Champions of Change

Engage and Connect

President Obama is committed to making this the most open and participatory administration in history. That begins with taking your questions and comments, inviting you to join online events with White House officials, and giving you a way to engage with your government on the issues that matter the most.

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Latest News

  • DACAmented Teachers: Educating and Enriching Their Communities

    Last month, the White House honored nine educators who received Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) as “Champions of Change.” These inspiring young men and women have tackled the challenging – yet crucial – task of becoming educators in their communities to empower the next generation of leaders. On June 15, 2012, President Obama announced the Department of Homeland Security’s DACA policy, which allows certain undocumented individuals who came to the United States as children and meet strict guidelines to seek temporary relief from removal, and gives them the opportunity to apply for work authorization. Since the 2012 announcement, more than 660,000 people have benefitted from DACA, and many DACA recipients have chosen to take on work in critical fields of service to the nation. This event honored nine young leaders in the field of education that are also DACA recipients, who have been strong role models for students and families, as well as change agents within their communities.

    These Champions shared their personal reflections with us:

  • Nominate White House Champions of Change for Building Bridges Between Youth and Law Enforcement

    Across the country, law enforcement officers and youth are participating in recreational, service and other joint activities that help to build bridges between young people and law enforcement and improve public safety. 

    Strengthening the relationships between law enforcement and the community continues to be a priority for this Administration. In 2014, the Department of Justice launched the National Initiative for Building Community Trust and Justice to support training, evidence-based strategies, policy development and research to combat distrust and hostility between law enforcement and the communities they serve. The Department of Justice’s Community Oriented Policing Services Office provides law enforcement agencies with the tools that they need to fully engage in community policing. The President’s My Brother’s Keeper initiative is also focused on reducing violence by promoting community-oriented policing practices and improving trust between law enforcement and communities, while enhancing the overall life and educational outcomes for justice-involved youth.

    Please help us identify a young person (up to and including age 25) and law enforcement officer who are going above and beyond to work together to make their communities safer. Each nomination must include a pair of individuals – one young person and one law enforcement officer. Nominations for single individuals will not be considered. A select group of these leaders will be invited to the White House to be honored and to share their accomplishments. Please nominate a pair of Champions by 5 p.m. ET on Friday, August 14.

  • Watch: Honoring "DACAmented Teachers" as Champions of Change

    Today, the White House honored nine “DACAmented Teachers” — extraordinary educators with Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) status — as Champions of Change.

    Watch the full event below:

    Watch on YouTube

  • Sharing #OurADAStories to Celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act

    Earlier this week, I watched the live-stream of the White House’s celebration of the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Live-streaming is a form of access that allows individuals to experience events, even if they are many miles away from D.C.

    Listening to the President’s remarks and hearing him recognize the members of Congress, advocates, and young leaders -- I wondered what diverse stories they had to tell about how the ADA impacted their lives.

  • Champions of Change: People of Faith Acting on Climate

    On Monday, I was pleased to be able to welcome twelve people of faith as they were honored as White House “Champions of Change” for their efforts in protecting our environment and communities from the effects of climate change. These Champions have demonstrated clear leadership across the United States and around the world through their grassroots efforts to green their communities and educate others on the moral and social justice implications of climate change.

    The Champions shared personal reflections on their efforts in advance of the event:

  • Seeking Innovators for 2015 Champions of Change in Transportation

    Ed. note: This is cross-posted on the U.S. Department of Transportation's blog. See the original post here.

    Major trends are shaping the future of our transportation systems. Our population is growing and aging. Our legacy transit systems need more attention every day. Our roads and runways face increasing congestion.

    America's way of life and continued economic growth depend on meeting these challenges, so this October, DOT and the White House Office of Public Engagement will host a Champions of Change event focused on “Beyond Traffic: Innovators in Transportation for the Future.”

    I invite you to help us recognize the champions who are making it all possible.

  • A Historic Time for Tribal Youth

    Just over a year ago, the President and First Lady sat in a small classroom on the Standing Rock Sioux Nation in North Dakota with a group of six Native American youth. When they left that room, the President and First Lady were moved and inspired. Having heard the stories of hardship the youth had to face and overcome, and the trials that so many other Native children face, the President asked his staff to find new avenues of opportunity for Native youth. The Generation Indigenous (Gen-I) Initiative was launched on the heels of this visit.

    The Gen-I initiative focuses on improving the lives of Native youth through new investments and increased engagement. This initiative takes a comprehensive, culturally appropriate approach to ensure all young Native people can reach their full potential.

    On Thursday, July 9, we were incredibly proud to welcome more than 1,000 Native youth from all over the country — representing 230 tribes from 42 states — to Washington, D.C., for the first ever White House Tribal Youth Gathering. First Lady Michelle Obama spoke to the youth about their promise and their important role as leaders — making sure they know they have allies at the highest levels.

  • Nominate a White House Champion of Change for Young Women Empowering Communities

    America needs the full talent of all our people. Maintaining our nation’s competitive advantage means we can’t afford to leave anyone out or behind. Our success as a country depends on ensuring that all young people have a chance to reach their full potential.

    President Obama created the White House Council on Women and Girls in the first months of his Presidency to ensure that every agency, department and office in the Federal Government takes into account the needs and aspirations of women and girls in every aspect of their work. We have made much progress as a country, but there is still much work to do to close opportunity gaps and barriers to success. Many of these challenges disproportionately affect women and girls.

    In November, 2014, the Council on Women and Girls released a report, “Women and Girls of Color: Addressing Challenges and Expanding Opportunity.” The Council is working to ensure that government policies appropriately consider these challenges and persistent opportunity gaps faced by too many girls and women from under-represented communities to ensure that everyone who aspires to get ahead has a chance to succeed. The President also recognizes that innovation comes from communities and is often sponsored by young people who notice problems and work with their schools, youth organizations, and even in start-ups to craft new solutions and fresh perspectives.

    In September, the White House will recognize young women who are already leading and inspiring their communities as advocates, peer-mentors, artists, innovators, and entrepreneurs as Champions of Change.