Malia Obama walks to a car on Main Street during the 2017 Sundance Film Festival on Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2017, in Park City, Utah. (Photo by Danny Moloshok/Invision/AP)
Barack and Michelle may be out of The White House, but daughter Malia Obama has jumped at the chance to stand up for what she believed in.
According to a report by Democracy Now, Malia Obama joined a protest against the Dakota Access Pipeline this week at the Sundance Film Festival. She reportedly left her family vacation – the Obamas went to the Virgin Islands after President Donald Trump’s inauguration – to attend.
Actor and activist Shailene Woodley, who also participated in the protest, told Democracy Now that “it was amazing to see Malia.”
“To witness a human being and a woman coming into her own outside of her family and outside of the attachments that this country has on her, but someone who’s willing to participate in democracy because she chooses to,” Woodley said. “Because she recognizes, regardless of her last name, that if she doesn’t participate in democracy, there will be no world for her future children.”
Malia Obama, 18, is prepping for an internship at Harvey Weinstein’s film company during a gap year before she attends Harvard University in fall 2017.
The Dakota Access Pipeline is an underground oil pipeline project that is 1,172 miles long, has taken $3.7 billion to create, and would transport 470,000 barrels of oil per day across four states. The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe opposed the pipeline, saying it could contaminate their water supply, and that they were the rightful owners of the land because of an 1851 treaty with the U.S. government.
Under Obama’s administration, the Army Corps of Engineers halted construction to complete the pipeline. But Trump signed a memorandum for the U.S. Army and the Army Corps of Engineers to “review and approve in an expedited manner, to the extent permitted by law and as warranted, and with such conditions as are necessary or appropriate, requests for approvals to construct and operate (the Dakota Access Pipeline).” The memorandum also directed the Army to “consider, to the extent permitted by law,” to repeal the Obama administration’s memorandum.
is a journalist who covers music, pop culture, film/TV, race, culture and social justice. He is an editor at Okayplayer, and his work has appeared in Complex, Billboard, Guardian, NPR, MTV, Ebony, HipHopDX, The Flint Journal-MLive, and other publications.