Former President Barack Obama is on a mission to create foot soldiers who will be the newest change agents and move this country forward.
Obama says he is dedicated to the cause of creating “a million young Barack Obamas or Michelle Obamas” who will be on the front lines of the “relay race that is human progress.”
Obama spoke at a conference in Japan, still hopeful about change and how he will facilitate helping today’s youth become tomorrow’s leaders through his Obama Foundation platform.
“After I left office, what I realized is that the Obama Foundation could potentially create a platform for young, up-and-coming leaders, both in the United States and all around the world to come together, meet together, create a digital platform where they could exchange information,” Obama said.
“If I could do that effectively, then I would create a hundred, or a thousand, or a million young Barack Obamas or Michelle Obamas,” he added.
The foundation was created in 2014.
Supporting young gun violence protestors
The former First Couple are doing the work to lodge their support behind young people looking for solutions, not only with his new initiative but staying abreast of how they are taking the lead on issues like gun control.
Obama says he wants the students protesting for gun control to know how impressive they are.
When thousands of teenage students across the country walked out of classrooms in protest of the lax gun control laws in the wake of the tragic school shooting in Parkland, Florida, Obama tweeted his support for them.
“Young people have helped lead all our great movements,” Obama wrote. “How inspiring to see it again in so many smart, fearless students standing up for their right to be safe; marching and organizing to remake the world as it should be. We’ve been waiting for you. And we’ve got your backs.”
Michelle Obama had also expressed her support for the students.
“I’m in total awe of the extraordinary students in Florida,” she tweeted. “Like every movement for progress in our history, gun reform will take unyielding courage and endurance. But @barackobama and I believe in you, we’re proud of you, and we’re behind you every step of the way.”
Kids are demanding change
Nikolas Cruz, who was charged with the deaths of 17 people in the Parkland rampage, used an assault weapon to injure and kill teachers and students at his former high school. In response, a nationwide movement is demanding that lawmakers ban assault weapons like the AR-15 used by Cruz.
The message was spoken loudly at the March for Our Lives on Saturday in which as many as an estimated 200,000 demonstrators came to Washington D.C., demanding gun control action.
Last month, a group called Teens for Gun Reform had asked for 17 volunteers to lie down outside the White House for three minutes, the amount of time that Cruz spent shooting at students and teachers at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
But while they had originally asked for 17 people to represent the 17 people killed in the shooting, more than 100 people responded to the call for action.
“The two of us have organized this protest in solidarity with all of those who were affected by the tragic school shooting in Florida last week,” Eleanor Nuechterlein and Whitney Bowen, the teen organizers, said in a statement, according to CNN. “We call on our national and state legislatures to finally act responsibly and reduce the number of these tragic incidents. It’s essential that we all feel safe in our classrooms.”