First Lady Michelle Obama’s Open Letter On Seventeen.com


The Militant Negro

The Militant Negro

First Lady Michelle Obama, First Lady Marème Sall and principal Rouguy Ly Sal talk with students at a visit to the Martin Luther King Middle School, an all-girls school in Dakar, Senegal, June 27, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)

First Lady Michelle Obama, First Lady Marème Sall and principal Rouguy Ly Sal talk with students at a visit to the Martin Luther King Middle School, an all-girls school in Dakar, Senegal, June 27, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)

 

First Lady Michelle Obama’s Open Letter on Seventeen.com

The following open letter by First Lady Michelle Obama appeared this morning on Seventeen.com.

 

Additionally, the symposium for spouses hosted by First Lady Michelle Obama and Mrs. Laura Bush is being livestreamed today at  http://www.whitehouse.gov/us-africa-leaders-summit.

 

Did you know that right now, 62 million girls around the world are not in school, and in some countries, fewer than ten percent of girls complete high school (as compared to 85 percent in the U.S.)?

 

Did you know that when girls are educated, they go on to earn higher wages, get married later, and have healthier children who are more likely to attend school themselves?

 

So you might be wondering: why on earth are so many girls worldwide not in school?

 

There are many answers to this question.  Sometimes, families simply can’t afford to send their daughters to school (some countries don’t have free public education, and families have to pay school fees); or girls live in rural areas, far from schools, and have no means of transportation; or girls can’t afford to buy sanitary pads, so they’re unable to attend school during their periods, and they wind up falling behind and dropping out.

 

But often, the problem isn’t just about resources, it’s also about attitudes and beliefs.

 

In some places, girls are viewed as less worthy of an education than boys, so when a family has limited funds, they’ll educate their sons instead of their daughters.  In some parts of the world, girls are forced to get married young – sometimes before they even reach puberty – to men who might be three or four times their age, and instead of attending school, they wind up having children at a young age.

 

And often, even when girls do have the chance to attend school, they do so at great risk.  For example, in some countries, there are terrorist organizations who view educated girls as a serious threat and do everything in their power to keep girls from going to school.

 

We saw this in Pakistan when Taliban terrorists boarded a school bus and shot a 15 year-old girl named Malala Yousafzai because she had spoken out for girls’ education.  We saw it in Nigeria when men from a terrorist organization called Boko Haram kidnapped more than 200 girls from their school dormitory in the middle of the night.

 

These girls were well aware of the risks they were taking – they had been receiving threats for months – but they insisted on showing up for school because they were determined to pursue their dreams and make their families and communities proud.

 

Knowing the heartbreaking challenges so many girls in the world are facing, think about all the girls you know who don’t take their education seriously – girls who skip class, or don’t do their homework, or even drop out because they don’t see the point of school.

 

To any girl – or any young person – who might be thinking this way, I have a simple message: you can do better – for yourself, your family and your country.

 

I know that your school might not be as good as it should be, or you might be facing challenges in your family that make it hard for you to focus in class.  But if girls across the globe can walk hours each day from their villages to attend school, or work two or three jobs to pay their school fees, or even risk their lives to attend school, then I know you can overcome any obstacles you face.

 

Maybe that means talking to a teacher or a counselor to get some help, or committing yourself to concrete goals each week, like showing up on time for class and getting your homework done each night.

 

Whatever you do, I urge you to take your education seriously, because no matter what you want to do with your life, I guarantee that you will need a high school diploma and some higher education, like a two-year or four-year college degree or a professional certificate.

 

And as you get yourself on track for higher education, I hope you’ll work to give girls around the world opportunities to attend school too.  Get involved with an organization that focuses on girls’ education; form a club at your school to raise money and awareness; use social media to educate everyone you know about this issue.

 

So many girls around the world would give anything to get the kind of education that so many girls take for granted in the U.S.  And I hope you will show just a fraction of their courage and determination in getting your own education and helping them get theirs.

