The box don’t lie 😘 Swipe to see one of our fave ways to get Naked: Stay Naked Correcting Concealer! #StayNaked #UrbanDecay #PrettyDifferent
The 3rd episode of the Urban Decay Naked Truth Docuseries is LIVE! This week we meet @Sanam, creator of @SouthAsiaArchive and overall badass. Raised in India and America, Sanam struggled to find acceptance from her peers and, more importantly, herself. Click the link in bio to see how Sanam’s been able to find beauty in herself and her culture. Don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel to watch a new story every Tuesday and Thursday! #StayNaked #PrettyDifferent #UrbanDecay
I’d tap that 😏Tap to shop our lineup of vegan, Vice Lip Chemistry shades! 👇👇#StayNaked #PrettyDifferent #UrbanDecay #Vegan
Shine w/ me ✨ Hi-Fi Shine Ultra Cushion Lipgloss in shade Star Stunner 💫 #PrettyDifferent #UrbanDecay
@xeniavalevsky out here having a v real Euphoria moment rn. Double tap if you're as in love as we are 💜✨ Products used: Heavy Metal Glitter Eyeliner in shade Studio + Distortion Heavy Metal Glitter Gel #PrettyDifferent #UrbanDecay #Repost
“Loving myself was the result of answering two things: Do you want to live? ‘Cause this is who you’re gonna be for the rest of your life. Or are you gonna just have a life of emptiness, self-hatred and self-loathing? And I chose to live, so I had to accept myself.” - @Lizzobeeating . Thank you for celebrating Stay Naked with us, @ivanbaaaaah. You are a DREAM ✨ #StayNaked #PrettyDifferent #30WY #UrbanDecay
"That s#!t's GOLD." — Anyone talking about All Nighter Setting Spray. #PrettyDifferent #UrbanDecay
Double tap if this is a visual representation of you getting your All Nighter Setting Spray fix // #Repost @jessie_maya_ #PrettyDifferent #UrbanDecay
Which 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil shade are you feeling for your Saturday night? Tell us in the comments! #PrettyDifferent #UrbanDecay
Tell us how this look is making you feel using emojis! ✨🤤💜 Repost @laraisabellemakeup UV-B vintage eyeshadow and Moondust Eyeshadow in Solstice #PrettyDifferent #UrbanDecay #Repost
QUICK! Tell us your all-time favorite 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil shade! 👇 👇#PrettyDifferent #UrbanDecay
TBH, you can use the Stay Naked Correcting Concealer for just about anything, from covering imperfections to highlighting your cheekbones. It’s theeeee best. ✔️ vegan formula ✔️ real-skin matte finish ✔️ full coverage that lasts up to 24 hours #StayNaked #PrettyDifferent #UrbanDecay
Honestly, our fave complexion duo ever: Stay Naked Concealer and Stay Naked Foundation 🖤🖤 PS thanks for letting us borrow your paws, @itslikelymakeup 😘 #StayNaked #PrettyDifferent #UrbanDecay
“100% that b!tch”✔️✔️ UD Global Citizen @lizzobeeating broke it DOWN last night at our Stay Naked Launch party! Loved having our fans there to twerk the night away with us 🖤 @kanniekamara @aquanella213 @bsl1ck @gottabudi @katiefeels @esthernewyork @queenezinne @olivia_wilkey 🖤#StayNaked #PrettyDifferent #UrbanDecay
We couldn’t keep this one under wraps. 😏 Double tap if you’re buzzin’ on the next big drop from Urban Decay, the NAKED Honey Eyeshadow Palette! Stay tuned for all the details on September 3rd. #NakedHoney #PrettyDifferent #UrbanDecay
It's August, so I wanted to let you know about a few books I've been reading this summer, in case you're looking for some suggestions. To start, you can't go wrong by reading or re-reading the collected works of Toni Morrison. Beloved, Song of Solomon, The Bluest Eye, Sula, everything else — they're transcendent, all of them. You’ll be glad you read them. And while I’m at it, here are a few more titles you might want to explore.
