Michelle Obama sings the praises of girls’ education with TV host James Corden

Celebrities, Girls' education

Michelle Obama appears on Carpool Karaoke with James Corden


Her eight years in the White House are coming to an end. But Michelle Obama is making sure that she’s using her final few months as First Lady of the United States to campaign on a cause close to her heart.

With two daughters, she knows the importance of education for girls – especially those in parts of the world where they are disadvantaged and discriminated against.

Obama launched the Let Girls Learn initiative earlier this year and recently went to Africa to promote girls’ education.

But she also got her message across in an unusual way this week – by singing in a car being driven around the White House by TV star James Corden.

The British host of the Late Late Show in the US has a feature called Carpool Karaoke, in which he chats to famous people and sings along to music on the radio. Michelle Obama was Corden’s guest on July 21. 

After climbing into his car at the White House, she talked about how she joined Snapchat ahead of her trip to Morocco and Liberia with Let Girls Learn – so that she could her message across to a younger audience.

In Africa she talked to adolescent girls about their struggle to get into education.

She told Corden about her work to help the 62 million girls globally who aren’t getting an education. Obama said: “We’re really focusing on trying to get girls around the world educated.

“So much could be corrected in the world if girls were educated and had power over their lives.

“My message to kids here is don’t take your education for granted because there are girls around the world who would die to get the education that we have. They would move mountains to make it happen.”

The pair then launched into a singalong version of This Is For My Girls – a song specially written for Let Girls Learn and featuring the voice of Missy Elliott. She suddenly appeared in the back seat to sing along on Carpool Karaoke.

You can watch the full Late Late Show sketch here.

Even before the launch of Let Girls Learn, Obama was a strong advocate for educating all children around the world.

On a trip to China in early 2014, she told high school students: “Education is an important focus for me. 

The First Lady talks to students in Chengdu Picture: The White House

“It’s personal, because I wouldn’t be where I am today without my parents investing and pushing me to get a good education.”

She said she and President Barack Obama were determined to use their final three years in the White House and beyond to make education a “key focus of our work”.

The First Lady then became one of many celebrities and high-profile supporters to back the #BringBackOurGirls campaign after the abduction of more than 200 schoolgirls in Nigeria in April 2014.

Later that year, she spoke to world leaders, NGOs and youth activists at a Global Education First Initiative forum titled Quality Education For The World We Want.

The First Lady told the gathering at the United Nations in New York that attitudes towards girls and women must be changed before the goal of universal schooling can be achieved.

In March 2015, Let Girls Learn was launched as a collaboration between Michelle Obama and the US Peace Corps to expand access to education for adolescent girls around the world.

Starting in 11 countries, the plan was to build on the investments and progress that the America government has made in global primary school education.

She added: “These girls are our change-makers – our future doctors and teachers and entrepreneurs. They’re our dreamers and our visionaries who could change the world as we know it.”

Obama then visited Cambodia – one of the 11 featured countries – and visited a school to see up how community-driven solutions are changing girls’ lives.

Last summer, she visited a school in London and gave an emotional speech on the importance of education for girls around the world.

Wtih students from Mulberry School for Girls in London

She said: “There are more than 62 million girls around the world who are not in school… This isn’t just a devastating loss for these girls, it’s a devastating loss for all of us for missing out on their promise.”

Michelle Obama’s husband has also been getting in on the act. At the African Union in Ethiopia last year, the US President told leaders: “If you want your country to grow and succeed, you have to empower your women.”

He added: “When girls cannot go to school and grow up not knowing how to read or write that denies the world future women engineers, future women doctors, future women business owners, future women presidents. That sets us all back.”

Why girls’ education can change them and the world

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