 

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The Last 24™


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The U.S. ★ Africa Leaders Summit: August 4th – 6th, 2014, Washington, D.C.

 

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Susan E. Rice: Previewing the U.S.- Africa Leaders Summit

 

Published on Jul 31, 2014

United States national security Advisor Susan E. Rice previews the first-ever U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit where President Obama will welcome nearly 50 African heads of state to Washington, as well as leaders from across Africa’s civil society, private sector and faith communities.

 

 

 

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President Obama Delivers Remarks at the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit

 

Published on Aug 5, 2014

President Obama addresses the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit Business Forum on August 5, 2014.

 

 

 

The Vice President Delivers Remarks to the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit Business Forum

 

Published on Aug 5, 2014

Vice President Joe Biden addressed the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit Business Forum on August 5, 2014.

 

 

 

Dr. Biden Delivers Remarks at the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit

 

Published on Aug 5, 2014

Dr. Jill Biden speaks during a luncheon at the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit. August 4, 2014.

 

 

 

Vice President Biden Address the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit

 

Published on Aug 4, 2014

Vice President Joe Biden speaks at the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit Civil Society Forum in Washington, D.C. on August 4, 2014.

 

 

 

Dr. Jill Biden delivers remarks to the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit

 

Published on Aug 4, 2014

Dr. Jill Biden delivers remarks at the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit on resilience and food security in a changing climate

 

 

 

U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit: Videos Of Events

 

Streamed live on Aug 5, 2014

U.S.-Africa Business Forum

The U.S. Department of Commerce and Bloomberg Philanthropies will co-host the first U.S.-Africa Business Forum, a day focused on strengthening trade and financial ties between the United States and Africa.

Schedule of Events:
9:00 AM – 11:50 AM Moderated Sessions
1:45 PM – 2:10 PM Vice President Biden Delivers Remarks
2:45 PM – 3:30 PM President Obama Delivers Remarks

 

 

 

Streamed live on Aug 4, 2014

U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit: Resilience and Food Security in a Changing Climate

The “Resilience and Food Security in a Changing Climate” Signature Event will highlight three critical and interrelated areas in the U.S-Africa relationship: food security, climate change, and resilience.

 

 

 

Streamed live on Aug 4, 2014

U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit: Civil Society Forum

The “Civil Society Forum” Signature Event will bring together U.S. and African government leaders, members of African and U.S. civil society and the diaspora, and private sector leaders.

8:30 AM – Civil Society Forum Panel
10:00 AM – Secretary of State Kerry Addresses the Forum
11:50 AM – Vice President Biden Delivers Remarks

 

 

 

Streamed live on Aug 5, 2014

African Leaders Arrival to the White House

 

 

 

Streamed live on Aug 5, 2014

President Obama and the First Lady Host a Dinner for the U.S.-African Leaders Summit. Live from the White House.

 

 

 

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8/5/14: White House Press Briefing

 

Published on Aug 5, 2014

White House Press Briefings are conducted most weekdays from the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room in the West Wing.

 

 

 

August 4th – 5th 2014: U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit Photos of the Day

 

President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama greet His Excellency Macky Sall, President of the Republic of Senegal, and Mrs. Marieme Sall, in the Blue Room during a U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit dinner at the White House, Aug. 5, 2014. [Official White House Photo by Amanda Lucidon]

President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama greet His Excellency Macky Sall, President of the Republic of Senegal, and Mrs. Marieme Sall, in the Blue Room during a U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit dinner at the White House, Aug. 5, 2014. [Official White House Photo by Amanda Lucidon]

 

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U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit: Day Three

 

AUGUST 6

 

Summit Leader Meetings
African leaders and President Obama will engage in dialogue in three action-oriented sessions that will address issues of shared interest and mutual concern.

 

Leader Session I – Investing in Africa’s Future
The opening session will discuss inclusive, sustainable development, economic growth, and trade and investment.

 

Leader Session II – Peace and Regional Stability
A working lunch centered around shared concerns regarding peace and security, including a discussion of long-term solutions to regional conflicts, peacekeeping challenges, and combating transnational threats.