Drop a 🍒 in the comments if you LOVE the Naked Cherry Eyeshadow Palette! #NakedCherry #PrettyDifferent #UrbanDecay
Tag someone blessed w/ flawless skin (PS, you’re allowed to tag yourself)🖤@kristen_v_marie’s Naked Truth is Stay Naked Foundation in shade #71NN. #StayNaked #PrettyDifferent #UrbanDecay #Makeup #Beauty
It’s all in the name. All Nighter Long-Lasting Makeup Setting Spray is here for you for up to 16 hours 💜 #UrbanDecay #PrettyDifferent #Makeup
Threw a party to celebrate with the people who made the ME! & YNTCD videos with me- and we had so much fun that ‘Drunk Taylor’ is trending on Twitter. CHEERS. 😆🍾👍👏
What are your favorite ways to use All Nighter Setting Spray? Tell us down below👇One of our fave hacks is to spray our makeup sponge with All Nighter Setting Spray and use it to blend out our foundation for longer wear. #AllNighter #UrbanDecay #Vegan
#Repost @beautybyhermosa on Stay Naked Foundation: “The real skin matte finish looks beautiful AND stands up to the 100 degree Texas heat without melting or getting super shiny in my t-zone.” Hermosa wears Stay Naked Foundation #70WY and Stay Naked Correcting Concealer #60NN #StayNaked #PrettyDifferent #UrbanDecay
Some things change — like my taste in khakis and polo shirts — but Bud Billiken endures. For 90 years, the Bud Billiken parade has brought people together to celebrate the rich history and culture of Chicago’s South Side. I am proud the @ObamaFoundation team is out there representing our next chapter today as we work to bring the Obama Presidential Center to life and empower the next generation of leaders.
Have you seen the next episode of the Urban Decay Naked Truth Docuseries starring UD Global Citizen @karolg? Head to the link in our bio to watch. Subscribe to our YouTube channel to watch a new story every Tuesday and Thursday. #StayNaked #PrettyDifferent #UrbanDecay
Can’t stop won’t stop twinning with Paddington. 🐻
It's the next episode 😎 The 2nd episode of the ALL-NEW Urban Decay Naked Truth Docuseries is here! UD Global Citizen @KarolG talks representing her uniqueness and celebrating how each and every one of us different. Link in bio to watch the full episode. Subscribe to our YouTube channel to watch a new story every Tuesday and Thursday! #StayNaked #PrettyDifferent #UrbanDecay
I’d be a fearless leader. I’d be an alpha type.
✨ Up to 24 hour wear ✨ Real-skin matte finish ✨ Breathable & flexible ✨ 50 shades ✨ Vegan Have you found your shade of Stay Naked Foundation yet? # your shade in the comments to help other UDers find their Naked Truth! #StayNaked #UrbanDecay #PrettyDifferent
See anyone you know? 😉 Instead of casting models, we traveled the USA to meet our fans, have them be the FIRST to try the Stay Naked Foundation and let them share their Naked Truth with the world 💜 @katiefeels @a.keener.brooke @hiitsemilie @yupitselijah @miabeann @shipman_ @esthernewyork @hereisqueenlis @bsl1ck @nela_fabulous @thavig2 @gottabudi @andyishh @alectrafying @SweetestPomelo @felisadd @nani____ @bloodxbones_makeup @_claudineeee @sarahgelfman @cuteamberrose @ANGLtheARTIST @theacaciamcbride @queenezinne @kristen_v_marie @goldenmelanin_goddesss @harmonicablues @justenough_jole @terriware @jasmine_mimi_ @chauncea @atongarjok @jadathehutt_ @eromomen @kanniekamara @kuothwiel @nyadhuor #StayNaked #UrbanDecay #PrettyDifferent
How exactly do Urban Decay's new Stay Naked foundation and concealer stack up? ✔️ Vegan formula ✔️ Long-wearing ✔️ Matte finish That packaging though✨ — Repost @Sephora #StayNaked #UrbanDecay #PrettyDifferent
Wanted to thank @abbyaguirre for writing such a thoughtful piece and for diving into my pastel cryptic world of hints, Easter eggs, and numerology. We also talked about sexism, equality, and all things Lover. I ate an entire cheese plate by myself. On stands soon-ish.
My heart’s been borrowed and yours has been blue. All’s well that ends well, to end up with you. 💙
Time is no match for Toni Morrison. In her writing, she sometimes toyed with it, warping and creasing it, bending it to her masterful will. In her life’s story, too, she treated time nontraditionally. A child of the Great Migration who’d lifted up new, more diverse voices in American literature as an editor, Toni didn’t publish her first novel until she was 39 years old. From there followed an ascendant career—a Pulitzer, a Nobel, and so much more—and with it, a fusion of the African American story within the American story. Toni Morrison was a national treasure. Her writing was not just beautiful but meaningful—a challenge to our conscience and a call to greater empathy. She was as good a storyteller, as captivating, in person as she was on the page. And so even as Michelle and I mourn her loss and send our warmest sympathies to her family and friends, we know that her stories—that our stories—will always be with us, and with those who come after, and on and on, for all time.
