Obama visits South Side to welcome first foundation fellows

Panelists answer questions from the audience during a 5th Ward Meeting on the Obama Presidential Center (OPC) at the South Shore Cultural Center, 7059 S. South Shore Dr., Monday, May 7, 2018. Panelists include (left to right) Aarti Kotak, Deputy Chief of Staff to Mayor Rahm Emanuel for Neighborhood Economic Development, Heather Gleason, Director The Division of Planning and Development for the Chicago Park District, Rebekah Scheinfeld, Commissioner of the Department of Transportation for the City of Chicago, Pamyla Fountain Brown, Director of Community and Citizenship at Turner Construction, a member of Lakeside Alliance, the OPC construction team, Monica Chadha Founder of Civic Projects and a member of the OPC exhibition design team, Heidi Natura and Robert Rock, Partners at Living Habitats and members of the OPC landscape architecture team, Dina Griffin, President of Interactive Design Architects and a member of the OPC architecture team, Michael Strautmanis, Chief Engagement Officer for the Obama Foundation, and (standing) 5th Ward Alderman Leslie Hairston. – Marc Monaghan

Staff Writer

President Barack Obama is on the South Side today, greeting the inaugural class of Obama Foundation fellows at the Stony Island Arts Bank in South Shore, 6760 S. Stony Island Ave.

The 20 fellows were chosen for their civic innovation, and two of them are from Chicago. Their two-year fellowships are designed to refine their leadership capacities and scale up their work. President and Michelle Obama will meet with the fellows over the course of the program.

“You couldn’t find a more exciting group of young people,” said Obama, welcoming them to the South Side.