 

 

Leader Session III – Governing for the Next Generation
This session will allow for a candid conversation about the greatest challenges and opportunities for Africa’s continued political and economic progress and a specific focus on governance. This session will focus on how to enhance governance in order to deliver services to citizens, attract and prepare for increased domestic and foreign direct investment, manage transnational threats, and stem the flow of illicit finance.

 

 

Leader Press Conferences

 

Spousal Program

On August 6, First Lady Michelle Obama, in partnership with former First Lady Laura Bush and the Bush Institute, will host a day-long spouses symposium at the Kennedy Center focused on the impact of investments in education, health, and public-private partnerships.

 

 

Media

Media representatives wishing to cover the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit and related events and/or to get access to the Media Center must apply to receive a credential. For more information on media and the online accreditation system, please go to the Working Media Credential Application page.

 

Any media-related questions should be directed to the U.S. Media Coordinator’s Office, at AfricaSummitMedia@state.gov.

 

Side Events

In order to leverage the presence in Washington, D.C. of so many African leaders as well as the intense interest in U.S.-Africa ties that the Summit has engendered, a number of non government actors – the private sector and non-profit organizations — are organizing events along the margins to coincide with the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit.

 

 

YALI

YALI / Young African Leaders Initiative / logo

 

President Obama launched the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) in 2010 to support young leaders with opportunities and resources. Through YALI, the United States is committing significant resources to enhance leadership skills, bolster entrepreneurship, and connect young African leaders with one another, with the United States, and with the American people. Investing in the next generation of African leaders is critical to ensuring the success of Africa’s democracies and its economies.

 

The Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders is the exchange program of the President’s Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI). This program brings over 500 young leaders to the United States each year, beginning in 2014, for leadership training, academic coursework, and mentoring. It also creates unique opportunities in Africa, through internships and follow-on opportunities, to put those new skills to practical use in propelling economic growth and prosperity and strengthening democratic institutions. To be part of the YALI Network, follow @YALINetwork on Twitter or find us on Facebook.

 

For more information on YALI, please visitYoungAfricanLeaders.state.gov.

 

Stay Engaged

 

Speeches and Remarks/Statements and Releases – August 5th, 2014

 

Remarks by the President at the U.S.-Africa Business Forum

 

Readout of Vice President Biden’s Meeting with President Moncef Marzouki of Tunisia

 

Readout of Vice President Biden’s Meeting with President Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria

 

Readout of National Security Advisor Susan E. Rice’s Meeting with Prime Minister Navinchandra Ramgoolam of Mauritius

 

President Obama Nominates Two to Serve on the United States District Courts

 

Presidential Nominations Sent to the Senate

 

FACT SHEET: The Doing Business in Africa Campaign

 

FACT SHEET: Powering Africa: Increasing Access to Power in Sub-Saharan Africa

 

Expected Attendees at Tonight’s U.S.–Africa Leaders Summit Dinner

 

Readout of Vice President Biden’s Meeting with President Jacob Zuma of South Africa

 

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First Lady Michelle LaVaughn Obama On Veteran Homelessness.


The Militant Negro

The Militant Negro

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Op-ed by First Lady Michelle Obama on McClatchy: Let’s end veteran homelessness once and for all

The following op-ed by First Lady Michelle Obama appeared last night across McClatchy platforms.

 

Veterans Homelessness.

 

Let’s end veteran homelessness once and for all

 

At the beginning of June, 85 mayors, governors and county officials from across the country – and across the political spectrum – signed on to the Mayors Challenge to End Veterans Homelessness. Today, we’re announcing that in the two months since then, 97 more state and local leaders have signed on – meaning that a total of 182 local leaders have pledged to end homelessness among the veterans in their communities by the end of 2015.

 

I know that might sound like a pipe dream. After all, veteran homelessness is a problem we’ve faced for decades – in fact, almost 90 percent of all homeless veterans served prior to 9/11. And as a country, we’ve never been able to rally the resources and the public will to get all of our veterans off the streets and into stable housing.

