May 2, 2017

Let Girls Learn… or not


First Lady Michelle Obama delivers remarks at Mulberry School for Girls in London on June 16, 2015. Official White House photo by Amanda Lucidon.

Yesterday, CNN announced it had obtained “an internal document” from the Trump administration, outlining the discontinuation of Michelle Obama’s “Let Girls Learn program — an education initiative aimed at providing opportunities for girls and young women in developing countries around the world. (This link is sad.)

Despite aggressive measures from the Obamas last year—that weird Gilmore Girls cross-promo; $5 million in private sector contributions; a grand total of $1 billion for programs in fifty countries—Kevin Liptak reports for CNN that “Let Girls Learn” “will cease operation immediately.”

While “aspects of the initiatives programming will continue,” it won’t be under the “Let Girls Learn” banner at all, and it will be left to Mrs. Obama’s dubious successor, Melania Trump, or, more likely, Ivanka “I’m Very Passionate About Education” Trump, to maintain.

“‘Let Girls Learn’ had several years of funding already baked,’ said Mrs. Obama’s former chief of staff Tina Chen. “We were hopeful that given that, it could continue. But obviously elections have consequences, and nobody knows that better than we.”



Taylor Sperry is a former Melville House editor.