Obama Foundation Annual Report 2018

Womening Gesturing at conference table


Our Foundation is guided by a belief that everyone has a role to play in the future of their communities.

But how people show up to lead is just as important as whether they show up to lead in the first place. To drive lasting change, leaders need to be inclusive. They need to prioritize equity and diversity. They need to prize integrity and accountability. And rather than imposing their ideas from the top down, they need to build support from the bottom up, working at the grassroots within their communities.

In each of our initiatives—whether they take place in the South Side of Chicago or in South Africa—you’ll recognize a common approach that reinforces these tenets. We invest in human potential to help emerging community leaders build the world they want to see. We prioritize investing in diverse communities and work hard to recruit talented changemakers from underrepresented communities.

We stress the importance of ethical leadership and reinforce the idea that the change people seek is more important than the title they hold. We make time for service, whether it’s refurbishing a local school in Johannesburg, pulling up weeds for our neighbors in Chicago, or helping people develop their own communitybased projects and organizations.

Above all, we take the long view. We are embarking on a generational project, developing leaders around the world who will help determine our shared future. But while change doesn’t happen overnight, we know that it starts in our communities.

And in our case, that means right in our backyard.

Our Community Commitments Our Programs: Community Leadership Corps