 

So why do all these state and local leaders believe that things are any different today? The answer to that question is simple: because today – thanks to federal, state and local leadership and the determined, daily work of advocates on the ground – we’re finally seeing that ending veteran homelessness is not just something we should strive to achieve – it’s something we actually can.

 

For example, in recent months, Phoenix and Salt Lake City effectively ended chronic homelessness among their veterans. New Orleans is on track to end all veteran homelessness within the next six months. Last year, New York City helped more than 2,000 veterans get into safe and stable housing. St. Paul and Minneapolis have cut veteran homelessness in half over the last five years, and between the two cities there are just 18 veterans left on the streets.

 

Any number of veterans left out in the cold is too many, but those numbers show us that even in some of our largest metropolitan areas, ending veteran homelessness is eminently achievable.

 

My husband has believed this from the moment he took office. That’s why he not only vowed to end veteran homelessness, he coupled that pledge with record funding and innovative strategies to get it done. We know that through solutions like “housing first” – an evidence-based strategy to get our veterans into permanent housing before tackling issues like mental health, substance abuse or employment – we can not only do right by our veterans but also save taxpayer money. Quite simply, it’s cheaper to pay someone’s rent than to pay for hospital bills, law enforcement and so many other services if they’re living on the street.

 

By employing that strategy, even in the midst of a historic recession, we’ve seen tremendous progress. Since 2008, we’ve housed more than 73,000 veterans through the HUD-VASH program, which provides housing vouchers to help homeless veterans pay for permanent, stable housing. And last year alone, under a program called Supportive Services for Veteran Families, we kept more than 60,000 veterans and their family members from falling into homelessness. Next year, we expect that number to grow to over 100,000.

 

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But we know that this problem can’t be solved by Washington alone. It takes local leaders to implement community-wide plans. It takes advocates and service providers who know our veterans by name and can connect them with the services and support that they need. And it takes folks from all across the country making their voices heard and dedicating their time and energy to help these veterans find a place to call home.

 

So if your mayor hasn’t signed on to the mayors challenge, light up their phone lines and ask them why not. If you’ve got a free minute, contact a local organization in your neighborhood and ask when you can volunteer or where you can donate.

 

Our veterans have given so much to this country – time and again, with their service and sacrifice, they’ve shown us who they are. Now it’s up to the rest of us to show who we are. It’s up to us to show these veterans we’ve got their backs and end veteran homelessness once and for all.

 

Michelle Obama is First Lady of the U.S.

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Remarks by the First Lady at the National Alliance to End Homelessness Annual Conference

The Renaissance Hotel
Washington, D.C.

12:56 P.M. EDT

 

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MRS. OBAMA:  Thank you, everyone.  (Applause.)  Good afternoon.  Thank you so much.  Well, please, rest yourselves.  (Laughter.)  Good afternoon.

 

Let us start by thanking Leon for sharing his story and for everything he’s done for our country.  (Applause.)  We are so proud of men and women like Leon who are everywhere in this country.

 

I also want to thank everyone from Friendship Place for lifting up so many veterans like Leon here in D.C.  I also want to recognize Nan Roman and everyone here at the National Alliance to End Homelessness for hosting us here at your annual conference.

 

But most of all, I want to thank all of you -– the leaders who are fighting every day to end homelessness in communities across this country.  The work you are doing is so critically important.  You are helping folks meet one of their most basic human needs.  You’re making sure our communities reflect our shared values of compassion, empathy, and service.  And you’re doing the hard work to show that here in America, we take care of our own.  (Applause.)

 

So given your extraordinary contributions, it is disappointing that you often don’t get the support, respect, and appreciation you need to get the job done.  (Applause.)  Whether you’re running a shelter, or raising money for a community organization, or managing a citywide anti-homelessness campaign, you all are working long hours to keep it all together.  You’re fighting each year for every single penny in your budgets.  But inevitably the cuts come and it’s up to you to figure out how to salvage what’s left of your programs.

