More than 12,000 people attended a moderated conversation with former First Lady Michelle Obama in Indianapolis Tuesday night.
The conversation covered a range of topics – from her roots in a supportive environment in Chicago to the potential positive impacts of diversity and civic action.
The Women’s Fund of Central Indiana hosted the event and provided 500 free tickets to women and girls who might not have been able to attend. Obama gave advice to young woman facing adversity.
“You have to practice pushing through it, you have to practice achieving through other people’s low expectations of you,” Obama says.
Obama also talked about mental health. She says a change in perspective could grow from an understanding of one of the populations’ most affected groups – veterans.
“If we could destigmatize it for them, then that would spread to the rest of us. That would help that 16-year-old girl who’s thinking about killing herself,” Obama says.
She directly addressed women of color in the room and urged them to push past social barriers.
“To give it a go, because we need diversity, we need strong female voices, we need people who bring different perspectives to the problems we’re trying to solve,” Obama says.
The event raised about $1 million for women in central Indiana.