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Your Voice


October 16, 2018
A group picture of girls and women with various skin tones
“One voice can change a room. And if one voice can change a room, then it can change a city. And if it can change a city, it can change a state. And if it can change a state, it can change a nation. And if it can change a nation, it can change the world. Your voice can change the world.”
- President Obama, 2008

The Obama Foundation is guided by a core belief: that ordinary people working together can change history. Our mission is to inspire those people to take action, empower them to change their world for the better, and connect them so they can achieve more together than they can alone.

That’s where you come in. The work we do wouldn’t be possible without input from people like you around the world. So we want to hear your voice. We want to hear what you’re doing to build a better future for your community, no matter how big or how small. We want to know who inspires you to work a little harder, to dream a little bigger, reach a little farther. We want to know who in your community has the next big idea that could spark a global movement—especially if it’s you.

We’re always listening, and you never know—you may see yourself in a feature like the ones below. Take a look at a few of the voices that inspire us, then add your own.

Voices that Inspire Us

Stories of Hope: Obama Foundation Scholar Gabriela Galiea Creates App to Self-Report Symptoms

Obama Foundation Scholar Gabriela Galiea is the CEO and founder of Okimo Vision, a diagnostics software that uses sensors for early detection of vision and developmental problems in children in Paraguay and around the world. She collaborated with several organizations to build an open source website for self-reporting COVID-19 symptoms to better prepare public health workers and governments for community needs.

Community Wisdom
An art piece of a woman with a tree attached to her

Lucy H.


I am a BayWise Landscaper, meaning that I use no pesticides or herbicides in my work. Through my work, I create gardens of native plants to help preserve the habitat for wildlife such as pollinators and songbirds.

A group picture of girls and women with various skin tones

Elena A.


I volunteer at AMSIF USA, an organization that helps immigrant women get educated in different areas such as: values, self-esteem, health, and more. They also offer cake decorating lessons!

A group gicture of men and women with various skin tones.

Pamela S.


My husband I run a small business learning lab in our local community of Mesa, Arizona, that hosts, celebrates, and supports leaders and entrepreneurs of color in our community. These local leaders run programs out of our learning lab that strengthen our entrepreneurial ecosystem, promote connection, wellness and healing, and contribute to the economic well-being of our community.

Kat K.


After 20 years in finance, I needed a break. After leaving my job, I started volunteering for an organization, FareStart, whose mission is to provide real solutions to poverty, homelessness and hunger by teaching homeless and disadvantaged community members life skills in the food service industry.

Wilfrid D.


To celebrate Mandela Day, I organized a clean-up in the local primary school of my community on July 17th. On the 18th, I also organized a reading session for 32 students in collaboration with the U.S. ambassador and her staff.

Joe'Nell W.


I am a community activist and block captain in Philadelphia, where I also work at the People's Emergency Center. There, we service youths and adults experiencing homelessness.

Iveta L.


I started the initiative #PlasticFreeDianiBeach after I noticed the high amount of plastic, metal and glass on the shores of my hometown as well as many idle young people. I bought some trash bags and encouraged these young people to help clean up the beach, both to improve the shoreline and help them develop job skills.

Cara P.


I host Red Table Talks in my hometown of Richmond, VA, so that we can all continue our own conversations and heal as needed, together.

Kim R.M.


As a disabled veteran living deep in the Northwest Woods, I didn't have a community. After joining an international pen-pal organization, I found a friend—a retired teacher—and we joined forces to help support and empower young women to get educated and become independent.

Program Participants
A close up picture of a woman with a light skin tone

Sasha Fisher


It's quite powerful when families have a platform to discuss village development and decide what's best for their communities.

A close up picture of a man with a deep skin tone

Noah McQueen


Growing up, role models were scarce. I faced many challenges without really knowing what was right or wrong. As I grew older, I understood what my role in the community should be. Sitting in a jail cell, I found my true purpose: I want to help people in under-resourced and impoverished communities because I was once overlooked, too. Today, I want to serve as a living testament for kids who grew up like me to show them that anything is possible.

A close up picture of a woman with a medium-light skin tone

Preethi Herman


For me this is not just a project. It's a fundamental transformation of how women make their voices heard and how decisions are made in a society.

Jennifer Warner smiles to camera, wearing red glasses and a black sweater.

Jennifer Warner


Being an organizer taught me I had so much power—being able to talk with my neighbors and people I didn’t know about what we wanted to see in the world was so powerful.

A close up picture of a man with a light-medium skin tone

Kent Mendoza


I am a formerly incarcerated grassroots leader. I try to use my story to change the hearts and minds of elected officials to ensure that they make our communities better and that they know incarcerated people deserve second chances. In the past five years and since coming home, I have been deeply engaged and involved in local and state change.

A woman with a light-medium skin tone wearing a royal blue shirt with a navy blue section across her chest and gold hoop-like earrings stands in front of a light gray-blue gradient background and smiles.

Erin Barnes


Everyone should have the same opportunity to realize that small actions do make a big difference.

Add Your Voice