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The Obama Foundation’s CEO David Simas sent this email out this morning about the year ahead. The values statement is one we all can strive for in 2018:
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Chrissy,A little over a year ago today, President Obama walked out of the White House for the last time as President, and stepped out onto the street as a citizen.

Since then, working alongside tens of thousands of people like you, we’ve been building something new — an organization that bears the Obamas’ name, but belongs to all of us. An experiment in what it means to be an active citizen in the 21st century.

This year we will welcome the very first class of Obama Fellows, and continue to host trainings and conversations open to citizens at home and around the world. We’ll continue to keep you informed and ask for your help at every step of the way.

As we head into this new year together, our work will continue to be guided by your input, and by our values — the pillars that hold this organization up. Our values are what we stand for — what we all have in common. As staff, as supporters, as citizens. From President and Mrs. Obama, to me, to you.

So I wanted to share those values with you directly. They’re what drive my work each day — and I hope they serve as a source of inspiration for you, too:

Teamwork. We’re building a global community that will work together and support one another. We’re invested in the success of others, we treat each other with respect and kindness, and we will work diligently to lift each other up.

Humility. We share a passion for impacting the lives of those around us. Sometimes that means speaking up and other times that means stepping aside to create space for other voices. We recognize that we don’t have all the answers, and we are committed to showing up and learning from others.

Integrity. We know that change doesn’t happen overnight. How we do our work and how we collaborate with others is just as important as what we’re seeking to accomplish.

Inclusivity. We value each other’s contributions and hold the conviction that only from diverse backgrounds and divergent points of view can we find the best solutions.

Stewardship. We roll up our sleeves, work hard, and focus on what we’re giving back to our communities — rather than what we are gaining ourselves. When we find success, we remember and support those who are just beginning to take risks and make a difference.

Fearlessness. We have a fearless mindset. We’re not afraid of taking risks, sharing a new idea, meeting new people, or admitting when we just don’t know the answer. Something great might come out of it.

Imagination. We strive to be novel thinkers. Unconventional ideas and new perspectives are why we’re here. We’re willing to make big bets on ideas that haven’t been tried before as we aim to solve the hardest problems of our times. Be yourself, and be bold.

These values aren’t window dressing for us — something to stick on a wall as an afterthought.

They infuse the work this Foundation does every day — and they drive this team.

2018 is going to be a big year. I’m so grateful to have you working alongside us.

– David

David Simas
CEO, Obama Foundation

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