Former President Barack Obama will on Monday make his first public appearance since leaving the White House.
The event, set to take place at the Univerity of Chicago, will be the first major step in Obama’s effort to promote civic engagement and encourage young leaders to enter into politics.
“This event is part of President Obama’s post-presidency goal to encourage and support the next generation of leaders driven by strengthening communities around the country and the world,” Obama’s office said in announcing the event.
Audience members chosen from universities in the Chicago area will be given tickets to attend, Obama spokesman Kevin Lewis tells the Chicago Tribune. Around six students will also appear onstage with the ex-president for a discussion around civic engagement.
During Obama’s farewell address in January, he highlighted the need for Americans to take part in their democracy, which “depends on our participation.”
“If you’re tired of arguing with strangers on the internet, try to talk with one in real life. If something needs fixing, lace up your shoes and do some organizing,” Obama said. “If you’re disappointed by your elected officials, grab a clipboard, get some signatures, and run for office yourself. Show up. Dive in. Persevere.”
Recent polls show that progressive voters are enthusiastic about the upcoming 2018 election, when they hope more liberal politicians can regain some control in Congress, where Republicans hold a majority in both houses as well as the White House in President Donald Trump.
Obama has a long history in Chicago, where he worked as a community organizer and law professor at the University of Chicago before entering politics.
Since leaving office on Jan. 20, Obama has spent the past months working on his memoir, traveling, and snapping Instagram photos for his wife Michelle.
H/T Chicago Tribune