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The Barack Obama Foundation Board Chair Martin Nesbitt Delivers Remarks to the City Club of Chicago

November 10, 2015 at 1:44 PM CST

Chicago, IL – Today, The Barack Obama Foundation Board Chair Martin Nesbitt spoke to an assembled crowd at the City Club of Chicago, discussing the role of the future Obama Presidential Center (OPC) in Chicago, and especially on the South Side.

In his remarks, Nesbitt said:

“We want the Center to inspire and activate visitors to create change and progress. And we want to build something of a scale and magnitude that fully utilizes the talents, reach, and influence of the President and First Lady. They are remarkable story tellers, they have the ability to convene leaders from across the globe, and they are powerful emissaries for change. We plan to leverage those to maximize the impact that the Obama Foundation has on the world.”

Additionally, Nesbitt commented on the goals of The Foundation, as guided by the principles of the President and First Lady:

“As most of you have heard them say, the President and First Lady believe that real change doesn’t come from the top down – it comes from the bottom up. It happens when people from different backgrounds and beliefs come together to improve their communities and make the world a better place."

“This belief in the power of grassroots change is rooted in Barack’s experience as a young organizer here on the streets of Chicago. It’s a belief that Barack and Michelle carried with them to the White House, where they asked all Americans to join them to help expand opportunity, protect our planet, improve the health of our families, and promote peace and dignity around the world. Those are the beliefs that will guide our work at the Obama Foundation.”

Nesbitt also said that The Foundation will have a person in place early next year to lead civic and community engagement. This person will be charged with collaborating with the greater Chicago community – from local academics to politicians to engaged citizens – to ensure that the future programs of The Foundation and the OPC best serve the community it calls home.

For more information about the Foundation and the future Obama Presidential Library, visit or follow @ObamaFoundation on Twitter.