Obama Foundation Ends 2017 Chicago Takeover with Last Week’s Summit

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President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, and Chance The Rapper speak at the Obama Foundation Community Event on Nov. 1, 2017 in Chicago. [Credit: Timothy Hiatt/Getty Images]

“Our mission is to inspire and empower people to change their world.”

On October 31st and November 1st, the Obama Foundation welcomed civic leaders from around Chicago, the U.S., and the world to come together to exchange ideas, explore creative solutions to common problems, and experience civic art, technology, and music. Speaking of music, the Obama Foundation Summit ended with a Community Event, curated by Chance the Rapper, during which he also closed out with an amazing performance. Other artists included Gloria Estefan, The National, and even Nas. (Nas!) With remarks by Chance, Former First Lady Michelle Obama, and Former President Barack Obama, and even a surprise video from Rihanna, the event was everything… and more.

A few weeks before the Summit, the first Obama Foundation pilot Training Day was also held in Chicago. Myself, along with 149 other participants, joined the Obama Foundation team to learn how to use our own story as a powerful tool for change and what concrete, simple steps we can take to organize around the issues we care about most.

It was an honor to be able to attend both the Training and Summit, as well as have the opportunity to shake hands with President Obama. From being overwhelmed with tears of joy from the Summit, to completely losing it during Nas’ performance at the community event, to dancing with Chance during his explosive set, I am absolutely inspired by all that the Obama Foundation has done so far. I was born and raised on the South Side of Chicago, so this experience means more to me than they could ever imagine. I look forward to continuing to work with the Foundation in the future, and I can’t wait to see what else they have in store.


Subria A. Whitaker is currently a Master of Arts in Sports Administration Candidate at Northwestern University. She recently graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with honors, and received a Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Arts and Sciences with Distinction in Communication. Subria became a TrueStar in 2010, and is a graduate of Morgan Park High School.

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