To quote the legendary miss Shania Twain: Let’s go girls 🖤 Stay Naked Vice Lip Chemistry shade Third Base #StayNaked #PrettyDifferent #UrbanDecay
"Can you believe my shade is so far from the bottom for once?! I am shade #81WY! (Tip: I chose foundation shades that are 1-2 shades deeper than the center of my face so when I highlight with concealer I don’t look too light or ashy!) DO WE LOVE??" — @cocoaswatches Quick stats: - Buildable medium coverage - Real skin matte finish - Vegan Availability: The Stay Naked Collection is available now, in-store AND online at Sephora, Nordies, Macy's and Belk! 🙌 @sephora #SephorainJCP @jcpenney @nordstrom @macys @belk #StayNaked #PrettyDifferent #UrbanDecay
Blurry decisions > blurry makeup All Nighter Setting Spray can help with that ✔️ #PrettyDifferent #UrbanDecay #Makeup
'Glitter eye' feels like a HUGE understatement for @ruthiebarone's look using the Heavy Metal Glitter Collection. Leave some ✨✨ to show some love! Products used: Heavy Metal Glitter gels in Saturday Stardust, Distortion, Party Monster, and Soul love with Heavy Metal Glitter Eye Liner in Volume on the lower lash line. Brows are Urban Decay Brow Endowed in Brunette Betty #SparkleOutLoud #PrettyDifferent #UrbanDecay
What’s the first product you think of when you hear ‘Urban Decay’? Tell us in the comments! 💜 Product feat.: All Nighter Setting Spray #PrettyDifferent #UrbanDecay #Makeup
Recent court decisions make it clear that the change we need to restore our democracy has to come from the ground up. @Allontheline’s work to ensure a fair and accurate census count and achieve fair maps in 2021 has never been more important. Join us today at the link in my bio.
If you've tried it, you already know: Brow Blade is the product you want in your corner every👏time👏to create the perfect brow #BrowBlade #PrettyDifferent #UrbanDecay
Not all heroes wear capes 💜 Leave a 🙌 if All Nighter Setting Spray is carrying you through the day! #PrettyDifferent #UrbanDecay
Which Eyeshadow Primer Potion is your ride-or-die? Apply just a touch of any one of these formulas before your eyeshadow for crease-free, all-day (and all-night) staying power 💪 #PrettyDifferent #UrbanDecay
Over the years, you've probably seen Michelle's mom, Marian Robinson, in photos with our family at inaugurations, Christmas tree lightings, Easter Egg Rolls, and a whole lot more. But what you haven't seen is the way she's been there for us every day—not just for Michelle and our daughters, but for me, too. I've always appreciated her steadiness, her perspective, and the way a wisecrack from her reverberates around the room. Happy birthday, Marian—here's to many more.
No better feeling than letting your complexion take the spotlight with Stay Naked Foundation ✨#StayNaked #PrettyDifferent #UrbanDecay
And anotha one from our Stay Naked photo shoot with our fans 📸 @miabeann's Naked Truth is Stay Naked Foundation shade #20CP #StayNaked #PrettyDifferent #UrbanDecay
"I saw Cady Heron finding her Naked Truth at UrbanDecay.com, so I found my Naked Truth at UrbanDecay.com" Find your perfect match of Stay Naked Foundation using our shade finder tool at UrbanDecay.com! (Link in bio) #StayNaked #PrettyDifferent #UrbanDecay
Kickin' it with Naked Reloaded. Double tap if this is your go-to neutral eyeshadow palette! #PrettyDifferent #UrbanDecay #NakedReloaded
Come thru, complexion 😍 See below for @londonknight_ 's full, Stay Naked look breakdown: Stay Naked Pro Customizer in Pure Red Stay Naked Foundation in shade #80WO Stay Naked Correcting Concealer in shade #70NY Stay Naked Vice Lip Chemistry in shade Sideways All Nighter Setting Spray to set it all in #StayNaked #PrettyDifferent #UrbanDecay
When you make dramatic eye contact with a lipstick and you know it’s an add-to-cart, endless love kind of situation 💜 Which Vice Lipstick gives you all the feelz? // shade featured: Backdoor #PrettyDifferent #UrbanDecay #LipstickIsMyVice
Always in the mood for nudes 😛 Products featured: Tantric Vice Lipstick, Chopper Eyeshadow and Sideline Moondust Eyeshadow #PrettyDifferent #UrbanDecay
Very hyped on this look from @xeniavalevsky rn 👌 Product used: Heavy Metal Glitter Eyeliner in shade Starfire #PrettyDifferent #UrbanDecay #Repost
Which UD Eyeshadow caught your eye first? Tell us in the comments! Shades top to bottom: Foxy, Snow, Chopper and ABC Gum #PrettyDifferent #UrbanDecay
Swipe for some serious #macroporn 😍 Check out that Stay Naked Correcting Concealer wand! #StayNaked #PrettyDifferent #UrbanDecay
What if I’m alright right here?
I’ve been the archer I’ve been the prey Who could ever leave me darling... But who could stay?