 

And day after day, as you fight for more resources, you encounter too many folks who don’t take you seriously because they don’t believe that we’ll ever truly be able to solve this problem; or even worse, because they feel like our homeless brothers and sisters have brought these problems on themselves.

 

Yet, when so many others accept homelessness as a fact of life, you refuse to give up.  When they scoff at your idealism, you show them the data and evidence that prove that we can solve this problem.  And when they still throw up their hands and walk away from this challenge, you roll up your sleeves and get back to work.

 

So today, before I say anything else, I just want to say thank you.  Thank you.  (Applause.)

 

Thank you for taking that gay teenager whose parents kicked him out of the house.  Thank you for connecting that low-income family with resources that keep them from being evicted.  And thank you for showing veterans like Leon that the country they served still has their backs.

 

And that’s actually — yes, thank you.  (Applause.)  I don’t know if you hear that enough.  But it’s veterans like Leon that’s actually what I’d like to focus on my discussion with you today on.  I’d like to talk about how we’re serving our veterans in this country, particularly when it comes to the issue of homelessness.

As you know, as First Lady, I’ve been blown away by the stories of courage and selflessness that define our veterans and their families.  I have met wounded warriors who have lost legs to an IED, and then fight through recovery to run marathons.  I’ve met veterans who have run into sniper fire and explosions to save their friends.  Every single time they’re asked, these men and women answer the call and give this country everything they’ve got.

 

And so when I hear that these folks don’t even have a place to go when it rains, like all of you, I am outraged.  And the fact that right now, our country has more than 58,000 homeless veterans, well, that’s a stain on the soul of this nation.

 

Now, I always try to be very clear that the vast majority of our veterans are tremendously resilient and never experience homelessness.  They transition back in good health and good spirits and go on to build successful careers and strong families.  But as Americans, the idea that anyone who has worn our country’s uniform spends their nights sleeping on the ground should horrify us.  And so it is truly our duty to right this wrong and put an end to veteran homelessness, once and for all.

 

But that moral and patriotic duty is only part of the reason why ending veteran homelessness is so critical.  As we all know, ending homelessness for our veterans can also be a crucial first step — a proof point — to show that we can end homelessness for everyone in this country, too.  (Applause.)

 

Because time and time again, we’ve seen how broader social change can be triggered by our military.  In the 1940s, we started the school lunch program, because too many of our young people were too malnourished to serve in the military when they were drafted.  During the fight to end segregation, folks were arguing that if our troops could bleed together on the battlefield, well then certainly they could sit next to each other at the movies or a lunch counter.  (Applause.)  And today on mental health issues, we’re seeing that we can combat stigma and stimulate groundbreaking research by sharing the stories of our brave veterans.

 

And that kind of progress is possible when it comes to homelessness as well.  In fact, in Phoenix and Salt Lake City, they’ve already effectively ended chronic homelessness among their veterans.  (Applause.)  In New Orleans, they’re on track to end all veteran homelessness within the next six months.  (Applause.)  And as a nation, we’ve reduced veteran homelessness by 24 percent over the last three years under this administration.  (Applause.)

 

So today, thanks to federal action, local leadership and the hard work of folks like you, we are on the verge of making a major breakthrough on veteran homelessness and a breakthrough that could change the entire conversation about homelessness in this country.  So today, it’s more important than ever that we redouble our efforts, that we embrace the most effective strategies to end homelessness among our veterans once and for all.

 

And that’s what my husband has been doing since the day he took office.  When he became President, my husband vowed to put an end to veteran homelessness.  And over the past five years, he’s cut through red tape, directed record funding to veteran programs.  And together, we’ve made tremendous progress on this issue.

 

For example, many of you are familiar with the HUD-VASH voucher program.  Since 2008, we have housed more than 73,000 veterans using these vouchers.  (Applause.)  And that’s more than 40 times as many veterans as were housed since the program first began in the ‘90s.  And through the Supportive Services for Veteran Families program, last year alone we helped prevent more than 60,000 veterans and their family members from falling into homelessness.  And next year, we expect that number to grow to 100,000.  (Applause.)

