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In celebration of her best-selling memoir, BECOMING, Mrs. Obama reunites with Public Allies as part of visit to San Jose, California

San Jose, CA.  — On Friday, December 14, as part of her visit to the Bay Area to celebrate the publication of her memoir BECOMING, former First Lady Michelle Obama will participate in a special youth leadership workshop event hosted by Public Allies, an organization she helped shape.  Public Allies is a national nonprofit focused on developing diverse community leaders (called Allies) in 25 communities across the country. The apprenticeship program recruits talented young leaders and provides them with leadership and career development while diversifying our country’s talent pipeline. Mrs. Obama has a longstanding and meaningful relationship with Public Allies, having served as the Executive Director of the Chicago Chapter in the 1990’s and remaining a strong supporter during her time in the White House and after.

Twenty-five years after establishing Public Allies Chicago, Mrs. Obama will join thirty current Allies and program alumni, the legacy of leadership tenure, by participating in their weekly leadership workshop and training. As she tours the country to celebrate her book, she has invited the young adults who participate in Public Allies to be part of each event.

In BECOMING, published by Crown Publishing, she writes about the significant impact her experience with Public Allies has had on her life and career:

“I’d been hired to be the executive director for the brand-new Chicago chapter of an organization called Public Allies. Public Allies [is] all about promise — finding it, nurturing it, and putting it to use. It was a mandate to seek out young people whose best qualities might otherwise be overlooked and to give them a chance to do something meaningful. To me, the job felt almost like destiny.

The most exciting part for me was finding the Allies themselves…..Who were the leaders? Who was ready for something bigger than what he or she had? These were the people we wanted to encourage to apply, urging them to forget for a minute whatever obstacles normally made such things impossible, promising as an organization we would do what we could …

….I’ve been amazed over time to see how many of our recruits did, in fact, succeed and commit themselves long term to serving a larger public good. Twenty-five year after its inception, Public Allies is still going strong with chapters in Chicago and two dozen other cities and thousands of alumni across the country. To know that I played some small part in that, helping to create something that’s endured, is one of the most gratifying feelings I’ve had in my professional life.

For the first time in my life, really, I felt I was doing something immediately meaningful, directly impacting the lives of others while also staying connected to both my city and my culture.”

What: Public Allies Youth Workshop with Former First Lady Michelle Obama

When: Friday, December 14, 2018 from 2:00pm – 3:30pm

Where:  Seven Trees Library and Community Center, 3590 Cas Dr, San Jose, CA 95111

Media Guidance: Space is limited. If interested in covering the event, you must submit information for media credentialing. Please send name, outlet, and contact information via email to by 4pm PT on Thursday, December 13th. Those who are confirmed for coverage will receive a confirmation email by Thursday evening. No enquiries should be directed to the library.

On Michelle Obama’s BECOMING:

In her memoir, Michelle Obama invites readers into her world, chronicling the experiences that have shaped her—from her childhood on the South Side of Chicago to her years as an executive balancing the demands of motherhood and work, to her time spent at the world’s most famous address.  With unerring honesty and lively wit, she describes her triumphs and disappointments, both public and private, telling her full story as she has lived it—in her own words and on her own terms.

Michelle Obama served as First Lady of the United States from 2009 to 2017. A graduate of Princeton University and Harvard Law School, Mrs. Obama started her career as an attorney at the Chicago law firm Sidley & Austin, where she met her future husband, Barack Obama. She later worked in the Chicago mayor’s office, at the University of Chicago, and at the University of Chicago Medical Center. Mrs. Obama also founded the Chicago chapter of Public Allies, an organization that prepares young people for careers in public service. The Obamas currently live in Washington, DC, and have two daughters, Malia and Sasha.

Public Allies