#MandelaDay reminds us that when things feel dark, confusing, or impossible—take a look back at his writings. There, we see how a belief in the dignity of every person can be made real, an unwavering hope to steel us along our own long walks toward something better.
If you’re going to change the world, start with serving your community. No matter what you’re trying to accomplish, lending a hand and listening to your neighbor will make you a better leader—and a better person. That’s why, as part of the @ObamaFoundation Leaders: Africa program, hundreds of regional leaders spent the day painting murals, gardening, and putting together gift packs for students in need at a local school in Johannesburg. These folks make me so proud.
Cat lady thirst trap
This night is ✨sparkling✨ Thank you @amazonmusic for having me and the incredible @dualipa, @iambeckyg and @sza. Thank you so much for watching it online or being there, I love you guys more than words can say, but I’ll always try. First photo taken by the lovely @sofiajain 💕 second one by @kevinmazur / Getty Images 😃
Proud to rep America’s best team! Congrats @USWNT and thanks for being such a strong inspiration for women and girls—and everybody—all across the country.
Happy Fourth of July, everybody! This is always a great day in the Obama family: a chance to celebrate America—and Malia’s birthday, too. Hope all of you are able to get some time with friends, family, and fireworks.
In my farewell address in Chicago three years ago, I said something I still firmly believe today: Being a citizen is the most important job in our democracy. If you’re tired of politicians manipulating electoral maps and ignoring the will of voters, I hope you’ll exercise your power as a citizen by signing @allontheline’s Citizen Commitment today.
50 years ago, history was written at the Stonewall Inn when New York City’s LGBT community stood up, spoke out, and started a movement. In 2016, I was proud to designate it as our first national monument to tell the story of the struggle for LGBT rights. Stonewall reminds us the arc of our history is an arc of progress so long as we keep pushing for it.
Outside the Oval Office, I kept a painting of a small crowd huddled around a pocketwatch, waiting for the moment the Emancipation Proclamation took effect. On Juneteenth, we celebrate the anniversary of that news - freedom - reaching slaves in Texas. And something more: On Juneteenth, we celebrate our capacity to make real the promise of our founding, that thing inside each of us that says America is not yet finished, that compels all of us to fight for justice and equality until this country we love more closely aligns with our highest ideals.
Some of us had champagne on set and it shows 🥂
A happy meal 🍔 🍟 💗
Tea time! Monday morning! 💕
We all got crowns 👑 💕
Can you just not step on our gowns? 💃
A delicious new video comes out Monday morning...💗🎂💗
There were five posts in the fence.
Lover, album out August 23. Cover shot by the artistic genius that is @valheria123 💗 Pre-add, pre-save, pre-order (all the pre stuff you feel like doing) Can’t wait for you to hear this.
As we commemorate the 75th anniversary of D-Day, I'm thinking about all the young troops who faced down impossible odds that day – some of whom I actually got to meet on my own visits to Normandy. I’m also thinking about my grandfather. Though Gramps arrived at Omaha Beach weeks after D-Day, I remember how much I missed him during my visit five years ago – I wanted to have him right there with me, to hear his stories, to share the experience. But I was lucky to spend time with “Rock” Merritt who, as a younger man, saw a recruitment poster asking him if he was man enough to be a paratrooper — and signed up on the spot. All these years later, Rock is best-known not just for his exploits on D-Day, or for his decades in uniform, but for the time he’s spent speaking to the young men and women of today’s Army. Five years ago today, at Omaha Beach – democracy’s beachhead – I spoke about the debt we owe Rock and his fellow veterans who risked and gave their lives in defense of democracy.
On Friday, I had a chance to meet with some inspiring young leaders from around the world who were in Ottawa last week for the Open Government Partnership Global Summit. From Kyrgyzstan to Argentina, we're seeing a new generation taking the reins to empower others and harness new technologies for smarter, better government. It's inspiring—the kind of thing that will create a better world for all of us.
🌈HAPPY PRIDE MONTH!!!🌈 While we have so much to celebrate, we also have a great distance to go before everyone in this country is truly treated equally. In excellent recent news, the House has passed the Equality Act, which would protect LGBTQ people from discrimination in their places of work, homes, schools, and other public accommodations. The next step is that the bill will go before the Senate. I’ve decided to kick off Pride Month by writing a letter to one of my senators to explain how strongly I feel that the Equality Act should be passed. I urge you to write to your senators too. I’ll be looking for your letters by searching the hashtag #lettertomysenator. While there’s no information yet as to when the Equality Act will go before the Senate for a vote, we do know this: Politicians need votes to stay in office. Votes come from the people. Pressure from massive amounts of people is a major way to push politicians towards positive change. That’s why I’ve created a petition at change.org to urge the Senate to support the Equality Act. Our country’s lack of protection for its own citizens ensures that LGBTQ people must live in fear that their lives could be turned upside down by an employer or landlord who is homophobic or transphobic. The fact that, legally, some people are completely at the mercy of the hatred and bigotry of others is disgusting and unacceptable. Let’s show our pride by demanding that, on a national level, our laws truly treat all of our citizens equally. 🌈🌈🌈🌈🌈🌈🌈🌈🌈🌈🌈🌈🌈 Click the link in my bio to sign the petition for Senate support of the Equality Act.