 

So we are seeing that with enough resources and the right strategies — strategies like housing first, rapid rehousing — we can make huge amounts of progress in a very short period of time.  And leaders all across the country are seeing that too.  That’s why just last month, I was proud to host an event at the White House where a collection of 85 mayors, governors and county officials signed on to the mayors challenge to end homelessness among veterans by the end of 2015.  And that’s a huge deal.  It’s a huge deal.  (Applause.)

 

And today, I’m equally proud to announce that in the eight weeks since that event, 97 more city, state, and county leaders have signed on to that challenge.  That’s a total of 182 communities –- more than double our original number.  (Applause.) We even got Los Angeles on board, and they’ve got — (laughter) — and that’s important because they’ve got more than 6,000 homeless veterans in their city –- far more than any city in this country.

 

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But Mayor Garcetti in Los Angeles and leaders across the country are signing on to this pledge because they’ve seen the data and they know that they can create enough housing for every veteran.  And if a veteran does fall into homelessness, they’ll have systems in place to get those vets back into stable housing as quickly as possible.  That’s what it’s going to take to end veteran homelessness.  And that’s what these 182 communities are committing to do by the end of 2015.

 

But of course, I know, and these leaders know, and my husband knows that we will never be able to reach that goal without all of you.  Yes.  (Laughter and applause.)  We’re counting on you, because you all are the ones who know your communities inside and out.  You know your veterans by name.  You know their stories by heart.  You know the donors, the congregations, the community groups that you need to get engaged.  And perhaps most of all, you know the best ways to implement data-driven, cost-effective solutions that really work on the ground.

 

For example, after Hurricane Katrina, Volunteers of America of Greater New Orleans realized that their focus on sobriety programming wasn’t as effective as it could be.  So they shifted their focus to getting veterans into permanent housing as quickly as possible.  And in the last three years, they’ve already helped more than 400 veterans across the state of Louisiana.

 

AUDIENCE MEMBER:  Yes!

 

MRS. OBAMA:  Yes, indeed!  (Applause.)  Indeed.  Nothing like a little competition.  (Laughter.)  I like that.

 

Now, down in Phoenix, United Methodist Outreach Ministries realized that providing short-term rental assistance for veterans was far more effective than placing them in temporary shelters.  And over the past five years, using this strategy, they’ve helped about 300 veterans get back on their feet.  (Applause.)

 

Those are just some examples of what it’s going to take to solve this problem –- community organizations reaching out person by person, family by family, until we reach all of our veterans and get them into housing.  And I want you to know that this administration is going to be with you every step of the way as you implement those best practices.  And our Joining Forces initiative is working hard to rally businesses, foundations to step up to support our homeless vets.

 

And we’re also calling on all Americans to find new ways that they can help folks like you on the ground, whether that’s as volunteers or donors or anything else.  Because in the end, as you all know so well, this issue isn’t just about data and budget proposals or long-term plans.  In the end, ending veteran homelessness is about people — it’s about connecting people to each other and to the resources they need.

 

And over the past few months, I’ve had a number of veterans who experienced homelessness that I’ve met, men and women who served this country bravely, but struggled when they came home.  One young woman named Jenn couldn’t shake memories from her time in Afghanistan and ended up living out of her car, abusing drugs, and unable to hold a job.  An Iraq veteran named Jim was dealing with post-traumatic stress.  He’d lose control of his emotions and soon enough, he had to move out of his house and he had nowhere to go.

 

And then there’s a man named Doran who served in Korea during the Vietnam War.  Now, Doran was in and out of homelessness for 30 years –- 30 years –- and he said that it got so bad that folks were throwing change at his feet in the street. But here’s the thing –- each of those veterans also had the strength to ask for help from their community, and organizations in their community responded by getting them into housing and then getting them the counseling and other resources that they needed.

