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President Obama to Host a Democracy Forum in New York

Democracy will be the discussion in an upcoming forum next month.

Former President Barack Obama announced on Monday that his foundation will host a two-day “Democracy Forum” next month in New York.

On the first day, the event will include a mainstage lineup of pro-democracy activists from across the globe, which will include the former president. Then it will be followed with a day of smaller cohort meetings among Obama Foundation leaders, according to The Hill.

University of Chicago and Columbia University – the president’s former school – are in partnership with the foundation in an effort to get the event going on November 17 and 18.

“At a time when democracy is under threat around the world, what gives me hope is the potential of the next generation of leaders,” Obama wrote on Twitter. “I couldn’t be more excited to announce the @ObamaFoundation’s global convening focused on the ideas that are essential to our democracy.”

Obama said next month will focus on strengthening democratic institutions, fighting disinformation, and promoting inclusive capitalism.

“We hope this event gives everyone who believes in democracy the confidence that they can help make it stronger,” Obama wrote in a note to supporters. “Because if we want democracy to flourish, we will have to fight for it, we will have to nurture it, and we will have to demonstrate its value, again and again.”

The event will be days after the midterm elections, where the Democratic Party is defending razor-thin margins in both chambers of Congress.

Election integrity has been a cornerstone for some Republican candidates after former President Donald Trump claimed without evidence that he came up short in the 2020 presidential election because of mass electoral fraud.

According to the Axios-Ipsos poll that was released Monday, a substantial minority of Americans from both parties feel if their party doesn’t take control of Congress next month, it is likely due to election fraud.

Since leaving office, the Obamas have been working on pro-democracy causes.

In 2018, Michelle Obama founded a nonpartisan organization, which is called When We All Vote – an initiative aimed to increase voter participation.

For former President Obama, he has taken a particular interest in threats posed by disinformation – one of multiple subjects expected to dominate at his foundation’s newly announced event.

“What does still nags at me, though, was my failure to fully appreciate at the time just how susceptible we had become to lies and conspiracy theories, despite having spent years being a target of disinformation myself,” he said during a speech in April.


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