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First Lady Michelle Obama announces proposed guidelines for local school wellness policies and roll out of breakfast and lunch programs for schools that serve low-income communities in the East Room of the White House in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2014. The bipartisan Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 mandated that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) set guidelines for what needed to be included in local school wellness policies in areas such as setting goals for nutrition education and physical activity, informing parents about content of the policy and implementation, and periodically assessing progress and sharing updates as appropriate. The proposed guidelines would ensure that foods and beverages marketed to children in schools are consistent with the recently released Smart Snacks in School standards and ensuring that unhealthy food is not marketed to children is one of the First Lady's top priorities. To help schools with the implementation of the school wellness policies, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has launched a new "School Nutrition Environment and Wellness Resources" website, which includes sample wellness policy language for school districts and a dedicated page of resources for food marketing practices on the school campus. USDA photo by Tom Witham. Credit: Thomas Witham

Following the “Black Girls Rock” controversy that gained traction on national media, Penn students responded to the campaign in mixed ways.

First Lady Michelle Obama stirred up controversy in late March when she spoke at the annual Black Girls Rock event hosted by Black Entertainment Television, in honor of the Black Girls Rock nonprofit.

The event, which aims to celebrate the power, accomplishments and beauty of black women and girls, has come under fire in the past from critics who claim the event promotes reverse racism.

Following the event, the Twitter hashtag #whitegirlsrock began to trend, calling out the event for being exclusionary to women who were not of color.

College sophomore Rhiannon Miller has mixed emotions regarding the Black Girls Rock event, but does not see how it would negatively affect the self-esteem of women and girls of other races. “It doesn’t marginalize white people in any way,” Miller said.

But Miller added that she would rather see an event that celebrated the accomplishments of all girls, rather than singling out one group.

“I think black girls already know that they rock, so I don’t really see why one would need an event to teach that to them,” she said. “I honestly think that there should be an event promoting the beauty in all woman and encouraging that all girls rock.”

While Miller does not see the need for a separate event celebrating black girls, College freshman Sydney Morris views specialized movements such as these as necessary.

“All this ‘everyone rocks’ or ‘all lives matter’ shit makes me mad,” Morris said. “Obviously all that is true, but only one group has never been told that they matter.”

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