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.

Thumbnail from a video where a boy and a man are sitting together.

Latest News

  • Nominate a White House Champion of Change for Disability Advocacy Across Generations

    This year marks the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, a landmark civil rights law that promises equal access and equal opportunity -- regardless of ability. It secures each person's right to an independent life, and it enables our country and our economy to benefit from the talents and contributions of all Americans. The ADA’s legacy can be seen everywhere, whether you’re using a curb cut as you cross the street, using a sign language to catch every lyric at a concert, or receiving reasonable accommodations to do your most efficient work possible. While the Federal government has led many efforts to implement the ADA to the fullest extent possible, much of the success of the ADA is due to the persistence of long-time state and local disability advocates who have advanced inclusion in their communities.  

  • Immigrant Heritage Month – Celebrating Immigrants’ American Stories

    June is #ImmigrantHeritageMonth, a time to celebrate diversity and immigrants’ shared American heritage. The second annual Immigrant Heritage Month (IHM) is dedicated to those who have contributed to the United States’ communities, economy and its vibrant diversity.

    One of the remarkable things about America is that nearly all of our families originally came from someplace else.  Immigration is part of the DNA of this great nation.  It’s a source of our strength and something we all can take pride in.  That’s why during Immigrant Heritage Month, we are encouraging you to share your American story.

    You can visit whitehouse.gov/NewAmericans and share how you or your family made it to America - whether you’re an immigrant yourself or your great-great-grandparents were.

    In recognition of Immigrant Heritage Month, the White House shared a touching blog post from White staffer House Zaid Hassan sharing his personal story of becoming a U.S. citizen. The White House will be posting a blog series throughout the month of June that highlights the stories of Administration officials and everyday Americans with immigrant roots.

    Pittsburgh Mayor William Peduto kicked off Immigrant Heritage Month with the first-ever naturalization ceremony in Pittsburgh City Council Chambers, in partnership with City Council President Bruce Kraus and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Director León Rodríguez.

    The first week of IHM included messages and social media activity from White House officials Cecilia Muñoz, Valerie Jarrett and many celebrities and thought leaders, including celebrities such as Eva Longoria, Toni Braxton, and Wu-Tang to name a few. Here is how some have been celebrating Immigrant Heritage Month so far, including really fun throwback pictures for #TBT#ImmigrantHeritageMonth.

    Dania Ramirez, Devious Maid’s star, answered this question presenting a short-clip in which she shares her family’s arrival to the United States and their sacrifices to achieve the American Dream. Eva Longoria retweeted Ramirez’s mini documentary with the following message:

    Other celebrities, including Russell Simmons, Elianne Ramos, Chef Jose Andres, Michael Skolnik, and George Lopez commented on their immigrant heritage and contributed to the IHM Campaign. Senator Bob Menendez shared of picture of his family, commented on their arrival to New Jersey and tweeted the following:

    Facebook was also used as an outlet to spread the word on Immigrant Heritage Month, its relevance and what it means to be an immigrant in the United States. We want to hear how you or your family made it to America – whether you’re an immigrant yourself or your great-great-grandparents were.

    Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz (Via Facebook): I’m proud to celebrate the beginning of Immigrant Heritage Month. Generations of immigrant families have worked hard to make our nation stronger, and if not for their contributions, the United States wouldn’t be the vibrant country it is today.”

    The White House has been regramming posts on people’s immigration story on IG and will continue to celebrate people’s reflections on their American heritage. 

  • Ensuring that All Native Youth Can Reach Their Full Potential

    Nearly half of Native American people (42 percent) are under the age of 24; more than one-third of Native children live in poverty; and Native youth have the lowest high school graduation rate of students across all schools, according to a recent White House report.

    Last week, I visited Riverside Indian School in Anadarko, OK, a school operated by the Department of the Interior's Bureau of Indian Education (BIE), to meet with students and school officials, tour the facilities, and host a roundtable discussion. Most importantly, I wanted to hear from kids and families about what's working and how we as a federal government can better serve tribal communities. As we know, the best ideas rarely come from Washington, D.C., but instead from local communities responding to local challenges. The visit was part of the President's Generation Indigenous ("Gen-I") initiative to remove barriers and ensure that all young Native people can reach their full potential.

  • Ensuring that All Native Youth Can Reach Their Full Potential

    Nearly half of Native American people (42 percent) are under the age of 24; more than one-third of Native children live in poverty; and Native youth have the lowest high school graduation rate of students across all schools, according to a recent White House report.

    Last week, I visited Riverside Indian School in Anadarko, OK, a school operated by the Department of the Interior's Bureau of Indian Education (BIE), to meet with students and school officials, tour the facilities, and host a roundtable discussion. Most importantly, I wanted to hear from kids and families about what's working and how we as a federal government can better serve tribal communities. As we know, the best ideas rarely come from Washington, D.C., but instead from local communities responding to local challenges. The visit was part of the President's Generation Indigenous ("Gen-I") initiative to remove barriers and ensure that all young Native people can reach their full potential.

