In their first joint appearance since leaving the White House, Former President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama offered the first glimpse of the planned Obama Presidential Center in Chicago.
Former President Obama, and Michelle Obama vowed today to personally donate $2 Million towards summer job programs in Chicago so "young people can get to work."
"The construction project is will take 4 years, but the service to the community will start now."
President Obama said he and his wife chose to locate the center in Chicago's South Side in an effort to give back to the community that helped shape some of their most formative memories.
Obama also stressed that he wanted to create a living hub for political and social activism that would outlive him.
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The Center is designed as a campus to integrate into historic Jackson Park and to encourage local residents and visitors alike to explore the community and bring people together for events, recreation, and programming. We believe the Center will restore the promise of Jackson Park as the “people’s park,” building upon its history as a recreational destination for gathering on the South Side for families, community members, and visitors.
President and Mrs. Obama chose to build the Obama Presidential Center on the South Side, in part, to give back to the community that has given them so much. The Foundation is honored to be working alongside community leaders and local institutions, including the Museum of Science and Industry, the DuSable Museum, the University of Chicago, and City of Chicago on these efforts.
"We want this to be the world's premiere institution for training young people and leadership to make a difference in their communities in their countries and in the world — that's our goal," Obama said.
The Obama Foundation will raise private money for the center's construction and for an endowment to assist the federal government's operation of the library and museum. The foundation must raise a sum equal to 60 percent of construction costs for the endowment. It has not yet disclosed a construction cost estimate.
The foundation raised a total of $7.3 million in 2014 and 2015, the first two years. The 2016 total has not been reported yet.
While based on the South Side, the center will have projects across the city, country and world, the former president said in the video.
"The work of perfecting our union is never finished," Obama said in the video. "And we look forward to joining you in that effort as fellow citizens."