Grace Under Adversity
As the nation’s 44th First Lady, and the first black woman to hold this position, Michelle Obama overcame racism and sexism as she championed family, education and good health.
For Tamekia N. Robinson, Vice President for Organizing/Representation, Michelle Obama has been an inspiration to her as a union leader, not only for her achievements, but also her strength.
“I am amazed by the grace she showed while facing tremendous adversity throughout eight years in the White House,” Robinson said.
Raised on the South Side of Chicago, Illinois, Obama was raised in a humble, hard-working family, where education was of the utmost importance.
She embraced her parent’s encouragement and earned degrees from Princeton University and Harvard Law School. “You should never view your challenges as a disadvantage,” Obama said. “Instead, it’s important for you to understand that your experience facing and overcoming adversity is actually one of your biggest advantages.”
Community service and activism was a hallmark of her career, which saw a number of stops at organizations with a common theme of improving communities and providing more opportunities for young people.
As the First Lady, she stayed true to her core values and became a tireless advocate for military families and women’s rights. She was also a strong promoter of improved health and wellness for children.
During her tenure as First Lady, she faced withering amounts of criticism, all the while, raising two young daughters in the White House. Yet, she stood strong and demonstrated the trademark poise she would become famous for.
Michelle Obama’s strength and grace continues to inspire Robinson and countless Americans who look up to her.
“You should never view your challenges as a disadvantage. Instead, it’s important for you to understand that your experience facing and overcoming adversity is actually one of your biggest advantages.”
Michelle Obama, First Lady, 2009–2017