*Michelle Obama shared an empowering message on Sunday to celebrate the forthcoming Obama Presidential Center in Chicago.
The former first lady revealed that the phrase “You Are America,” will be written in various languages and added to the exterior of the building.
“Growing up on the South Side, it was easy to feel removed from the corridors of power—in Washington or even at City Hall,” Obama wrote in a post on social media. “Today, we unveil the words that will appear on the exterior of the Obama Presidential Center as a reminder that we stand on the shoulders of those who marched in Selma and all those who came before us and that the task of progress is now in our hands.”
Obama continued, “That’s why Barack and I started the @ObamaFoundation—to provide inspiration and support to young leaders looking to make change. My hope is when young folks from my old neighborhood look up and see the words ‘You Are America,’ they never question whether they belong or whether they have the power to shape this country’s future.”
In a similar post shared on Instgram, she noted “When young people from my old neighborhood on the South Side see the words ‘You Are America’ on the exterior of the Obama Presidential Center, I hope they believe it. Because they matter. They belong. And they have the power to shape this country for the better.”
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EUR previously reported, Obama announced last month that construction of his highly anticipated presidential center in Chicago will finally begin this year.
In a video message posted to Twitter, Obama said the center will break ground in Jackson Park in 2021, and it comes after a four-year delay.
“Getting to this point wouldn’t have been possible without the folks in the community who have been a part of this process along the way,” Obama said. “Michelle and I want to thank you for making this project even better — a space for the community, built in partnership with the community.”
On Sunday, he also shared a lengthy post on Instagram in honor of the presidential center’s announcement.
“Across this country and around the world there are more steps to be taken, more progress to be made, more bridges to be crossed by young people unencumbered by what is and ready to seize what ought to be,” Obama said. “That’s why the Obama Presidential Center will feature a quote from my speech in Selma six years ago. Our goal is to honor the giants who carried us this far, and to inspire the next generation of young people who will lead us forward—a generation that is already bringing this nation closer to what it can be.”
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The Obama Foundation said the ground will break as early as April and construction is expected to take about four years, costing around $500 million.
“In addition to attracting visitors from all over our city and around the world, the OPC will also bring in new businesses and create new jobs — providing residents in the surrounding communities with the resources they need to lead happy, fulfilled and stable lives,” said Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot.
The multi-building project will include a museum, public library, athletic center, children’s playground and test kitchen, the AP reported. It is being financed through private donations, including $3.5 million from the Obama Foundation for a public facility for track and field competitions. The center will not include a formal “presidential library,” the Sun-Times reported.
Obama has described the center as a hub for youth programming and public gatherings. The center will help create about 5,000 jobs during and after construction.