Michelle Obama broke ground Friday on a new lab she and former President Barack Obama are developing to spur progress in education, health and criminal justice.
“During my husband’s eight years as president, he and I had opportunities to fight for a range of issues, but we were united in our belief that, if we were going to leave our children a country that was better than the one we inherited, then we had to take those opportunities – and we had to take those fights – all the way down to the bottom of our communities and beyond,” she said during a morning ceremony.
The Bayard Rustin Day Lab will be named after the activist and civil rights organizer who helped bring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and other activists to America for the first time in the 1960s. The Lab will focus on community-based prevention, education and intervention programs focused on racial equity and disparities.
Afterward, Mrs. Obama and Mr. Obama toured Tappan Zee Bridge, a maintenance facility just north of the lab that carries traffic across the Hudson River to New York City. The bridge serves about 200,000 vehicles a day.
“I remember growing up going out there and hanging out on this bridge on school trips with my dad, and a lot of the things we’re talking about today are why I wanted to be a bridge engineer when I grew up,” she said.
“And that’s why I think it’s so important to have centers of innovation right here in this community,” she added.