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On December 1, @BarackObama is headed to India to host a Town Hall with ...

President Obama’s Town Hall with Young Leaders in India

President Obama’s Town Hall with Young Leaders in India



By Bernadette Meehan, International Programs, Obama Foundation


This year, President Obama has hosted events with young people in GermanyIndonesia, and Brazil; now, he is going to India.
As one of the most culturally, religiously, linguistically, and ethnically diverse nations on earth, India’s democracy shows us the collective strength of engagement within and across communities. Most of India’s 1 billion people are under 35 years old, an engaged and passionate generation that includes Members of Parliament, Village Sarpanchs, scientists, artists, athletes, entrepreneurs, and civic leaders who are finding innovative ways to create positive change across India — change that benefits the world. For these reasons, we are excited to announce that on December 1, the Obama Foundation will host a Town Hall in New Delhi, India with President Obama and hundreds of young Indian leaders from across the country. The Town Hall will expand the conversation about what it means to be an active citizen and make an impact — and how the Obama Foundation can support emerging leaders in this effort.
As the Obama Foundation designs our international programming, we are committed to creating opportunities for young people from around the globe to have a chance to participate in shaping what we do. For that reason, we are inviting Indian residents who want to join President Obama for this Town Hall to apply to attend by telling us how they are making a difference in their community. We’ll also invite people across India to share their questions for President Obama online and anyone, anywhere can tune-in to watch the Town Hall live on Obama.org.
“Young Indians like you aren’t just going to define the future of this nation, you’re going to shape the world.” — President Obama to young people New Delhi, India on January 27, 2015
President Obama believes that countries are strongest when we empower our young people — because ultimately, they’re the ones who will shape our future. Our India trip will build on the progress we made last month at ourinaugural global Summit in Chicago, where we convened young leaders working to create change in their communities. We hosted inspiring Indians like Trisha Shetty, who started an organization called She Says with the aim to educate and empower women and men to take action against sexual abuse. We invited leaders like Sanchana Krishnan, who works with communities to normalize mental health issues and empower people to get the help they seek. Sanchana organizes a series of personal storytelling events called Living Stories, where people discuss their mental health adventures and misadventures, promoting knowledge and empathy through storytelling. We loved meeting these civic innovators and hearing about their changemaking initiatives, and with their feedback we will continue to develop programs that will engage, empower, connect, and spotlight people that are tackling challenges in their communities.
I have been incredibly impressed by the young people we are getting to know around the world. Trisha and Sanchana represent a generation of leadership that is focused on working with their communities, not just for them. It is this community-based change that will empower young leaders to make their neighborhoods and nations live up to their potential. I can’t wait to hear more about the unique initiatives young Indian leaders have started in their communities.