Exciting to see the faces of Colombia's future at an @ObamaFoundation roundtable with young leaders in Bogotá. Their creativity, their compassion, and their drive to improve their country are promising signs of what's to come.
On Memorial Day, we remember all those who gave everything for something greater than themselves. It's up to us to not simply reflect on their sacrifice but to honor it with service of our own—and by living out the values they fought for.
🧡 au revoir 🧡
Thank you @thegrahamnortonshow for having me and the band!! It airs tonight. Feeling pretty lucky that I got to be a guest on the same night as @sophiet, Michael Fassbender, @Jessicachastain and @Jamesmcavoyrealdeal- They were all so sweet, now I want to just walk around yelling GO SEE DARK PHOENIX. 📸: So Television / BBC
Happy Mother's Day to the most caring, brilliant, funny, and grounded woman I know—a perfect role model not just for our daughters, but so many others. Love you, @MichelleObama.
I know I never think before I jump...
Thank you for such a wonderful experience @EntertainmentWeekly - I loved getting to shoot with @peggysirota and talk with @alexsuskind (yep I said it, I did an actual interview with a human journalist!! 🎉) Wanted to rep as many things/people I love on the jacket 💗 and more in the interview. Hair by @riawna -Make up by @BrettGlam and styling by @josephcassell1
Thank you so much for this incredible week. I wanted to sign some things for you for being the best, so we’re putting up a new autographed CD on my merch store that’s available until midnight eastern tonight. Love you guys!
Today is Holocaust Remembrance Day. It’s easy, on a day like this, to reflect at something of a distance. The photos are grainy now, dusty artifacts from another era. It was a different world then, we can tell ourselves—another place, another time. Fully grappling with the reality of the Holocaust, though, isn’t so simple. Because before the camps and the brownshirts, before the consolidation of political power, before millions of lives were extinguished, there were simply people, not altogether different from any of us, who chose to see their neighbors as different, as other, as something less. It’s a sadly familiar choice, one that we’ve seen generation after generation. And today, in our world of encroaching division and calcifying bubbles, we’ve seen once again the swiftness with which that choice—that failure to recognize ourselves in one another—can accelerate into violence. So it’s up to us to make a different choice—to choose empathy over apathy; to sow seeds of hope rather than hate; to embrace our shared humanity, no matter how we worship, what we look like, who we love, or where our families came from. That’s how we can not only pause to remember a tragedy once a year, but act on the lessons we’ve learned from it every day.
I’m trying to give them a normal upbringing but when the little ones and I ran into the flawless @paulaabdul on the way to red carpet we STRAIGHT UP had to get a pic.
One hundred years ago, Nelson Mandela was born, and 25 years ago, his country held its first democratic elections. It was a true honor to mark these anniversaries by sitting with his wife, Graça Machel, to discuss Mandela's legacy of justice, opportunity, and peace—and the call for all of us to carry it on, especially young people like Lesley Williams, one of our @ObamaFoundation African Leaders. As we confront division, discrimination, inequality in our own time—challenges too big for one person and too complex for one simple solution—it's easy to get discouraged. I find that it's best then, as it often is, to remind ourselves of the words of a political prisoner who rose to lead a nation and inspire the world. Because as he said: “It always seems impossible until it is done.”
💕💗 A huge thank you to the incredible dancers for making the video so magical and for keeping the secret for so long!!💕💗
This is Benjamin Button. He’s a good boy.
And then there were three…
WELL GUYS 4.26 is gonna be here in a few hours and my new song “ME!” featuring the extraordinarily talented and awesome @brendonurie of @panicatthedisco will be out tonight at midnight eastern. In other exciting news, the VIDEO will be out then too and I can’t wait to watch live with you (and answer some questions) as it premieres on @YouTube 🎥Click the link in my bio and I’ll meet you there a little later!! 😺
So... @kelseymontagueart helped me pull off the best surprise clue reveal today in Nashville!! Thank you to everyone who showed up, I’ve never been more proud of your FBI level detective skills. Next clue: I’ll be joining the magnificent @robinrobertsgma for a chat tonight on ABC live from Nashville 💕💕💕💕💕💕💕
It’s TIME. #time100
To all who celebrate today, happy Easter from our family to yours! On this day of rebirth and renewal, let’s recommit to love and serve our brothers and sisters, especially those in need, in every way we can. Have a great day, everybody.
