Mr. Ellis Goes to Washington (Let's Move! Event Part 1)
"We have to fight for all kids like we fight for our kids... every step of the way."
-First Lady Michelle Obama
Last month, I had the real honor of representing NEHM and the Episcopal Church at the 'Communities on the Move' event, coordinated by the White House and the Let's Move! campaign. There is something uniquely thrilling about receiving an invitation from the White House and I was honored to be included in this event, representing the Episcopal Church's good work on healthier living. It was clear many of the staff had worked hard on this event, as evidenced by the incredible roster of speakers, including the First Lady of the United States Michelle Obama:
We Can! Presentation and Q&A
- Caya Lewis, Counselor to the Secretary for Science and Public Health, US Department of Health & Human Services
- Gary Gibbons, M.D., Director, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
- Melinda Kelley and Melissa McGowan, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
- Garrett Weber-Gale, 2-time Olympic Gold Medalist
- Kathleen Merrigan, Deputy Secretary, U.S. Department of Agriculture
- Shellie Pfohl, Executive Director, The President's Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition
- Donna Richardson Joyner, Member of the President's Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition
- Sam Kass, Senior Policy Advisor for Healthy Food Initiatives
- First Lady of the United States Michelle Obama(!!!)
First Lady Michelle Obama Matthew Ellis and 2-Time Olympian Garrett Weber-Gale
Matthew Ellis and Donna Richardson Joyner Sam Kass, Senior Policy Advisor for Healthy Food Initiatives
The event was a terrific balance of information, new resources, and motivational speaking (that truly was inspiring). It is clear that the staff in these agencies really understand and value the efforts that faith-based organizations and our community partners make in bringing attention to these programs. Below are just some of the resources that we discussed, along with pictures of the event and video of the First Lady's remarks.
Just before we get moving...
For me, this event demonstrated the power of public recognition for the efforts of health ministry. To have someone you respect acknowledge your work and publicly praise you can provide real inspiration during those times when things aren't quite falling into place like you would hope. Sure, there is humility in hiding our light under the basket. It's also a lot less fun and denies others the opportunity to learn about our good work and to participate in the future. I encourage each of you to celebrate your successes.
Why not start now?
Next: A summary of resources from the day!