Former First Lady Michelle Obama, Live Nation and Crown Publishing have announced an all-star list of moderators for her upcoming book tour. The Becoming: An Intimate Conversation with Michelle Obama tour will see discussions moderated by Valerie Jarrett, Reese Witherspoon, Tracee Ellis Ross, Sarah Jessica Parker and more.
Produced by Live Nation, the U.S. tour will kick off in Obama’s home town of Chicago on Tuesday, Nov. 13, with Oprah Winfrey moderating her conversation at the United Center. Former talk show host, acclaimed actress, and philanthropist, Winfrey was also awarded the Presidential Medal of Honor in 2013 by then-president of the United States, Barack Obama.
Witherspoon will join Mrs. Obama for a conversation on Dec. 13 at Pepsi Center in Denver, Colo. The Academy Award-winning actress is also a New York Time’s bestselling author for her 2016 work Whiskey in a Teacup and established Hello Sunshine, a media and content company dedicated to female storytelling across all platforms in 2016.
Black-ish star Ellis Ross will moderate Obama’s stop in Los Angeles at the Forum on Nov. 15. Ellis Ross has been nominated for multiple Emmy’s for her role on Black-ish and has received the NAACP Image Award three years in a row in 2015, 2016 and 2017.
Jarrett was the longest serving senior adviser to President Barack Obama, and is one of the Obama family’s oldest and closest friends. In the White House, Jarrett oversaw the Offices of Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs and she chaired the White House Council on Women and Girls and will now join Mrs. Obama on stage at Capital One Arena in Washington, D.C. on Nov. 17 and American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas on Dec. 17.
Michelle Norris is the former host of NPR’s All Things Considered and Founding Director of The Peabody Award-winning Race Card Project. Norris will join the Becoming tour on multiple stops at TD Garden in Boston on Nov. 24 and at SAP Center in San Jose, Calif. on Dec. 14.
Elizabeth Alexander will also accompany Obama on two stops of the tour that supports the Nov. 13 release of the former First Lady’s upcoming memoir, Becoming. Dr. Alexander is a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets, serves on the Pulitzer Prize Board, and co-designed the Art for Justice Fund. Notably, Alexander also composed and delivered “Praise Song for the Day” for the inauguration of President Obama.
Comedian, actress and New York Time’s bestselling author Phoebe Robinson is best known for co-creating the podcast turned HBO Series, Two Dope Queens, alongside Daily Show alumni, Jessica Williams. Robinson is also the co-host of another WNYC Studios podcast, Sooo Many White Guys, the critically-acclaimed talk show where she interviews luminaries such as Tom Hanks, Issa Rae and Abbi Jacobson. Robinson will bring her hosting duties to Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia on Nov. 29 and Little Caesars Arena in Detroit on Dec. 11 for Obama’s 10c-city tour.
Closing out the tour on Dec. 19 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, will be Sex and the City star Sarah Jessica Parker. In November 2009, the Obama administration appointed Parker to be a member of the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities.
Last week, Obama and Live Nation announced a selection of the local and community organizations who will receive free admission to Obama’s tour. As previously announced, 10 percent of ticket inventory in each market was set aside for various organizations including, but not limited to, charities, schools, and community groups in each city the tour visits. Thousands of tickets will be given away.
For a full list of tour dates and moderators, head here.