First lady Michelle Obama discussed her role as a mother, career woman and first lady with Oprah Winfrey at the United State of Women Summit this week.
“I came into this situation with a really clear sense of who I am,” Obama said, reflecting on eight years ago.”So when you hear the smack talking from outside the world, it’s easy to brush that off because I know who I am,” she said.
The first lady and Winfrey were recognized as trailblazers at the summit and their discussion was appropriately entitled, “Trailblazing the Path for the Next Generation of Women.”
Winfrey did her characteristic yell when she opened the discussion, “we are here for the United State of Women!”
The first lady opened by talking about the Orlando, Florida, nightclub shooting over the weekend where 49 people were killed. She said one takeaway from the tragedy should be the need to support each other and not tear each other down.
Obama then recalled how she knew her first job as first lady would be to ensure her daughters were cared for in the midst “of all this crazy.”
“So many men don’t have to do it all,” Obama said. She continued to give advice on balancing work and children and raising daughters.
“I like me, I’ve liked me for a very long time,” she said to applause through the crowd.
The summit was created by the White House Council on Women and Girls to promote a collective future among women with discussions on general equality issues, health, education, violence, innovation, among other topics.
White House senior adviser Valerie Jarrett moderated the summit, which was also attended by President Barack Obama. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi introduced the president, and Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. spoke on sexual assault.
Attorney General Loretta Lynch focused her speech on the Orlando shooting, which she called “an act of terror” and “an act of hate.”
“As we all know, everyone needs a place of safety, everyone,” she said, adding that she was committed to continuing the discussion on gun laws.
“We have to stand up for love,” Lynch said.
Kerry Washington, most famous for ABC’s “Scandal,” Sophia Bush from NBC’s “Chicago P.D.,” and other notable celebrities also spoke.
In between the discussions, the summit played girl-inspirational songs, including Beyonce’s “Run the World (Girls),” Dixie Chicks’ “Not Ready to Make Nice,” and “Roar” by Katy Perry.
The exhibition hall portion of the summit was full of women’s advocacy groups, including Planned Parenthood, other birth control proponents, anti-domestic violence groups and female-led companies.