‘For the Girls,’ By the Girls

When eight top female singers unite to record one song, you know it’s for a good reason — and First Lady Michelle Obama was able to convene the powerhouses for a very special project ahead of her SXSW appearance.

According to TIME, the First Lady released a song titled, “This Is For My Girls,” on Wednesday, March 16 just before her SXSW Music Keynote Conversation. The song, penned by legendary songwriter Diane Warren, features not only singers like Kelly Clarkson and Lea Michele, but also Missy Elliott, Zendaya, Janelle Monaé, Jada Grace, Kelly Rowland and Chloe x Halle.

Done in a collaboration with AOL’s Makers series, TIME says that the track aims to “promote her Let Girls Learn initiative, which helps provide access to education to the estimated 62 million girls around the world without schooling.”

All proceeds from the track will be donated to the Peace Corps Let Girls Learn Fund, which aids in giving “adolescent girls get the secondary education they deserve.”

To listen to “This Is For My Girls” or to download the track, check out Itunes here.


Obama and Copeland Get Real on Race and Body Image

What happens when two history makers sit down for a conversation with TIME? They discuss some of the most prominent cultural issues of today — at least that’s what happened when President Barack Obama and ballerina Misty Copeland spoke with TIME‘s Maya Rhodan.

According to ELLE, the pair discussed everything from race to body image issues, sharing the different challenges associated with each. Saying that being a father has made him more aware of the pressures placed on women, President Obama said, “When you’re a dad of two daughters, you notice more … And that pressure I think is historically always been harder on African American women than just about any other women.”

Copeland agreed and said that, by owning who she is, she hopes she can inspire other girls to do the same. But, she said that social media has helped foster a more pervasive sense of acceptance:

But to have movements like Black Girl Magic, I think it couldn’t be more positive for a young black girl to see that it’s okay to be yourself, it’s okay to not have to transform and look like what you may see on the cover of a lot of magazines. That you are beautiful, that it’s possible to succeed in any field that you want to, looking the way that you do.

When asked what they think is the greatest fixable obstacle facing young people today, Responding that attaining an adequate education is the most significant obstacle, President Obama explained:

But the foundation that all this depends is making sure that on the front end, when these little babies are born and start to get curious about the world and are like sponges, that we are giving them the kind of education and the nurturing that they need. So that they’re off to a good start. And that involves an imaginative leap, a moral leap on the part of the society as a whole that says every kid should get a genuine opportunity and we’re willing to put money behind it, and we’re willing to invest in that to break cycles of poverty.

Copeland offered that being able to see how one fits into society while also maintaining a sense of self, as well as learning how to be an empathetic person, is important.

“…To be empathetic to everyone around you I think is such a powerful thing to hold. To be able to forgive. All of those things I think can strengthen this generation of our youth. I think having a strong sense of self and just knowing who they are and being comfortable with that.”

To watch the entire conversation, click here.