Actress Anna Deveare Smith (C) speaks as Israeli violinist Miri Ben-Ari (R) listens along with Principal William C. Chiselom (L) during a visit with students at Eastern High School in Washington, DC, on March 30, 2011. Swank joined the prominent women to promote, along with US First Lady Michelle Obama, mentoring by successful women as part of Women’s History Month at the White House.
First Lady Michelle Obama and some of the most powerful women across a variety of endeavors will fan out this week across Washington, D.C. area schools to promote mentoring for young people.
On Wednesday, March 30, Mrs. Obama and 22 guest mentors will split up to visit six high schools in Greater Washington. At each location, some of the featured women will participate in a Q&A session and share their personal and career experiences with students. The school-based events area open to all students, but will have a specific focus on mentoring for young women.
Later in the evening, the First Lady will host the guest mentors and 120 additional students for dinner and a program in the East Room of the White House.
This is not Mrs. Obama’s first attempt at showcasing the power and importance of mentoring. She hosted similar events in Denver and Detroit in 2009 and 2010. Her staff also mentors 20 area youths, hosting monthly meetings to discuss career paths and the road to college.
As a result of the First Lady’s events, Lifetime Network will launch and lead a national mentoring campaign and showcase a PSA on the topic. The network, catered primarily to women, has long celebrated progress for women and girls. Many of the participants in the upcoming events are affiliated with the network.
The list of guest mentors for the Wednesday events include:
- Miri Ben-Ari, Grammy® Award winning violinist, recording artist, and philanthropist
- General Dana Born, Dean of Faculty, United States Air Force Academy
- Ambassador Nancy Brinker, founder and CEO of Susan G. Komen for the Cure®, former U.S. Ambassador to Hungary, and former U.S. Chief of Protocol for President George W. Bush
- Geena Davis, Oscar® award winning actress, producer, writer, philanthropist, and founder of the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media
- Dominique Dawes, Olympic gold medalist, motivational speaker, gymnastics coach, media analyst, and co-chair of the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports, and Nutrition
- Louise Erdrich, Pulitzer Prize winning author
- Judith Jamison, award-winning dancer, choreographer, author, and Artistic Director of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater
- Rashida Jones, actress, screenwriter, board member to the International Peace Games and active philanthropist
- Michelle Kwan, world renowned figure skater, Public Diplomacy Ambassador, and member of the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition
- Nina Lederman, Senior Vice-President of Series Programming and Development for Lifetime Networks
- Ledisi, Grammy®-nominated recording artist, songwriter, and record producer
- Lisa Leslie, Olympic Gold medalist and former WNBA professional basketball player
- Vanessa Minnillo, actress, model, television host, and former Miss Teen USA
- Ellen Ochoa, astronaut, engineer, and current Deputy Director of NASA’s Johnson Space Center
- Abbe Raven, President and CEO of A&E Television Networks
- Tracee Ellis Ross, award-winning actress, producer, model, and philanthropist
- Anna Deavere Smith, award-winning playwright, actress, and professor of Performance Studies at New York University
- Hilary Swank, Two-time Academy Award Winning actress
- Kerry Washington, award winning actress, philanthropist, and member of the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities
- Ali Wentworth, comedienne, actress, correspondent, and author
- Sherrie Westin, Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer for Sesame Workshop
- Alfre Woodard, award winning film, stage, and television actress, and founder of Artists for a New South Africa
Keep doing YOU, FLOTUS! Thank you, for all that you do in service to our country.