By Darla Shelden
City Sentinel Reporter
On Tuesday, June 14, the White House will convene the first-ever United State of Women Summit to mark the progress made by and for women and girls domestically and internationally during the Obama Administration.
The event is hosted by First Lady Michelle Obama, who will be joined by female icons Oprah Winfrey, Meryl Streep, Kerry Washington, Tina Fey and Jessica Williams.
The summit will feature remarks by President Obama and Vice President Biden; Valerie Jarrett, Senior Advisor to the President; Tina Tchen, Chief of Staff to the First Lady; and others who will educate and inspire women to take action during the summit and beyond.
Other high profile guests include Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood; Amani Al-Khatahtbeh, founder of MuslimGirl.net; and Laverne Cox, Emmy-winning actress and transgender advocate; CEO fashion designer Tory Burch; television producer and writer Shonda Rhimes; and Megan Smith, the chief technology officer of the United States.
The summit will focus on topics such as economic empowerment, health and wellness, educational opportunity, violence against women, entrepreneurship, leadership, and civic engagement.
Mrs. Obama wrote on the website Medium (https://medium.com/the-white-house/together-we-are-stronger-7b7c0aebf8b6#.gb15dvfr0) that the goal is to evaluate what challenges remain for women and what strategies will work to address them in the future.
The White House says Winfrey will take the stage with Mrs. Obama for a conversation about the next generation of women.
Questions for Obama and Winfrey can be tweeted to @FLOTUS or @Oprah using the hashtag #StateofWomen. Then tune in on June 14 at 5 p.m. (ET) to watch their conversation on www.theunitedstateofwomen.org.
Two Oklahoma sisters, Amy Wheeler and Marlo Nash, will also attend.
“Both our daughters, Amy Wheeler and Marlo Nash, have been invited to participate in this event and will be attending,” said Oklahoma City resident Jim Wheeler, a retired Methodist minister. “Our love and gratitude to all family, friends and colleagues who influenced, mentored and have been role-models shaping who they have become.”
Powerhouses in their own right, Wheeler is a playwright and the executive director of Hedgebrook, a writer’s retreat on Whidbey Island, WA. Nash is the Senior Vice President for Public Policy and Mobilization for the Alliance for Strong Families and Communities in Washington D.C.
Nominated by public submission to attend the Summit is Cierra Fields of Fort Gibson, Oklahoma. A 17-year-old Cherokee Nation citizen and melanoma cancer survivor, Fields promotes healthy lifestyles to reduce the risk of cancer in native communities. She also educates youth about sexual assault, a topic she will discuss at the Summit.
Fields serves as a National Congress of American Indian Youth Cabinet member and a board member for the Urban Indian Youth Alliance in Washington, D.C.
In a launch video released last week, the First Lady said that her initiative summit will work towards improving female lives. “We are the United State of Women,” she said. “We stand stronger when we stand together.” Winfrey reinforced the idea of female empowerment, saying that, “they’re turning struggle into strength.”
The White House has announced that while in-person attendance, now registering over 5,000, is full, the summit will be available via livestream on the event’s website.
Summit programming will take place from 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. on the 14.
Events will include a performance of “Sliver of a Full Moon”, written by Mary Kathryn Nagle (Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma). The play is a reenactment of the historic congressional reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) in 2013. This program is hosted by the U.S. Department of Justice, the Department of Health and Human Services, and the Department of the Interior: Bureau of Indian Affairs.
On June 15, agencies and organizations are hosting Day 2 events from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., across Washington, D.C. for summit participants.
For a complete schedule of events and more information, visit www.theunitedstateofwomen.org.