 

So today, those three veterans are back on their feet, giving back to the communities and the organizations that helped them.  Doran is a case manager helping other homeless veterans.  (Applause.)  Jim manages a 48-bed veterans housing facility.  And the young woman, Jenn, Jenn is a nurse who spends her free time now volunteering for organizations that she credited with saving her life.  (Applause.)  That’s the power of all of you in this room.

 

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You all did that.  That’s your work.  You all don’t just see statistics.  You don’t just see folks sleeping on park benches.  You see the potential that lies in every single one of our homeless brothers and sisters.  And you work day after day, night after night, to help them bring that potential to life.

 

Thanks to your work over the years, we’ve made such tremendous progress for our veterans and so many others.  And now, we can see the finish line.  And if we achieve our goal, if we end homelessness for our veterans, then we’ll show everyone in this country that we can also do it for all those families shuttling from motel to motel, for all those LGBT teens and for every single person experiencing homelessness throughout our country.

 

That has been this organization’s goal since it formed more than a quarter century ago.  And today, we are so close to this major milestone for our veterans.  All we have to do is finish the job.

 

So for you all, here’s an assignment.  (Laughter.)  If your mayor isn’t signed up yet for the mayors challenge, then light up their phone until they get on board.  And if you have any questions on whether or not we can get this done, I want you to just look to the success stories of many of the organizations and communities represented in this room today.  Together, you all are showing that if we work hard enough and smart enough, we can end homelessness for our veterans once and for all.  And if we do that, we show that eventually we can finish the job for everyone else, too.

 

So let me end as I began — by saying thank you.  Thank you for everything you’ve done.  Thank you for everything you’ll do in the months and years ahead to help us reach this goal.  I appreciate you as your First Lady.  I am grateful to all of you, which is why I’m here.  And I will continue to be here with Joining Forces.

 

So I hope you all have a rip-roaring time at the rest of your conference.  (Laughter.)  You guys, keep up the great work.  God bless.  And I’ll come down and shake a few hands.

 

Thank you.  (Applause.)

 

END
1:14 P.M. EDT

 

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A Brand New Day™


The Militant Negro

The Militant Negro

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Robin Roberts and Michelle Obama at Working Families Summit

 

Published on Jun 25, 2014

Robin Roberts interviews First Lady of the United States Michelle Obama at the White House Working Families Summit. Washington, D.C., June 23, 2014.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Church & playground shelled in Eastern Ukraine – aftermath footage

 

Published on Jul 30, 2014

Wooden church and a nearby playground got under shelling in Gorlovka on July 29. A local woman was heavily injured as the shell also hit the bus station in front of the church. Gorlovka has witnessed fire intensification for the past days as Ukrainian army ratchets up pressure at Donetsk People’s Republic militia who are in control of the area.

 

 

Did The Pope Just Challenge The Church’s Position On War?

 

 

‘Let’s model democratic values right now’

 

Published on Jul 29, 2014

Round two! Guests Alan Dershowitz and Marc Lamont Hill reignite their spirited debate on Israel.

 

 

 

Iran Nuclear Negotiations Remain Deadlocked, Receive 4-Month Extension

 

Published on Jul 29, 2014

Gareth Porter: Iran has indicated it’s willing to draw down its enriched uranium stockpile, which could make a nuclear deal with the P5+1 within reach.

 

 

 

Today in History for July 30th

 

Published on Jul 29, 2014

Subscribe for more Breaking News: http://smarturl.it/AssociatedPress

Highlights of this day in history: Ex-Teamsters leader Jimmy Hoffa disappears; Medicare and Medicaid signed into law; A blast rocks Black Tom Island; The USS Indianapolis sunk; Henry Ford and Arnold Schwarzenegger born. (July 30)

 

 

 

Prostitution Legalization Movement Sparked In Bay Area By FBI Actions

 

Published on Jul 29, 2014

“The head of San Francisco’s Erotic Service Providers Union has been a sex worker for 24 years — and “I hope to be doing it for another 24,” says Maxine Doogan.

