Michelle Obama took the stage at SXSW today and was joined by Missy Elliott and Queen Latifah to discuss two things close to all of their hearts: young women's education and music. The first lady first gave a keynote speech to highlight her Let Girls Learn initiative, which aims to aid in getting proper education for young girls around the world, which was followed by a panel discussion with the two musical icons, among others.
Mrs. Obama has always been passionate about making education available to girls around the world, recently writing in the digital newsletter, Lenny, "You absolutely have the power to make a difference on this issue, and girls around the world are counting on you to step up and act."
Many of the panelists remarked on their own struggles growing up. From Mrs. Obama discussing her childhood in the south side of Chicago, to Queen Latifah, who moderated the event, remembering the loss of several cousins during the AIDS epidemic, and her own beginnings as a social activist with, she said, "the little action I could take as a teenager."
During the panel, which also included actress Sophia Bush and songwriter Diane Warren, the women also discussed the main focus of the SXSW festival: music. The group had quite a bit to talk about as Elliott has recently released new music, Warren earned another Oscar nod for her part in Lady Gaga's "Til It Happens to You," and Queen Latifah is preparing for her new music drama, and taking part in the upcoming Hamilton mixtape.
The first lady has been using art to discuss the empowerment and education of women quite a lot recently. Last month, she invited young girls and some very special guests to the White House to empower Black girls through dance. Check it out with BET Breaks:
(Photo: Neilson Barnard/Getty Images for SXSW)