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Chicago Stories

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Obama Foundation’s Girls Opportunity Alliance announces $500,000 Commitment to Empower Girls in Chicago

Find out how 14 organizations will expand their programing and impact.

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On a clear blue-sky day, President Obama stands in a hard hat and a brightly colored safety vest at the Obama Presidential construction site and signs a beam. A large group of construction workers with various skin tones also wearing safety clothing surround him.
  • Building the Center
  • Stories

The Museum Building at the Obama Presidential Center has reached its final height of 225 feet.

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  • Girls Opportunity Alliance
  • Michelle Obama

Find out how 14 organizations will expand their programing and impact

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A low angle shot shows workers on an orange basket lift affixing a panel of “Tapestry” stone to the lower west face of the Museum Building. A cloudy sunny sky is in the background.
  • Building the Center
  • Stories

Check out the latest construction update at the Obama Presidential Center.

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A group of high school students with a range of light to deep skin tones pose around  Gallerist Easy Otabo and artist Michael C. Thorpe. In the background, a monitor displays the Obama Foundation rising sun logo and reads, “Obama Foundation.”
  • Youth
  • The Arts

See how the students explored expression and possibilities at EXPO Chicago.

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President Obama is smiling wearing sunglasses, a white hardhat with the Obama Foundation rising sun logo, gloves, and a bright orange safety vest over a long dress coat. He is holding a cup of coffee and standing next to a white woman wearing a neon yellow construction coat, hard hat, and goggles. They are walking in front of three other people with a range of light to deep skin tones wearing orange safety vests and white hard hats. They are all walking in an unfinished building with scaffolding in the background.
  • Building the Center
  • Barack Obama

See the latest photos and stay up-to-date on the building process.

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A rendering of the outside  front of Home Court  from Stony Island Avenue. It is daylight in the picture. Home Court at the Obama Presidential Center is a large silver and glass building, with large rectangular windows covering the majority of the front of the building and two large inverted silver triangles of metal cladding interrupting the glass on the side. In front of the building are green shrubs and trees planted along a pedestrian walkway. To the left of the building is a large patch of grass surrounded by a pedestrian walkway. To the right of the building are tall green trees. On the pedestrian pathways are several people walking, standing, and sitting. There is a bicycle rack on the pedestrian walkway.
  • First Look
  • Building the Center

See the plans for the 45,000-square-foot multipurpose athletic and events facility coming to the Obama Presidential Center.

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President Obama tilts his head upwards along with out-of-focus onlookers. A digital screen shows something out of focus behind him.
  • Watch
  • Building the Center

Get a sneak peek at a four-story digital wall that will celebrate the “Power of Words” and pay homage to the first digital President.

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Kori Coleman, a Black woman with a deep skin tone, stands in the middle of a four person string quartet. They are a range of medium to deep skin tones and are holding a viola, violin, and cello. All are wearing shades of brown. Credit: Seed Lynn
  • The Arts
  • Leaders

Ahead of her debut with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, hear how one Obama Leader leverages the power of music to educate, entertain, and heal her community.

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President Obama stands behind a podium and speaks to an audience. A screen behind him reads, “Obama Foundation Democracy Forum.” He is wearing a black suit without a tie.
  • Defending Democracy
  • Barack Obama
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Michelle Obama is sitting at a wood table surrounded by young teens from the Ludzi Girls Secondary School in Malawi. In the image Michelle Obama has braids in her hair and is wearing a gray and black geometric shirt, with a series of gold bangles on her left wrist; she is smiling and clapping her hands together. Sitting on both sides of her and across from her are young teen girls. The two sitting next to her are wearing white button-down shirts. The young girl to her left is clasping his hands and smiling at her. Across from Michelle Obama are the backs of two young teen girls, who are staring at her. Both girls have closely cut hair; the boy on the left of the image is wearing a white button down shirt. The girl  on the right of the image is wearing a bright blue collared shirt.
  • Michelle Obama
  • Presidential History

Learn how Michelle Obama’s legacy is shaping the Obama Presidential Center.

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President Obama stands behind a podium at the 2023 Obama Foundation Democracy Forum. He is looking left and away from the audience in front of him. He is wearing a black suit. Two clear teleprompters are on the side of him.
  • Event
  • Defending Democracy

Learn how you can help foster global democracy and civic engagement.

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A black man, with medium skin tone, Jesse Thomas talks with his hand up into a microphone. Separated by a white line, a black woman, with dark skin tone in a blue suit, Representative Lauren Underwood, stands smiling.
  • Event
  • Defending Democracy

Meet two Obama Alumni working to carry progress forward.

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A view of the Museum Building rising to the sky on the site of the Obama Presidential Center. Cranes are in the sky as work continues on the garage rooftop. Construction equipment is scattered throughout.
  • Building the Center
  • First Look

The days may be getting cooler, but things are heating up at the Obama Presidential Center!

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On a clear day, a crane rises up behind a concrete building that’s under construction. In the foreground sits a rust-colored industrial trash bin and to the right, a construction worker wearing a white hard hat and yellow safety vest looks down at a pile of building material.
  • Building the Center
  • Stories

It has been a season of great progress! The height of the stair and elevator wells have passed the halfway-point of the building.

