Take our first #OFCareChallenge
  Artwork by Jacqueline Alcántara
Hi jean,

As we enter this season of gratitude, the COVID-19 pandemic has made it even more important that we reach out to support, look after, and encourage one another. So we’ve come up with the #OFCareChallenge, a series of simple steps to help you take care of your community this holiday season.

To start, we’re asking you to safely check in on your neighbors this week—especially seniors who might be more isolated than usual due to COVID-19. We’ve got some tips to help you get started.

A lack of social connection can lead to major health issues–it can be as bad for you as smoking. That’s why spending just a few minutes of your day checking in on people in your community can make all the difference for someone else. In this year of social distancing, a small personal gesture can have a tremendous impact.

If you haven’t met your neighbors yet, it’s the perfect time to introduce yourself and let them know you’re willing to lend a hand, provide a spare mask, or share some leftovers.

Help build a stronger community by taking our first #OFCareChallenge and commit to safely checking in on your neighbors this week.

Take care of your community,

—The Obama Foundation

Donate to empower rising leaders bringing hope to their communities.
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Obama Foundation
Hi jean,Yesterday, President Obama released his new memoir, “A Promised Land.” The book covers some of the events visitors will learn about at the Obama Presidential Center in Chicago—the history of the 2008 election, the passage of the Affordable Care Act, and the weight of the presidency.

Check out a recent clip of President Obama sharing his vision for the Obama Presidential Center and learn more about the stories it will tell.

“A Promised Land” also echoes a theme that will be embedded throughout the Center: the push and pull of progress and the work across generations to build a “more perfect union” that lives up to our founding ideals.More than just a world-class museum, the Center will engage visitors and connect them with ways to shape their own future for the common good, while lifting up the stories of those who came before.

Learn more about the Obama Presidential Center and how you can help bring President Obama’s vision to Chicago’s South Side.

—The Obama Foundation

Help build a Presidential Center that will revitalize the South Side of Chicago, unite a new generation of leaders to move us forward, and work together to change history.
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Obama Foundation
Hi jean,Late last night, the world lost a legend.

In the statement President Obama released in light of the heartbreaking news of Representative John Lewis’ passing, he describes an inspiring conversation they had after their last public appearance together:

“It’s fitting that the last time John and I shared a public forum was at a virtual town hall with a gathering of young activists who were helping to lead this summer’s demonstrations in the wake of George Floyd’s death. Afterwards, I spoke to him privately, and he could not have been prouder of their efforts—of a new generation standing up for freedom and equality, a new generation intent on voting and protecting the right to vote, a new generation running for political office. I told him that all those young people—of every race, from every background and gender and sexual orientation—they were his children. They had learned from his example, even if they didn’t know it. They had understood through him what American citizenship requires, even if they had heard of his courage only through history books.” 

Their conversation happened just six weeks ago, following a town hall hosted by the My Brother’s Keeper Alliance that focused on the mental toll racism takes on people of color. Rep. Lewis and President Obama, along with founder and executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative Bryan Stevenson, writer and survivor of police brutality Leon Ford, Jr., youth leader LeQuan Muhammad, and activist and author Darnell Moore, highlighted the importance of mental health and wellness for young leaders pushing for change.

In a powerful moment, Rep. Lewis describes the courage he found in his faith and how this act of self-care allowed him to summon the strength he needed to keep fighting. It’s a testament to how he lived his life—and the example he set for future generations.

Watch the town hall
Our work is to inspire the next generation of leaders so that they can create a better world. Rep. John Lewis embodied that mission throughout his eighty years, and though we mourn his loss, we are lifted by his legacy—empowering young people to take up the baton of justice for years to come.Rest in power.

—The Obama Foundation

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Hi jean,

Tomorrow is President Obama’s birthday—and here at the Foundation, we work hard year-round to make the President’s vision come to life.

In the course of that work, we witness many amazing and life-affirming moments, and we wanted to share a few of our favorites from 2019 so far.

Check out the moments below, and if they speak to you, donate to support our 44-Hour Funding Drive to help us fund more programs, reach more emerging leaders, and inspire more people by bringing the Obama Presidential Center to the South Side.

Donate now in honor of 44's birthday
Donate now in honor of 44's birthday
Donate now in honor of 44's birthday
Donate now in honor of 44's birthday
Thanks for being a part of this, jean.Here’s to many more moments to come,

The Obama Foundation

Make a gift today in honor of President Obama’s birthday:
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Hi there,Educational inequality. Recent grads unable to find jobs. Neighbors who want to improve their communities but need help getting started. The growing opioid crisis.

These are some of the issues 2018 Obama Foundation Fellows Dominique Jordan Turner, Erin Barnes, Navdeep Kang, and Kalani Leifer are working tirelessly to solve. But they don’t do it alone—they work hand-in-hand with their communities to spur transformational change.

