LDF President and Director-Counsel Sherrilyn Ifill joined ten other multigenerational women at the White House with First Lady Michelle Obama to celebrate women in the fight for justice and racial equality. Essense magazine recaps some of the hightlights of the event below:
[On February 20, 2015,] a group of multigenerational women gathered in the White House. These women have dedicated their time, their careers, their lives to the ongoing fight for racial equality and justice. And in a very special White House panel, opened by First Lady Michelle Obama and moderated by ESSENCE editor Vanessa K. De Luca, these women shared their own struggles and offered advice to the world-changers of tomorrow.
In her opening remarks, the First Lady spoke on the important of educating our younger generation.
“I believe that education is the single most important civil rights issues that we face today,” she said. “Because in the end, if we really want to solve issues like mass incarceration, poverty, racial profiling, voting rights and the kinds of challenges that shocked so many of us over the past year, then we simply cannot afford to miss out on the potential of even one young person. We cannot allow even one more young person to fall through the cracks.”
Coming from all different walks of life, the panelists each had something unique to offer the conversation. From Carlotta Walls LaNier, who was the youngest Little Rock Nine student to integrate Central High School in 1957, to Janaye Ingram, the National Executive Director of Rev. Al Sharpton’s National Action Network, each woman shared her experiences and her advice for the leaders of tomorrow.
Take a look below at some of the most powerful, formative quotes from the conversation, and watch a recording of the panel above.
Sherrilyn Ifill, President of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc.: “Seventy-five percent of African-American girls think that they will become leaders, and 58 percent think of themselves as leaders. In between that time that little Black girls believe they’re leaders and what they ultimately become, what happens in that period? And that’s the part for which we bear a great deal of responsibility.”
Read the full article with more quotes and highlights on Essence.com.