Tag: Obama Foundation

Universities Partner to Produce the Official Oral History of Barack Obama’s Presidency

President Barack Obama is photographed during a presidential portrait sitting for an official photo in the Oval Office, Dec. 6, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza via commons.wikipedia.org)

The Obama Foundation has selected the Columbia Center for Oral History Research to produce the official oral history of Barack Obama’s presidency, according to the Journal of Blacks in Higher Education.

The project will provide a comprehensive, enduring record of the decisions, actions, and effects of his historic administration. The University of Hawai’i and the University of Chicago will also serve as contributing partners for the project, documenting Obama’s early life in Hawaii and his years in Chicago, respectively.

“Michelle Obama famously observed, ‘You can’t really understand Barack until you understand Hawai’i,’” said University of Hawai’i President David Lassner. “UH and our extraordinary Center for Oral History are looking forward to exploring those early days with those who were part of President Obama’s story.”

“We are pleased to collaborate with Columbia on this exciting project,” said University of Chicago faculty members Adam Green and Jacqueline Stewart in a joint statement. “The stories of Michelle and Barack Obama are intertwined with the story of Chicago and the South Side in particular. We look forward to contributing to that historic narrative, with a focus on how their city helped to shape them as civic leaders.”

Starting this summer and over the next five years, the Obama Presidency Oral History Project will conduct interviews with some 400 people, including senior leaders and policy makers within the Obama administration, as well as elected officials, campaign staff, journalists, and other key figures outside the White House.

The project will also incorporate interviews with individuals representing different dimensions of daily American life, whose perspectives will enable the archive to include how the general public was affected by the Obama administration’s decisions. Additionally, the research team will collect information about Michelle Obama’s work and legacy as First Lady.

“We are honored to document the legacy of President Obama. Our goal is to set a new benchmark for presidential oral histories in terms of the diversity and breadth of narratives assembled and depth of understanding achieved,” said Mary Marshall Clark, director of the Columbia Center for Oral History Research and a project co-investigator. “Central to our project is a commitment to candidly document the stories of key administration alumni and bring them into conversation with the varied experiences of Americans from all walks of life.”

In addition to hosting the project, Columbia has announced the formation of the Obama Presidency Oral History Advisory Board, composed of leading presidential historians, authors, and scholars who can speak to how the Obama administration affected the lives of those inside and outside of Washington D.C.

To read more: https://www.jbhe.com/2019/06/universities-partner-to-produce-the-official-oral-history-of-barack-obamas-presidency/

Michelle Obama Launches New Voter Registration Campaign #WhenWeAllVote

Michelle Obama (screenshot via twitter.com)

via essence.com

While Michelle Obama has no plans to run for office, this doesn’t mean she won’t get involved behind the scenes.

The former first lady is teaming up with several celebrities to launch a new voter registration initiative ahead of this year’s midterm elections. The new nonprofit, “When We All Vote,” is a nonpartisan organization with the goal to get more voters registered.

“Voting is the only way to ensure that our values and priorities are represented in the halls of power,” Obama said in a statement “And it’s not enough to just vote for president every four years. We all have to vote in every single election: for mayor, governor, school board, state legislature and Congress. The leaders we elect to these offices help determine just about every aspect of our lives and our democracy.”

According to Politico, the initiative is scheduled to be launched on Thursday and will also involve several other high-profile names, including actor Tom Hanks, singer Janelle Monae, “Hamilton” creator Lin-Manuel Miranda and singers Faith Hill and Tim McGraw.

Also, former Obama advisor Valerie Jarrett will serve as president of the board. The initiative is its own non-profit entity and will operate independently of the Obama Foundation, the personal offices of Barack and Michelle Obama, and Citizen 44.

Source: https://www.essence.com/news/michelle-obama-voter-registration-campaign-midterms

Obama Presidential Center Gets Green Light from Chicago City Council

The design for the Obama Presidential Center in Jackson Park was unveiled May 3, 2017 (photo via chicagotribune.com)

by Lolly Bowean via chicagotribune.com

Culminating a three-year campaign by the Obama Foundation, the Chicago City Council on Wednesday approved measures to allow construction of the Obama Presidential Center. The approval, which came on a 47-1 vote, means the foundation can move forward into federal reviews of the project with city support as a badge of endorsement.

No public comment was allowed during the council meeting, and aldermen discussed the matter for just over an hour — a contrast to the extended and heated debate last week during a Plan Commission hearing. Hundreds of residents, activists and leaders of cultural institutions testified both in favor of the presidential center and against it. The commission voted overwhelmingly in support, as did the Zoning Committee on Tuesday, which paved the way for Wednesday’s City Council vote.