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A construction worker in a white hard hat and orange safety vest looks at a structure as he stands on  the concrete floor of Museum Building Level 3
  • Building the Center
  • Stories

Construction has reached the third floor, where a reconstruction of the Obama Oval Office will be on exhibit.

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Brandon Breaux, a Black man with a deep skin tone, stands over five seated students. On the table is an iPad and illustrations. He is wearing a mint beanie. Space art is on the wall in the background.
  • First Look
  • The Arts

Artist Brandon Breaux and Dyett High School students showcase the power of culture and community.

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A woman with a deep skin tone wears black framed glasses with silver droplet earrings and bracelet as she serves food with clear gloves on. She is wearing a purple shirt. The receiver is a young girl with a deep skin tone and medium length straight black hair. She is holding up a plate and is wearing a baby blue mask and gray shirt. Along the table are three trays filled with food and vegetables.
  • Youth
  • Community Engagement

We partner with Local Lunchbox to provide thousands of meals to our young people over the summer months.

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President Obama poses for a photo with Guitars Over Guns participants. He is surrounded by 17 others with a range of light to deep skin tones.
  • MBK Alliance
  • The Arts

Learn more about Nathan, his experience at Guitars Over Guns, and his plans for the future.

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President Obama stands in the middle of a recording studio. He is surrounded by 15 other young people with a range of light to deep skin tones. President Obama has his arms crossed and is wearing black slacks and a gray button down shirt.
  • Youth
  • MBK Alliance

See how President Obama is supporting youth and making a difference for young men.

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Raven Smith, a Black woman with a medium skin tone, smiles at the camera. She is wearing a long sleeved white shirt and red plaid pants. Her arms are crossed and she has long black hair.
  • Youth
  • The Arts

Young Chicagoan Raven Smith created the t-shirt company Straight From The GO – All Good Things From ChicaGO to dispel negative perceptions about violence in Chicago

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A massive crane stands high above a construction site.
  • Building the Center
  • Stories

Work on the Museum building has reached an exciting milestone with the placement of the street level deck to form the concrete floor at this level.

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On a sunny day, a group of volunteers smile in front of a blue Obama Foundation banner. They huddle together and pose as someone takes a photo on their cell phone.
  • Event
  • Sustainability

Hundreds clean South Side parks and beaches

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A construction site with scaffolding, concrete and rebar. Two people wear neon yellow and hard hats on the right side.
  • Building the Center
  • Stories

Major structural work on the underground parking garage is complete!

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A Black man wearing a sweatshirt holds onto the rim of a basketball net, looking upward. The sky behind is a deep blue.
  • MBK Alliance
  • Youth

Check out the Freedom Summer 2023 grant recipients!

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Dina Griffin, a Black woman with a light medium skin tone, holds a closed lip smile. She has shoulder length hair and is wearing a drop pearl necklace. An Illinois flag and an American flag are in the background.
  • Building the Center
  • The Center

Hear from a South Side native and architect building the Obama Presidential Center.

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Crystal Moten, PhD, a Black woman with brown locs and a medium deep skin tone, smiles at the camera. She is wearing an orange blouse, blue beaded necklace, and red lipstick. In the background is a plant and gray curtain
  • Building the Center
  • Community Engagement

Meet the women behind the Obama Presidential Center

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President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama look out at the Chicago, Ill., skyline, June 15, 2012.
  • The Center
  • Michelle Obama

From its vibrant history to their own personal history, here's a brief overview of the impact Chicago has had on the Obamas.

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Two construction workers wearing bright orange and yellow vests appear to unload planks of wood. They stand in a cavernous room of concrete filled with insulation and other building materials.
  • Building the Center
  • Stories

As the Center continues to take shape, we are thrilled to reach a new milestone in its construction.

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A woman with a medium-deep skin tone wearing an orange, gray, and yellow construction jacket and helmet looks up toward the sky while on a construction site. There are cranes in the background.
  • Building the Center
  • Equality

Learn how we're getting local residents involved in the building trades.

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A building being constructed of concrete. Beams and rebar can be seen in scaffolding.
  • Building the Center
  • Stories

Construction at The Center has picked up considerably since the holidays, aided by the unseasonably mild weather.

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 A wide shot of the construction on the site of the Obama Presidential Center in the daytime.
  • Building the Center
  • Stories

As construction of the Obama Presidential Center enters its second year, the focus is almost entirely on concrete.

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Painting
  • MBK Alliance
  • Youth

Creating Safe and Engaging Spaces for Youth

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missing
  • Building the Center
  • Community Engagement

The organization is on track to meet its ambitious workforce and business diversity goals for construction.

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A construction site showing scaffolding and rebar
  • Building the Center
  • Stories

The majority of columns for the lower level of the parking garage have been cast and construction of the concrete walls is nearly complete.

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People wearing neon yellow safety gear gather around Barack Obama as he shakes hands with a woman in the center. A white tarp is behind them.
  • Building the Center
  • Barack Obama

Watch as President Obama surprises the construction crew and tours the site.

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