It was an inspiring morning on the Today Show on Thursday (Oct. 11) when former First Lady Michelle Obama joined a lineup of superstar performers for a special concert in honor of International Day of the Girl. The United Nations event launched in 2011 with the goal of helping to create global enthusiasm for bettering the lives of girls, and it has since become a day of activism fighting for gender justice and youth rights.
Obama spoke to those goals with Today co-hosts Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb, remarking that in today's climate, "fear is not a proper motivator," and encouraging parents to raise children who are full of hope rather than fear, anger and vengeance. "As someone who is a role model to girls, we want them to grow up with promise and hope and we can't model something different if we want them to be better than that," she said.
Highlighting the 98 million girls around the world who don't have access to proper education, Obama used her Today Show appearance to announce the launch of the Global Girls Alliance, which will support 1,500 girls education groups around the world. “When you educate a girl, you educate a family, a community, a country,” she said. "If we care about climate change, if we care about poverty, then we have to care about education." The Alliance will provide funding for on-the-ground organizations as well as training, technical support and networking opportunities to people working to support educational opportunities.