First Lady Michelle Obama visited Chicago today to discuss youth violence.
She spoke at a luncheon at the Hilton Chicago, hosted by Mayor
Rahm Emanuel. The “Joint Luncheon Meeting: Working Together to Address
Youth Violence in Chicago” was attended by local community
stakeholders and business leaders and designed to promote increased
opportunities for youth, aiming to raise $50 million to fund outreach programs.
According to the White House, the First Lady planned to speak "from her experience as a Chicagoan and a mother.”
"This is personal," Obama said during her speech as she detailed her experience of growing up on Chicago's South Side. "Hadiya's family did everything right, but she still didn't have a chance."
Obama who attended Pendleton's funeral service said the sad event was difficult for her to get through.
"I couldn't get over how familiar they felt to me," the First Lady said. "Hadiya's family was my family. I was Hadiya and she was me."
Obama met with a small group of students
and counselors at Harper High School in Chicago’s South Side
neighborhood of West Englewood after the Hilton event.
The First Lady’s visit comes
as the U.S. Senate is expected to debate the President’s gun control
initiatives this week. Illinois lawmakers are also considering gun control legislation.