Michelle Obama Tour

Women’s Studies & the First African-American First Lady of the U.S.

Michelle Obama was an activist, and during your trip, you can be, too! Volunteer at an underfunded school on the south side of Chicago or work at an LGBTQ center in Washington D.C.

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Sojourn – Gain a better understanding of the community you’re visiting. Learn about different religions or spiritual practices. How do these impact the communities? How does religion or spirituality influence local traditions?

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Savor – Will you choose sweet or savory? Take the time to visit local markets and discover unique local ingredients. Learn how to prepare traditional meals & local favorites.

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Tip of the Tongue – Each morning, take the time to learn a few basic greetings and phrases in the local language. Learn how to write greetings & your name in the local script.

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A Wrinkle in Time – History influences our present. Discover the history of the country you visit. Hear the stories of your guides & their family history. Where do they come from?

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Journal Journeys – Take some time to reflect on the day’s events and document your journey. Spend a moment journaling about the day had & day ahead. These are memories for a lifetime!

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Culture – From local dances, festivals, or simple gestures to communicate – all of these make up a country’s culture. Learn and practice cultural norms & how to show respect in the culture you visit.

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You’ll arrive in Chicago amid the hustle and bustle. Take a train down to the South Side of the city to prepare for your women’s studies tour tomorrow.

It’s time to start your women’s studies lessons! Your first stop is Parkway Gardens, the apartment complex that was Michelle’s first home. It was affordable at the time, and but has since grown much more expensive.

Next, you’ll see the home where Michelle grew up. She was raised in a conventional household where her mother stayed home and her father worked. She played piano and attended services at South Shore United Methodist Church. This is also the place where she and her husband Barack Obama lived when they were newlyweds.

Now for a simple, sweet sight to end the day. You’ll go to the Obama Kissing Rock, which commemorates the place where Michelle and Barack had their first kiss at a Baskin Robbins. Although the building is now a Subway, head a little way down the road and get some ice cream at a nearby shop.

It’s the last day to tour the town where Michelle spent her early days. Your first stop is the Sidley Austin Lawfirm, Michelle’s first job after graduating from Princeton and Harvard Law School, where she established her career as a lawyer, and also where she met Barack.

Make your way to the University of Chicago where Michelle was the Dean of Students and then became executive director of community affairs. In this position, she increased staff diversity and created neighborhood outreach and volunteer recruitment programs. You’ll talk to an employee of the university who will tell you about Michelle’s impact.

After a short flight, you’ll arrive in Washington D.C.! Once you land, you’ll go directly to the White House. Tours of the President’s home are hard to come by, but you’ll get this exciting chance! While you’re touring, think of Michelle Obama and her husband and the history they made here.

Today’s a great day to volunteer! Michelle Obama grew the first vegetable garden at the White House since Eleanor Roosevelt lived there, and helping people eat healthily was important to her. You’ll plant vegetables and care for the soil while a volunteer explains how the urban gardens in the area work and how they benefit the local community and the Earth.

To get some strength after a hard day’s work, head to Ben’s Chili Bowl. It’s a restaurant that was a favorite of the Obamas, and their food is great! There’s even a mural outside to commemorate them. Don’t forget to take a selfie!

During the last day of your tour, you’ll spend lots of time at the Smithsonian. The first museum you’ll check out is the National Museum of American History. It contains Michelle’s inaugural gown, as well as those of all the other First Ladies. Your tour guide will also point out the parts in the museum that can teach you something about Michelle Obama or her husband Barack’s presidency.

Now, you’ll go to the Museum of African-American History & Culture. Barack and Michelle Obama rang in its opening in 2006. There is so much space dedicated to African-American history and culture, and Barack and Michelle were so excited to see it happen. A tour guide will tell you about what figures in the museum Michelle looks up to or who changed her life.

Your trip may have come to an end, but you’ve learned all about Michelle Obama’s life and how she changed America. Hopefully, she can serve as an inspiration to you as you work for change in the future.

Michelle Obama was the First Lady of the United States from 2009 to 2017. She is an activist that has worked for many causes, including children’s health, LGBTQ rights, and food sustainability. On this trip to Chicago and Washington D.C., you’ll learn about women’s studies and Michelle Obama’s activism before, during and after her husband’s historic presidential term.


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