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First Lady Michelle Obama gave the keynote speech at the Congressional Black Caucus’ annual Phoenix Awards gala, where she not only encouraged members of the caucus to organize voters, but she took the chance to urge the African-American community to stay informed with politics.

“As citizens of this great country that is our fundamental right, our most solemn obligation to cast our ballots and have our say in the laws that shape our lives,” she said. “That means being informed, it means following the news learning about who is representing us and how our government works, even more important it means showing up to vote. And not just every four years, but every year in every election.”

The First Lady drew parallels between modern-day voting rights and the civil right movement, calling this the “march of our time” and “sit-in of our day.”

“Today, while there are no more ‘whites only’ signs keeping us out, no one barring our children from the schoolhouse door, we know that our journey is far, far from finished,” she said. “In many ways the path forward for this next generation is far less clear.”

Watch Michelle Obama’s full speech to hear her address education, child obesity and the history of the CBC.