On Monday, the NWHF announced its nine-member class was nominated by a panel that selected them from a group chosen by public requests.
In a release from the organization, it noted that as the first Black woman to serve as the first lady, Obama “has emerged as one of the most influential and iconic women of the 21st century,” and has helped create the most inviting and diverse era in the history of the White House.
The Princeton graduate has used her platform to champion women and girl’s rights and has established several initiatives and advocacy groups to support families, physical health and veterans. The Reach Higher Initiative, for example, aims to help students transition into the workforce and the Joining Forces initiative she started with current First Lady Jill Biden works with service members and their families.
Last summer, the former first lady spoke at the Democratic National Convention where she gave a rousing speech about the killings of Black lives at the hands of law enforcement, the need for empathy among our fellow country people and the value of listening to Black women.
“And here at home, as George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and a never-ending list of innocent people of color continue to be murdered, stating the simple fact that a Black life matters is still met with derision from the nation’s highest office,” Obama said, according to the Courier-Journal.
“Donald Trump is the wrong president for our country. He has had more than enough time to prove that he can do the job, but he is clearly in over his head. He cannot meet this moment. He simply cannot be who we need him to be for us. It is what it is,” Obama said.
In 2018, Obama released her first memoir Becoming— a critically acclaimed book that has sold millions of copies worldwide. The audio release of the book earned the mother of two a 2020 Grammy Award for Best Spoken Word Album, according to CNN. Following the book’s success, the Chicago native launched The Michelle Obama Podcast last summer, fusing topics on important issues with personal conversations featuring friends and family.
As Blavity previously reported, the 57-year-old Harvard Law alum has used the podcast to elevate Black music and talented Black artists. Fans have clamored to the show, praising its intentionality in matching the music to the show’s content.
In the debut episode, which featured her husband Barack Obama, Michelle played singer Mereba’s “Black Truck,” a popular tune about having found success, before a conversation about prioritizing community even after you’ve achieved your dreams.
CNN reported that in October the induction ceremony will take place in-person with safety measures that adhere to COVID-19 guidelines. Tickets to the event will not be available for purchase until the spring but a live stream of the event will be broadcasted for free.