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Mrs. Laura Bush announces the Bush Institute's African First Ladies Summit
Ten current and former African first ladies joined former U.S. first lady Laura Bush and Cherie Blair, wife of the former U.K. prime minister, today at a Pardee RAND Graduate School-organized forum focused on becoming more effective leaders. The first ladies had a rare opportunity to meet with peers in a private, facilitated discussion that covered the opportunities and challenges of their unique roles. The conversations were designed to help first ladies become champions of change in their home countries on issues such as women’s health, girls’ education and women’s economic empowerment. During the forum, Mrs. Bush made the following remarks: "Each of you here are using your interests and passions to shape your work as First Lady. Whether it's education and healthcare or poverty and social justice, you have taken your unique opportunity to lead. Thanks to your efforts, more children in your countries are in school, families are learning to lead healthier lives, and communities are benefiting with more citizens in the workforce. Because you care, you know there’s much more work to be done. That is why I am happy to announce the Bush Institute’s African First Ladies Summit in Tanzania in 2013. The Summit will bring together Africa’s first ladies and leaders in education, health and economic opportunity to discuss efforts to improve the lives of women and girls. President Bush and I are grateful to ExxonMobil for sponsoring this important Summit and for partnering with the Bush Institute to advance life-saving work. We invite you to join us next summer in Tanzania." -Laura W. Bush