michelleobama Today is International #EducationDay , so I’m taking some time to celebrate the perseverance of students and teachers around the world. Over the past year, the pandemic has presented so many new obstacles to education—some students have faced school closures, others have had to find a way to set up remote learning through radio or cell services. It’s a sad truth that girls are especially vulnerable during times of crisis: Early studies predict that, around the world, 20 million girls of secondary school age may never return to school because of the pandemic. We can’t let that happen. Thankfully, organizations in the @GirlsOpportunityAlliance community are doing everything they can to keep girls in school. The @TheHarpswellFoundation has provided tech support for girls in Cambodia so they can learn online, while @WomensGlobal has helped deliver food and essential supplies to girls and their families in Kenya. And, now, we have two new projects in Rwanda and Ghana that we’re supporting through our Girls Opportunity Alliance Fund. This work could not be more important, and I hope you’ll show them your support by clicking the link in my bio.
michelleobama With her strong and poignant words, @amandascgorman reminds us of the power we each hold in upholding our democracy. Keep shining, Amanda! I can't wait to see what you do next. 💕 #BlackGirlMagic
Photo credit: Rob Carr
michelleobama Today is the day. After a disturbing era of chaos and division, we are entering the next chapter of American leadership with the inauguration of @JoeBiden and @KamalaHarris . Right now, I’m feeling more than just relief at putting the past four years behind us. I’m feeling genuinely hopeful for what’s to come.
Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are the kind of leaders our nation deserves—decent, hardworking people who reflect the best of our values. Most of all, they’re guided by empathy, honesty, and a willingness to put the needs of our country before their own. They’re determined to make life better for all Americans, and I know they will bring us back the stability that has been sorely lacking through what has been a devastating pandemic. Not to mention, we’ll have terrific examples of leadership in @DrBiden and @DouglasEmhoff , as our new First Lady and Second Gentleman.
It’s no secret that the work ahead will be challenging. And no one person, even a president, is capable of waving a magic wand and fixing the problems that persist in this country. But this past year I’ve seen folks from all over America step up like never before, whether it was peacefully protesting against racial injustice, registering first-time voters, or simply making sure a neighbor could safely get their groceries. It feels like we might finally be getting some momentum. And with @JoeBiden and @KamalaHarris in the White House, we can once again start thinking about building the future we want for ourselves and our children.
michelleobama With so much going on, Dr. King’s leadership is as steadying a force as it’s ever been. I’ve been reflecting a lot on his example, and how it might help us move forward after these last four years. #MLKDay
michelleobama Thank you all for the lovely birthday wishes! I know this past year has been difficult for us all on so many levels, so I just hope you all are taking care of yourselves and finding joy in the smallest moments. Love you all. 💕
michelleobama With everything happening so quickly, it can be easy to lose sight of all those who act every day to strengthen and carry forward our democracy. Just last week, the state of Georgia showed the country what can happen when you organize, and strategize, and do the hard and thankless work of progress—when you identify, contact, and re-register voters who’d been illegally purged; when you focus on communities that have been marginalized and ignored; and when you rightly call out a new Jim Crow of voter suppression—when you do all that, you can deliver a Black pastor and a young Jewish man to represent Georgia in the United States Senate.
So much of the credit here goes to someone whose name I hope you know by now— @StaceyAbrams . Just two years ago, Stacey lost a close election for governor that included her opponent working to purge voter rolls and deny new voter registrations. What inspires me so much is that she could have become bitter or lost faith in our democracy—but she did just the opposite. She doubled down. She put more of her energy into this imperfect system of ours, making voting more accessible to the people our system had historically left behind. And she was by no means alone—the folks at The New Georgia Project, Black Voters Matter, Mijente, Pro Georgia, and so many others were all leading the charge right alongside her.
