On March 28, 2015, Mrs. Obama spoke at Black girls rock! , an annual awards show that honored several prominent African-American women: Jada Pinkett Smith, Erykah Badu, Cicely Tyson, Ava DuVernay, Nadia Lopez, and Helene Gayle. Addressing an audience that included many young black girls, Obama said : "I am so excited to be here at 'Black Girls Rock!' To all the young women here tonight and all across the country, let me say those words again: Black girls rock! We rock! We rock! No matter who you are, no matter where you come from, you are beautiful, you are powerful, you are brilliant, you are funny. Let me tell you, I am so proud of you. My husband, your president, is so proud of you. And we have such big hopes and dreams for every single one of you. Now, I know that's not always the message that you get from the world. I know there are voices that tell you that you're not good enough. That you have to look a certain way, act a certain way. That if you speak up, you're too loud. If you step up to lead, you're being bossy.... I need you to understand that we are the women who marched from cotton fields into fields of medicine ... politics ... entertainment. We have found a way to march into a White House."
In a speech she delivered at the opening of the new $420 million Whitney Museum in New York City on May 7, 2015, Mrs. Obama asserted that too many nonwhite minorities do not feel "welcome" in America's museums and cultural centers: