Former President Barack Obama Discusses Obama Foundation Mission

Screenshot via Obama Foundation/YouTube

Obama unveils big new plans for his foundation

Obama plans to continue his ‘change’ legacy after his presidency.


Danielle Ransom

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Former President Barack Obama announced on Wednesday a set of new initiatives for theObama Foundation, including a fellowship and summit to promote civic engagement around the world.

In a video the Obama Foundation tweeted Wednesday, Obama lays out his foundation’s plans to empower and equip civic leaders with skills to create change and bring opportunities in their communities.

“We’re bringing together hundreds of leaders from all around the world for a hands-on exchange of ideas, in my hometown, the future site of the Obama Presidential Center, the city of Chicago,” Obama says in the video. “This Leadership Summit will be a place to gather and learn from one another, and then go back to your communities to lead others in the hard work of change.”

The foundation revamped their focus after taking feedback from followers for the last nine months. The opening for this new center will start with a two-day inaugural summit on Oct. 31 and Nov. 1. Leaders and attendees will “exchange ideas, explore creative solutions to common problems, and experience art, technology, and music from around the world,” according to the Obama Foundation website.  

The non-residential fellowship will also introduce its first class of 20 fellows who will receive hands-on training, mentorship, and developmental training for the next two years to “tackle big challenges” affecting their communities.

Three pilot training days are scheduled for Chicago on Oct. 14 and in Boston and Tempe, Arizona, in November. During the training sessions, 150 youths between the ages of 18 and 24 will learn the skills needed to put civics moments into action with training provided by universities, churches, and youth organizations.

“[The] mission is simple: We want to inspire and empower people to change the world,” Obama says in the video.

Obama is the first president to open his own center with his presidential library—the 14th presidential library overall—which is set to open in Chicago’s south side in 2021.

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