The City Council decision was just another step in a long process. Besides the federal review — which is required because Jackson Park, the site of the center, is on the National Register of Historic Places — the foundation still must secure a formal long-term contract to lease Jackson Park from the city. The foundation already has hired a collective of construction firms to build the center, but they have to develop and hire a workforce.

Black Construction Companies Working on $350 Million Obama Presidential Center

Michelle Obama Barack Obama theGrio.com
(Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

via thegrio.com

Now that Barack Obama is out of the White House, he’s making a statement on support for Black businesses with a huge deal for the Obama Presidential Center.

The OPC is set to cost about $350 million, and an alliance of minority firms is set to get a large chunk of that. Powers & Sons Construction, UJAMAA Construction, Brown & Momen, and Safeway Construction, all part of the Presidential Partners consortium, have all come together as part of the Lakeside Alliance working on the presidential center, according to Black Enterprise.

The minority companies will be getting a 51% stake, while Turner Company, which is one of the nation’s largest construction companies, will have a 49% stake. It’s a historic move, not just because of the companies involved but because most minority firms will be hired on as subcontractors and not given majority stakes like this.

“The Obama Foundation believes in creating opportunities for diverse and local businesses and building pathways to meaningful jobs for minorities and other underrepresented populations,” said David Simas, CEO of the Obama Foundation.

“The development of the Obama Presidential Center gives us an opportunity to make a major, unprecedented impact on the South Side in terms of hiring talented, local businesses and individuals. We look forward to working with Lakeside Alliance to achieve our goals, set new benchmarks and make the Obama Presidential Center a landmark that our neighbors can be proud of.”

It’s a big win not just for the companies but the communities, because the alliance of minority companies has promised that they will be employing minority workers and people who live in the surrounding area for the massive project. That way, the companies will be giving back to the community and the presidential center will be a boon to Chicago’s South and West sides.

Ground will be broken for the project later on this year.

Barack Obama to Hold 1st Public Event This Monday at University of Chicago

Former President Barack Obama (photo via chicagotribune.com)

article by Katherine Skiba via chicagotribune.com

Former President Barack Obama will speak to young people at the University of Chicago on Monday, returning to the city for what will be his first public event since leaving the White House.

Obama and young leaders will hold a conversation on civic engagement and discuss community organizing at the university’s Logan Center for the Arts, his office announced Friday. Hundreds of people are expected to attend, chosen from area universities that were given tickets for distribution, said Kevin Lewis, a spokesman for the former president. About six young people will appear on stage with him for the 11 a.m. discussion, he said.

The event will be a homecoming for Obama on multiple levels. He formerly taught constitutional law at U. of C., and his family has a home nearby in the Kenwood neighborhood. He gave his farewell address in January in the city that launched his political career. And the discussion with students lets the former president, who came to Chicago to work as a young community organizer, fulfill one of the commitments he set out for his post-presidential years: to engage and work with the country’s next generation of leaders, Lewis said.

“This event is part of President Obama’s post-presidency goal to encourage and support the next generation of leaders driven by strengthening communities around the country and the world,” an advisory said. Obama is expected to arrive Sunday, then depart Monday not long after the U. of C. event, the only public appearance planned.Less than a month after his term ended, Obama made a largely under-the-radar visit to Chicago on Feb. 15 to meet with several civic leaders to discuss his future presidential center in Jackson Park.

That visit was announced to the press with few details late that day, and he made no appearances before the general public or television cameras. This time, by contrast, the Obama team’s announcement of Monday’s event ensures it will get a higher profile, particularly because it comes a few days before President Donald Trump is poised to mark his 100th day in office on April 29.

This event is not being sponsored by the Obama Foundation, which leads planning for his eventual center on the South Side.”He’s really excited to go back to Chicago and have a conversation about community organizing and civic engagement,” Lewis said.No tickets remain for distribution to the general public, but the event will be televised. Former first lady Michelle Obama is not expected to accompany her husband on the trip, Lewis said.

To read full article, go to: Barack Obama to hold first public event since leaving office, Monday in Chicago – Chicago Tribune

Obamas Make Eight-Figure Book Deal With Penguin Random House

Former President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama in Washington last year. They plan to donate a portion of the advances for their books to charity. (Credit: Drew Angerer for The New York Times)

article by Alexandra Alter via nytimes.com

Penguin Random House will publish coming books by former President Barack Obama and the former first lady Michelle Obama, the publishing company announced Tuesday night, concluding a heated auction among multiple publishers. The terms of the agreement were not disclosed, but publishing industry executives with knowledge of the bidding process said it probably stretched well into eight figures.