 

But she dreams of a future when she won’t be treated like a criminal and could earn a little respect in the city that launched the fight for sex worker rights 41 years ago.

 

Calls by Bay Area sex workers for decriminalizing “consensual” prostitution have been spurred anew following the FBI seizure of a West Coast sex services website that prosecutors say hooked up clients with prostitutes and which sex workers saw as a vital forum to screen dangerous clients.”

 

 

 

PBS News Hour Full episode | July 29, 2014

 

Published on Jul 29, 2014

Tonight on the program, we take a look at Ukraine, where the U.S. announced deeper sanctions against Russia to urge the country to pull back on its support of Ukrainian separatists. Also: the NCAA agrees to settle numerous concussion lawsuits, how longer school days can benefit students, the effect of surveillance on reporters and their sources and a bipartisan push for criminal justice reform.

 

 

 

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Janelle Monae Has A Secret Video Of Barack Obama Dancing.


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From Time Magazine:

 

Janelle Monae Has a Secret Video of Barack Obama Dancing

 

Janelle Monae

 

By Zeke J Miller

 

“She can blackmail me at any time,” Obama says

If R&B artist Janelle Monaescores a Cabinet post before President Barack Obama leaves office, we’ll know why.

Obama’s three-day West-coast fundraising tour for Democratic candidates took him to the Los Angeles home of Scandal and Grey’s Anatomy creator Shonda Rhimes Wednesday, where he hobnobbed with the likes of Monae and Kerry Washington.

 

At the 450-person fundraiser for the Democratic National Committee — to which tickets started at $1,000 a head — Obama revealed that Monae was in possession of a top secret video of presidential dancing.

 

“Janelle has performed at the White House, like, 15 times,” Obama told the audience. “There’s going to be an official Janelle Monae room in the White House. We love her. Michelle and I love Janelle. We love her energy. We love her talent. But we most of all love her character. And anybody who gets a chance to talk to her, this is just a remarkable, strong, smart young lady.

 

“And I have to say nice things about her because she may be the only person in possession of a video in which I try to keep up with her and Usher on the dance floor,” Obama continued. “Now, this is top secret. She has promised that this will never be released. But she can blackmail me at any time.”

Monae called out “I love you!” to the Commander-in-Chief, to which he replied with his trademark “I love you back,” adding, “You do have that video, though, don’t you?”

Monae said she did, prompting the president to ask her to “testify” to his skills. “Now, tell the truth, though, Janelle — I wasn’t bad, though, was I? I’m just saying. Go ahead, testify just a little bit…Let me say I did not drop in splits. But I did bust a move. That I did do.”

Obama then recognized Washington, one of the earliest celebrities to back his 2008 candidacy, for being on his side when many Americans couldn’t pronounce his name correctly. “She pushed when the wagon was stuck in the mud — she was out there,” Obama said. “And she’s just been a great friend. Plus she showed me her baby pictures, and that is one cute baby.”

The West Coast swing has proven to be a controversial one for Obama, both for its timing amid multiple foreign policy crises and the secrecy surrounding fundraising events for two Democratic super PACs. White House officials defended Obama’s decision to continue with the trip despite the shooting down of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 and the ongoing conflict in Gaza, saying that the president’s ability to manage the situations would not be impaired by keeping his schedule. While on the trip, Obama called Secretary of State John Kerry Wednesday to discuss efforts to bring about a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas in Gaza.

The White House did not make public the list of attendees at the two super PAC fundraisers, one each House Majority PAC and Senate Majority PAC, or what they had contributed to gain access to the president. Reporters were not allowed to attend either session. “Without a doubt, I think we’ve done more to achieve the President’s commitment to transparency than any other previous administration,” said White House principal deputy press secretary Eric Schultz.

Obama returns to Washington late Thursday after another fundraiser for the DNC and delivering a speech on the economy.

Thank you Time Magazine.

 

 

 

 

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