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President Obama leads talk at University of Chicago in first public appearance

Obama has returned to the spotlight to keep spreading words of hope

Excellence. Class. Hope. Commitment. Service. The Obama family embodies the new American dream — a dream that includes all people. President Barack, a biracial boy with a funny name. First lady Michelle, a hardworking girl from around the way. Their daughters, Malia and Sasha, millennials who grew up in the public eye while navigating normal teen life.

For eight years, the nation witnessed the power of a black family, woven together by love for each other and love for their country. And, although those eight years have come to a close, the Obamas’ legacy is just beginning to unfold. The Undefeated will be following along every step of the way. Whether they’re on vacation, going to a show or speaking at an event, we’ll be there to give you the latest and greatest of our favorite family. Because after all: Yes we can, yes we did, and yes we will continue.

“My fellow Americans, it has been the honor of my life to serve you. I won’t stop. In fact, I will be right there with you as a citizen for all my remaining days.” – President Barack Obama

During his farewell address, President Barack Obama made a final promise to serve the country as a private citizen. After a well-deserved vacation where he spent time with his wife, Michelle, and their daughters; sailed the high seas with the likes of other influencers, including Oprah; and quite literally glowed, President Obama is making good on his final promise to his constituents: to serve.

Former US President Barack Obama participates in a ‘conversation on community organizing and civic engagement’ at the University of Chicago in Chicago, Illinois, USA, 24 April 2017. The event is the first public function for Obama since leaving office in January.


Monday marks his first official post-presidential appearance, leading a talk on civic engagement and community organizing at the University of Chicago, where he formerly was a law professor.

Former President Barack Obama greets youth leaders at the University of Chicago as he arrives for a forum to promote community organizing on April 24, 2017 in Chicago, Illinois. The visit marks Obama’s first formal public appearance since leaving office.

Scott Olson/Getty Images

Held at the Logan Center for the Arts, Obama is joined by six activists: some from local Kenwood Academy High School, some high school students and some older, Obama spokesperson Kevin Lewis told the Chicago Sun-Times. The talk serves as the first installment of the 44th U.S. president rolling up his sleeves alongside the American people. After today’s conversation in Chicago, there will be several other high-profile events around the country and in Berlin and Milan.

Former President Barack Obama (C) visits with youth leaders at the University of Chicago to help promote community organizing on April 24, 2017 in Chicago, Illinois. The visit marks Obama’s first formal public appearance since leaving office.

Scott Olson/Getty Images

Chicago has always held special meaning for Obama, as it is the city where he became a highly regarded community organizer. It is no coincidence that his first post-presidential engagement is spent alongside young people discussing the very thing that sparked his legacy — service. Obama has long credited his three-year stretch as a grass-roots organizer as “the best education I ever had, better than anything I ever got at Harvard Law School.”

Obama got a little much-needed rest and relaxation, and now he’s back in action.

Gertrude “Trudy” Joseph is a senior at UMass Amherst and intern with The Undefeated. She will probably be either the youngest “Gertrude” you will ever meet or the only “Gertrude” you will ever meet. From the birthplace of basketball (shout to the entire 413), Trudy believes the “Kobe System” is the single most important commercial of our time.