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harlem, usa
same-gender-loving contemporary descendant of enslaved africans. community activist, feminist, health educator, independent filmmaker, mentor, playwright, poet & spiritual being. featured at, in & on africana.com, afrikan poetry theatre, angel herald, bejata dot com, bet tonight with tavis smiley, blacklight online, black noir, brooklyn moon cafe, gmhc's barbershop, klmo-fm, lgbt community services center, longmoor productions, nuyorican poets cafe, our corner, poz, pulse, rolling out new york, rush arts gallery, saint veronica's church, schomburg center for research in black culture, sexplorations, the citizen, the new york times, the soundz bar, the trenton times, the village voice, upn news, uzuri, venus, vibe, wbai-fm, wnyc-fm & wqht-fm. volunteered with adodi, bailey house, inc., black men's xchange-new york, colorofchange.org, drug policy alliance, east harlem tutorial program, imagenation film & music festival, presente.org, save darfur coalition, the enough project, the osborne association, the sledge group & your black world. worked on films with maurice jamal & heather murphy. writing student of phil bertelsen & ed bullins. mjt975@msn.com.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

First Lady Michelle Obama weighs in on kidnapped Nigerian schoolgirls

first lady michelle obama criticized the horrific kidnapping about four weeks ago of over 300 nigerian schoolgirls, which has since captured global attention. obama called their captivity "an unconscionable act by grown men attempting to snuff out the aspirations of young girls."

obama took over the president's weekly radio and internet address on the eve of mother's day. she said on saturday both she and the commander-in-chief are "outraged and heartbroken" over the april 15 abduction of the girls from their dormitory.

"in these girls, barack and i see our own daughters," obama said, referring to malia, 15, and sasha, 12. "we see their hopes, their dreams and we can only imagine the anguish their parents are feeling right now," she said. what happened in nigeria is not an isolated incident, obama said, but is "a story we see every day as girls around the world risk their lives to pursue their ambitions."

the first lady mentioned the case of malala yousafzai, the pakistani teenager whom survived being shot in the head as she traveled to school in 2012. malala has become an outspoken advocate for the rights of all girls to get an education - the same message obama delivered in her first solo address to the nation.

obama noted more than 65 million girls around the world do not attend school, despite the fact women who are educated earn more money and engender healthier families. obama said, "when more girls attend secondary school, that boots their country's entire economy...so education is truly a girl's best chance for a bright future, not just for herself, but for her family and her nation."

the first lady asked the u.s. to pray for the girls' safe return. obama said, "this unconscionable act was committed by a terrorist group determined to keep these girls from getting an education. let us hold their families in our hearts during this very difficult time, and let us show just a fraction of their courage in fighting to give every girl on this planet the education that is her birthright."

the nigerian's government inability to rescue the girls nearly a month after they were kidnapped by the boko haram organization has sparked international outrage, including community protests and social media campaigns. the first lady posted a photo on her twitter account holding a sign reading #bringbackourgirls. 

a number of countries, including the u..s, sent teams of technical experts to assist the nigerian government's search efforts. president obama said this week the u.s. will do everything to help nigeria find the missing girls. authorities said over 300 girls were abducted from their school in the country's remote northeast. 53 girls escaped and 276 remain captive.    


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