Michelle Obama spoke Wednesday at the inaugural youth leadership summit held by the Obama Foundation in Chicago and urged her audience that "words matter."
"When you have a voice, you just can't use it any kind of way, you know? This whole 'Tell it like it is' business, that's nonsense," Obama said in a conversation with poet Elizabeth Alexander.
“You don’t just say what’s on your mind. You don’t tweet every thought. Most of your first initial thoughts are not worthy of the light of day.”
She continued by saying that Twitter and social media can be a “powerful weapon.”
When audience members laughed and applauded, Obama clarified that her suggestion wasn’t aimed at “anybody in particular,” but rather she was “talking about all of us.”
“When you’re the first lady or the president (or) the commander in chief, and you have that voice and that power and that platform, what comes with that is the responsibility to know that every word you utter has consequences,” she said.
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Former President Barack Obama ended the two-day summit with a speech Wednesday. Attendance for the event included 500 youth participants from 60 countries, and speakers included Prince Harry, rapper Common and “Hamilton” creator Lin-Manuel Miranda, with performances by Chance the Rapper, Gloria Estefan and The National.
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Credit: Natrice Miller / Natrice.Miller@ajc.com