We are very proud to have been chosen as one of the charities that Penguin Books are supporting as part of their promotion of the new Michelle Obama book which launched on November 15th. 'The Light We Carry' is “an inspirational volume full of fresh stories from the former First Lady, sharing her practical wisdom and powerful strategies for staying hopeful in an uncertain world”.

The book carries many messages that resonate with us here at The Girls' Network such as the power of community and the importance of women supporting other women. 

In the Q&A below, Michelle shares some insights into finding strength in adversity, the impact of doing things for others and how she hopes her book will help those who read it. 

You write about the importance of “visibility” in your book. In one chapter, you discuss the invisibility that comes from being different or from being perceived only to represent certain traits or stereotypes. In another chapter, you talk about how learning to share and embrace the whole of ourselves, including our perceived weaknesses, can reveal the “source code of [our] strength.” What advice do you have to help people who may feel invisible start to discover the source code of their own strength? 

I firmly believe that so often, what we think is our weakness is actually our strength. Here’s an example of what I mean: When I meet kids who are growing up in tough neighbourhoods, they often share stories about the things they encounter every day: gang violence, absent parents, the lack of hope that comes from the lack of opportunity. And what I tell them is an extension of what I said earlier about fear—that if they take another look at what they’re going through, they’ll see another perspective entirely. They’ll see all sorts of skills and experiences that so many of their peers can’t hope to compete with—their persistence, their self-reliance, and their sheer ability to overcome. 

It’s a practice we all can apply in our lives. If we feel unseen or think there’s something we lack, there’s probably something special on the other side of that insecurity. Injuries can help us learn to heal. Emptiness can teach us what truly makes us whole. And with enough purpose and openness, self-doubt can ultimately lead us to a path of confidence. Make no mistake—these are not easy journeys. But if we start by accepting the truth that weaknesses can be strengths, there’s almost nothing that won’t make us stronger.     

We’ve talked about what you mean by the light each individual carries. What are some ways we can share that light with one another and with our communities? 

It’s important to remember that you don’t have to do something big or splashy to make a difference. There’s enormous power in small actions like casting a vote, helping a neighbour, or lending your time or energy to a cause you believe in. Turning these small actions into a routine isn’t just good for your community—it also helps you feel more visible, more connected, and more purpose-filled. When we share our light, we’ll see it reflected back to us.

 What do you hope your readers take away from The Light We Carry? 

I think of this book as a toolbox of sorts—a set of useful practices and tools to help anyone through times of doubt and uncertainty. Of course, not everything in the book will be a perfect response to everyone’s unique challenges, but I want folks to feel a little less alone after reading it. I want them to see that their fears and struggles are not singular to them, but that all of us go through periods of uncertainty—even if you’re a former First Lady. And at the very least, I hope it helps folks feel more balanced, secure, and connected with others as they take on whatever life sends their way. When they put the book down at the end, I hope they smile a little more broadly. I hope they’re more glad for the people and opportunities they see in their own life.


The Light We Carry by Michelle Obama is out now.

Each of us carries a bit of inner brightness, something entirely unique and individual, a flame thats worth protecting - a quote from the booka copy of Michelle Obamas bookWe become bolder in brightness- a quote from the book