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President Obama Announces Programming Hub for the Future Obama Presidential Center

June 22, 2023 at 5:00 AM CDT

The Center’s Democracy in Action Lab will bring together community members and Foundation program participants to be inspired and empowered to change their world

ATHENS, GREECE – Today, President Obama announced that the future Obama Presidential Center will be home to the Democracy in Action Lab (DIAL), a programming hub that honors the power of democracy, public service, and global changemakers. The Democracy in Action Lab, made possible by a transformational grant from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF), will be the epicenter of the Obama Foundation’s commitment to community and program resources at the intersection of democracy and leadership development—a space to enrich young leaders in the neighborhood and around the world. President Obama made the announcement at the  SNF Nostos Conference (Opens in a new tab) in Athens, Greece, during a keynote conversation with SNF Co-President Andreas Dracopoulos.

“Thanks to the generosity of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation, we are establishing a permanent home on the South Side of Chicago for young leaders to come together as part of the Obama Presidential Center,” said President Obama. “The Democracy in Action Lab will serve as a global community center, where young people from all over the world can put their idealism to work. Because progress depends on having leaders committed to the values that are vital to preserving and improving democracy.”

“It will take imagination and courage to create the truly public spaces for dialogue and civic engagement this era of polarization and disruption demands,” said SNF Co-President Andreas Dracopoulos. “We need to ensure that those spaces are welcoming and inclusive. The Obama Presidential Center is thoughtfully doing this work, imagining a new paradigm for what a public forum for civic engagement and civil discourse can look like on the South Side of Chicago, and SNF is proud to be a part of the effort.”

Located on the Lower Level of the Forum Building, the Democracy in Action Lab will offer school groups and community partners space to host workshops, community gatherings, small group conversations, speaker series, large-scale events, and more. It will also act as a gathering location for emerging leaders in the Foundation’s network of global changemakers.

“The Democracy in Action Lab will represent the best of what we do at the Foundation—moving people from hope to action in support of building and strengthening democratic culture around the world,” said Obama Foundation CEO Valerie Jarrett. “We are grateful to the Stavros Niarchos Foundation for their partnership to support the Foundation’s leadership programming and look forward to continuing our commitment to investing in the next generation of leaders.”

The Obama Presidential Center broke ground in September 2021 and is expected to be completed by 2025. To learn more about the future Democracy in Action Lab, visit:


Contact: Gloria Nlewedim, [email protected]