Barack Obama might be a former president, but he’s still globally leaving a legacy of tolerance. Obama will reportedly give a commemorative speech to honor Nelson Mandela’s birthday in Johannesburg on July 17, and it’s speculated he will speak on “tolerance, inclusivity, and democracy.”
Benjamin Rhodes, former speechwriter for Obama, shared with the New York Times that the former president believes this will be “the most important speech he has given since leaving the White House,” as the root of some of the same issues Mandela faced haven’t been excavated. Although he might not mention Donald Trump directly, Rhodes said he’s sure to address issues brought on by his controversial presidency.
“It gives him an opportunity to lift up a message of tolerance, inclusivity and democracy at a time when there are obviously challenges to Mandela’s legacy around the world,” Rhodes said. “There’s an enhanced sense of tribalism in the world. Our unifying theory is that the best way to promote inclusive and democratic societies is by empowering young people in civil society.”
The speech will be a part of a five-day meeting of at least 200 youth, which includes workshops and technical training held by the Obama Foundation. CNN reports 10,000 of Africa’s young leaders applied.