Back in 2008, I joined a few staffers for an impromptu Passover Seder on the campaign trail in Pennsylvania — Manischewitz, matzo, and all — and we kept it going during my time in the White House. It was a chance to pause, to connect around a shared meal, and to tell the Exodus story, which reminds us of faith’s triumph over oppression and calls on us to stand with those still yearning for freedom and opportunity today. I hope everyone gathering for a Seder tonight has a blessed and meaningful Passover.
Notre Dame is one of the world’s great treasures, and we’re thinking of the people of France in your time of grief. It’s in our nature to mourn when we see history lost – but it’s also in our nature to rebuild for tomorrow, as strong as we can.
No matter what country we’re in, connecting young people with more tools, more resources, more attention, and maybe a little bit of inspiration is the best investment we can make in the future. And when these young people work together and learn from each other, their work will change the world. That’s what I saw in the hundreds of young leaders from across Europe and it’s what the @ObamaFoundation is all about.
Valerie is one of my oldest friends and a lifelong advisor – she was by my side when I first decided to run for office and for every major moment of the presidency. I’ve always been proud of Valerie and her extraordinary work to advocate for women, improve the lives of working families, and promote equality for all — but more than the policies she helped shape, I am proud of how she did the work. While Valerie was discovering her own sense of belonging, she was out there making sure other women knew they also deserved to be heard. “Finding My Voice” offers a rare look inside the presidency and a window into the life of a public servant who is dedicated to improving the lives of others. @ValerieBJarrett’s voice has often inspired me and I know her memoir will inspire others to lift their voices, too.
Just in the nick of time: My brackets have never been my one shining moment, but here we go again. You can check out my #MarchMadness picks at Obama.org.
This was back in 2011, when I was visiting the tiny town of Moneygall, the place where my great-great-great grandfather, a shoemaker named Falmouth Kearney, lived his early life. I marveled as I walked around on the same old floorboards that he did, then I had the privilege to address the people of Ireland on College Green. For me, this photo pretty much sums up their joyful spirit; a warmth and generosity that stay with me to this day. Happy St. Patrick's Day—on this day, it’ll always be O’Bama.
Michelle and I send condolences and strength to the people of New Zealand. We grieve with you and with the Muslim community. Every single one of us, every color, every creed, has a daily responsibility to rally against hate and bigotry in all their forms and to stand up for what is good, and decent, and true.
“As a phrase, ‘My Brother’s Keeper’ continues to keep me focused—especially when I lose hope or get weary. When I repeat it to myself, I’m reminded of all the young people whose lives I might have impacted and those who I have yet to impact. It reinvigorates me, causes me to get up, and reminds me that the work isn’t over yet. I am My Brother’s Keeper. “My hope for all boys and young men of color is peace. I hope for a brighter future where these young men won’t be fearful of applying for a job or chasing an opportunity because of their skin color. Too often I hear my peers talk about how they have to go about things a certain way or there are certain jobs they simply cannot do. “I just want to grow. I want to expand. #MBKRising gives us a chance to come together as a community and have the conversations that can only come from a diversity of perspectives. I am only one person with one set of experiences. There’s a limit to what I know. The only way I’ll be able to grow and learn is to interact with the community of leaders who are working hard to help boys and young men of color like me achieve their dreams. That’s when we all learn.” —Jerron Hawkins, 21, participant at #MBKRising, Washington D.C. (3/3)
“My friends and I started a program to mentor students at the elementary school next door. We helped each other keep the good work going. When I got to Howard I hit the ground running—joining student organizations, getting an internship at the White House during the Obama administration, and becoming a mentee as part of the My Brother’s Keeper initiative, where I had the chance to meet President Obama, ask him for advice, and share what was going on in my life. “Since beginning my mentorship program five years ago, I’ve found a passion for combating disparities and inequalities I see. My mission is to change the world one community at a time. I recently founded my own nonprofit to help out other college students, providing scholarships and highlighting the achievement and impact of minority students across the U.S. ” —Jerron Hawkins, 21, participant at #MBKRising, Washington D.C. (2/3)