Kalani Leifer: Helping recent grads succeed
Kalani Leifer’s time as a public school teacher taught him that higher education does not guarantee success in the job market for all students. To help close the social gap, Kalani founded COOP, which invests in diverse, low-income, and first-generation grads from urban public colleges.See how Kalani is building a movement of diverse and upwardly mobile college grads through digital skills and peer connections.
Erin Barnes: Driving resident-led change
As a fifth grader, Erin Barnes wrote to her city’s mayor about speeding cars near her neighborhood playground. As a result of her actions, new traffic signs were put up. That experience was one of many that led Erin to found ioby (In Our BackYards), a civic crowdfunding and leadership development platform.Learn more about the work Erin is doing to motivate local leaders across the country to improve their neighborhoods through resident-led, crowdfunded community change.
Dominique Jordan Turner: Preparing the next generation of leaders
As the first in her family to attend college, Dominique Jordan Turner knows firsthand that an education has the potential to change young people’s lives. As CEO of Chicago Scholars, Dominique is passionate about preparing every student in Chicago to get into and through college, no matter their zip code.See how Dominique is preparing youth for college and helping them become the next wave of Chicago leaders.
Nav Kang: Changing how addiction is treated
As a psychologist in Cincinnati, Nav Kang witnessed people with substance use disorders slipping through the cracks. Now, he’s working to change how addiction is identified and treated, to make sure patients get the help they need.Read more about how Nav is shaping a collaborative, community-based approach to stem the opioid crisis in Ohio.
Leaders like Erin, Kalani, Dominique, and Nav are powerful examples of how change is possible through innovative solutions and shared action. We hope these Fellows inspire you to spot challenges in your own community and take a brave first step towards solving them.

Here’s to solutions,

The Obama Foundation

Support more leaders like these working to build a brighter future:
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Hi there,Before we rang in 2019, President Obama made a request of all of us: that we look at our own communities, find something to change, and take the first step toward changing it.

We were blown away by the thousands of submissions we received from around the world—but we weren’t surprised that so many people were committed to improving their local environment.

Earth Day is just around the corner, and it’s the perfect time to take action in your community. Need some inspiration? Check out what the Obama Foundation community is doing to help the planet in 2019.

Here in Chicago, the Obama Foundation will join our neighbors for a planting project in Jackson Park, the future site of the Obama Presidential Center—a way for us to give back to this community we call home.What commitment will you make to commemorate Earth Day? Tell us here—and then roll up your sleeves next Monday.

With care for the world,

The Obama Foundation

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Obama Leaders: Africa
One hundred years ago, Nelson Mandela was born in the South African village of Mvezo.

On Wednesday, I had the honor of celebrating his remarkable life by sharing a few lessons I’ve taken from him with the people of South Africa.

I’d like to share what I believe to be the most important of those lessons today.

And I’d like to ask you to make a commitment, right here, right now, to honor the life of one of history’s great giants. Tell me what you’re doing, no matter how large or small, to make the world a better place.

I believe that the most important thing that we can take away from Madiba’s life today is that the persistent struggle for hope, for justice and equality—for the long walk to freedom—requires a belief in youth.

As strong as Madiba’s spirit may have been, he would not have sustained his hope had he been alone in his struggle. Part of what buoyed him up was that he knew that, each year, the ranks of young leaders were replenishing. He knew that young men and women—black and Indian and white, from across the countryside, across the continent, around the world—would, in those most difficult days, keep working on behalf of his vision.

Today, more than ever, I believe in Nelson Mandela’s vision: that every generation has the opportunity to remake the world.

Here, in South Africa, my Foundation convened 200 young people from across this continent who are doing the hard work of making change in their communities; men and women who reflect Madiba’s values; the youth who are poised to lead the way.

People like Abaas Mpindi, a journalist from Uganda, who founded the Media Challenge Initiative to help other young people get the training they need to tell the stories that the world needs to know.

People like Caren Wakoli, an entrepreneur from Kenya, who founded the Emerging Leaders Foundation to get young people involved in the work of fighting poverty and promoting human dignity.

People like Enock Nkulanga, who directs the African Children’s Mission, which helps children in Uganda and Kenya get the education they need.

On Thursday, I had the opportunity to join these young leaders in an act of service at the Far North Secondary School in Johannesburg to commemorate the anniversary of Mandela’s birth. Though the work we did was simple—cleaning windows, building benches, painting murals—it left me with a profound sense of hope.

By working together to build a better life for the children of the school, this new generation of leaders was honoring Mandela’s life and legacy. And they reminded me of one of my favorite quotes of his: “There can be no greater gift than that of giving one’s time and energy to helping others without expecting anything in return.”

None of us can rest on the accomplishments of the past, even those as momentous as Mandela’s. But if we live our values and empower our young people, then they can pick up the work of the last 100 years, and lead us into the future.

Honor Madiba’s life, and the way he changed the world by making a commitment to make a difference today. Even if it’s small. Especially if it’s small.

Thank you.

– Barack

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Bringing together 200 emerging leaders from across Africa
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