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There have been many public figures who have inspired educational courses. Songstress Beyoncé’s work has inspired college courses across the country, her hubby Jay Z was the subject of a course at Georgetown, and last year Jordan Peele’s work was the focal point of a class at UCLA. The latest person to have a curriculum centered on her achievements and experiences is former first lady Michelle Obama, Black Enterprise reported.
After reading Obama’s best-selling book Becoming, Lauren Christine Mims identified valuable lessons that would be impactful for Black girls who are coming of age, the news outlet writes. Mims—who served as the assistant director of the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans and is currently enrolled in the University of Virginia’s Educational Psychology doctorate program—was so inspired that she conceptualized a curriculum for young Black girls that intertwines Obama’s journey and key principles for success.
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For Mims, it’s all about representation. When young girls see themselves reflected in successful Black women it changes their perspective on life. “Reading Becoming was like sitting on the couch with your best friend and having one of those soulful conversations about life,” she told the news outlet. “Reading about how Michelle Obama felt unchallenged in elementary school, teased for the way she spoke, and noticed a difference in how she was perceived during adolescence was affirming. I disrupt the traditional practice of talking about Black girls in pejorative ways and center them and their unique experiences to study how we can support them.” She also added that there should be safe spaces for Black girls to discuss their challenges and how they can overcome them.
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