Alongside campaigner Mark Bergman, Rumi Verjee welcomed David Simas, the Chief Executive of the Obama Foundation to Thomas Goode and Co in April 2018.
When President Obama finished his term in office as President of the United States in 2017, he quickly set about building his legacy. From this, the Obama Foundation was born. The work of the Foundation has already begun in earnest in communities in the United States. Their flagship initiative is the the construction of the Obama Presidential Centre, which will be built in the heart of Chicago’s South Side. It promises to be an ongoing project to shape what it means to be a good citizen in the 21stcentury. Furthermore, the Foundation is training young people to be the next civic leaders. President Obama has launched a scholarship programme to give young leaders a platform to make a difference in their communities.
This sense of community is at the heart of everything that the Obama Foundation does. Indeed, the community has always mattered to President Obama. He did not become the 44thPresident of the United States alone; he had the backing of communities, many of which had been voiceless for generations. Now he’s giving back to those communities.
The mission of the Obama Foundation is to inspire, empower and connect the next generation of civic leaders. The Foundation aims to inspire people who are already making an impact, and to help those who want to make a difference, but don’t know where to start.
Globally, there are so many inspirational young leaders and civic innovators, some of whom The Rumi Foundation already support. Additionally, the Obama Foundation aims to equip the next generation with the skills they need to make a difference. They want to reach the next wave of change-makers, inspiring them to become leaders and innovators in their communities.
David Simas spoke powerfully about the responsibilities that we all have as citizens. Too often, we focus on our rights, but our civic duties are crucially important. If we get this right, we can build strong, supportive communities. It is a privilege for The Rumi Foundation to help shape and build this legacy, alongside President Obama and Michelle Obama.