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First Lady Michelle Obama expressed the importance of an education, encouraged self-worth and cheered on the strength and beauty of black women at the fifth anniversary of Black Girls Rock! This year marked the first-time Mrs. Obama attended the event, which paid tribute to women of color, who’ve made a huge impact in art,  community service, philanthropy, and sports.

Last night, the ceremony honored Selma director Ava DuVernay, Cicely Tyson, Erykah Badu, president and CEO of humanitarian organization CARE USA Dr. Helene D. Gayle, Jada Pinkett Smith, and educator Nadia Lopez.

Mrs. Obama rallied the crowd to believe in themselves despite what some may say. Mrs. Obama stated:

No matter who you are, no matter where you come from, you are beautiful.

Indeed, we are! Watch her speech below.

Mrs. Obama used the event to express how crucial it is to get an education for black girls, as part of her Reach Higher campaign. Reach Higher was created by Mrs. Obama to encourage children to get a higher education after they’ve completed high school. According to the Associated Press, Mrs. Obama remarked:

There is nothing more important than being serious about your education. That’s why I am able to stand here tonight. I want every one of our black girls do to the same, and our black boys.

Black Girls Rock! is slated to air April 5, at 7 PM EST on BET.

Michelle Obama Through The Years
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Michelle Obama: ‘Black Girls Rock!’  was originally published on