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Annual Report 2017: The story of our first year

A group of people with various skin tones and ages at a parade, wearing a gray shirt with the Obama Foundation rising sun logo on the chest.

Moments ago, David Simas sent a message to the Obama Foundation email list announcing our annual report for 2017. If you’d like to get updates like this and the latest news from the Obama Foundation, you can sign up for our email list here. You can check out the full annual report here.

The Obama Foundation just released our very first annual report for 2017—and while I realize the words “annual report” don’t typically inspire, I promise you this one is not what you expect.

From the beginning, we’ve set out to be a different kind of organization, and that extends to the way we tell the story of our work.

Our annual report isn’t just a place to share financial data or metrics—the kinds of things you’d usually expect from a yearly readout. We see it as an opportunity to tell our story.

It’s a story that details how strangers who met at a Foundation training event came together to form a new nonprofit to mentor Chicago-area students and help them become more civically involved.

It’s a story about how diversity and inclusion are core to our calling and our conduct.

It’s a story that belongs to Malay, Brendan and tens of thousands of other Chicago residents. To Celina de Sola, Keith Wattley, and thousands more inspiring young leaders. To Barack and Michelle Obama. And to you.

And above all, it’s a story about how the Foundation is inspiring, empowering and connecting people around the world, equipping them with the tools, resources, and networks they need to bring about change in their communities.

A collage shows of photos with people of various skin tones and nationalities. The top view is a group of people working on a project and a colorful patch with the wording, "ONE VOICE CAN CHANGE A ROOM."

Within all these stories, you’ll hear a familiar echo from President Obama’s 2017 farewell address: An encouragement to believe—not in his ability to create change, but in yours.

Thank you for being a part of it.

-David