I just got back from the White House and if I were asked to sum it up in one word it would be surreal. Several months ago, I had the awesome privilege of meeting the First Lady, entering those hallowed halls and discussing my passion with her. We shared our passion for the challenges facing girls today. In spite of her graceful, strong and commanding presence, in the midst of our conversation, her impressive role melted away and all I saw was a mother concerned for her two daughters.
The entertainment industry doesn't necessarily tell us what to think, but it certainly tells us what to think about; it's constructing our conversations today. So with that in mind, we contacted the First Lady's people and requested a meeting with the White House Council on Women and Girls, in the hopes of providing a solution to the dismal state for girls today. Bare in mind, it's one thing to throw out an idea, far another when the White House actually calls you back and says, "Sounds great, what's a good date for you?" It was about that time that my throat plunged into my stomach and I panicked at what an invite like that really entails not to mention the responsibility it demands.
So over the course of several months, I AM THAT GIRL's team prepared for the meeting of our life. We flew out influential people and organizations to join us, arranged for camera crews to follow us and capture this monumental footage. We hired publicists, crossed our t's and dotted our i's in every aspect; yet in spite of all the methodical "preparation," nothing truly prepared me for walking inside the West Wing, being ushered into the Roosevelt Room and sitting at that enormous and legendary table. Having the opportunity to meet with Tina Tchen and two other members of the White House Council, we presented the current state of media as a global health crisis for girls. Then we proceeded to share the lofty, ambitious goals of I AM THAT GIRL. We discussed how we're launching the first ever, all-girl driven network and would love to include White House agenda with our initiative to create and promote healthy media. We currently export 80% of the world's media and feel we need to have a higher standard in how we are portraying girls and women.
Time stood still as we discussed our passion in that magic house. After our roundtable discussion, we were ushered into the Oval Office and it all happened so fast that my spinning head couldn’t grasp the whole concept until later that night when I was sleeping in my bed. If ever there were a time to validate the work we do, it was then. While there is certainly more to come — more monumental moments and more milestones — the White House will always be at the top of that list.
Real change happens when you gather up a dream team, cherry pick the best and have the audacity to put yourself out there. White House or no White House, dreams happen every day. Why not yours?
Image of White House courtesy of Dc.about.com