Published: Sun, July 16, 2017
Culture | By Antonia Gonzales

Michelle Obama's 2017 ESPYs Speech Emphasized The Importance Of Celebrating Differences

Michelle Obama's 2017 ESPYs Speech Emphasized The Importance Of Celebrating Differences

Michelle Obama returned to the spotlight Wednesday evening, taking to the stage at the ESPY Awards in L.A. The dress is by Cushnie et Ochs, a label run by two women of color - Carly Cushnie and Michelle Ochs - which means that no, Michelle Obama calling attention to young designers or designers of color didn't stop when she left the White House.

She honored Special Olympics' late founder Eunice Kennedy Shriver at the ESPYs with the Arthur Ashe Courage Award, which was received by her son Timothy Shriver. "My mother would have loved you", says Shriver's son Tim, who accepted the award on her behalf.

She ended her speech by stressing the need to make the world "more inclusive, welcoming and fair" for everyone, regardless of race, ethnicity and gender. "Not just for the athletes she empowered, but for us all". So almost 50 years ago, she created the Special Olympics, and over the course of her life she turned that visionary idea into a worldwide movement with competitions across the globe'. F Kennedy and founded the Special Olympics in 1968 - now the world's largest sports organisation for children and adults living with intellectual disabilities.

"Special Olympics athletes are not a cause".

It offers yet another example of the former first lady's support of home-grown design talent; she's been an early adopter of designers like Brandon Maxwell and Jason Wu (Canadian, but based in New York).

"Our mother would have loved you", he said to Obama, adding, "She would have been so honored that you are here for her tonight, as we all are".

At the time Shriver started the Special Olympics, people with those kinds of disabilities were shunned and forced to live in institutions.

But I digress. Obama has continued to work with stylist Meredith Koop, who was a member of her transition team in 2008 and became her wardrobe consultant when Barack Obama took office in 2009.

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