nation Changes Everything.” Shriver, the first lady of California and a former NBC News correspondent, conducted the study with the Center for American Progress. The series will premier this Sunday October 18th and run through the 23rd.

This week Maria Shriver will star in an NBC media extravaganza about women in today’s economy. In an interview with MSNBC, Shriver explained her interest, saying that her uncle John F. Kennedy had commissioned a study on women’s status half a century ago (which Eleanor Roosevelt chaired until her death), and she decided to update it.

In presenting the commission’s final reports in 1963, President Kennedy said “[W]e have an obligation to the skilled, the trained, the unusual women … [the] thousands of women getting out of college … to make full use of their powers.”

The nation had a long way to go. A few years after the president’s report, a Gallup poll reporter that 55% of those polled approved of a married woman earning money in business or industry if she has a husband capable of supporting her, but 40% still disapproved. A sea change in attitudes and in the preparations young women would make for the new world was in the offing.

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Center for American Progress—“We will take a hard look at how women are doing in the United States today and consider the central question of the role government, business, and faith organizations, as well as individual women and men should play in supporting women’s role now in the workforce and the U.S. economy,“ said John Podesta, president and CEO of the Center for American Progress. “We look forward to teaming up with Maria Shriver on this important work.”

Eleanor Roosevelt and President John F. Kennedy discuss the Peace Corps, 1961.

Eleanor Roosevelt and President John F. Kennedy discuss the Peace Corps, 1961.

The last expansive government project centered on women was conducted under the presidency of John F. Kennedy, who appointed Eleanor Roosevelt in 1961 to chair a commission to report on the status of women. A Woman’s Nation will report its findings to the nation, Congress, and President Obama, who recently signed an executive order to establish a council to coordinate the federal government’s efforts to address the needs of women and girls.

Examining ways to improve the lives of women in this country is a noble cause, and I congratulate Maria Shriver and CAP on launching this new venture,” said White House Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett. “As a true leader in this area, Maria brings the perspective of a professional journalist, a working mother, and a caretaking daughter. Maria’s contributions to better understanding American women today are invaluable, and we look forward to the results of this work.”

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Think Progress Makes It’s Mark

Judged by the standard of influencing the conversation, Think Progress is flourishing.’~Politico

The 44D’s just wanted to take a moment and celebrate the blogger’s at ThinkProgress and the TP community. It’s not often that the MSM gives blogger’s recognition for all the hard work they do, even when they use blogger’s reporting in their own stories. Today, hopefully will mark a turning point in that behavior, and investigative blogger’s will earn the respect they so genuinely deserve.

Thank you TP for providing both excellent reporting and a place for honest political discussion.

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Politico/Daniel Libit—Can a liberal blog launched in the midst of the Bush era – a blog that once obsessed over Alberto Gonzales, Donald Rumsfeld, Karl Rove and the outing of Valerie Plame – still make its mark in the age of Obama?

In the case of Think Progress, the answer so far is yes.

Since January, the online arm of the Center for American Progress Action Fund has embraced its new role as the pin to prick the air out of Obama opposition — largely by offering up evidence that powerful Washington interests are fertilizing grassroots conservative anger.

In April, Think Progress was the first to highlight former House Majority Leader Dick Armey’s dual role as a lobbyist for a pharmaceutical company at DLA Piper and as the chairman of FreedomWorks, which has helped organize grassroots attacks on health care reform.

In the media uproar that followed, Armey quit his DLA Piper job and Editor Faiz Shakir says the controversy called into question whether the movement against the president was astroturfed.

In the ensuing months, Think Progress’s trackers and bloggers have tried to make that point with videos and posts that undercut the opponents of President Barack Obama’s agenda.

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