While many of the events of the past week have left us shaken and bruised, we cannot allow the deeply patriotic example of the Black women who drove Georgia’s record-breaking voter turnout to fade into the background. So let’s celebrate their triumph. And let’s follow their lead in our own communities and our own neighborhoods. This work of strengthening our country takes profound hope, unwavering vigilance—especially when an election is a long way off. But most of all, it takes every single one of us.
michelleobama Your vote is your voice. It’s your power. And right now, from the President of the United States on down, we’re seeing and hearing just how desperate some are to take that power away. They want us to believe that their titles, their offices, and their egos are more important than our democracy—more important than our voices. And this is just unconscionable at a time when a staggering number of Americans are dying every day from a virus that was downplayed for far too long. It’s unconscionable to focus on overturning an election rather than helping struggling families or distributing a vaccine.
This is why we can’t just vote for President and think that our job is done. Tomorrow’s runoffs in Georgia will decide whether the U.S. Senate is run by those who’ve shown their willingness to tear down our democracy—or whether it’ll be run by those who will actually get to work on the monumental challenges before us. These runoffs will decide whether President-Elect Biden has a Senate that will work with him rather than just obstruct him at every turn.
So if Georgians elect @RaphaelWarnock and @JonOssoff , we’ll take another step toward cleaning up the mess of the past four years. And we’ll send a message to any politician who puts themselves and their ambition above our system of self-government. If you live in Georgia, make sure you vote for @RaphaelWarnock and @JonOssoff in tomorrow’s U.S. Senate runoffs—and make sure everybody you know does the same. If you’ve already received a mail-in ballot, take it to a drop-box or vote in person at your polling place tomorrow. Because in America, everyone’s voice matters. And that’s still the truth, no matter what some folks want you to believe.
michelleobama For me, the holidays have always been a chance to slow down and reflect. We’ve endured so much this past year, from the devastation of the pandemic to the ups and downs of a hard-won election. But what has perhaps stayed with me most is the passionate message of justice and empathy that has defined the Black Lives Matter protests around the world.
Take the example of Patrick Hutchinson, whose humanity is on full display in this clip, as he carries another man—a stranger—to safety. I want to highlight this story because it’s hard to see so many people distort the unity and righteousness of these protests. They’ve been sowing seeds of division, misrepresenting those crying out for justice as troublemakers or criminals. The truth is the millions around the world who showed up with their homemade signs were marching with the same kind of compassion that Mr. Hutchinson shows here. They’re folks who face discrimination on a daily basis because of the color of their skin. And they’re just asking to be shown the same level of humanity that our consciences demand we show anyone else in need.
I hope more people can find it in their hearts to meet these cries for decency not with mistrust, but with love and a willingness to listen. Because as the COVID-19 crisis has made clear, our fates are inextricably bound. If the least of us struggles, we all in some way feel that pain. And, unless we keep speaking out and marching for equality, none of us will ever truly be free. We can’t watch a man choked to death in the light of day and assume that all our children can be safe. We can’t tell people they can use their voices, but then say, “Yes, but not right now” or “That’s not the right way.”
I pray that in 2021, more of us will reach out to understand the experiences of those who don’t look, or vote, or think like we do. I pray that we learn to pause when we're tempted to react in anger or suspicion. And I pray that we choose generosity and kindness over our worst impulses. That isn’t always easy. But it’s a place to start. And we have so many terrific examples in all of the folks who marched for what’s right this year. Thanks to you all. I’m so proud of you.
michelleobama There’s no doubt it’s been a trying year for all of us. But as I think about the moments that have given me hope, I think of all the ways we’ve seen people step up to help their communities this year. From checking in on neighbors to volunteering at food banks, these are just some of the many ways people have given back. Join the @ObamaFoundation ’s #OFCareChallenge and share how you’re helping out in your community. Every act of kindness makes a difference.
michelleobama Tuesday, January 5th, is the last day to vote in the U.S. Senate runoffs, and your vote could make all the difference in this election. Go to weall.vote/GA to get the information you need to request your ballot, vote early in-person, or vote on Election Day.