Is the Trump administration attempting to erase Michelle Obama’s entire legacy? It was revealed last week that one program she started as the first lady is on the verge of being dropped while another on Monday is reportedly being completely scrapped — at least the “brand” of it.
Michelle Obama started the “Let Girls Learn” program with her husband in 2015. The cause she passionately supports is aimed at making educational opportunities for adolescent girls in developing countries more accessible. The Trump administration “will cease operation immediately,” according to CNN.
According to the report, aspects of the initiative will remain, but employees of the operation have been instructed to stop using the “Let Girls Learn” name and were informed that the program will end.
The agency’s acting director, Sheila Crowley, wrote in a statement sent to the Peace Corps that Michelle Obama’s initiative is to be nixed as a “standalone” program.
“Moving forward, we will not continue to use the ‘Let Girls Learn’ brand or maintain a stand-alone program.
“‘Let Girls Learn’ provided a platform to showcase Peace Corps’ strength in community development, shining a bright light on the work of our Volunteers all over the world. We are so proud of what ‘Let Girls Learn’ accomplished and we have all of you to thank for this success.”
“Let Girls Learn” was an international government program operated by the Peace Corps and the United States Agency for International Development that helped girls in struggling countries get an education. A spokesman for the Peace Corps said the organization would continue its efforts toward the education of girls.
— CNN (@CNN) May 1, 2017
Donald Trump’s daughter and senior adviser, Ivanka Trump, has vowed to make women and girls key causes in her portfolio, but she hasn’t revealed any specifics concerning international education for girls. First Lady Melania Trump has expressed interest in working for women’s causes as well.
Michelle Obama spoke at a conference in Orlando last week and touched on her work with the “Let Girls Learn” initiative in addition to combating violence against women and their access to healthcare.
“The plight of women and girls is real. The struggles are real.”
It wasn’t revealed why Trump dropped the program out of the blue.
Michelle Obama’s other signature initiative, the National School Lunch Program, is also in jeopardy by the Trump administration. Agriculture secretary Sonny Perdue visited a school in Virginia on Monday to reveal changes to the former first lady’s nutrition program. The rule change has to do with “providing regulatory flexibility for the National School Lunch Program.”
Obama championed the fight against childhood obesity by helping implement strict regulations schools must abide by to receive federal funding for student lunches. The goal was to improve nutrition for students, but it was highly unpopular among kids. Many posted images of unappetizing lunches on social media with the hashtag #ThanksMichelleObama.
— The Hill (@thehill) May 1, 2017
The Hill reports that Perdu and Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) have worked together on easing standards that schools must abide by in serving healthy. Perdue released a statement regarding the modifications on Monday.
“If kids aren’t eating the food, and it’s ending up in the trash, they aren’t getting any nutrition – thus undermining the intent of the program.”
Perdue and Roberts want to make it where “schools are able to serve nutritious meals that children will actually eat. Because that is really what these programs are about: serving meals to hungry children so that they can learn and grow.”
The plan postpones further sodium reductions for at least three years and will permit schools to occasionally serve non-whole grain-rich products and flavored milk.
Will Michelle Obama react to Trump scrapping two initiatives she was passionate about in her tenure as the first lady? Does it appear that he’s erasing her legacy?
[Featured Image by Molly Riley/AP Images]