Robert B. Barnett and Deneen C. Howell of Williams & Connolly represented the Obamas. Penguin Random House acquired world rights to the books, and worldwide sales could be substantial. No decision has been made yet as to which of the company’s major imprints — which include Random House, Doubleday, Alfred A. Knopf and Crown — will publish the books.

Mr. Obama’s previous books were published by Crown, which also published Mrs. Obama’s book “American Green,” about the White House garden. A spokeswoman for Penguin Random House would not say whether the books would be memoirs and referred questions to representatives of the Obamas. Speculation about the Obamas’ books and how much they would sell for have been circulating in the industry in recent weeks, as executives at the top publishing houses met separately with the former president and first lady.

Some publishing executives who followed the bidding process said that the opening offers for Mr. Obama’s book alone were in the $18 million to $20 million range. The publisher plans to donate one million books in the Obama family’s name to First Book, a nonprofit organization that provides books to disadvantaged children, and Open eBooks, the Washington-based partner for the 2016 White House digital education initiative. The Obamas also plan to donate part of their advances to charity, including the Obama Foundation.

To read more, go to: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/28/business/media/obama-book-deal-penguin-random-house.html?_r=0

Jack and Jill of America’s Youth Turn Loose Change into $35,000 Donation to Support Barack Obama Presidential Library 

getting-ready
Jack and Jill of America Youth Prior To Presenting $35,000 Donation to the Obama Foundation (Photo courtesy of Jack and Jill of America)

article by Lori Lakin Hutcherson (@lakinhutcherson)

 Jack and Jill of America, Inc.’s youngest members collected pennies, nickels and dimes as part of their Loose Change Program that resulted in a $35,000 donation to the Obama Foundation, in support of Chicago’s Barack Obama Presidential Library. Mothers and families of Jack and Jill of America in Chicago came together to present the foundation with the donation in a private celebration.

“The Mid Western Region was incredibly honored to present this donation that not only honors the first African-American US President, Barack Obama, but makes an impact in a community that needs positive reinforcements and contributions,” says Mid-Western Regional Director Nadine Gibson. “As advocates for childhood literacy, Jack and Jill understands the important role public libraries play in communities.”

The Loose Change program was initiated as a giving opportunity for our youth ages two through 12, to make a significant impact in underserved communities.  The Mid-Western Region received the donation collected in 2015 and selected the Barack Foundation as the recipient of choice. 

“We are excited about this giving opportunity.  Now, each time we visit the Library we will know that Jack and Jill helped to make a positive contribution to its development and commitment to the community,” says Mid-Western Regional Teen President, Kellen Love.

For more information on how you can make a donation, or to find out more about Jack and Jill of America and its chapters, visit jackandjillinc.org.

Continue reading “Jack and Jill of America’s Youth Turn Loose Change into $35,000 Donation to Support Barack Obama Presidential Library “

Chicago Wins Bid to Host Barack Obama Presidential Library

Martin Nesbitt, chairman of the Barack Obama Foundation, announced on Tuesday that the library would be built in Chicago’s South Side. (Credit: Joshua Lott for The New York Times)

CHICAGO — Maybe the Obamas will never return to live in Chicago after the presidency is over, their global celebrity pulling them toward New York or Los Angeles and away from the unpretentious Midwest. But Chicagoans will always have this: As it was formally announced on Tuesday, their city will be home to his presidential library.

“His journey began on the South Side and now we know that it will come full circle with his library coming home to the South Side of Chicago,” an elated Mayor Rahm Emanuel said on Tuesday at a ceremony here, where the Barack Obama Presidential Center, which is to include the library, museum and space for the president’s foundation, will be built.

But as Chicago officially notched a victory over New York and Hawaii, which were also contenders, it immediately turned to the next question: Where, exactly, on the South Side will the library be built?

The Obama Foundation says it is still undecided on the location and will make the announcement in roughly the next six to nine months. Two parks near the University of Chicago’s campus on the South Side are being considered for the library: Washington Park, a 380-acre space that borders several neighborhoods, including Washington Park and Hyde Park; and Jackson Park, which hugs both the neighborhood of Woodlawn and Lake Michigan, and is the site of the Museum of Science and Industry, a golf course, soccer fields and a children’s hospital. The transfer of about 20 acres where the library could be built was approved in February by the Chicago Park District.

City officials have trumpeted the project’s potential to give the South Side a much-needed influx of tourism, new jobs and economic development. (Credit: Joshua Lott for The New York Times)

The library will be built in a partnership with the University of Chicago, where President Obama once taught law, and could open by 2020 or 2021.  Amid the triumphant announcement and buoyant speeches by civic leaders, there are still concerns being raised by some people about the permanent loss of valuable parkland in a highly populated part of the city.

Continue reading “Chicago Wins Bid to Host Barack Obama Presidential Library”