Now, President Barack Obama’s inauguration was undoubtedly one of the most historical moments in American history, and probably the most significant moment that our generation has seen to date; however, while President Obama’s inauguration holds tremendous historical significance, it is not, by itself, a turning point for this country. It should be understood that that moment alone will not bring change to the people of this country. It is clear that the new president understands this concept: in his speech he promised to go to work, starting on his first full day in office, and make political moves to bring change to the people of this country. From his inaugural address, it was clear that Obama sought to work as a unifier in this time of great need. He made this clear when he addressed all people. In his speech, he mentioned people from all walks of life in America, rich and poor, people of different races and ethnic backgrounds, people of different religions, and even a group that has been long overlooked: the non-believers. With his speech, he gave the people great hope that finally change would be delivered from a president that is clearly concerned with the wellbeing of his nation. In his first full week in office, Obama has been working diligently, and has already done a great job in trying to bring change to the people.

The first week of Barack Obama’s term would definitely be scrutinized and evaluated to ensure that he is actively working to bring the change that he promised in his inauguration speech and his campaign. The first week of the presidency and the new administration will hopefully set the standards for the rest of the term. In this first week, Obama has already taken many steps in creating change. The first piece of legislature that President Obama signed was an executive order in efforts to close down Guantanamo Bay, the prison in Cuba that the Bush Administration was using to hold alleged terrorists in conditions that have been considered inhumane and for torture. Obama has made great efforts as a unifier. Firstly, he is trying to gain bi-partisan support for his new stimulus package proposal, even though it could pass without any support from Republicans. It is interesting to add that none of the Republican House Representatives voted in its favor. The new President has also made efforts to be a unifier internationally. He has already arranged for diplomatic efforts to be made to reach out to Muslims in the Middle East, to let them know that America does not want to be their enemy.

I believe that his most groundbreaking move was in the passing of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which makes it easier for women to sue their jobs when unequal pay has been proven. There is now a longer period of time before the victim is not allowed to sue. This is a great leap forward for a group of people who are often overlooked: women. Discrimination against women in the work atmosphere has been a problem for many years. On average, women get paid 78 cents for every dollar that a man makes for the same job. There have been many cases where discrimination on the job can be proven with quantifiable evidence. One of these cases is the case of Lilly Ledbetter, who tried to sue her job after having proven discrimination after almost twenty years on the job. However, the company had a limit of 180 days  to prove discrimination. This new act would extend the amount of time available before having to prove discrimination. In my opinion, this is a wonderful step forward for women and women’s rights. Obama has stated that not only is it a women’s issue, but a family issue, and that families cannot afford to be cheated in terms of money, especially not in this type of economy. This could potentially be a great step forward for many African American families that only have a single mother upon which to rely.

I believe that President Obama has already begun what will hopefully be a term that will change the Unite States for the better. While he has some criticism from Republicans, I believe that Obama is truly dedicated to unity in this country. This is a critical point in history, one where we can progress forward to make the whole world a better place. I believe that no one may be more aware of this than the new president. This is a time where we cannot afford to regress to the failed policies and shady politics of the Bush Administration. This is not a time for division, and, thankfully, we now have a president that recognizes this. Hopefully, President Obama will keep up this good work, and continue throughout the rest of his term as a unifier and advocate for social justice.