Initiatives will inspire and empower civic innovators and young people to take action in their own communities
Chicago, IL – Today, President Obama announced in a video and e-mail the first set of Obama Foundation initiatives to inspire and empower young people to change their world. More than a building or a museum, the Foundation will be a living, working center for citizenship—continuously developing as we learn from leaders across the country and the globe. And, we’re starting well before we break ground on the Obama Presidential Center. The Center will be located on the South Side of Chicago, but will have projects all over the city, the country, and the world through partnerships, programs, and digital initiatives.
Today, the Foundation announced several initiatives to empower and equip civic innovators and young people with the skills and tools needed to change their communities: The Obama Foundation Summit, Obama Foundation Fellowship, Obama Foundation Training Days, and the integration of the My Brother’s Keeper Alliance into the Obama Foundation later this year.
“When President Obama left public office in January, he asked people to believe—not in his ability to bring about change, but in their own. Over the last nine months, the Foundation has been soliciting input from people in Chicago, all over the country, and around the world to learn about what’s working in your communities and to identify barriers to civic participation. The initiatives announced today reflect the input from those conversations. From leaders who are already making an impact, to people who are interested in becoming more involved, but don’t know where to start, our goal is to make our programs accessible to anyone, anywhere, with any background or level of experience. This is only the beginning—our programs will grow as we continue to listen and learn,” said David Simas, Chief Executive Officer at the Obama Foundation.
The two-year, non-residential Fellowship will offer hands-on training, resources, and leadership development. Fellows will also participate in four multi-day gatherings where they will collaborate with each other, connect with potential partners and resources, and collectively push their work forward. Throughout the program, each Fellow will pursue a personalized plan to leverage Fellowship resources to take their work to the next level. Applications for the inaugural fellowship class are open at Obama.org/Fellowship.
In January 2017, the Obama Foundation re-launched its website at Obama.org, with a video from President and Mrs. Obama and Medium post Opens in a new tab from Obama Foundation Board Chair Marty Nesbitt soliciting feedback and input from individuals around the world. In July 2017, Obama Foundation Chief Digital Officer Glenn Brown wrote Obama Foundation followers requesting their ideas about what it means to be a good citizen online and their approach to digital citizenship. This spring, President Obama has met with young leaders in Chicago, Berlin, and Jakarta to hear about their experiences and challenges in civic engagement first hand.
Contact: Kate Berner, [email protected] Opens in a new tab