A Moderated Conversation with Former First Lady Michelle Obama

How do you Advocate for Yourself? It was an honor to be in the same room as Former First Lady Michelle Obama.  Her words of encouragement and urgency for us to be the change instead of waiting for it made me feel like I was right next to her.

I loved how moderator Alecia DeCoudreaux, a founding board member of Women’s Fund, eloquently turned the interview into a conversation which touched on everything from the family, self-care, and fashion to politics, our youth, and the future.

Bankers Life Fieldhouse was filled with energy and excitement. There were so many smiles of eagerness to see her and also tears as she answered the questions. I even started tearing up when she talked about believing in yourself and following your dreams. There can be challenges with working, caring for our families, and trying to make a difference, but seeing Michelle do it with so much grace and boldness is more than inspiring. It inspires action.

Her messages echoed throughout the stadium. The most memorable moment was when she asked, “How do you advocate for yourself?” This question has continued to replay in my head.

How do I advocate for myself? We fight so hard for others and often times put ourselves last. It’s not a selfish act to advocate for ourselves—our wants, our needs. Those goals we put on hold can emerge again, it may have to be from a different angle, but we can go after our dreams too.

Listening to Michelle Obama reminded me that you can pursue and have a career and love. That you can follow your purpose no matter what your circumstance. That you can stay true to yourself even when you’re up against opposition.

This doesn’t mean that it will be easy, but the outcome heavily weighs on how you show up and advocate for yourself. She emphasized, if you want a seat at the table, then you also need to prepare yourself and add value to it. We have to show up.

How do you show-up and advocate for yourself?

Photography by Daniel Arthur Jacobson

A Moderated Conversation with Former First Lady Michelle Obama presented by Women’s Fund of Central Indiana.