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Our Roots Matter: The Power of Place

Obama Foundation Summit

November 20, 2018

Where we come from can shape who we are and what we value more than we may know. Whether it’s our geography or our ancestry, our culture, or our beliefs, our roots determine how we grow. We’ll close our time together by exploring how specific spaces and places have been at the center of our speakers’ lives and work.

Video Highlights

Obama Foundation Fellow and Founder of Anseye Pou Ayiti Nedgine Paul Deroly

Obama Fellow Nedgine Paul Deroly hosts the closing session exploring the power of place and how our roots matter, sharing how her identity as a proud daughter of Haiti shapes her work.


I’ve always tried to look for that around me—who here has done what I want to do? And how can I also do that, with my own experience?

Diane Guerrero

The South Side of Chicago is the place where President Obama first began his career in public service, the place where First Lady Michelle Obama was born, and the place where they, together, raised their family. We’re excited to bring the Obama Presidential Center to the South Side--the place they call home.

A woman, with a warm neutral skin tone, shoulder length blonde and brown highlight hair, and formal clothing speaking into a headset, with her face on a blurry screen behind her

Obama Foundation Scholar Fatima Zaman shares her moving personal story about encountering violent extremism and her commitment to counter it.

A woman with dark brown skin tone wearing formal clothes speaking into a headset on stage with on the screen behind her

Young woman stands at center stage with arms outstretched before her.

You feel a greater sense of urgency about wrongs that need to be righted.

President Obama

A Day in the Life