First lady Michelle Obama has teamed up with Oprah Winfrey and a host of other women (and one transgender) to host the first ever "United State of Women Summit" at the White House on June 14th.
According to an official release, this summit is a rallying cry for advocates of gender equality and has been put together by the White House Council on Women and Girls, the State Department, the Labor Department and is co-sponsored by Ford, Goldman Sachs, and PepsiCo.
The cast of speakers reads like a liberal who's who: Meryl Streep, Tina Fey, Shonda Rhimes, and Valerie Jarrett, among many others. Transgender actor and star of Orange is the New Black Laverne Cox will also be on hand, as well as Amani Al-Khatahtbeh, founder of Muslimgirl.net, which aims to eliminate stereotypes against Islam and "promot[es] the place of Muslim women in Western societies."
Mrs. Obama wrote some background on why she is calling this summit:
Back when I was a girl, I had all kinds of big dreams for myself. But by the time I started school, I began encountering folks who seemed to doubt my ability to reach my goals:
Teachers who thought girls just weren’t very smart, and would call on the boys in class instead. People who thought a girl shouldn’t have ambition and who would ask my brother what career he planned to have, but would ask me what kind of man I wanted to marry.
I soon realized that the hopes I had for myself were in conflict with the messages I was receiving from the world around me that girls’ voices were somehow less important; that being strong and powerful and outspoken just wasn’t appropriate or attractive for a girl.
But fortunately, because countless strong women -- and men -- marched, advocated, spoke out, and broke all kinds of barriers and glass ceilings, girls today are beginning to get a whole new set of messages about their place in the world.
A video (above) was also released to promote the event. Five-thousand people will be present at the summit and it will be live-streamed for everyone else. Participants are encouraged to send in questions for the panelists via social media.
"I am so excited to stand with these women and so many others next week," said FLOTUS. "We are stronger when we stand together."