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African American Outreach Update at the White House...and the Mocha Moms White House Summit

African American Outreach Update


February was a great month of celebration in recognition of National African American History Month at the White House and throughout the Administration. The Administration participated in a range of events from honoring the heroism of the Tuskegee Airmen to celebrating Blues music with the legendary BB King to the groundbreaking of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, and hosting the Mocha Moms at a White House Briefing. This newsletter highlights some of our recent events.


The 2013 Budget 


In the State of the Union, President Obama said this is a make or break moment for middle class Americans. With so many of those challenges affecting the African American community -- the President's 2013 budget is a blue print for an economy built to last that will address major concerns of job training, economic security, and investments in education that will give our children the skills they need today to obtain the jobs of tomorrow.

The budget addresses in detail the following topics:


  • Support Minority Businesses. Even in this more constrained budget environment, the Administration continues to support robust funding of programs that support growth and access to credit in underserved and lower-income communities.
  • Take Immediate Action to Support Growth and Job Creation. 3.7 million private sector jobs have been created over the past 23 months -- the President believes much more needs to be done to put Americans back to work.
  • Preserve Affordable Rental Opportunities. The Budget proposes $19.1 billion for the Housing Choice Voucher program to help more than two million extremely low- to low-income families with rental assistance live in decent housing in neighborhoods of their choice.
  • Promote Affordable Homeownership. The Administration projects that the Federal Housing Administration will insure $149 billion in mortgage borrowing in 2013, supporting new home purchases and re-financed mortgages that significantly reduce borrower payments.
  • Support Responsible Homeowners and Help Them Stay in Their Homes. The President has put forward a legislative plan to support responsible homeowners by making millions more eligible for streamlined refinancing, which can save hundreds of dollars a month.
  • Extend Expanded Tax Cuts for Lower-Income Families. The Budget permanently extends expansions of the Child Tax Credit and the Earned Income Tax Credit, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization and Job Creation Act.


Read more here.

Mocha Moms White House Summit


Mocha Moms

Kuae Mattox (podium) and EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson. (Photo by the White House Office of Public Engagement).


Over 150 members of Mocha Moms, Inc. visited the White House on February 16. The program of events included listening sessions and panel discussions with Obama administration officials. The program ended with a Q&A session with EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson. The discussion moderated by Kuae Mattox, the organization's national president, covered a wide range of topics, from motherhood and work-life balance to health and education.

Mocha Moms is a national nonprofit organization whose primary mission is to support and encourage women of color who have made parenting a priority. The organization was founded in 1997 and today has 100 chapters and more than 3,000 members in 29 states throughout the country.


Mocha Moms audience

Audience of Mocha Moms. (Photo by the White House Office of Public Engagement).


President Obama Honors African American Women

During the month of February, the President met with four remarkable African American women, Frankie Muse Freeman, Myrlie Evers-Williams, Nichelle Nichols and Rachel Robinson. The meetings were a significant highlight of National African American History Month as this year's theme is ‘Black Women in American Culture and History.' The theme invites us to recognize the many contributions of African American women who have shaped the character of the Nation and enriched our cultural heritage.

  • Frankie Muse Freeman is a 95 year old civil rights attorney. She was the first woman to be appointed to the United States Commission on Civil Rights and also served as legal counsel for the NAACP.
  • Myrlie Evers-Williams is a civil rights activist and widow of Medgar Evers. She was an active member of the NAACP and later served as chairwoman of the organization.
  • Nichelle Nichols is an actress and singer. Her most famous role is that of Lieutenant Uhura in the Star Trek television series. After Star Trek, Nichols has worked with NASA to recruit minority and female personnel.
  • Rachel Robinson is a former nurse and the widow of baseball player Jackie Robinson. Mrs. Robinson is active in public service and the founder of the Jackie Robinson Foundation.


Highlights from the White House Blog


President Obama at the Ground Breaking Ceremony for the Smithsonian...


President Barack Obama delivers remarks during the groundbreaking ceremony for the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture site in Washington, D. C., Feb. 22, 2012.

A Field Trip with the President
On a cold Tuesday morning, Mrs. Darlene White-Dottin's first grade class arrived at school at 4:30 in the morning. However, these students from Orchard Gardens School in Boston, MA weren't arriving early to hit the books; they were about to begin an once-in-a-lifetime field trip to Washington, D.C. The class was going to recite Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s “I Have a Dream” speech for President Obama and Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick at the White House.

President Barack Obama and Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick listen as Orchard Gardens Elementary School students recite Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s “I Have a Dream" speech in the Diplomatic Reception Room of the White House, Feb. 28, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza) March 1, 2012. (Official White House Photo)

President Obama signed the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012
For the past several weeks, the President called on Americans from across the country to add their voices to the debate and let us know how losing $40 in their paychecks would impact them. Thousands of individuals did exactly that, and it made all the difference: on Wednesday, February 22nd, President Obama signed the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation... -- extending the payroll tax cut and emergency jobless benefits through the end of the year.

Additional Blog Highlights

Calendar Highlights

  • 3/5 Urban Economic Forum in Birmingham, Alabama
  • 3/8 White House Briefing with the National Urban League

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