Venturing further into the public discourse he had largely held back from since relinquishing the Oval Office to President Trump, former president Barack Obama joined a virtual town hall Wednesday to advocate the kind of hope and change that once inspired a nation to twice elect him as its leader.
"We have seen in the last several weeks, last few months, the kinds of epic changes in events in our country that are as profound as anything that I've seen in my lifetime," the 58-year-old onetime community organizer told his unseen, online audience in a Zoom video conference organized by My Brother's Keeper Alliance, a part of the Obama Foundation.
Titled "Reimagining Policing in the Wake of Continued Police Violence," the event featured several younger community activists as well as Obama's former attorney general, Eric Holder.
But Obama was clearly the main attraction.
Sitting in shirtsleeves with sparsely filled bookshelves as a backdrop, the 44th president declared that despite the tragedy of the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis and the disproportionate toll on communities of color taken by the coronavirus pandemic, he remained optimistic because so many young people are getting galvanized and motivated.
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