President Obama Becomes First Sitting President to Visit the Arctic
Black Enterprise Magazine July/August 2018 Issue

President Barack Obama has embarked on a landmark trip to Alaska, making him the first sitting U.S. president to visit the arctic.

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The president is there to shed light on the growing environmental issues the region faces, particularly global warming. He also officially renamed the country’s tallest mountain from Mt. McKinley to Denali, in homage to the region’s native population, which the White House says is facing major challenges due to climate change.

The name change has received backlash from some politicians who say the name honors the legacy the 24th president of the United States, William McKinley and thus should not be changed.

Nevertheless, Obama led the charge during his visit today and officially renamed the 20,237-foot mountain, breaking a 40-year impasse over its name.


This week during his visit, according to reports, Obama will be participating in activities that will take American citizens into a first-hand tour of the effects of global warming, including a hike on a melting glacier near the town of Seward, visit with coastal village fishermen in Dillingham, and an appearance on NBC’s Running Wild with Bear Grylls, with Survival Expert Bear Grylls.

“This is all real. This is happening to our fellow Americans right now,” Obama said in his weekly address Saturday.

The state sees sometimes debilitating disasters, including wildfires, accelerating ice melt in the arctic, disappearing glaciers, and relocation of residents in villages forced to move away due to rising seas.

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Janell Hazelwood

Janell Hazelwood is associate managing editor at Black Enterprise, managing content across core areas of Money, Career, Small Business and Technology. She is also a featured blogger with My Two Cents, providing insights on branding, millennial career development, employment trends and leadership. She was previously a content producer and copy editor for Black Enterprise magazine, working across several editorial sections. The Hampton University graduate got her start in the newspaper industry, having worked for companies including The New York Times and Scripps Howard News Service. Her works and insights have appeared on The Huffington Post, MadameNoire, E!Online, Brazen Careerist, CBS News, and Arise TV.