Michelle Obama may only have 69 days left in the White House—not that we’re counting or anything—but she’s not about to let go of the causes she has championed over the past eight years. And she can’t do any of them all by herself. So Zendaya recently met with Michelle to discuss Let Girls Learn, a government program launched by the Obamas to find means of educating 62 million girls around the world, as Teen Vogue reports.
Zendaya found out how we can help Michelle and the Let Girls Learn initiative move forward long past January 20. First, she asked Michelle what the “biggest obstacles for girls [are] when it comes to getting a proper education.” Michelle pointed out that in some places, there simply aren’t proper resources or facilities to ensure all girls get a solid education. “Sometimes the issue is resources,” she said. “Parents can’t afford to pay for tuition, uniforms, or school supplies; or the nearest school is too far away and there’s no safe transportation; or there is a school nearby, but it doesn’t have adequate bathrooms for girls, so they have to stay home when they have their periods, and they wind up falling behind and dropping out.”
It’s not always just about resources, though: In many places, the issue lies around the way people thing about education for girls. “Often the problem is attitude,” Michelle added. “It’s about whether families and communities think girls are even worthy of an education in the first place. It’s about whether girls are valued only for their labor and reproductive capacities or for their minds as well. And it’s about whether women are viewed as second-class citizens or as full human beings entitled to the same rights and opportunities as men.” Preach. Anyone else already deeply missing her as FLOTUS? Yeah, that’s what we thought.
Zendaya also asked Michelle what the future of Let Girls Learn would look like, now that Michelle is set to move on to new things. Don’t worry: Michelle isn’t about to walk away from this cause. “I see myself—and my daughters—in these girls,” she said. “Once you get to know them, you just can’t walk away. I plan on working on this issue for the rest of my life.” If you want to get involved, go here to roll up your sleeves and support the movement.