Meet Jerron Hawkins. He’s a young man I got to know when he was a White House mentee in 2014, and he’s one of the hundreds of people coming to Oakland this week for MBK Rising!, a nationwide gathering of community members and partners that represent the My Brother’s Keeper movement. We’re bringing these groups together to celebrate five years of progress on behalf of boys and young men of color—and to set our sights on the road ahead. Since we started My Brother’s Keeper five years ago, one of the things we’ve seen consistently is the power of mentoring as a tool to help young people address the challenges they face and see the opportunities in front of them. Mentoring just works. Today, I’m turning my Instagram account over to Jerron to tell you a little about his experience with mentorship. His story shows us what’s possible when we invest in our young people and show them we believe in their promise. It’s the kind of story we should hear more often—the kind we’ll hear a lot of in Oakland this week. It’s the kind story that gives me hope. “At the beginning of high school, I felt like I wasn’t operating with purpose. I wasn’t helping anyone. I was selected to be a member of my principal’s student leadership team and I thought ‘Why me? I don’t see myself like this.’ But in senior year, I found AMATE—African American Males Aspiring to Excel—a mentoring program for young men of color. What was so powerful to me about the group was the vulnerability. As guys, we were used to not talking about our problems. We bottled it all up and called it pride. So to be in this group of young men, sharing their feelings and being vulnerable with each other, was life-changing for me.”—Jerron Hawkins, 21, participant at #MBKRising, Washington D.C. (1/3)
Five years ago, I launched the My Brother’s Keeper initiative calling on all Americans to take action on behalf our nation’s boys and young men of color. It was a call to make sure every child felt valued, safe, and supported by their community—a call to help these young men in particular see hope and opportunity in their future. We’ve come a long way in those five years. Today, as part of the @ObamaFoundation, the @MBK_Alliance consists of nearly 250 communities working to break down barriers that too often leave boys and young men of color at a disadvantage. And tomorrow in Oakland, I’ll join the My Brother’s Keeper community to mark the progress we’ve made and chart the course ahead at a celebration we’re calling MBK Rising! In the lead-up to the event, and in honor of Black History Month, I wanted to share a nonfiction reading list that can help to provide some essential context about the challenges that many people of color face every day. From modern memoirs to cornerstones of the American narrative, these works can help us better understand our country’s past and our evolving, persistent struggles with race—and they can be fuel on our journey toward a more fair and just future for all of our sons and daughters. They certainly are for me. I hope you’ll take some time to read some of these books, letters, and articles. And tomorrow, I hope you’ll follow along with MBK Rising! at Obama.org/mbka. The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson Stamped from the Beginning by Ibram X. Kendi Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption by Bryan Stevenson A Stone of Hope: A Memoir by Jim St. Germain with Jon Sternfeld The Upshot from The New York Times: Extensive Data Shows Punishing Reach of Racism for Black Boys The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin The Letter from Birmingham Jail by Martin Luther King, Jr. Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom by David W. Blight
Don’t be sad it’s over, be proud it taught us so much. Congrats to all the men and women of @NASA on a Mars rover mission that beat all expectations, inspired a new generation of Americans, and demands we keep investing in science that pushes the boundaries of human knowledge.
As we celebrate Black History Month and Jackie Robinson’s 100th birthday, we celebrate the life of all whose courage opened the gates for everybody, and in the process, made America better.
As a bridge between the East and West, Hawaiʻi is a part of the fabric of both the U.S. and the broader Asia-Pacific region. It’s a place of tremendous diversity and global potential. It’s also the place I call home. This weekend, I had the opportunity to sit down in Hawaiʻi with 21 exceptional emerging leaders from the Asia-Pacific, designing an @ObamaFoundation program that will convene hundreds of changemakers from the region so that they can come together to support each other, share ideas, and solve the greatest challenges they face. I can’t wait to see what they accomplish.
As 2018 draws to a close, I’m continuing a favorite tradition of mine and sharing my year-end lists. It gives me a moment to pause and reflect on the year through the books, movies, and music that I found most thought-provoking, inspiring, or just plain loved. It also gives me a chance to highlight talented authors, artists, and storytellers – some who are household names and others who you may not have heard of before. Swipe through to see my best of 2018 list – I hope you enjoy reading, watching, and listening.
Enjoy the holiday season with the ones you love. Michelle and I wish you a very Merry Christmas!
I am grateful for the next generation of leaders who are doing the work to create the world as it should be. Our young people—tolerant, creative, idealistic—remind us that the best way to honor our communities is to serve them. They understand that hope requires action. From the Obama family to yours, Happy Thanksgiving.
Of course, @MichelleObama's my wife, so I'm a little biased here. But she also happens to be brilliant, funny, wise – one of a kind. This book tells her quintessentially American story. I love it because it faithfully reflects the woman I have loved for so long.