  • Faith Leaders as Climate Champions of Change

    In June 2013, President Obama outlined the Climate Action Plan -- his roadmap for action in the second term that cuts carbon pollution, helps prepare our country for the impacts of climate change, and continues to lead international efforts to address global climate change. President Obama believes in the power of individuals to make a difference on these issues. He also knows the faith community has a powerful role in leading climate change efforts.

    As the President has said:

    Let’s do more to promote … development … from ending extreme poverty to saving lives, from HIV/AIDS to combating climate change so that we can preserve God’s incredible creation.  On all these issues, faith leaders and faith organizations here in the United States and around the world are incredible partners, and we're grateful to them.

    This July, the White House will honor faith leaders who are making a difference to combat climate change and advance conservation in their communities. We will celebrate the impact they are having here at home, and on the lives of people around the world.

  • Celebrating Every Member of Our Federal Family

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

    As we celebrate LGBT Pride Month, I want to proudly reinforce my continued commitment to the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender members of our federal family, and recognize the incredible contributions this community has made in service to the American people.

    We better serve the American people when our federal workforce draws from and honors the unique talents and experiences of individuals from every community across this great country. Though we tackle tough challenges each and every day, the diversity of thought, opinion, and experience drives the creativity and ingenuity we need to get our vital work done. And our LGBT colleagues are instrumental in helping agencies fulfill their service-driven missions.

  • What President Obama Said to the Adas Israel Congregation:


    "Jewish American life is a testimony to the capacity to make our values live. But it requires courage. It requires strength. It requires that we speak the truth not just when it's easy, but when it's hard."

    — President Obama


    Last Friday, President Obama spoke to the Adas Israel Congregation in Washington, D.C., which became the first synagogue to host a sitting president when President Grant attended a service back in 1876. It was also the first synagogue to host Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. This reflects how deeply Jewish heritage is woven into the fabric of American life -- both in our values and our vision for the future.

  • Foster Care is Community – Everyone Can Be a Champion

    Netsy Firestein

    Nicole Dobbins is being honored as a Champion of Change for Foster Youth

    The great Muhammad Ali said, “Champions aren´t made in gyms. Champions are made from something they have deep inside them – a desire, a dream, a vision.”

    Reflecting on becoming an advocate for children and families, I’m reminded of my childhood. Growing up was chaotic, filled with instability, abuse, poverty, and a parent with long-term substance abuse challenges. I longed for a healthy family. I hoped my family would get the help they needed and life would become less stressful.

    In elementary school I grew aware of the importance of education and I knew I didn’t want to grow up and struggle the way my mother did. Having never finished high school, she stressed the importance of education, but for me it didn’t feel attainable. Even when I was young, I was aware of my family circumstances and the cost of college felt insurmountable.

    In 5th grade my elementary school principal changed this belief. In an assembly, she told my graduating class that all of us could make it to college if we did just three things: got “C” letter grades or better, didn’t do drugs, and didn’t get pregnant. She also said she would help us pay for it through a scholarship fund. My world shifted; I now had hope for a better future.

    With this, I made it to college, but not before abruptly exiting the foster care system. I “aged-out” of foster care just one day after graduating from high school. My saving grace was that I was already accepted to Oregon State University. I had three months of summer to survive before I had stable housing in the dorms.

    In college, I felt lost and alone. Various people helped me along the way, but there was something missing. I was navigating a challenging transition to adulthood, which included managing and healing from past trauma. I masked my emotions on the outside well, but secretly contemplated suicide often. I seriously lacked a support system.

    In my junior year, a case-worker I came to know after foster care encouraged me to apply for an internship. It was one of the first times I felt someone believed in me. I interned and later worked for FosterClub, an amazing organization. It was an opportunity that gave me purpose in life. Discovering other young people who had experienced similar circumstances gave me passion to create change. I learned how to build what was missing, my supportive network.

    The following year I became the director of the internship, and was responsible for training former foster youth to become young leaders, using their experiences to improve the lives of our peers.

    All children need champions. Because of instability in care, my peers often lack an anchor. They lack consistent people in their lives to guide them, hold them accountable and love them beyond their mistakes. From a young age, my desire was to change my family’s trajectory. Today, my vision is clear: I have a dream that no more young people will “age-out” of foster care without committed people who love and support them in their transition to adulthood. With more than 100,000 children waiting to be adopted and nearly 23,000 youth who age-out of foster care annually, often to poor outcomes, we have work to do.

    Maybe you can’t adopt or foster, but what about mentoring, volunteering, or even making donations to your local community organizations? There are so many opportunities to become champions for children in foster care. 

    Nicole is the Executive Director of Voice for Adoption. She is a graduate of Oregon State University.