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Defending democracy stories

We seek to build an active democratic culture where people are equipped and motivated to make change, not just at the polls or in the halls of power, but in their communities, in the places where they live, work, and play

Juan Monterrey Carlos G—mez gives a talk titled ÒClimate-Proofing DemocracyÓ during the Obama Foundation Democracy Forum in New York on November 17, 2022.

2023 Democracy Forum Highlights

At this year's Democracy Forum, President Obama joined activists, thought leaders, and changemakers.

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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
  • Barack Obama

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

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A black-and-white headshot of a woman with long dark wavy hair, parted to the side. She wears a floral blouse and dark suit jacket. There are three graphic circles behind her: one teal, one light green and one white..
  • Equality
  • Education

Hear directly from Adrijana Hanušić Bećirović as she talks about human rights and what the Obama Leadership program has meant to her.

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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
  • The Obama Administration

Meet two Obama Alumni working to carry progress forward.

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President Obama sits at a table between two men and women with a range of skin tones and clothing styles. The President’s right arm is extended as he looks away from the camera.
  • Leaders
  • Global Reach

This week in Berlin, Germany, President Obama sat down with 18 alumni of our leadership programs from across Europe for a roundtable conversation about the importance of nurturing democracy.

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  • Leaders
  • Europe
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President Obama waves goodbye to a crowd as he walks off stage
  • Barack Obama
  • Watch

Hear President Obama share his vision for the internet in this keynote address at Stanford University.

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President Obama sits in the situation room, talking to a man in a blue collared shirt.
  • Presidential History
  • Watch

Ten years after the raid against Osama bin Laden, watch a special conversation between President Obama and Admiral William McRaven, the commander of the special operations forces who executed the historic operation.

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President Obama in conversation with Graça Machel, moderated by Lesley Williams as part of the Mandela 100 USA Celebration Gala in Washington, DC on April 27, 2019.  The Obama Foundation is providing these photos for personal use only. Please credit "The O
  • Watch
  • Barack Obama

Learn how we're celebrating the centenary of Nelson Mandela's birth and hear from Leaders: Africa participant Lesley Williams on the legacy and work Madiba has left for all of us to carry forward.

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An illustration of four people with a range of light to deep skin tones lifting one another up on top of a paper plane. The background is pink.

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