As I reflect on election night ten years ago today, I can’t help but think about where my political career started. I wasn’t running for office. I was running a voter-registration drive in Chicago. What I learned then -- and what would become the premise of my 2008 campaign -- was that you couldn't just fight for existing votes. You had to reach out to all of these people who had lost faith and lost trust, and get them off the sidelines. So during our first campaign, when I started seeing all these stories about record turnout in communities all over the country -- from young people in line for hours in Iowa to elderly folks in lawn chairs down in Florida -- I knew that we had shown what is possible when everybody decides to participate. And that, in and of itself, gave people a sense of their own power -- their own agency in the kind of country we want to leave for our kids. When more people get off the sidelines and decide to participate, our country becomes a little more representative of its people -- of everyone's collective decision. And American politics can change as a result. So on Election Day this Tuesday, I’m not just asking you to vote. I'm asking you to really show up once again. Talk with your friends, convince some new voters, and get them out to vote because then something powerful happens. Change happens. Hope happens. And with each new step we take in the direction of fairness, and justice, and equality, and opportunity, hope spreads.
Not sure who and what you can vote for? Vote Save America put together a guide to help make sure you walk into the voting booth knowing where you stand on the candidates and initiatives you'll be voting on. Here's how it works: Enter your address, and you'll learn everything you need to know about who's running to represent you, which measures you have the opportunity to help decide, and more. Now, these ballot initiatives are really important. They allow millions of Americans to make decisions about real, concrete issues in their communities -- things like how hard it is to get an assault weapon, who gets tax breaks and why, how we care for our veterans, and what the requirements ought to be for casting a ballot. (That's right -- this election year, millions of Americans can cast a vote to help more Americans cast a vote.) And when you consider the fact that these initiatives tend to be written in a confusing way to begin with, it makes even more to sense to read up and make an informed decision now. Here's the bottom line: The only thing more important than being a voter is being the most informed voter out there. So make sure November 6 isn't the first time you're seeing your ballot. Go to votesaveamerica.com/ballot right now, and let's get this thing done.
Your vote can decide the health care of millions. Your voice can determine the character of our country. You have power — use it! In most states, you don't even have to wait until Election Day to cast a ballot. Find out where you can vote before Nov. 6: IWillVote.com
My brother and friend @JoeBiden is back on Instagram. Welcome back, Joe—you'll always be one of the rare exceptions to my no-selfies rule.
This is one of those pivotal moments when every one of us, as citizens of the United States, need to determine just who it is that we are. Just what it is that we stand for. And as a fellow citizen, not as an ex-president, I delivered a simple message to students at the University of Illinois today. You need to vote, because our democracy depends on it. The biggest threat to our democracy doesn't come from any one person. The biggest threat to our democracy is indifference. The biggest threat to our democracy is cynicism – a cynicism that’s led too many people to turn away from politics, and to stay home on Election Day. The antidote to government by the powerful few is democracy by the organized many. If you get involved, and engaged, and knock on some doors, and talk with your friends, and argue with your family members, and change some minds, and vote – then something powerful happens. Change happens. Hope happens. With each new candidate that surprises you with a victory, a spark of hope happens. With each new law that helps a kid read, or a poor family find shelter, or a veteran get the support he or she has earned, hope happens. With each new step we take in the direction of fairness, and justice, and equality, and opportunity, hope spreads. I believe that can be the legacy of your generation. You can be the generation that stood up and reminded us just how precious democracy is, and just how powerful it can be when we fight for it. I believe you will. Because I believe in you. And I’ll be right there alongside you, every step of the way.
I just stopped by a high school on Chicago’s Southwest side to meet with students who spent the summer learning to code smartphone apps. These apps are impressive – they are designed to connect people in danger to emergency services, make it easy for students and families to get the latest information about their schools, and even help you decide what to eat to for dinner. It’s part of a program Michelle and I are proud to support called One Summer Chicago, which invests in local youth by providing meaningful educational and professional experiences in safe spaces over the summer. Programs like this aren’t just helping Chicago’s youth gain skills for their own future, they're also strengthening the pipeline of talent right here on the South Side, the community of the future Obama Presidential Center.
America has no royalty. But we do have a chance to earn something more enduring. Born in Memphis and raised in Detroit, Aretha Franklin grew up performing gospel songs in her father’s congregation. For more than six decades since, every time she sang, we were all graced with a glimpse of the divine. Through her compositions and unmatched musicianship, Aretha helped define the American experience. In her voice, we could feel our history, all of it and in every shade—our power and our pain, our darkness and our light, our quest for redemption and our hard-won respect. She helped us feel more connected to each other, more hopeful, more human. And sometimes she helped us just forget about everything else and dance. Aretha may have passed on to a better place, but the gift of her music remains to inspire us all. May the Queen of Soul rest in eternal peace. Michelle and I send our prayers and warmest sympathies to her family and all those moved by her song.
Mandela Day is about taking action to change the world for the better. In these young people, I see Madiba's example of persistence and hope. They are poised to make this world more peaceful, more prosperous, and more just.
Now this is a pretty cool dad move. Happy Father’s Day to all the great dads out there like Lynell Jinks, who creates beautiful art on his kids’ lunch bags to remind them to be proud of their own gifts.