OAKLAND (KPIX 5) — Former president Barack Obama and Warriors star Stephen Curry spoke at a huge town hall in Oakland on Tuesday to empower minority youth.
The event is part of the My Brother’s Keeper Alliance put on by the Obama Foundation at the Oakland Scottish Rite Center.
Obama was greeted by hundreds of young people, mostly boys and young men, who came from all over the country to attend the first-of-its-kind summit.
The event marked five years singe Obama launched the My Brother’s Keeper Alliance, which has now expanded into a network of nonprofits designed to uplift boys and men of color through mentorship.
“The purpose of this summit was number one to say five years after this started we’re not going anywhere,” said Obama. He said that, more importantly, the summit was a chance to connect with young people who are making a difference.
“An opportunity to see young men all across the country who are not reported on enough who are doing positive work who are leaders in their communities.”
Anthony Robles of the Youth Justice Coalition was one of the young men handpicked to sit onstage with Obama.
“I was really grateful and humbled by the opportunity to be here,” he said. However, some attendees left wanting to hear more meaningful dialogue from Obama.
“There are some more questions, tougher questions that need to be asked on issues of undocumented youth,” said Miguel Garcia of the Anti-Recidivism Coalition.
It was also an opportunity to have tough conversations. Stephen Curry spoke to the attentive crowd about his own personal struggles and insecurities in his early life.
“Just in general, self confidence was not always something that was natural for me,” said the three-time NBA champion.
Singer John Legend performed for the crowd and then led a powerful discussion with the mothers of Oscar Grant, Trayvon Martin and Jordan Davis–all victims of gun violence.
The mothers told the young men that their songs’ deaths have sparked a movement.
“You are our tomorrow. You are the ones who will be on the front lines,” said Wanda Johnson, Oscar Grant’s mother.
“It’s not about Trayvon anymore. It’s about the young people in here,” said Sybrina Fulton, mother of Trayvon Martin.
Some from the young crowd said the experience from the event will stick with them.
“I’ll never forget because it’s my first time actually seeing them in person,” said Dinari, a young boy in attendance.
The second and final day of the convening continues on Wednesday, featuring “Black Panther” director Ryan Coogler of Oakland alongside actor Michael B. Jordan.