Former President Barack Obama will make his first public appearance Monday, hosting an event on civic engagement back on his old stomping grounds at the University of Chicago.
The event, open to the public but with limited tickets, will bring together younger leaders and students “for a conversation on community organizing and civic engagement.”
It won’t be an explicitly political event.
Obama represented the neighborhood the campus is in while in the Illinois state senate, and was a law professor there. He last stopped by the campus in 2016, using an event at the law school to make a push for his failed attempt to appoint Antonin Scalia’s replacement to the Supreme Court.
“This event is part of President Obama’s post-presidency goal to encourage and support the next generation of leaders driven by strengthening communities around the country and the world,” the event program states.
The focus on younger leaders will be a significant part of his post-presidency, much of which is still being formulated. According to people familiar, he’ll talk about how people like those who are part of the event inspired him to get into politics in the first place, back when he was a community organizer on the South Side of Chicago.
Obama’s last event in Chicago was his farewell address just before the end of his term, in which he stressed the idea of being an active citizen. Monday’s event continues that theme.
Obama’s largely been on vacation in the time since leaving office, in the Caribbean with Richard Branson just after leaving office, and more recently, spotted in the South Pacific with Bruce Springsteen, Oprah and Tom Hanks. He’s also been beginning work on his memoirs.