First lady Dr. Jill Biden visits Kansas City, Kansas school for ‘charla’ on Hispanic experience

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KANSAS CITY, Kan. — The First Lady of the United States took a trip back to the Kansas City metro, instead this time in Kansas City, Kansas.

Tuesday the first lady held a “charla” or chat in English at El Centro Academy.

El Centro Academy in an nonprofit serving Latino communities in Kansas City.

It’s a conversation the first lady said she started during President Joe Biden’s presidential campaign and it’s something she said she wanted to keep up.

“During the campaign I started some ‘charlas’ and talked to people, especially Latinas, so that I could take it back to the White House and talk to my husband about it,” Jill Biden said.

Jill Biden was accompanied by the United States Small Business Administration Administrator Isabella Guzman.

Paying it forward is a saying the first lady continued to repeat during the “charla” while she listened to several Latino Americans’ stories in Kansas.

“I’m out of approximately 80 students. I am 1 of 10 women, and I am about 1 to 3 Latinas, Latinos correction, I’m the only Latina in the class,” panelist Olivia Salazar Caudillo said.

The White House said the Latino population in the United States has grown significantly in the last 10 years, with all 50 states seeing growth.

“Its great pride being here today to be acknowledged first, second included and third listened to,” panelist Huascar Medina said.

Jill Biden said it’s important to hear directly from communities who are impacted by the administration’s policies and take their lived experiences back to the president and to the White House. 

“I hope that people of Kansas see that government can be good and can do good things,” Jill Biden said.

Local officials including Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly and U.S. Rep. Sharice Davids of Kansas attended the event as well.

The White House said Jill Biden’s next stop is in Chicago.

The first lady will visit the National Museum of Mexican Art to view an exhibit created in remembrance of COVID-19 victims. The memorial has been constructed as a traditional Mexican shrine called an ofrenda.

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