Former First Lady Michelle Obama: A Moderated Conversation In Oakland

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Former First Lady Michelle Obama sat down with CEO of TaskRabbit, Stacy Brown-Philpot on Wednesday, March 28, 2018 at 8:00 PM to talk all things Michelle Obama.

I was fortunate to attend the event with my mother.  It was befitting considering how much the former first lady talked about motherhood and children.

No photography or videos were allowed during the event itself to allow for an intimate conversation without the flashing lights and interruptions.

Let’s start from the introduction.  Brown-Philpot introduced her as Michelle Robinson Obama.  I am not sure if everyone else noticed but this seemed rather odd because Michelle Obama usually uses her married name only.  Suffice it to say, the former first lady walked onto the stage to a round of applause and a standing ovation.

Since the moderated conversation was only one hour they dove right into the questions and answers.

Each question was peppered with statements like: tell me about your White House years or tell me about your parents or tell me about your high and low moments or tell me about your circle of women friends or tell me about your key initiatives or tell me about this and that.  And tell us she did.  And in true Michelle Obama style her answers were clear and candid.

Michelle Obama began to tell the audience how important her journey was and still is.  She spoke about America’s children and how deeply she connects with them– time and time again.  She told the story of how the play, Hamilton started with a White House visit and turned into a national sensation.  She spoke about how smart her husband and the Former President Barack Obama is– yet he is not like the circle of women friends who are in her corner.  She spoke about Malia and Sasha and how well they’re doing now and even told a funny story about when they first met the Pope at the Vatican.  Mrs. Obama encouraged women a lot.  She encouraged them to take the lead and change the culture in the work place for our daughters and granddaughters.  A nob to the Me Too and Times Up movements without actually naming the movements.  She also took a jab or two at the current administration without actually naming any names.  She said, that the president does not have a power to control everything that happens in the country or in government and she is glad about that.  In terms of her initiatives, she spoke specifically about Reach Higher, to inspire young people to seek higher education.  And she spoke about her parents and how important those two people were in molding her– the woman, mother and wife she is today.  She mentioned the work that the Obama Presidential Center is doing and how important that is in finding the country’s next leaders.   Late in the conversation she plugged her book which is available for pre-order.

All in all, the former first lady had a good old-fashion conversation about modern day life in America and reminded us how important inclusion is in 2018.  The last piece of news she made was that she will not run for office in 2020.  The audience started to chant 2020-2020-2020 after the moderator asked- “What’s next….”



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