Michelle Obama spoke with Robin Roberts of Good Morning America in Vancouver, BC in at the Rogers Arena to thousands of people.
She told her story that is presented in her book “Becoming” about growing up poor in a blue-collar family. She emphasized how her parents raised her and her brother with a confidence that wasn’t commonly heard of at the time. For example, her high school counselor discouraged her from applying to Ivy League schools despite that she had the intelligence to do so. She speaks of consistently being discouraged from all of the achievements that she ultimately pursued successfully because of how her parents encouraged her. She spoke of her process of meeting her husband Barack and how his process of getting into presidency tested the marriage in a variety of ways, like how her children had to ride to school in a three-car motorcade and live out all their first experiences with Secret Service agents joining them. She talked about how her family’s understanding of “normal” was constantly being changed and emphasized this idea more broadly to the audience.
Cora had the opportunity to experience this event firsthand. Being at the event itself was an interesting experience regarding accessibility. There was captioning provided when there were live speakers, as well as a big screen projection of the speakers that were on the stage. On the Rogers Arena website, there’s a link called Fan Services where you can see the different accommodations that can be made. The event was set up in a way that was inclusive of all members of the audience, however, Cora did not notice any interpreters.
Overall, it was a great discussion about inclusivity and rising above challenges that are presented in situations that could have otherwise been experienced without. It was about staying true to oneself and living through all parts of life with only those truths guiding you.